Tuesday, 12 January 2016

My Work is Dog-Friendly

  Click to watch "The Old Sow Song' on nicely Youtube

  What did Lady Carter, late of Priors Hill Road, Aldeburgh, think were clear illustrations of moral degeneracy?  
  Libraries open on Sundays, train toilets that can be flushed at stations, the scrapping of The Royal Tournament
  Oh, and Harrods. 
  She also campaigned for the removal of the skating halfpipe from Kings Field - 'The dongs and clangs that come from it are an infernal parody of church bells!' - for the reinstatement of public executions on the greensward and for the surgery to go back to using pen and ink for medical records. 

  One thing about using pen and ink is that you can't cack-handedly CC in people where you shouldn't as you so easily can using email. When I do something particularly daft, producer and great mucker Delores Deluxe will put her head on one side and say, in brisk, corporate tones: 'Right, right, and let's just CC in Barney Jeavons...' referring to the time when I forgot that Matt was in an email thread and apologised to a critic who had just reviewed my show for Barney's onstage drunkenness, cuntiness and tiny penisness. 

   But that is as nothing to what I did recently during my double bill My Tutu's Gone AWOL! 

  Crossing the foyer to the gents at halftime I caught Susanna leaving the venue. 
  'Oh, no,' she wailed. 'Not that I don't like you.  But I must get back to my dog. I have -'
  'If you live near enough, bring your dog back for the second half,' I said.  'I've been performing at Metrodeco in Brighton recently, that's a dog friendly venue.  So I'm used to it. What's he called?'
  'Otis. But I don't know what the committee would say or anything, and - '
  'Committee-shmommittee, Susanna. It's my show.  And I say you can bring Otis into it.'
  She thought for a second or so.  'If you're sure? He'd be no trouble, considering what he's trained for.'
  'There we are then.  And I can use him as a diving off point for the Metrodeco with the nuns watching through the window material, sing Miss Otis Regrets - all extra nicely bonus points.'

  Walking on for the second half, I said, 
  'I'm sure you've already noticed, ladies and gentlemen, that I rival pure violet light for taking up space on the spectrum, so Susanna, thank her, has brought my much needed Emotional Support Dog in for the second half.'  
  No real laugh there - of course, they may not have watched all those fascinating cases involving Emotional Dog Support Dogs on Judge Judy that I had, so would have no point of reference. I pushed on.  
  'Otis will know what to do if I start believing I'm Anne Boleyn trying to buy one six-fingered glove off Ebay. Or start rooting around for the defunct Green Shield Stamps from the cupboard under the stairs to use as postage for the invitations when I marry Luke Hemsworth. Or when I speed-dial the Archbishop of Canterbury at all hours again, convinced the two red lights on the immersion heater are actually the eyes of Satan staring out at me from among the folded-inside-out-to-stop-them-getting-marked pillow cases, and I need the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin, please, to come and nicely exorcise the airing cupboard.'
  Still no real laugh; I went into a chorus of "The Old Sow Song":

  The was an old farmer who had an old sow - except Otis is a retriever, I pointed out
  (grunt) ow (whistle) ow (PFTHTTT) idle-e-dow
  Susanna's a funicle man

  And went on with the show - noticing a sagging quality to the listening. 

   This would have been because, as I found out afterward, Otis is actually Susanna's Emotional Support Dog. And Susanna has episodes. 
  She's perhaps having one now, remembering. 


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