World Without Men

I’m doing a rather unusual gig tonight. Unusual in the sense that its not a gig, its a science discussion, and also unusual in that its not normally the sort of thing I’d do, mainly because I haven’t got a clue about sciencey things. I used to. Back at school I was very into science, mostly because it was the only lesson you got to set fire to things in. My love for it was mostly destroyed by a teacher called Mr Silverwood who insisted on trying to do terrible quips throughout the lessons. ‘Sir my pen’s run out’ would illicit a response of ‘don’t worry the door’s closed. It wont go anywhere’. There were many other awful things and so it was inevitable that I would relate science to such terribleness and give up on it. So I surprised myself by saying yes to tonight’s gig. You never really know where saying ‘yes’ will lead to and I’m an advocate of saying it as much as possible. This, unlike the film or book ‘Yes Man’ has not normally lead to many great things but more the loss of money and sometimes dignity.

Tonight’s gig shouldn’t result in either of those hopefully. The event is called Cafe Scientifique and the idea is to hold scientific discussions in places where people can relax and have coffee. You know, all those things scientists don’t usually get to do as they spend 24/7 injecting mice in the eyes. The specified area for this evening is a short film called ‘A World Without Men’ that investigates the ever diminishing Y chromosome and the increasing parthenogenesis in fish and reptiles. I’ve been asked to make 10 minutes of jokes about it. This is much harder than it sounds as after watching the film I’m just genuinely terrified that men are dying out. The facts are not pretty. According to all these science peoples the Y is getting weaker, more and more decayed and men are becoming more frequently infertile by the minute. I’m tempted to abandon all humour and just rally all the men round in a circle and discuss survival tactics. A big part of it is something called DAZ (sY254) which stops sperm being able to swim. I knew that all those DAZ representatives doing the ‘Doorstep Challenge’ were up to something. Don’t you realise Danny Baker that you have started your own undoing you fool! To be fair, its not entirely the DAZ’s fault, but also largely to do with the discovery that a shark recently had a ‘virgin birth’ with no male shark involved. I’m tempted to suggest it might’ve been near a sperm whale but I’m not sure how that will go down. Either way, having investigated that two eggs can create a baby without any male DNA handiwork, there is the possibility that we will not be needed. Truly truly scary times.

I’m also finding it terrifying that they may not go for any of my jokes. They’ll all be clever science people who probably only laugh when a DNA chain of 22 Angstroms turns out to be 24 or some bollocks. I’ve experienced this before with a gig to a group of maths professors. I’ve always known that anyone that involved with numbers won’t be interested in humour. I mean, it figures. Arf. This gig was the very first ‘proper’ gig I did after leaving uni. A group of us that had done the stand-up course in Kent had been invited back to perform at this maths conference as entertainment for the lecturers. Basically the budget was very low and we were very poor so it seemed like a clever pairing. Ultimately we all got stared at rather large amounts and its needless to say my early observations on whales were not received very well. Instead we stole a lot of the wine and got drunk on the grass outside as though we’d never graduated.

So hopefully tonight will be alright. Even if it isn’t I feel I’ve actually learnt something. Mostly that there’ll be no men in about 200 years. It shouldn’t bother me as I’ll be dead by then, but I can’t help but feel that maybe if I do something now I could change things later. I think I’m going to spend the day making all the jar lids tighter in the flat just so Layla feels my presence is entirely necessary.

If you want to come along tonight, its in Tooting and the details are here: (scroll down the page my friends, scroll down)