Thursday, July 30, 2015

PreSup

Hey Edinburgh festival you sexy little minx,

Yeah, I'm talking to you... you with the many faces and the moist bits that make it impossible to keep your feet dry.

I want to be in you. Like, deep inside you. And then I want to leave and not think about you for a year. Because you're beautiful, baby, but we just wouldn't work long term.

You drive me crazy.

You take my perfect little world and you shake it. Like a baby with a really precious snow globe shaking the fuck out of it and marvelling at the chaos.

So, before I climb balls deep into your magic, I'm leaving myself a little note. It's a bit like in Buffy when Oz tries to chain himself up before the full moon so that he can't hurt anyone. When the fever hits me, I will read this note and your crazy power over me will be gone.

* Nothing that doesn't happen in Edinburgh is very important. You didn't even go last year and the following year of comedy on the circuit has been your most successful yet.

* Anything minor that does happen in Edinburgh has happened in a tiny bubble that no one except you and your agent give a flying fat fuck about. Not even you and your agent will care come September.

* Anything major that does happen to you in Edinburgh is a brilliant bonus. But it is a bonus.

* Anything major that happens to someone else in Edinburgh was always going to happen to them. They haven't got lucky, they didn't take it away from you, and you couldn't have had it even if you'd done their show. Ok?

* That money is gone, sweetheart. It's gone. You spent it on the chance to have your hour a day telling a show that you love. That's what you bought. For some reason you wanted it more than the Maldives. You are an idiot, but it's ok, because it's a festival full of them.

* You need to eat something other than breakfast food on some days.

* You love your show. You loved writing it. You loved previewing it and you sincerely thought it was the right show to do, to tell and to be proud of. Please don't change your mind because one person saw it once, didn't like it and then printed their dislike. Their opinion is not more valid than yours so don't let it be.

* Go and see other people's shows and enjoy the festival. Edinburgh should not be looked at from a pinhole camera in your room where you're holed up with a scribbled out copy of your script and the latest recording of the show. Be the artist you've told all those online magazine Q&As that you are and go and see some of the shows you've proudly pronounced are your hot tips.

* Don't drink everyday. Maybe cut this one out and keep it for September too?

* Be nice to yourself. You're not the worst, there is no best, and you've done well to write a show that some people will love. Be nice to yourself.


See you soon,
Lx

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wimbledon

Me: Oh, hey tennis! How are you? It's been a while!

Tennis: Yeah, about a year. I had a great time with you last year...

Me: Me too...

Tennis: But then you didn't call...?

Me: No, no, I didn't. God, I'm so sorry, I don't really know what happened.

Tennis: Well, if you feel like hanging out some time let me know.

Me: Oh, hey, I'd love to. I'm kind of busy this month but... oh sod it, do you fancy a coffee now?

Tennis: Sure!

*Coffee is refreshing. Me and tennis smile nervously at each other, enjoying this once familiar feeling*

Tennis: Well, that was great. I've got a dinner to go to now, you're welcome to come too, but I know you said you were busy.

Me: Pah, it can wait... I'd love to come for dinner.

*Dinner is delicious and satisfying.*

Tennis: Any chance you fancy coming to a rave?

Me: Hell yes!

*Me wakes stumbles out of a bar three weeks later having not slept, eaten or spoken to any loved ones. Tennis looks glorious and captivating but Me looks dishevelled and has a billion missed calls. Tennis has it's own drawer in Me's room and has replaced the full fat milk with soya. Me doesn't remember changing Tennis to Bae in it's phone but it seems to have happened. Me is wearing a leather jacket that it neither likes nor feels comfortable in.*

Tennis: Babe! We're going to France! Ferry leaves in an hour, are you coming?

Me: Fucking hell Tennis! How do you do this? This is why we didn't talk for a year! ONE COFFEE... Oe coffee is all I said I wanted and now you've practically moved in with me. Jesus, I just need some space. I just need a break. I love you baby, but I just can't live like this.

*Tennis and Me go their separate ways.*

ONE YEAR LATER

Me: Oh, hey tennis! How are you? It's been a while!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Athlete

The boy and the girl put the key in the lock and crossed the threshold together.

The boy put his boxes on the bed, the girl grinned and put hers down on the other side of the bed they were going to share.

The boy and the girl opened the cardboard flaps on the top of their boxes and began to pull out the possessions that they would fill their home with.

The boy had mainly wires. The girl looked at them and wondered what they were for.

The girl had mainly potions. The boy looked at them and wondered what they were for.

---


Until I lived with a man I had no idea a person could use and enjoy so many wires. Wires appeared all over my life all of a sudden... thin ones and thick ones, ones with square ends, one with pluggy ends, ones with ends that were the same at both sides, ones with ends that looked torturous, ones that were split in the middle and needed holding to work properly, ones that were thicker than my arm, ones that lived in nests with other wires and never came out of cupboards, ones that resembled Clapham Junction for their stunning complexity, ones that tripped me up at night, ones I would unplug and get frowned at for, ones that didn't work when I used them but behaved perfectly when he entered the room... slutty little wires.

Life BM (Before Man) consisted of only one wire for wires' sake: my phone charger. Other things I owned had wires but they were wires that mainly went from something I used and into the wall. I had never had cause to connect my hair dryer to the printer or hook my bedside lamp in to the wifi.

I was not a particularly technical person I suppose. Below average interest in technical shit? Yeah, probably. But I'd never noticed. I just thought I was a me.

I began to notice that his underarm deodorant spray was annoying me. It was always hanging out somewhere it shouldn't be. Irritating can of annoyance that moved from surface to surface wherever he had most recently used it. Why didn't it live anywhere? I keep all my stuff on my dressing table why doesn't he keep his on his... oh, he doesn't have a dressing table. I guess his bedside table is his surface, why doesn't he keep it there? It's covered in letters he doesn't open, some wires, some Magic The Gathering (wtAf?) cards and a few cups with some mangy coffee in the bottom.

Then it dawned on me. The deodorant gets everywhere because it doesn't live anywhere BECAUSE IT IS HIS ONLY POTION. There is no cluster of half used upright bottles and liquids and failed attempts to be a leggy blonde that belongs to him.

I looked at my own dressing table; mousse for my limp hair, hairspray for my straight hair, moisturiser for my dry skin (separate bottles for face, legs, bum and hands), toner for my sagging skin, cleanser for my spotty skin, foundation to cover up my skin, eyeliner, eye pencil to draw on my skin, blusher and eye shadow to colour in my skin, mascara for my stumpy eyelashes, lip gloss to ward off vampires (I think) and Bio oil to get rid of my scars. Oh, and my own deodorant that's been specifically designed not to show up on my clothes instead of stopping me sweating. Helpful.

Does he look at my potions and think of them as I think of his wires? Is he baffled? Does he wonder what will happen if I don't use my potions? Sometime I do.

One day he comes home with a new game and it cost £50. £50! That's quite a lot of money for me. I sit and watch him playing it... it's going to take months to complete and he is totally happy and absorbed. There's a wire on his head to talk to other people playing, there's a wire charging the controller and he is totally content.

I am jealous. I wish I knew how to lose myself in games and get so lost in the fantasy. I wish I had £50 to spend on a game. I get up and go to the bathroom and apply Bio Oil to the scar on my arm. the Bio Oil was £40. If I didn't want to get rid of the scar then I could play a game. Did I want to get rid of the scar? I don't know. I just know I burnt myself pretty badly and then people said it would go away if I used Bio Oil and so I bought some and got rid of it.

Suddenly I was a bit scared and insecure... I had lots of potions and the man had lots of wires and we suddenly seemed very stereotypical and I didn't even know if I wanted the potions or when I'd decided to get them but now they were there and I had left it too late to understand wires and games.

Am I a proper 'me' or a generic 'girl' or a bit of both? I suspect I am a bit of both but now I am less confident in myself of what I've chosen and what's just happened because I didn't question it.

Some days later a girl came round. She's a friend of mine and we were chatting about a big day I had coming up where I'd already told her I was considering getting "full wax downstairs as a surprise for the man". (It's best if you read the bit in the speech marks in a weird whisper RP accent as though you have a large ball in your mouth that you're trying to talk round because you're not supposed to just say things like that out loud in case Voldemort hears). (Fuck. I mean He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named).

She told me about times she'd tried it. I never had.

Then we discussed armpit hair and we agreed that if we could never have armpit hair again then we would gladly accept the offer. There's never going to be a time that we want it! We declared. Then the  girl who is my friend said, "Because, even having a full "downstairs" might come back into fashion one day so even that I wouldn't want gone forever."

And I was delighted.

It was a tiny relief. A tiny chink of light that some of my decisions might be my own. Is it not fashionable to have pubes? Well, oopsy daisy fashion, BECAUSE I'VE GOT BLOODY LOADS OF THEM!

They are all over my downstairs and sometimes they land on the toilet seat and look suspicious. They poke out of my pants and my swimming suit and they are bouncy and fluffy. And I cannot be bothered to do anything about them!

I don't mind them being there and I really don't want to faff about getting rid of them. I have a masters degree... if you think I worked for four years to get that so I could sit about with a bottle of Veet and some tweezers causing myself pants rash and itching then you are a dumb motherfucker.


I didn't tell my friend at the time in case she didn't want to be my friend any more because I had a crazy Wild Thornberry vagina cosy. But inside I was delighted.

I have my own wires.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Musings on Jokes and Offensiveness

I've been musing on some new material and basically sketching out the possibility for a new bit that I hadn't fully thought through.

I sort of wrote it, looked at it, wondered about it, and then abandoned it quite hastily but the thought process I've been through made me stop and think so I'm sticking it out there as an interest piece.

If the original concept for the joke offends, please accept my apologies and continue to read as that's the whole point really.



The basic concept for the bit was:



On Friday my car broke down, and when I pulled on to the hard shoulder I lucked out massively and ended up next to a man with an empty transporter lorry who was going my way and offered me and my car a lift.

Jammiest. Sod. Ever.

Now, I accepted the lift totally aware that it could be one of two things about to happen:

1. The start of an excellent true story Rom Com about how I meet the unlikely love of my life (sorry Alan) and we are eventually played by an aged Paul Rudd and whichever 21 year old is currently Hollywood old enough to be dating 55 year old men on screen.

2. I get raped and murdered and dumped in a hedge just off the A1(M) where it's quiet.

Neither happened so I guess I just must not be as pretty as I thought.



Immediately I wasn't really happy with the end of it... something feels gross about that idea. I don't like mentioning rape during something that's supposed to be comedy - it's not funny. So, I thought I'd take the rape part out as it seemed gratuitous and unnecessary and making light of something I don't want to poke fun at.

Obviously, without the rape the joke doesn't work any more really because there's not an obvious connection that a murder would be "beauty" related. I totally know and understand as well that this is the case with real world rape (as opposed to joke world rape)  - I'm not making that connection on any level, I'm just talking in terms of a superfluous cognitive connection strong enough for a joke to work.

So I thought, no, I'm going to abandon this joke I think. It's unpleasant, I don't know how to make it funny and something I'm comfortable with so I think I'll just leave it.


Then, I wondered why I wasn't so worried about the murder part of the joke.

My general rule of thumb for deciding how I feel about telling a joke is "Who is the victim of the joke?"

If I would be ok telling that joke in front of someone who could see themselves as the actual victim in the joke, then I am ok telling it. If I'm not, then I shouldn't be telling it because I'm obviously worried it's offensive.

In the joke above, I think I am the victim. I am eventually joking about my own big headedness, vanity and appearance.

But I'm still not OK with it.

So, by mentioning it in the way that the joke is, I think I am also making real world murder and rape victims a victim of the joke by connecting their experiences to beauty?

Is it implying blame on the real world victim by assuming in the joke world that there is a cause that they may have carried with them?

Or, is there nothing extra offensive in the joke other than the fact that it uses something horrific to get a cheap laugh?

Which brings me back to the question of why it was definitely the rape, not the murder, that made me flag it up and abandon it.

Has rape, rightly, been too flagged up recently as an area for strong concern and attention to make sure we're dealing with it properly? I know in the comedy world "rape gag" comedian is synonymous with "hack" so maybe I'm ultra cautious because of that.

Is murder still cartoony and generic enough to be gotten away with? Is the word "murder" overused enough to be the linguistic equivalent of a mouse bashing a cat with a mallet? If I specified a type of brutal murder would that make it not acceptable?



I don't know yet. Sorry there's no conclusion! Just musing on jokes and acceptability and stuff.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

God and The Penguin

I was taught that the reason child birth is so awful for women, is that Eve ate an apple.

She ate an apple and we suffer periods, cramps, horrendous birthing and the men get nothing.

This morning I watched March of the Penguins.

Penguins walk 100 miles to the South Pole.

They find a mate and lay an egg.

The female walks 100 miles back to the sea to get food before she starves.

The male stands through a polar winter in the pitch black, stormy beyond freezing conditions for 125 days without food.

The female walks 100 miles back to the male and coughs up a load of fish for her chick.

The males walk 100 miles back to the coast.

The females wait in the cold until the chicks are old enough to walk 100 miles back to the coast.

They all get back to the coast and potentially enjoy roughly 3 months of life being "not as shit as it was in winter" (leopard seal permitting).

Come March, they do it again.

Exactly what did penguins do to God? Shag the apple tree?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How To Be A Hero

Feeling blue? Need a quick pick me up? Here are 13 simple ways to feel like a bit of a hero for a day...

Cook a Jamie’s Thirty Minute Meal in under 4 hours.

Ask your parents how much they bought their first house for and realise the sandwich you bought at lunchtime was worth a bedroom and a half in the sixties.

Eat something out of the clear plastic vegetable prison at the bottom of the fridge.

Go to your nearest Hollister and tell them to grow up.

Give a sock to a house elf.

Buy an avocado from Waitrose and then watch it decay. No matter how great a Waitrose avocado is - you're better.

Find someone giving out "Free Hugs" and tell them to go and patch it up with their parents.

Go out and buy some taramasalata. Greece needs all the help it can get.

Pull out the pin on your watch and wiggle it backwards and forwards. You're practically Doctor Who.

Watch the Call On Me video while eating a Snickers and rubbing your hairy, hairy shins.

Go and look at all the people in Wetherspoons.

Tell a child you’re so old you were born in the last millennium.

Cancel your charity direct debits and make a large donation to a KickStarter campaign... What will be the point of rainforests when there's no middle class white kids' art?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Feminism FAQs

Social media is a place where inventive, original people go to be relaxed and mundane. I find it's best to separate the person I know in flesh and blood from their two line summaries of life's current melodrama. People are rarely so baffling when not filtered through a keyboard and a grainy thumbnail.

However something has breached my firewall a few times recently and almost caused me to dive in to a comment section I will later regret. What happens is, someone I dearly love will say something along the lines of:

"I'm sorry, but I just think feminism has gone too far... I love my husband/boyfriend/brother and I don't see why I should have to hate them."

or

"Well, sorry, but I guess I'm just not a feminist then... I love my kids and I'll stay at home and look after them if I want to."

or

"I've got a son and I'm not going to raise him to feel like a pervert for liking women. Hate the way feminism says he is doing stuff wrong just by being a man!"


Thankfully, I restrained my aching fingers from kicking up a virtual dust fight and I've brought the backlash here instead. Because I do think there are some valid opinions above, they just point the finger at the wrong culprit.

It's important not to confuse being a moron with being a feminist.

Some people are both feminists and morons, that truth is an absolute, but some people are just plain old feminists and we need to look at the difference.


Some people will certainly disagree with me, but my test for whether or not someone is a feminist is based on one question:

"Do you think rape is OK?"

If you answered yes: Not a feminist.

If you answered no: A feminist. You've expressed some kind of agreement that someone's body is their own property. Regardless of gender.

For me, that's as simple as it needs to be. Everything else branches off from this basic trunk of belief in what a person is, and it gets more complicated when you move away from the trunk but wherever you sit in the tree, you must have scaled that trunk to have got there.

So, if you see a statement that you disagree with, you can check whether it affects your feminist status by seeing if you still answer the same to the trunk question.


In case you’re still stuck, I have put together a few Feminism FAQs for easy reference…

  • Can I still give a lovely, big, slobbery blow job if I am a feminist?

Yes. Although if you were not good at blow jobs before you became a feminist then you will not suddenly become great at them. Feminism is not a super power.

  • Can I keep my penis and still become a feminist?

Of course! Most feminists love a good bit of cock!

  • I like to look at porn and nudey shots of women, can I still be a feminist?

Not a problem in my feminist book, so long as:
  1. The woman in the picture wanted to be in them
  2. She is healthy enough to have made that decision fairly
  3. She got paid appropriately for the shot
  4. The shot was featured in an appropriate location
  5. You didn’t look at them somewhere public like a bus because that can be really gross for other passengers. Especially if you’re the driver.

  • A man held a door open for me and I liked it and I giggled and now I’m not sure I’m a feminist.

Did you decide that having the door held open for you made you want to stop voting, driving, speaking in public places, having your skin on display or having your own opinions? If not, then yes you are still a feminist. You just like it when other people help you with stuff.

  • I like to cook at home and my husband is better at doing the DIY. I’d like to be a feminist but I also don’t want to put flat pack furniture together and I don’t want to eat his nasty shepherds pie, is this ok?

Sure! Notice that, in your question, you say that you “like to cook” and are therefore exercising your right and ability to decide your own actions based on ones you enjoy. That is feminism in action for you, babycakes.

  • I only really feel happy when I’m eating Discos and thinking about Michaela Strachan, am I a feminist?

I have absolutely no idea. But you don’t sound well.