Hereditary Humour

Its the semi-finals for the English Comedian of the Year tonight. I’m meant to get people along to support and hopefully vote for me, but the amount of friends I have that are still interested in seeing me gigging are slim to none and those few are not very interested in seeing me do 7 minutes that they’ve all seen before. I would be tempted to do all my new anti-G20/credit crunch gags but as I learnt last time, its probably best to do bankers, no pun intended. Well it was, but incase you didn’t laugh then it wasn’t. Its often best to cover myself incase you just groan and then you blame yourself for the joke you created. You didn’t create it, I did and it’s my fault. I’m sorry.

Me and Layla went for dinner with my Great Aunt Rhoda and her partner Edgar last night. I hadn’t been round to her house for many many years and just walking in the door flooded me with memories of causing havoc. Before I’d even stepped in the doorway, Rhoda remembered a prime example of my havoc causing from when I was about 3 years old. Our cats at home had had fleas and my parents had told me that whatever I did, I mustn’t tell Rhoda our cats had fleas or she wouldn’t be happy about us coming round. Apparently I jumped out of the car and straight up the door where I exclaimed ‘Hello Aunty Rhoda, our cats have fleas!’ I love the fact that I was a liability even then. There is something about fleas that only seem to bother adults and cats. I remember doing a comedy for kids gig somewhere near Petersfield, where we asked the children in the audience who had pets. Several put their hands up and when I asked who had what pets, there were lots of cries of ‘cats’, ‘dogs’ and even ‘horse’ and ‘chickens’. One little boy above all the noise shouted ‘I’ve got fleas’. Amazing.

We got talking about my Great Grandfather a bit because I had been speaking to my Nan about him not too long ago. I wish he’d met him as I’m fairly sure that’s where my humour has descended from. Unfortunately for my dad it skipped a generation, but it can’t be helped. The stories Rhoda told us yesterday were about two moments during the air raids on London in the second World War. The first was when Rhoda, my Great Grandma and Great Grandad were leaving the over night shelter to return home before heading to work and school. As they were a little way along, the sound of a doodlebug suddenly appeared overhead and a my Great Grandma screamed for them to run back to the shelter. Terrified they ran as fast as they could back along the road. My Great Grandma shouted to my Grandad out of panic ‘You’ve got to do something’ and he shouted back, quick as ever, ‘what do you want me to do? Jump up and catch it?’ That’s genius. In a life and death situation he has the sort of retorts that Al Murray would be proud of. The second story was when the air raid sirens went off and my Great Grandma was searching around upstairs for her false teeth. The sirens were getting louder and my Great Grandad was shouting up the stairs for her to hurry up so they could run to the shelter. She shouted back that she had to find her teeth, and again, quick as anything my Great Grandad shouted back ‘They’re dropping bombs not sandwiches.’ Despite all that’s going on he was still pretty good a quips. I felt very proud of this. I always find it fascinating hearing about war times and I’m really not sure I’d have been any good at having a laugh about getting bombs dropped on me. That takes a special kind of resilience.

My parents have just returned from a week in Cornwall and have brought me a small pot of honey from the Lost Gardens of Helligon. Its great honey but I can’t help but feel the title of ‘The Lost Gardens’ is a false one. How did they find the honey if the gardens are lost? My mum said that until recently the gardens were lost and they’ve only recently excavated them. Firstly, this means they should be called ‘The Recently Re-discovered Gardens of Helligon’ and secondly, how old is this honey? Not sure I will eat anymore of it.