Category Archives: Random Musings

Un thought through ideas

“What are going to do tonight, Brain?!”

We are now a month in to me not drinking. How boring to write about a lack of alcohol? Maybe, but I’ll endeavour to make it not so, because for me it is a novelty, and even stranger still, is getting more exciting by the day.

You see, I am a man who is constantly coming up with genius ideas, wild flights of fancy such as to travel to and become ruler of the moon (1998), or save the global environment through humour (2009), or coming up with a mechanism that would let people use themselves to truly democratise the world (2014). You may have noticed that so far none of these have come to pass, and I grant you, the ideas sound slightly over reaching. However, 2014 is the year of execution!

I have gathered my best ideas in a lump (a.k.a my brain), and this year, Pinky, we’re going to take over the world!

Continue reading “What are going to do tonight, Brain?!”

20 Seconds

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I have been putting off my writing all morning. I’ve sent a few emails, I’ve made a few phone calls, I’ve brought wood in for the fire (I know, how rural!) and I’ve had many cups of tea. And now I must write.

I am staying in a cottage that is shared between my mother and her sisters. It’s very well stocked, sort of like a normal house with everything you might need, except that checking the use by date is more important than usual. For instance, my lunch comprised of delicious tinned tuna. So what if the best before date was 2006…

The thing is, I am in deepest, darkest County Fermanagh. About 10 miles from Enniskillen, I am in a small cottage, in a park that last year was determined to have the greatest biodiversity in the whole of Ireland. Not bad. I’ve not seen that much of it, mainly because looking at a bat flying over my head I can’t tell if it’s a common pipistrelle of something much rarer.
Continue reading 20 Seconds

Standing Up in Chicago

Tonight I performed at an open mic night. A microphone attached to a small amp and speaker, in the back of a bar with loud music and chat leaking through. As the last act on on a night with 20 plus comics, I was not surprised to be playing to a room with only 6 in it, however I was surprised that 3 of them were genuine audience.

Making the best of a bad lot, I chatted bollocks to them and had fun. Lots of laughter, a couple of moments where I discovered a line through having crossed it, and the evening organiser was happy. The audience were too; it had been a long night, but the couple from Oklahoma were effusive in their praise, I was their favourite act and worth the wait. I hope that was thanks to my comedy rather than purely my being exotic.

All I did was chat to the audience, riff on an idea or two, comment on the room and on some of the other things that had been said. I did no material at all. What I did do was to have fun, and I had fun with them.

I suppose what I take away from this is that I can harvest laughter out here just by playing, possibly even more easily than at home; the wordplay and the improvisation of ideas on the hoof are both skills I’ve worked on and developed at home, but out here this style seems to be less of cultural standard within stand up than it is at home. If I can build material into this, I will have a reliable set that will wow a local audience, while at the same time feeling very natural.

Maybe I should find myself a room to run a night in and compere. Maybe I have enough on my plate already. But it is tempting…

The Chicago low rider

Here in Chicago, motorcyclists don’t bother with crash helmets in general. They love to cruise around on massive, low riding beasts, their arms are curved up to the height of their ears to grip their handlebars. Arms bowed like the legs of a cowboy, his firm, gentle hand easily dominating the fierce steed. With a slight twist, the machine growls; the saddled mans hands, wrists, arms tighten, he pulls with his chest and is carried comfortably forward on the wide wheels.

The decorative leather tassels on the handle bars flow in the wind, dancing like the rider’s rough, salt and pepper beard, past rippling tattoos of symbols of power. Music blares out like a flag, to let all the passers by know.

And the fanfare of this knight of the road.
Is James Blunt.

Stuttering flies

I’m sitting in the garden. The weather is beautiful, cool enough to wear a T shirt and shorts, warm enough to be comfortable in the outside air. I’ve my iPod on the iron table here, the gentle breeze is rustling the ivy on the walls, and the air smells fresh. The iPod is on shuffle, and as a techno tune just came on, a small fly landed on my book, it’s jerky movements across the page making it look as if it was dancing to the music.

It dances better than I do.