I never go anywhere. Nothing interesting ever happens to me.
Last night, I went to see John Cooper Clarke’s show at the London Palladium, courtesy of comic Matt Roper, who had tickets but then had to fly South Africa on Saturday to appear in the June/July comedy festival where, apparently, all proceeds go to the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and, in Cape Town, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be performing a stand-up comedy spot on the press night.
See what I mean?
I could say Whooo! I went to the London Palladium last night! But Matt Roper has trumped me by going to South Africa to (in a sense) perform comedy as his dribbling, lecherous alter-ego Wilfredo with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
And, while I was in a train on the way to London yesterday, comedy critic Kate Copstick was flying to Kenya for three weeks where she will be working for her Mama Biashara charity.
AND I got a text from comedian Sarah Hendrickx, cycling to Barcelona to better her soul and to collect material for her upcoming Edinburgh Fringe shows. Sarah has barely cycled any further than a local ice cream shop before this. Her text said:
“I covered 520 miles and could easily have done more so not too shabby.”
See? Sickening. All I’ve done is go to Oxford Circus in a train and a tube.
And then there is the extensive egg throwing.
Yesterday, the papers were full of the woman who threw eggs at Simon Cowell during the live televised final of Britain’s Got Talent.
This is good pre-publicity. The increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show at the Edinburgh Fringe in August will include the official Scottish national Russian Egg Roulette All-Comers Championship.
American comic Lewis Schaffer will be defending his 2012 title against the likes of comedian Richard Herring and aforementioned comedy critic Kate Copstick. The event – basically people smashing eggs on their foreheads for a laugh – will be supervised by Andy Dunlop, President of the World Egg Throwing Federation, who is travelling up to Edinburgh for the event.
But, again, Andy has trumped me and gone one – or several – better.
“August is going to be busy,” he told me yesterday. “We have the Australian Egg Throwing Championships early in the month, the Malcolm Hardee Show in Scotland on the 23rd and the Belgian Championships on the 31st.
“Meanwhile, we have a Japanese TV game show coming to Lincolnshire for the World Egg Throwing Championship on June 30th – they’ll be bringing four raw viewers with them to take part. And there is an Australian children’s TV show coming for some egg throwing here in September.
“I am already gut busted. I have just spent six days in hospital due complications with surgery to repair complications from surgery in May that followed a life saving op in October (that had complications). That was because of complications from a life saving op to repair a bust gut 32 years ago, which was a complication from failure of my umbilical cord to wither correctly 55 years ago. Life is full of complications, as was the bag, attached to the tube that drains the wound in my belly, until it detached overnight……. twice.”
Ever-sympathetic, I asked him to send me a photo of himself in hospital for this blog.
“Here it is,” his e-mail said, a few minutes later. “The photo was taken last October by a ‘friend’ to show how cheerful I was following emergency surgery at 03.00am. Note the tubes (including auto morphine drive) inserted into various openings in me, not all natural. I am wearing a badge that says Mr Happy.
“I left hospital on that occasion after five days with an infection in my belly wound that required several months of treatment as it was 10cm deep and wider than a wide-mouth toad. There were daily visits by the local district nurse team to prod and re-stuff me with magic seaweed-based filler. I had four belly buttons along my rather impressive 10 inch scar
“The weakened area of belly then developed a rather cute little bulge (or, as my wife said, What on earth is that?, pointing to my nether regions) which was identified as an “incisional hernia” that required day case surgery to repair. I had that on the 23rd of May and one of my four belly buttons was removed during this process.
“That led to an emergency re-admission and a rather grotesque distension of my belly, which was drained of two pints of red gunge last week during my last six-day stay. It is still draining. Another two pints since done. Still infected.
“I am still happy… and alive.”
Andy then added, as well he might:
“So it goes.”
Their lives are too interesting.