Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tuesday 1 September 2009

September already, it only feels like yesterday since my American Friend was giving me grief over email for my lack of enthusiasm for her ugly new boyfriend and his playing card teeth.

Petrol prices are through the roof again. So with that in mind thank God for the trains except today it is almost 7.10AM by the time my regular 7.03AM is pulling out of the station. Is there no optimism to be found anywhere in transportation?

My journey today is blighted by the strange looking skeleton faced woman from Witham boarding and deciding to sit next to me. She is one of the more standout extras to proceedings with her sitcom strange looks and weird demeanour. You can imagine her having many children and being a boringly stereotypical good mother with it possessing A grade students without lives or personalities. With her sat next to me this morning I manage to suffer a whole new element sitcom woman experience as whenever she breathes or coughs in my direction I suffer to most sickening and putrid of odours emerging from her gills. This is the classic smoker’s breath and this is why smokers are always chomping on gum because it freshens up this stinkbreath. This however would appear a life lesson this lady pushing 50 have not discovered/uncovered. I physically hold my nose and turn my head every time she exhales during the remainder of the sixty minute journey. Why did she decide to pick on me at this time? God hates me.

When we eventually arrive at Liverpool Street and I feel I have survived the onslaught of toxic warfare (a dirty bomb could do nothing to me now). At the station the clocks are broken day thus hiding the reality of the train’s eternal lateness. Is their latest ploy in order to hide/disguise their poor performance at keeping time? It’s a conspiracy.

At work it is a scrappy day. Early on it is indicated that my boss is not going to make it in after a heavy bank holiday so this adds an element of ease and no caution to the day.

After a pretty typical post bank holiday return to work bedding morning at lunchtime I find myself being coerced into going to the roller derby again. If I can go along with somebody and not just appear to be some single bloke perving over the suicide girls I would be bang up for going/heading along again.

The afternoon plays out in a manner much the same as the morning and soon the time is 5.30PM and time to head off.

Tonight I am going to see DOUG STANHOPE at the Leicester Square Theatre. A couple of years ago Racton and I attempted to catch his show at the Soho Theatre but it sold pretty quickly and instead we wound up eating Wagamama and watching the remake of The Wicker Man at the Prince Charles cinema. Life in the fastlane.

Before the show I potter around Leicester Square, first around Haymarket and HMV and then eventually around the square itself. I came here a number of times with my American Friend and for some reason I always half expect to see her again.

As I stand waiting for the doors to open at the venue listening to my iPhone suddenly someone is waving their hand in front of my face. I look to see who it is expecting it to be someone I know but it is a complete stranger asking me where the Leicester Square Theatre is. I tell him exactly where it is before pointing out that that is where I am headed. He seems unimpressed as he trolls off into the distance and suddenly I feel a stunned shot of fear go through my body as I realise with an epiphany that that guy was me, the person on his own with some kind of superiority complex when it comes to being cutting edge funny and yet lacking basic socially graces and personal skills. It looks bad (for both of us).

The Leicester Square Theatre is a funny place. There is an old school seediness to it that you feel would more suit it being located in Soho. The last time I came here was with Mark to see the Bill Hicks Slight Return show and that Saturday night was truly a winner.

DOUG STANHOPE turns out to be not as expected. He hits the stage in a strangely goofy manner, wearing an Hawaiian shirt and his voice sounds different to how it has been previously. He speaks of how he has just come back from the Reading and Leeds festival where he did sets in the comedy tent and found himself royally heckled as a result. He appears to be genuinely shaken by the shows but I guess that is part of the spiel.

Truly I cannot work DOUG STANHOPE out tonight. I used to think he was in the Bill Hicks mould, an angry comedian with an edge that cuts from a long distance. This is not what is onstage at this time. His fuse seems tamed, he is no longer angry and feels more filled with tired apathy than a person can/should healthily get. He even professes to being too old to be angry anymore.

As people along my row shuffle past me to have a piss seemingly out of boredom he switches up a gear onto hard liquor (Jagermeister) as he gives off a suggestion of not feeling it either. Seemingly struggling he only truly hits his stride when his sex material appears providing the only moments in which he appears enlightened. As he unleashes tales of sleeping with aged porn stars he descriptions of the act of sex become so base, so horribly accurate in a bored and bleak slant you begin to question and realise that the whole effort attached to the process really isn’t worthy of the hype and reputation in the first place. As he continuously explodes and ejaculates onstage these are the only genuine machine gun yuks of the evening.

When the set comes to a close it is almost with a disclaimer from STANHOPE himself that it is engineered to put the audience out of its misery. He has been paid to deliver an hour and an hour is what we are going to get regardless of the quality within the quantity. This guy ultimately is a workman comedian. He is the American equivalent of those that standups that would do working man clubs for beer. That or this is a man very much in need of a holiday, a holiday that is not coming over to London and taking the money and running.

As I leave the venue I spot Jerry Sadowitz exiting also. He still cuts a majestic shadow and I find myself genuinely impressed to see him.

Heading home my day is completed by my Travelcard deciding to stop working between Leicester Square and Liverpool Street. This ticket is a piece of shit, in this day and age you would think these would be like Oyster cards by now instead of some crappy piece of card that eventually rubs down to nothing.

On the train home I learn that Millwall crashed out of the Carling Cup this evening losing 2-0 at Barnet. That West Ham game has truly knocked the wind out of sails and fucked up our season. I’ll brace myself for a barrage of mockery from my boss tomorrow as he lives near the Barnet ground. Poxy tinpot shit cup competition.

When I finally get home Lara Croft is on TV. Did she really just punch out a shark?

As I check my post I discover a cheque from National Express for £85 as way of compensation for the industrial action caused by Bob Crow recently. I love money.

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