My Scots comedy chum Janey Godley is down in London this week, from Glasgow.
I met up with her this evening for a chat.
“I’ll give ye a blog,” she told me. “What do you want me tae talk aboot?”
And, before I could reply, she started:
“I’ve stopped smoking for a month now,” she said, “and I’m on a diet, so my whole family have been put into the witness protection programme while that happens. And, if you talk to me about it, I’ll stab ye.”
“Well,” I said, “No change there, then.”
‘It’s hard to stop smoking,” she continued, “but to stop smoking AND go on a diet isn’t really that much harder cos you’re using the same willpower for both.”
“I would have thought,” I said, “that it must make you twice as angry as normal – but maybe that’s not possible with you.”
“That,’ said Janey, “is what (Janey’s nameless husband) says: How can we tell the difference?”
Janey looked over her shoulder.
“There’s really loud people behind me,” she said, “who deserve to be stabbed. But I’m really excited cos I’m up for four Scottish Comedy Awards on 27th April. have you voted for me yet?”
“Yes,” I said quickly.
“I won the Podcast one last year,” she told me. “This year, I’m up for Best Headliner, Best Compere, Best Podcast again and Best Festival/Tour Show.”
‘Tell me why are you in London in some way that’s repeatable?” I asked.
“I’m in London this week,” she explained, “cos I had a couple of meetings with the BBC about future projects and I’m doing a couple of gigs – Banana Cabaret in Balham and Soho Comedy.”
“Is that the one in the gay street?” I asked. (It is not.)
“A gay street in Soho?” laughed Janey. “That must be a fucking hard task to find, eh?”
“Old Compton Street,” I said, “I didn’t know the street was supposed to be gay until the Admiral Duncan blew up when the nail bomb went off.”
“You didn’t know it was gay,” said Janey, “because not one gay man has ever approached you in your entire life. They’ve all went: No, you’re on yer own, John.”
“Not even women,” I said. “I once had a pigeon approach me at Oxford Circus.”
“I bet,” said Janey that even it bolted when it saw you.”
“No,” I said. “You know the barriers at the kerb to stop you walking across the street? I was outside one of those, walking on the narrow bit of the kerb, and this pigeon was strutting towards me and I thought it would give way to me, but it didn’t. I had to step into the road so it could walk along past me on the kerb.”
“That happened to me,” said Janey, “in Earls Court with a rat. You remember that hotel I lived in in Earls Court? There was a rat in the middle of the pavement and I thought: Well, clearly, if I bang ma feet, it’ll bolt. No. It stayed. I had to go into the road and I almost got hit by a car cos I was walking round a rat. And, see, when I went to the other side of the street, it turned its head to look at me and never moved. I am thinking like: Ya fuckin’ bastard! It was the size of a small poodle. I was frightened.”
“It was a very self-confident pigeon,” I said. “Its shoulders were going like it was an Essex Boy.”
“It’s the only bird that would come near you,” said Janey.
“Any other jollities for the blog?” I asked.
“I’m still,” said Janey, “having a fight with people on Twitter over the word cunt. They still can’t believe you can say that word. The other day, Ricky Gervais put up a post with the word cunt in it. That’s OK cos he’s rich and middle class. But, if I say it…”
“But you won’t,” I asked, “have had any Scottish people objecting?”
“A lot of people,” said Janey.
“Really?” I asked, surprised.
“Yup. It’s really weird that nobody will say anything to me (At the time of writing, Janey has over 16,500 Twitter followers) but, the minute I say cunt, people start to come on Twitter and moan. I always then put up this post that says: If the first time you’ve contacted me is cos you’ve saw the word cunt but, whenever I’ve asked you to donate to the Food Bank and you’ve never contacted me, then that means you’re a cunt.”
“But I mean,” I said, “in Glasgow, it’s the equivalent of an Australian calling someone a ‘bastard’. It’s not strong.”
“They still have an issue with it,” said Janey. “It’s unbelievable that the word cunt makes you bad.”
“When you think,” I said, “of the things they asterisked-out in Victorian novels – H*ll possibly and certainly d***ed.”
“In London in 1960,” said Janey, “they had the court case over Lady Chatterley’s Lover – about the language in that – cunt – and it was found to be not obscene. So I can say the word cunt specifically.”
“Some of us,” I said, “lost the same court case in Norwich in 1996.”
“Did you?” said Janey.
“I was,” I told her, “found guilty of Malicious Communication for calling someone a fucking cunt.”
“You called somebody a cunt?” asked Janey.
“A fucking cunt,” I said. “I thought it was fair comment. The judge said in his ruling that both the words fucking and cunt were ‘clearly indecent’. As far as I could see, that overturned the decision in the Lady Chatterley case under Common Law.”
“You got taken to court for calling somebody a cunt?” asked Janey.
“Yes,” I said.
“You’re a dick,” she told me. “Who did you call a cunt? The Queen?”
“It’s a long story,” I said. “You should read my blog.”
“I usually do. It’s fuckin’ brilliant. Ashley (Janey’s daughter) is obsessed with your North Korean blogs. They’ve made Ashley want to go to North Korea.’
“Everyone should go to North Korea,” I suggested.
“She’s no going to North Korea,” said Janey firmly.
“It’s safe,” I said, “provided you don’t say anything. I used to go to lots of Communist countries because they were safe.”
“I have to say,” said Janey, “that the best laugh I ever had on Twitter was when I contacted Jonathan Ross and asked: Do you remember John Fleming? And he Tweeted back: Is he still going to weird Communist bloc countries? And I said: Yeah. You definitely remember him.”
“That’s it finished,” I told Janey. “That’s the way to do a blog. Pretend it’s about someone else, but it’s really all about Me, Me, Me.”