I think these two incidents were less accidents, more an inevitable consequence of being Bob Slayer 20 hours a day. (He allegedly sleeps for the other 4 hours per day.)
This morning, still recovering from his broken thumb, he told me:
“I injured my other hand on Saturday night. I was going down appallingly at 1.00am at this trendy boutique festival and so I pulled out my dart board and suggested that we find out who hates Bob Slayer the most.”
This is an occasional part of Bob’s act in which (usually naked) he hangs a full-size dart board round his neck with the bullseye in front of his (in his case) not-so-private parts and invites members of the audience to throw (real) darts at it.
“I have done this a bunch of times on gigs that have started badly,” says Bob, “and usually the dartboard turns it around. I think people can get on board with the mayhem once they have chucked a dart at me. But, on Saturday night, they didn’t want to get on board. They hated me and they really wanted to throw darts at me in a non-ironic, we-really-don’t-like-you way.
“Just as one fella was about to throw a dart, I put my hand up, saying, Hang on! as I wanted to ask him a question, but he didn’t care for my questions – He really wanted to throw that dart and so he did.
“He threw it hard and it went into my hand between my little finger and the one next to it – the full length of the dart tip. I stood there, surprised, with the dart stuck in my hand and blood pouring out.
“I hope I said something funny, but I doubt it. As well as being full of dart I was also completely full of Blue Nun wine. Apparently they are repositioning the brand and sponsoring a trendy boutique festival is all part of this. I don’t suppose when they had their marketing meeting they really wanted a fat man in a red shirt, drunk on their stuff, bleeding on stage.
“Pulling the dart out was really tough, I think it had stuck into the bone… That’s not good is it?
“The long and the short of it was that Security on the stage submitted a report on how they feared for their lives… and now I can’t clench my left hand, which has swollen up to the size of an orange.
“I think I might retire the darts?”
Bob may retire the darts but it will be difficult for him to retire ‘Bob Slayer’.
At the Edinburgh Fringe last year, I have memories of him on-stage, naked in a sleeping bag, encouraging people to hit him with metal-framed chairs… and then escaping naked through the audience.
Like Blue Nun, I think comedic physical danger is an acquired taste which, once acquired, may lead to over-indulgence and excess.