I never remember my dreams. I wish I did.
Well, maybe I remember them once every couple of years.
I got to bed at around 3.45am this morning. Don’t ask.
The alarm went off at 8.30am.
I remember a dream if I am woken up during one.
This morning, when the alarm woke me, I was dreaming that an act had fired a gun past Noel Faulkner’s head. He owns the Comedy Cafe in London and was auditioning potential performers. He ducked, rushed off sideways and said: “They’re deafening me!”
“That’s very insensitive,” I told the man with the gun. “You’re the fifth person who has shot at Noel today.”
Five performers had walked in and shot at him, thinking it was a good attention-grabbing opening to their act. I partly know where this dream comes from.
It is partly connected with custard pies.
I used to work as a researcher on the children’s TV show Tiswas, which was known for custard pies and slapstick. When I went to see potential acts, they often thought it would be hilarious to ‘pie’ the man from Tiswas. They were, they thought, bound to get on the show that way. To tell the truth, it was a bit wearisome.
I used to smile appreciatively when it happened.
But there are worse things.
Auditioning children near puberty is one of them.
One year, too many – far too many – children – especially slightly-off-key girls – were singing the song Tomorrow (from Annie) at me in auditions. It was appalling. They were well-meaning and enthusiastic. But that made it all-the-more ghastly. It was like having your teeth drilled while someone sticks a screwdriver in your ear.
And we all know what that feels like.
Presenter Chris Tarrant told me he had had a worse year, when lots of twelve-year-old boys with their voices in the process of breaking were singing Bright Eyes at him – because it was the song of the moment and because their parents thought it was cute.
“It was horrible,” he told me. “You never, ever want to hear a boy, at puberty, sing Bright Eyes.”
Getting repeatedly shot at with blanks in a small room by people trying to impress you would probably run this pretty close in a contest, though.
I did once try to persuade the producer of Channel 4’s The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross that, just to get publicity and to create what I thought would be an Andy Kaufman-esque moment, during an interview and immediately before a commercial break, someone should run on-set with a blank gun and shoot Jonathan in the chest. He would have exploding blood capsules under his jacket.
The shots would be fired, blood would spurt from holes in his jacket and the director would cut to the commercial break. After the commercials, Jonathan would re-appear in a duplicate jacket without any bullet holes and make no reference to what had happened.
“The regulators would not like it,” I was told.
The producer was probably right.
I was telling this story to someone yesterday.
Which must be why guns with blanks made an appearance in my dream.
How poor Noel Faulkner got involved, I have no idea.
There was a smell of cordite in the air, mixed with the smell of highly-whipped shaving foam.
On Tiswas, the ‘custard’ pies were actually made of highly-whipped shaving foam and other ingredients. The little bubbles of air in the highly-whipped shaving foam made the ‘pies’ stick to people, but it could be wiped-off quickly and cleanly.
People never used that formula when they ‘pied’ you as the visiting researcher from Tiswas, though. They used real custard pies.
Dreams are less messy.
You can wipe the blood away.
I wish I could remember them.
A whole world of surrealism is passing me by.