The Wild Wild Jest

I recently got Red Dead Redemption for the Xbox (yes women fall asleep now, its for the best. Men, yes I’m years behind everyone else in terms of game buying) and as well as making me addicted to staying indoors and hitting buttons like an agoraphobic panto hater, its very much made me realise I’d have quite like to have been a cowboy. Imagine if at this age I was riding around the Wild West shooting bears and outlaws, drinking whisky and generally being goddamn cool rather than today’s morning spent watching the washing machine go round for 20 minutes anticipating its eventual cycle end so I could put my sheets on. In, not on. Putting sheets on is just doing a feeble ghost impression. I’ve always wondered what would happen if someone died whilst wearing a pathetic ghost sheet costume. Would they then come back to haunt people with the sheets as part of their apparition? No. Because ghosts don’t exist. Really if I was to properly think about it, I’d be a terrible cowboy. I’d probably be dead within days. If not killed in a shoot out, then probably just from some sort of disease or illness from back then or even just getting suckered into drinking one of those ‘miracle cures’ from a salesman and chucking my own insides out. I suppose its just a tiny glimpse into a more exciting life. In my head I’d totally lasso stuff, gallop around and when I walked into bars the man playing the piano would stop tinkling away. Tinkling away? That’s make it sound like he’s pissing. My words are all over the shop today. Its a book shop. BOOM! Sorry.

People like to assume that comedy is an exciting job and there are probably some of you (presuming more than one of you reads this) who are thinking ‘why Tiernan do you need to be a cowboy when you’re a master of pun-slinging at 30 paces anyway?’ Well, I’d like to draw your attention to last night’s highly pleasant car journey back from my gig in Swadlincote Ski Centre, where Mr James Dowdeswell was very kindly driving. After a nice enough gig, whilst traversing the tarmac of the M1 in the early hours, myself and James noted that we knew all the M1 services up to Junction 25 off by heart and in order. This is one of those moments where you give yourself momentary praise for knowing exactly how far away a coffee is, but then sort of self loathing occurs whereby you realise that this sort of information is blocking out part of your brain that could be filled with the sort of genius that would stop me having to be on a lonely motorway at 1am. Cowboys didn’t have to do this. Admittedly, its partly because they didn’t have motorways. Or Costa Coffees. If they did, I presume there’d be a lot less bar brawls and more wide eyed caffeine highs where cattle would get rounded up a lot quicker than usual.

This sort of glum moment of clarity fell off the back of doing a gig after 3 days off. The last gig I’d done was on Monday to 600 students, and then last night was to 80 very nice people upstairs in a building by a dry ski slope that people were using in the rain, which seemed to defeat the point. I spent the time before the gig pacing round trying to find energy of any kind and getting so annoyed with a small sign on the wall that spelt ‘you’re’ as ‘your’ that I had to graffiti it with a pen. I think this is anti-graffiti. Surely if my addition to the sign of an apostrophe and a ‘e’ helps it to be grammatically correct then I am less a menace to society and more a minor nuisance to the illiterate? The gig itself was really nice despite my lack of quick retorts for environmental health officers or geology students – I’ve since thought of ‘why can’t you study other letters of the alphabet?’. But on leaving the adrenaline rush never really hit, then the motorway services realisation happened, and finally I was back at home, alone and spending far too much time trying to shoot 5 rabbits to gain a ‘Sharp Shooter level 2 achievement’. I managed to do it by the way, so, er, pretty slick, yeah? Ladies? Ladies? Er ladies? Hello? Oh. You’re all asleep.

Cowboys don’t have these issues. They just shoot rabbits all the time, sit by campfires and generally tell people to get off horses and drink calcium rich beverages. Tonight I’m in Portsmouth – a place I like to think is spelt like a disease sailors get. I may wear my stetson (as mentioned in yesterday’s blog avid reader(s)). I can’t imagine it will help the gig much, but it’s slightly big so I won’t be able to see and won’t notice any consequences of me doing an entire cowboy based set. ‘What’s a cowboys favourite football team? Spurs’ etc etc…..

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