Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hey The Man, Do You Have Any Jobs?

Today I had a meeting with a man about getting a mortgage.

I told the man how much money I had saved and how much I earned and he put all the numbers into a computer and then had a look to see if I could buy a house.

In order to buy a two bedroom flat in the place I live, he said I was almost there but I would probably need to just double the amount I have saved for a deposit, and then double my annual income too. Then I could get the mortgage.

He just cheerfully looked me in the eye and suggested I double my annual income and come back and see him when I'd done that.

I work in an industry where I have been doing gigs for the same amount of money for the last 5 years. In 5 years the cost of fuel, food, warmth and walls has gone up an awful lot... but the amount I get paid to do my job has stayed stock still for most gig, gone down for others and disappeared in a lot of cases.

He looked me in the eye and suggested I just DOUBLE MY ANNUAL INCOME.

This happened in the same week I found out my period is still a fucking luxury and the bacon I'm eating to console myself on my luxurious, velvet clad period is going to give me cancer and by the time all the cancer has really settled in and I'm too poor from wasting all my hard earned dollar on these fucking tampons that I know I should quit but I just fucking can't, there won't be an NHS any more and I'll be sticking money in the meter to watch the BBC while my Coca-Cola catheter pumps me full of a liquid that, thanks to Jamie Oliver, I know contains exactly 23 teaspoons more sugar than it should.

Obviously, the sensible choice would be to stick two fingers up to Andrew Lloyd-Webber and go shit on a cat, get pregnant and then just drive around waving my swollen period free stomach at tampon vendors screaming "THIS IS LUXURY YOU SONS OF BITCHES". But it looks like tax credits are also going to get thrown out the window so the baby that I'm using to avoid paying my blood money is going to be really hungry because I don't earn enough to buy a garage.

Unless I move to the north. I have enough money to buy a 3 bedroom detached house in the north. But I'm not that stupid. I know the North is where the SNP live and they're destabilising the blessed union that that Scottish King created several thousand years ago or something.

Obviously I've read Facebook and I know it's the Tories fault. Evil Tories. I can't believe they managed to invent social inequality, sexual inequality, financial instability, capitalism and a housing crisis in the 6 or so short years since they came to power. I miss the paradise we lived in under Labour. Remember the good old years? Remember when we all used to be happy because of Labour? At least the Tories have the backbone to tell us even bacon has stabbed us in the back. Labour just sat there quietly watching us eat it.

"Go on you fat fucks, eat the bacon. Get the cancer. Then you'll need our NHS and you'll be delighted that we're keeping it and you'll keep voting for us and the Tories will never win. Sure, you'll have cancer, but you'll also have bacon and we'll be in power."

What are the Tories doing? Lots of grubby hand rubbing from what I can tell from vaguely skim reading peoples' statuses. They're selling babies and inventing ebola so that we all die and have to buy limbs from the Chinese. Fucking Tories. If only Jeremy Corbyn wasn't made of bacon and had genuine leadership potential.

The obvious solution is a bacon tampon. Roll it up, stick it in and yes you will technically still be paying tax on the tampon but because of the cancer it's ABSOLUTELY GOING TO GIVE YOU TOMORROW you will, overall, pay less tax because you'll be dead. From the cancer bacon is giving you.

I don't even use tampons. I use a moon cup because it's cheaper, better for the environment and better for my body. Tomorrow I'm going to fill my moon cup with bacon and send it to Andrew Lloyd Webber sellotaped to the back of an angry cat wearing roller-skates with a message saying "I don't fuck with your shit Webber, now you leave us alone." That will show people I'm more than an e-petition or a grumpy status.*

I don't even use tampons. I. don't. even. use. tampons.

That means, even someone as fiscally sensible as me who has been exploiting a loophole in the cruelly unjust tampon tax system that is affecting hard working families such as me, cannot afford to buy a house. That's when you know the system is broken.

* Disclaimer, I literally intend to just write this blog and take no action on any social issues that bother me.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


I shaved my head last week.

Raised £1,000 for a cancer charity and was really pleased with the result. By result, I mean the money... not the look.

All hell has broken loose in my head. I'm seriously beginning to wonder if my hair might have had some tin foil qualities in keeping the ludicrous voices out. Maybe it's not that I'm an anxious wrecking ball of self doubt, maybe it's aliens sending messages down to me from space and my hair was the only thing keeping them away?

That is one of the more shareable thoughts I've had this week. It's been pretty exhausting.

I'm a vain person. I'm a very insecure person. This week I've been dealing with having my own image completely changed, of my own doing, and feeling a bit screwed up about it. Then, on top of that I've been feeling horrendous about mourning my hair when the reason it went was to help people who have probably also lost their hair but for a proper reason that they couldn't control. They didn't choose it. I did, because, I guess, I wanted to be a bit of hero. And now I don't like that the tiny thing I had to do has not gone away once the fanfare died down.

My head is full of voices of people looking at me thinking, "Put your hair back on your head and keep the money then you selfish witch. How have you managed to make my battle with cancer about you?"

My worst fear came true on Monday when a cancer patient on Twitter tweeted to me, "It's not good enough - you've deceived a cancer patient into thinking they'd see a bald woman" (because I didn't do a wet shave, I have a fuzzy once currently) and I think my heart might have actually squeezed itself out of my arse and ears with dismal shame. It transpired he was joking, thank Attenborough, and he said he'd received Macmillan support in the past and thought it a worthy cause. But I think it helped me realise that shame is exactly the right word for how I've felt. Deep, gross, shame at my own immaturity that I couldn't wear this symbol of support for someone without feeling totally chaotic in my own head.

The worst thing about Monday to Wednesday this week was waiting for that first gig on Thursday where I would step out in front of an audience and have a new first impression to deal with. I know my persona when I have my hair... I know how I look in my clothes, I know how I come across, I know when to twiddle my fringe in my fingers to occupy myself when I'm waiting for a punchline to land.

With my shaved head I feel like none of my clothes look the same. I feel like the fact I'm fat is more obvious. I think I look masculine and I'm not used to that. The grey hairs are not hidden anymore and that punches me right in the vanity. But worst of all, and something that is weirdly hard to admit in case it makes it even worse to say it out loud, I am absolutely fucking inside out cold guts feeling petrified that someone will think I've lost my hair because I had cancer myself, and will attribute some sort of bravery or sympathy that I in no way deserve.

I stepped out on Thursday and opened with my usual jokes and then addressed my hair as a secondary subject. The audience were mildly interested and then we carried on with the rest of my set as normal.

The woman in the middle of the front row with the brightly coloured head scarf wrapped all around her head laughed too and my terrified little self-obsessed heart started beating again.

I'm not sure stand-up comedy will ever stop rescuing me. Or maybe, it's the people in the audience being decent people and not like the shitboxes that are the subject of so many FB shares, that rescues me. Gives me faith. Stand up comedy might just be a conduit through which you can generally channel the best people in the world. People chasing the simple high of a laugh and a shared truth are my favourite.

I don't really know what the point of this post is. I certainly don't want sympathy or any kind of "there there, dear" and I hope it doesn't come across as a cry for any of that. It is not and I really don't want it. I just wanted to be honest about how a stupid little thing has pulled me apart a bit, because I don't think you're ever the first to feel weird stuff and the more people put it out there, the more someone else has a chance of finding it.