The Grouchy Club has been running at the Edinburgh Fringe for sixteen days now and we are getting regular members of the audience – both comedians and ordinary members of the public – coming back day after day. Yesterday, notable newcomers included a CNN reporter and a large man in a leather jacket.
“The gent in the back row looks vaguely ‘industry’ to me,” I said. “An ageing roadie, perhaps.”
“Well,” said my co-host, Kate Copstick, her arm in a sling after a fall the previous day. “I first worked with Simon in…”
“What does Simon do?” I asked.
“Well,” Simon said, “I used to be a TV producer and then went on to other things…”
“We did programmes on motor bikes,” said Copstick, “and then we did sex. We did porn.”
“Do we talk about this?” I asked.
“Well,” said Copstick, “he’s a happily-married man with two children; I don’t see why not.”
We were also graced with the presence of Miss Behave, co-presenter with comedian Janey Godley of next Friday’s increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show. Copstick is presenting the actual Awards at the show.
“You know,” I said to Miss Behave, “that Copstick has smashed her elbow in now?”
“I know,” said Miss Behave. “I think there should be a slave for Copstick on the show. I don’t care which forums we scout. It could be Fringe forums; it could be other forums. You just need someone whose idea of heaven would be to jump when Copstick blinks – goes and makes her coffee or helps her to the toilet.”
“I think those people might be few and far between,” said Copstick. “Though, when I used to go clubbing – to SM clubs – I went as a sub but, because of the way I dressed, everyone thought I was not. So I was constantly getting sad little men coming up wanting to be my slave and the one time I said Yes, it was just embarrassing.
“I only went there so someone would rip three kinds of shit out of me with a whip and then I had this strange little man following me around and I had to spend hours every day working out things for him to do… I’ll do that… No, let me do it!”
“This year,” I said, “the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show is lacking in nudity because we don’t have the Greatest Show On Legs.”
“We could,” suggested Miss Behave, “just cough and Bob Slayer would pop up.”
“We could run an advert,” suggested Copstick: “Someone needed to get their cock out on the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show.”
“And who better than you?” I suggested. “But the CNN lady looked particularly interested when S&M clubs were mentioned.”
“I have a friend who has a slave,” said Miss Behave, “and, in return for her walking on him with heels or whatever, he cleans her house, he cleans her shoes…”
“There’s a lot of ‘sissy mates’,” said Copstick.
“I personally would not be able to handle it,” said Miss Behave.
“I,” said Copstick, “have a friend who married her slave and he was something like a really high-up merchant banker or investment banker who comes home to run around in an apron and heels.”
“As far as I can gather,” I said, “the men who want to be submissive tend to be in positions of power at work whereas I, being only increasingly prestigious, don’t need it.”
“But,” said Copstick, “once you become truly prestigious…”
“Ah, then,” I said, “I guess I will suddenly have an urge to head for the apron, will I?”
“Have we,” asked Miss Behave, “got Russian Egg Roulette at the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Have we got ponchos?” asked Miss Behave.
“If anyone wants one,” I said.
“Can I play again?” asked Miss Behave.
“Of course,” I said.
“I won’t be in rubber this year,” said Miss Behave, “I will be wearing gold and I don’t want to get eggs all over it.”
This will be worth seeing.
On Friday. Be there.