I spent most of yesterday driving from London to Plymouth in Devon and then to Penzance in Cornwall.
Who knew Penzance was that far away? Not me. And why are some of the road signs in Cornwall printed in Cornish? Who speaks Cornish? It is bad enough Tesco supermarkets in South Wales have signs in Welsh in areas where people don’t speak Welsh.
My friend and I are staying in a very nice 4-star seafront hotel in Penzance.
She complained to the hotel that the room was too cold; I took my sweater off because it was so hot. Mind you, she had been sleep-deprived the night before. (I had nothing to do with that.)
Hot water came out of the cold tap and cold water came out of the hot tap; then hot water came out of the hot tap and hot water came out of the cold tap.
Then the ends of the taps saying HOT and COLD fell off.
My friend was by now getting hysterical with laughter.
There was a slight creaking from the wall. She put her dressing gown over the wall-mounted trouser press.
“Was the trouser press creaking?” I asked.
“No,” she replied.
Meanwhile, from Australia…
British comedian Eric sent me an e-mail saying:
Just three days until the Adelaide Fringe kicks off and I have just found out that my opening night is sold out! And ‘Little E’ had her first bogey today. (I am so proud.)
Little E is his newish-born daughter Erica.
I found it rather worrying that the Adelaide Fringe starts in three days, because British comedian Bob Slayer is supposed to be performing there and, yesterday, I got an e-mail from him in the outback.
When last heard from, Bob had disappeared in the desert on his way to the Adelaide Fringe. He was stuck in Coober Pedy, the opal mining centre of the world, accompanied by Australian comic Jimbo and by Jimbo’s amiable animal mate Gary the Goat. They had encountered a Czech opal miner who might or might not have a daughter he is trying to marry off.
Yesterday’s e-mail told me all three have now reappeared in Roxby Downs – a town, Bob tells me, which was built to house the miners of what is set to become the largest mine in the world – the Olympic Dam mine. This is what he told me:
Extremely well-paid employees are pulling copper, gold and uranium out of the ground in vast quantities. Instead of Coober Pedy’s beat-up trucks and utility vehicles, Roxby streets are lined with 4x4s that have never seen anything other than tarmac. The streets are lined with green manicured grass and there is not a real local in site.
We go into the smart environs of Roxby Downs Community Club and I am pleasantly surprised when they are happy for us to put on a gig the following night. They initially have concerns about being able to drum up a crowd, but the presence of Gary the Goat swings it. We have a feed and then, after seeing how expensive the motel is, we decide to sleep rough on the football oval. I doubt the motel would be very happy with Gary anyway. In the morning, we are woken by the sprinklers and then, before we can have a shower, we are moved on by the parkies.
The three of us go for a swim in the outdoor swimming pool at the community leisure centre but then staff change their mind about Gary the Goat because someone has complained. If they had thrown us out because Jimbo and I had turned their pool cloudy then I would understand. But Gary the Goat was happily chewing grass and being patted by the local kids while we had a swim.
The nice staff at the pool tell us that the complaint comes from a lady with a dog. It seems that if her little poodle isn’t allowed into the pool area then why should a goat be? Well little vegetarian goat droppings are very different to dog shit. People are odd complaining about someone else’s happiness. When we take Gary out of the pool area, a little girl cries because she wanted to pat Gary some more.
We decide to go for breakfast before doing some promotion. The cafe is next to the school and Gary the Goat somehow gets into a classroom. Woops! There follows a heated lecture from the principal who tells us that Gary is a danger to the children. While she is telling us this a dozen toddlers, who are now leaving morning playgroup, are taking it in turns to pat Gary.
A council lady turns up. She is nice but says we have to take Gary the Goat to the park. We explain that we have already been thrown out of there. We take Gary away and more children cry. Two of the mothers get angry with the principal. We are causing a bit of a scene.
In the middle of all this commotion, the kinder garden teacher tells us that her husband Julian runs the local radio station and would like to interview Gary the Goat. As we leave the radio station, two girls turn up from the Roxby Downs Monitor and we give them an exclusive on the Gary situation. When they leave a man from the Roxby Downs Sun turns up and we give him an exclusive as well!
In the evening, at the gig, our gorilla promotions seem to have worked as over 100 paying punters turn up to see just who are these people with the goat. We have a great show and a good old knees-up afterwards.
We now have more than enough money to afford the Roxby Downs motel but we sleep on the football oval, this time by choice!
That was yesterday. When I woke up this morning, there was another e-mail from Bob – a Press Release saying he has been doing preparation and research in the outback for his Adelaide Fringe show Bob Slayer Will Outdrink Australia, including a visit to Wineries in McLaren Vale “where I spent the last couple of days working on the new vintage for Alpha Box & Dice winery who paid me in my weight in wine!”
I looked up the Alpha Box & Dice website. Their slogan is: “Where all your dreams come true”.
According to Bob’s Press Release, there will be two shows each day at the Austral venue in Adelaide:
5:45 – Early show (first drink of the day) – a solo show.
Midnight – Late show (still drinking) – includes special guests.
Bob describes himself in the Press Release as a “hilariously drunk and deranged rock & roll tour manager turned Edinburgh Fringe award winning comedian. Wilder than the acts he has looked after (Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg, Grinspoon, Bloodhound Gang, Regurgitator, Electric Eel Shock etc).
“I have been to Australia once before, maybe five years ago,” he says, “when I was tour manager of Nashville Pussy (from the USA). This time I wanted to take in the real Australia.”
Apparently his escapades are being filmed for a future documentary and “reported on a highly-regarded UK Comedy Blog.
I am beginning to worry about Bob’s views. Is this blog highly-regarded? I feel it should be less respectable.