Night of the Dead Living

God its horrible when it rains isn’t it? Its not so bad, when its rains for a few months. Then you get used to the backs of your jeans getting soaking and your jacket smelling a bit like you’ve put a wash on and not hung it out for 7 years. Then when rains for longer than a few months it gets really depressing, much like last year when it seemed to rain all 365 days and people started to build arcs. If then in continues past that people get less depressed again as we all start to evolve to grow gills and do well at swimming in the Olympics. Then we all remember how shit Waterworld was and get depressed again. But most depressing of all is when it was NICE AND SUNNY AND HOT YESTERDAY and then the weather decides that was our summer and gets all rainy again. It’s almost as though the climate has shown us there is some hope we won’t all get rickets and then at the last minute has realised we don’t deserve it for spraying all the CO2’s at it and so we get more rain. I don’t like it. Not one bit. Although I did just walk to the bank during ‘lunch hour’ and it was empty so maybe its not that bad.

Last night was even more depressing than the rain. It was my first of two trips to Coventry this week. I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this, but I’ve obviously annoyed someone somewhere along the line. The gig last night was a gig I had done before about a year and half ago and had fond memories of it being nice. Conveniently, Tiffany Stevenson was doing a gig 15 minutes away so we could share the lift which was a bonus and we had a top journey up where we complained about all the wrong things in the comedy world. It turns out there are many of them, or at least enough to last a journey there and back. We worked out several solutions to things and it all involves all other comedy people dying and then me and her getting all the work. I’m not sure how likely this is to happen, but there’s no harm in trying. Oh wait, there is. I dropped her off at her nice gig in a little pub in Nuneaton run by Jim Smallman, and where Russell Howard was making a surprise appearance, then I drove off to my gig, which I assumed would nice in its own, less nice, Coventry based, way.

Saying it wasn’t nice is an understatement. Its also an overstatement. It wasn’t really anything. I’m not sure if it was post Easter weekend, or just because they live in Coventry, but the entire audience seemed dead inside. Now before I blame it entirely on them, which I will, I’ll be honest and say I felt a tad rusty. Again rusty is probably an understatement. It was more like some sort of metallic fungal disease that had rotted away my entire comedy mind. I’d only had 6 nights off, but those nights off had included some sleeping, boozing and reading strange messages from French people, and my brain had relaxed a little too much. So when I stepped onto the stage to whip the audience into a frenzy, I was probably a bit more lacklustre than usual. However this was not helped by the zombies’ inability to respond to any queries with anything more than a grunt or at best a one-word answer. They refused to partake in banter, they refused to whoop and cheer for the acts and everything was responded to with a quiet and tentative applause as though they were watching something as tedious as a bowls tournament. The tragedy was that most of them had very interesting jobs, where there would have been a lot of fun to be had, had they wanted to have any fun ever. One was a lecturer in Animal Care, who had a pet skunk, one was a juvenile rehabilitator, one man sold classic Jags but did not own a jag himself, one lady lived in Turkey and got angry when I criticised Coventry canal, and one guy was a gas man. That there would normally be a comedy goldmine, but it wasn’t last night. All responses would have been the same whatever anyone did, they were dead inside. I was starting to think they, like Ulyssess 31’s family and friends, had been suspended and frozen in time as a punishment by the gods.

But just when all hope had been lost, a couple in the front started talking too much. The man decided he wanted to partake in the show and decided to respond to every question I had for him with lecture like answers and blab away thinking he was funny, but failing miserably. Meanwhile his wife got drunk on two glasses of wine and piped up loads as well. A whole room of people that didn’t want to talk, and then right at the front two people that talked too much and irritated the hell out of me. If there had been a way to blend them all together, using the couple as the few drops of Tabasco in a vegetable juice, I would have done it. In fact, I think I’d just like to have put them all in a blender. Screw the gig, lets blend idiots.

All the acts trundled through as best as they could and the crowd eventually started to wake up a bit. Oddly as the dead people arose, the couple at the front got quieter and quieter until the drunk wife actually fell asleep. In the front row. There is nothing to make you feel quite as unwanted as a women who cares and enjoys the gig so little that she passes out. Her husband, rather than take her home, left her asleep on his lap and stayed at the front. Every comic commented on it, everyone else in the already miserable crowd frowned upon it, and the husband didn’t care a bit. I love people. Such considerate lovely creatures we all are. The final act was meant to finish on a musical number but gave up, called the sleeping woman’s husband a c*nt, and walked off. I gave him the biggest round of applause for the evening.

I picked up Tiff from her lovely, fun and enjoyable gig with a fully awake crowd and we drove back complaining about sleeping idiots and who should be killed first. I haven’t got a gig tonight, normally this would annoy me, but after last night I’m quite happy to leave it another day. Hopefully this will give the public slightly more opportunity to wake up. If not, I am going to start to take adrenaline shots to gigs and stab the front row with them just before I walk on stage. If nothing else, watching them spasm will make it fun for me.

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