Thursday 25 March 2010
Today I awaken unsurprisingly grumpy. What on earth was last night about? Why did I have so much slung at me in one go. Quite frankly I feel exhausted today, they say these things get sent to test us but why must they be so sapping of my energy?
On cue the day begins with my watching the US comedy repeats on Channel Four in between scouring/scanning the mainstream channels for news (there is no news). My ETA turns out to be 7.15AM which is pretty much par for the course when I don’t have to rely on the alarm clock. Outside the day is open the sun is out but it isn’t out very far and a sense of gloom has attached itself to proceedings, which is a shame because the first half of the week was suggesting (if not promising) so much. This is not how I had envisaged things. And it is perhaps a good thing that I am not going to Wales this weekend after all.
I watch Everyone Loves Raymond, Frasier and Will And Grace before my options run out and I have to leave my bed and attempt to make something of my day. Slowly I hear my neighbours head off to work, not least looking out for the guy who had his van parked in space 15 (my neighbour) last night. Who on earth drives around in a van advertising that they are a window cleaner? Did he do exams? Am I right in thinking that he is the latest in men that my neighbour has had around to jump in the sack? It was actually probably him that pulled down the latch on the door last night and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt by acknowledging that it wasn’t done on purpose or as a personal gesture against me. It still happened though.
With this in mind one of the first things I do today is write an email to my management agents bemoaning the incident that occurred last night. By rights surely somebody should be knocking on my door and apologising to me for the incident but life does not work that way. Even better it might be fun for somebody to knock on my door and have a go at me for nearly kicking the door down last night which would then give me more than excuse and a platform for which to kick off in. This never happens though, I’m too passive to ever put myself in such a position to air such things. I suck. So then at the end of the day all I can do is send off these stupid, snotty emails to the management agents hoping that they will issue some kind of formal complaint that will carry more weight and authority than my childish acts. I don’t have the balls or the time.
Today is my second anniversary of beginning work at the restaurant. The place is completely different now. I still remember the morning I started there and how it all felt intimidating and more officious that it eventually turned out to be. The Financial Controller was certainly an intimidating factor and the woman I was working with opposite was just old and useless.
It has to be reiterated: today is fucking horrible. The environment chokes me and the climate kills my enthusiasm. I still feel depressed and fearful after being locked out last night. Will there be any comeback? What fucking tricks will my neighbour be up to next?
This afternoon the Dad’s Army stage show is having a matinee performance at the Mercury Theatre and earlier this week I half suggested to the old man that we go along. That said I don’t really think it is his scene though and being a weekday matinee I can’t help but suspect the demographic will be demeaning to both of us. As a result I shy away from pushing the idea forward.
With no real heart for writing I find myself instead watching a Straight Edge documentary. It is fucking nonsense, so horribly removed from the Minor Threat origins that now it would appear that being straight edge is considered to be akin to being a gang member like a Crip or a Blood. Are they fucking serious in America? I thought it was bad enough the way all new hardcore bands just sounded like thrash bands with short songs and how the whole emo thing occurred but to see these kids will all humour and fun squeezed out of their existence is just disheartening and so wide of the original point. To hear Thurston Moore provide the voiceover feels like shilling of the worst kind and when the credits later display that Brendan Canty did the score suddenly DIY ethics are not only ignored/neglected by the piece, they feel thoroughly trampled over.
By now the day reaches lunchtime and with it comes an attempt/effort to eat healthy and be good. Easier said than done.
From here I resume attempting to write and I experience only limited returns. At 3PM as usual I break to listen to the Danny Baker BBC London show which provides a calming element to the afternoon. This is radio to relax and fall asleep to.
When the show ends the time has now reached 5PM and with tonight’s RICHARD HERRING show at the Colchester Arts Centre looming I only really have a couple of hours left to get some writing done.
Eventually I get to the Arts Centre just after 8PM where it is already pretty packed. Soon after I arrive Lee arrives and it all begins to look good for the evening.
As I head to the bar to get drinks I find myself confronted by an old face from better times in the Colchester scene, I haven’t seen him for years and it’s really great when he recognises/remembers me. We do the briefest of catch ups as it transpires he has ditched teaching (he even used to teach at my old school in Frinton at one stage). Briefly vague plans get hatched to meet up and hang out in the future. Some people transcend.
Tonight is fun. RICHARD HERRING emerges onto the stage wearing his currently trademark toothbrush Hitler moustache and proceeds to dissect and super analyse the ridiculous concept/conceit of evil and racism being attached to his piece of facial hair and then onto the ridiculousness of racism in general, of how the field can get so muddied that ultimately it actually takes more effort to be racist than not. In addition he brings about the question as to whether people become more right wing, even racist, with age.
RICHARD HERRING is a master comedian. He has very thick skin; otherwise he wouldn’t have persisted with this premise in the first place. Additionally he is happy to send himself up when frailties and imperfections of his being emerge. He also appears to be fond of the double standard, its all right for him to be absurd but don’t dare anyone anywhere else misbehave or toy with hypocrisy. Those people would be sick and wrong.
After a strong hour of set we reach an interval at which point he leaves the audience on a cliff hanger as to whether he did grow back his moustache, the one that currently sits/hangs above his top lip.
When he returns it is with jubilation that he points out how he was not discouraged from keeping the moustache. As the show continues he moves onto his now infamous story of when he had his iPhone stolen in Shepherd’s Bush by a black man and how when the police were trying to retrieve the stolen phone for him as they drove past bystanders out of context what would be seen would be Adolf Hitler sat in the back of a police car, as if they had finally got him.
From here a poser occurs when in the middle of his Hitler Moustache run HERRING has to attend an important family function. With this he has to weigh up the pros and cons of jeopardising his show against potentially ruining all the future family photo albums but looking like an eccentric weird nasty piece of work. In reality this proves a real quandary for him, posing a difficult decision he would rather have to deal with. Bloody families.
Later at another point he actually mentions the name of Day 68 of my Facebook Cull. Now that is truly strange coincidence.
As one ridiculous conceit gets considered by another the whole situation and basis of his show continues to get confused as the absurdities of live override any opportunity of a rational argument other than to shut the fuck up and just get on with things. The reality is that it just takes too much time and effort to be racist and an incredibly lazy mind to get annoyed by a style of moustache. Eventually HERRING ties it all up with a bow and offers everyone out to collect and wear a free toothbrush moustache being handed out at the exit to anyone that wishes to sport and that we should fight to win the moustache back to represent Charlie Chaplin, to represent comedy.
After the show HERRING proves very accommodating as he sits at his merch desk signing copies of DVDs and books and having his picture taken with the people of Colchester. When it comes to Lee and my opportunities to meet the man a guy behind us in a wheelchair offers to take our photo while I get HERRING to write “cumpkin” in my copy of Bye Bye Balham while I show him my cracked iPhone in search of sympathy from another iPhone obsessive.
With this ends another great night at the Colchester Arts Centre. As I head home I worry slightly about the door to our building being locked again (as per last night/this morning) but thankfully when I pull up and in all is well, the sign magically strategically placed on the wall has done its job. Celebration!