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Monday, May 10

Putting My Foot In It

It's a good trick. I often say the unsayable. I often say the foolish. I act in a way that's intentionally going to cause an unusual reaction. I do this because I'm filled with glee regarding the illlogical. I've got this book called "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat", which is a lovely engimatic title. However, I love referring it it with a bewildering array of silly alternatives. I don't quite know why, but the following make me laugh:
  • The man who did a poo on a dog
  • The man who put jelly in a shoe
  • The man who coughed on a bus
  • The man who kept beetles in his fridge
  • The octopus who knitted a dolly
I could go on...

Anyway, the good thing about deliberately being outspoken is that you get to spot the emperor's new clothes. There's a quote from Bill Hicks, I believe, which is a favourite of mine, and I don't quote Bill Hicks very often - "Once you start spotting some bullshit, you start spotting it all". This is interesting to me. I am relatively credulous, but I'm also a kidder - a joker - and you can't kid a kidder. So I'm getting better at spotting the game, the racket, or whatnot, and either ignoring it, or gaming it.

I like that.

However, sometimes one can get wrong-footed. Sometimes this is a metaphor.

On Friday I did a gig in Rawtenstall at a music venue. I was the opening act. I wasn't quite getting much response from the audience, so I picked on a guy in the front row who had a beard and tried to do this gag:

I've done it before. It was spontaneous once. It's not something I use very often. I did a reasonable job of it... but... the audience were not ready for reacting to it... and on leaping back to my start position, I went through the stage.

"It's just a stage you're going through" is a classic line used by comedians when someone cuts across the stage. I got to use it on myself in a weird subversion of the cliche. The stage didn't quite give way, it was carpeted and the wood under a square section of carpet, about 2 feet on each side, was no longer there. I had to somehow work around the hole. In the end I put the microphone in it... It was silly.

The last act, Steve Royle, an excellent comedian when it comes to physicality, did about 5 minutes of mime surrounding the hole, and various tricks of appearing to sink into the hole, or go up and down in lifts, escalators etc. I felt like my initial embarrassment was set up well for his later messing about opportunities.

It wasn't entirely my fault. Apparently, the venue had had "Fat Elvis" the Elvis impersonator, and he'd weakened the stage. They have these cover bands, including, at the end of the month, "Guns or Roses", the Guns 'n' Roses tribute act, which sounds like an American deciding what to buy his girlfriend as a gift. Get it wrong and you get the valentine's day massacre. Whe the compere explained that the hole was "Fat Elvis's fault", the audience looked at me as though I'd just been nicknamed. Cheeky!

So I went through the floor. Worse things happen at sea, especially on icebergs.


Blogger Billiam said...

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11:29 AM  

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