The Blog


I went away for a few days last week.

A short decompression after the madness of the Edinburgh Fringe. A relaxing time, right? Of course not.

We’d booked an Air BnB – a little cottage by the beach with great views of a farmer’s silage container and enough security lights to make you wonder if it was silage the farmer was keeping in the container.

The lights were also a bit sensitive. Not in a ‘don’t look at this video of a man’s dislocated ankle being put back in place of you’re a bit sensitive’ kind of way. Obviously. Just in a going-off-twenty-times-a-night-when-an-insect-flies-past kind of way.

But it was nice. And the couple who owned the cottage – and lived next door – seemed nice too. Really nice. Down to earth people who left us to it really. Perfect. For now.

The cottage was covered in seaside bits and bobs. Everything on theme – the words ‘sea’ and ‘beach’ carved out of wood; a boat; a picture of a boat; cushions with boats on; a cushion in the shape of a boat; a boat in the shape of a cushion.

There’s a shop in the local town that for the sake of this we’ll call Seaside Shite. Firstly because I don’t actually know what it’s called – that’s what I call it whenever we’re there – and secondly because it sums up what they sell pretty well.

When we arrived in the cottage it felt almost as if Seaside Shite had backed a lorry up to the French Windows and unloaded a huge seaside shite of seaside shite into the front room.

Needless to say it wasn’t long before we broke something. Emma moved a table and the wooden words Sea and Beach fell off and snapped in two. Bugger.

Not to worry though, I said, calmly trying to save the first 3 minutes of the holiday. I bet they bought it from Seaside Shite! We’ll just pop in there tomorrow and replace them.

It was a couple of days before we made our way to Seaside Shite, whilst the broken pieces lay on the table in the cottage, in full view of the French Windows. We’re the worst criminals ever. If we ever accidentally killed someone it would probably take us a week to bury the body – ‘We can’t tomorrow, you promised we’d go for a Nandos!’

We had a wander round and couldn’t find a replacement so instead picked up some super glue (it’s the sort of shop that sells a wide range of stuff, like a mini Aldi) and went to the counter.

It took me a moment stood at the counter to realise why the man behind it was smiling at me friendlier than usual. My brain slowly piece together a few bits of information like a budget Sherlock. There was a reason the cottage was covered in the sort of stuff you’d get in this shop.

It WAS the stuff in this shop.

They owned the bloody shop!

Ah shite. In my mind this meant they’d definitely know if something was, say, broken then glued shoddily back together. Especially if the couple who currently occupied that space had recently had need to buy super glue. Who buys super glue on holiday!?

“Got everything for the beach?”

“Yep”

“Towels?”

“Yep”

“Sun cream?”

“Yep”

“Super glue?”

“I knew I’d forgotten something! We’ll have to go into town.”

Said no one. Ever.

Surely he’d piece this together and be onto us. Probably best just come clean. Apologise and we’d all be smooth from there.

It just didn’t seem like the right moment. Right there. When I was buying super glue. It all felt a bit obvious. So I left it, for now, and we got chatting.

I asked him about the shop. He told me it was great, having banter with the same tourists who came every year.

Then something weird happened. You know when someone takes a conversation in a different direction because you can tell they really want to talk about something.

I shit you not, he started talking about a time recently when someone broke something in his shop. And they’d tried to get away without paying for it. Was he on to us already?

Maybe he’d seen through the French Windows.

Maybe he had an IQ higher than 5 and realised NO ONE BUYS SUPER GLUE ON HOLIDAY UNLESS THEY’VE BROKEN SOMETHING.

Either way he gets into this story, and I mean really gets into it. Starts telling us how the guy who broke one of his bits of tat refused to pay. So he refused to let him out of the shop.

So the guy tried to punch him. At this point he told us that he was okay with that because he’s taught mixed martial arts for over 40 years – something I was sceptical about as he only looked about 45. My issue is, when someone has just told me they have a specific set of violent skills I tend to let stuff like that go.

He continued with his story and said the guy tried to punch him for a second time, which he said meant he was now allowed to fight back. He said this with an authority that made me believe him at the time, but looking back I’m not sure this is a legal definition. It sounds more like playground rules than, y’know, actual rules.

He then tells us how he dragged this guy to a place outside that he knows isn’t covered by CCTV, put his finger and his thumb into the guy’s jugular and ‘sent him to sleep’. He licked his lips just after he said this.

At which point my natural reaction was to laugh. And then to correct myself by realising that OH GOD THIS GUY IS A FUCKING MANIAC AND WE’VE GOT THREE NIGHTS LEFT IN HIS COTTAGE.

We carefully backed out of the shop, didn’t really speak much to each other for the rest of the day and lay awake that night, terrified every time a security light went off that a man was going to come and put us to sleep.

Which would’ve actually been handy as neither of us could sleep. Because we were scared that a man was going to come and put us to sleep. The irony was lost on us.

Like I say, a nice relaxing few days away.

Long story short, we glued the words back together, left for home at 4am with none of our belongings but with our lives. We’re now moving house every 3 months to stay safe.

Hoy hoy!

I’m heading up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a whole month today.

If you’re going up at any point I’m doing 2 shows every day (night), so come and say hello!

Firstly, I’m doing the Just The Tonic’s Big Value Showcase again. It was great fun to MC last year and I’m on another belting line up this time with Kiri Pritchard compering myself, Sofie Hagen and Don Tran. It’s at 7.20pm every night at Just The Tonic Community Project.

 https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/big-value-comedy-show-early

Then at 11.45pm every night me and  Brennan Reece are putting on a late night show where we get our mates to come on and do some stuff and generally have a bit of a dick about. We’re not entirely sure what it’ll be, but we’ve massively over booked it with acts so we’ll be doing about 2 minutes each. I’m just hoping Brennan gets a cold saw on the first day so no girls will kiss him, just like last year. On at the City Café.

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/just-jokes 

Hopefully see you there!

x

There are things in life that you’re good at. Everyone’s good at something.

And the way I see it, these things fall into two categories.

There are the things that you’re proud of being good at, like being able to text with your toes, doing a surprising amount of kick ups in wellies or cooking a great lasagne.

Then there’s the other stuff. The stuff you’re good at but really shouldn’t be, like texting with your toes and spending and afternoon doing kick ups in wellies.

I’m good at getting fat. Or to be more specific, putting on weight. And I mean good.

I love food. It’s all I eat and I think about it all the time. But I’m not a fan of what it does to me. It’s so bad that I regularly daydream of ways I could eat food guilt free.

The best I came up with was to become an actor and get a job where I had to put on 3 stone for a film role. This was after I saw an interview with Denzel Washington where he said he had to do this and would wake up in the middle of the night to drink ice cream milkshakes. That right there is my dream. I honestly can’t think of a better job. They wouldn’t even have to pay me; all I’m looking for is the justification.

I do exercise, but not because I enjoy it particularly, purely as a pay off so I can eat more.

Anyway, I’ve put on some weight is what I’m trying to say. There are levels to this of course. It’s not loads of weight.

It’s not as bad as the time I visited my hometown, was there for around 3 minutes when I got a text from my friend saying “I’ve just seen a fat version of you by the train station.” I’d only seen him about a month previously. Like I say, I can chuck it on quick.

I just text him back saying, “That WAS me”. We’ve not spoken since.

So it’s not as bad as that time, but one of my shirts doesn’t fit and I had to get a new one for a gig. I went shopping last week and remembered how much I hate changing rooms.

It’s a theory I’ve held for a while that changing rooms change your actual mental state the moment you walk into the, and now I’ve got proof!

I was in a shop in Manchester last week, picked up a few bits to try on and took them into the changing rooms. I walked in and the mental deterioration began right on cue.

The first thing that always hits me is the amount of mirrors. They bounce off each other so many times you see yourself from angles you were quite happy not knowing existed. Suddenly you’re confronted by the very real truth that people don’t always see you from front on, just as you imagine.

Suddenly, even the clothes you came in wearing, your own clothes, look so bad you wouldn’t have bought them if you were trying them on this time around.

Nothing new fits. The regular fit looks skinny, the slim fit looks like something you’d wear underneath your clothes to keep everything tucked in and you know anything that does fit will immediately look shit the moment you try it on in front of a mirror with one angle at home.

All this was happening last week in Manchester when I finally found something I wanted. I picked up all the hangers and various bits of clothing, pulled back the cubicle and walked out. There were three people and an attendant there, all gave me a weird look and I realised I had no trousers on. I was stood there with four people starting at me in my underwear and a t-shirt.

Now, this may not sound totally crazy. It’s a mistake. A slip of the mind. I’d taken my trousers off, tried some others on, and in all the clothing Hokey Cokey, I’d forgotten to put my own trousers back on, right?

Wrong. And here’s my proof that changing rooms send you crazy. I hadn’t even taken any trousers into there to try on. I was so overwhelmed by the barrage of images of my own fat face from sixteen different angles I had taken my jeans off… For no reason whatsoever.

This is what happens when I put on weight. I find myself stood in a changing room in Next, holding five shirts that are four times too small, with three strangers staring at my two legs covered by one less garment than they should be.

And yet, somehow, even all that is still preferable to going for a run

The World Cup is here. THE BLOODY WORLD CUP IS HERE! Okay, everybody stay calm. It’s happening. I’ve spent as much time since the opening ceremony on Thursday watching games as I have trying to remember to breath.

I love the World Cup and have done for as long as it’s been possible. Well, since 1998. I was too young (18 months) to remember 1990 and the lack of qualification in ‘94 largely stopped me supporting England in that tournament.

But 1998, that’s when it happened. I was 9 years old and it got me. I cried when Beckham got sent off against Argentina. I cried again when England lost later that night on penalties. I still remember being sat on my Grandad’s sofa, balling my eyes out and wondering why Sol Campbell’s surname had a ‘P’ in it. I probably cried at that too.

The next day I went into school and a lad from my class cheerily offered up “Not to worry, there’s always next year!”

There’s always next year? Always fucking next year!? Are you joking, you chirpy little bellend? What an arsehole. What an absolute idiot! 4 years! That’s how long it was to the next World Cup. 4 actual years! That’s half of my whole life over again. I’d be well on my way to pubes by the next time England play in a World Cup. ‘Always next year.’ He’d never make it to pubes if he ever kept on like this.

Inconsolable, that’s what I was. And I think that shows now, whenever a World Cup comes around.

I cherish it now. Preparation starts about 6 months before; the key dates get plotted into the diary with more importance than any birthday or wedding (“Sorry I can’t attend your special day, I’ve already taken 3 weekends off this month for the football”). Every possible football account is followed on twitter, the main result being that you find out the same team news around 300 different ways. Wall charts are bought, predictions are made and, most importantly, sticker books filled in.

My World Cup sticker addiction has taken over this year. To the point where daily limits have had to be set on how much we’re allowed to spend on sticker packs (5 packs, £2.50). This was due to my local newsagent telling us local kids were devastated after we’d bought out their monthly batch on the first day.

Finally, bets have to be placed. I don’t bet usually. And I love watching any football for the sake of football. But when you’re on your 8th game in 3 days and Iran are parking the bus against Nigeria, putting a quid on how many corners are going to take place in the next 5 minutes really gives the game an added purpose needed past midnight.

All in all, I’ll try and watch every game. My girlfriend will likely leave me and England will promise, then disappoint. But, hey, there’s always next year!

 

 

Greetings friends. Hello. Welcome!

Welcome to my website, I finally got round to getting one after thinking about it and doing nothing for quite a while. Snappy, eh?

So, thanks for popping by. The main vision I have for it is that it will used to divert the kind of nutters who come up to me after gigs asking if I’ll do an hour at Big Ste’s 18th birthday, instead of giving them a false number then running away. If you are one of those people, I’m sorry. Get a bouncy castle instead.

There’s also a gig list where you can see where I’m on. Some photos of me with the same smile in all of them. And a couple of videos where I rub my belly too much on stage.

I’ll try and keep this blog up-to-date with goings on and news etc.

Thanks.

The Otdog (Work In Progress nickname)

Just uploaded this video from 2012’s BBC New Comedy Award in Newcastle.

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