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Thursday, May 19

The coming weekend was going to be busy. I was going to be doing a mini comedy tour in Scotland with another comedian, who is Scottish, but now lives in Newcastle. The weird thing was that each gig we were performing in had been booked independently, and we were not going to be travelling between gigs together. I was due to take him to Scotland on the Thursday, and bring him back on the Saturday night, but we would be doing our own thing in between. He had the pleasure of staying in Scotland Thursday night. I had work on Friday morning, which meant that my weekend would be even more intense. Still, the benefit of working a day job is that it pays for the fun which happens outside of office hours!

So, after a fairly hectic day in the office, I met my comedic chum at 5pm and we headed to Edinburgh. I was to MC the gig that he was closing. There were to be 3 other acts on the bill and the promoters were a couple of friends of mine. It seemed like it would be a pleasant night out. I started the journey in a rather odd mood. The tiredness of the last couple of days' activities, coupled with the pressures of work, meant that my mind was racing and I was burbling a bit more than even I normally do. It took me a while to chill out and get back into being myself. I managed it, though.

Arriving in Edinburgh, we wandered to the venue, with plenty of time to spare, set up and then sat around for a while. It was the first time for this particular gig, run in this particular way. Under these circumstances, you never know who is going to turn up, or what they're going to do. As a means of promotion, someone had chalked a series of instructions on the streets leading to the Royal Mile. Next to the words were pictures of penises. It took me a while to work out what this meant. The gig was on Cockburn street (pronounced Co-burn) but they were playing the "Cock Burn" angle. A couple of the chalk penises were on fire. What amused me, and I explained it to the audience as I MCed the middle section, was that they'd draw an 3 foot high picture of a penis, with hairy testicles attached, and then, next to it, had *ed out the "O" of "Cock" because they didn't want to be rude! Classic!

The gig itself was hard to play and every act, with the exception of a very tightly scripted open spot, the headliner and myself, appeared to be on the ropes with the audience. They were nice, but hard to play to. They weren't all British and this made some pop-culture references hard. Plus, we had a table of Canadians and Swedes, who heckled. They were nice heckles though. One of the guys politely added information, relevant to what was said and what thoughts went through his brain. He was taking part, and it was fun to play with him. Another of the guys on that table heckled me by buying me a drink. Not exactly a problem!

One of the funniest moments in the show for me was when one of the acts, in the setup to a joke, said the words "I was thinking of joining the Al Quaeda network". The polite heckler, at this point, had been swigging his pint and comically spat it out at those words. I don't think he planned it. It's the perfect response to any joke... to be blessed with beer. The punchline of that particular joke was not revealed to that audience. In the interests of authenticity and copyright, I too shall not reveal it.

I enjoyed the gig but had to get back home. The late night drive was a chore, but I had a weekend of entertainment to look forward to. Plus, as a bonus, my girlfriend had decided that the only way she could get any work done was to come and stay at my place. I wasn't going to be there when she arrived, but she would, at least, be able to get settled in and enjoy my company when I did. She was due to arrive the following evening. I was back off to Scotland after work that day.

I like gigging, and May was getting quite gig intensive. Since June was looking almost entirely bare, it was a question of enjoying it while it lasted.


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