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April 2007

Hi, it’s me. What a surprise.

I’m sitting by a swimming pool in Melbourne. The pool is too cold to swim in, which is sad. I have a broken toe, I think. I kicked Danny Bhoy in the shin during a fiercely contested game of Comedians’ Volleyball, and although initially I thought it was just bruised, the 3 weeks of little improvement have led me to the conclusion that I’ve dicked it in a more permanent way. Which is annoying, because I can’t run. And if I don’t run, I get fat. And depressed. Remember, Paws? Running makes you happy. Danny Bhoy’s shin makes you sad. These are truisms. (For those of you nursing sympathy for that violent-but-disarmingly-charming Scottish-Indian laugh-machine, rest assured that his beautiful olive-skinned shin is absolutely fine.)

Since I last posted, Events have occurred and Things have happened. Many of them were nothing to do with me, but the ones that were to do with me interest me the most. By definition. (I think I’m obsessed by self-obsession. Relativist morality to suit my world view. The death of me will be the death of the universe. etc etc. A few days ago, I wrote a song for the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala called “Fuck the Poor”* – the central idea of which is that charity is never purely altruistic, but that it should be entered into anyway for the sake of alleviating one’s guilt. If you’re in Australia, tune in on Monday night -16th – to see if they edit it out of the show. I wouldn’t blame them – it was a little morbid. Although not much more distasteful than my opening tune, which was called “Happy Little Africans”. To put it in its comical context – the show is an Oxfam fundraiser… I was attempting to tread close to the satirical line.)

Where was I? Oh yes, Events. Things. Me.

So last time I posted, we were talking about skiing and fun-loving, fur-wearing Americans. Then what?
I did some more shows. Cardiff was the unlikely scene of a particularly fun one. Them Welsh folk were smart and gregarious. (If I have a son, I might name him Greg, short for Gregarious. He’d grow up to be a sociopath, doubtless.) So thank you Wales for your acceptance and encouragement. (“Our pleasure, young Tim”, say a chorus of Humpbacks and a couple of Great Blues, misunderstanding my intent.)

We flew to Australia (using an aeroplane) a couple of days after my gig, which was stressful. My baby was rather well-behaved on the plane – she mostly did Sudokus and read Proust, the work of whom she finds irresistibly soporific. (Aahhh Marcel, you are nothing if not a great boon to jetsetting parents.) My wife, on the other hand, was as uncontrollable as always, and was halfway through painting a mural of pre-9/11 Manhattan on the overhead lockers before a Flight Attendant managed to wrestle the crayons off her and settle her down with a half-dozen Temazepam and a sing-song rendition of Where Is the Green Sheep?.

We arrived in Perth, where my girls remained for a couple of weeks, while I tootled around this enormous and blandly beautiful country of ours, doing a bit of this and that. I filmed an episode of that lovely Adam Hills’ wonderful show Spicks and Specks which screens in Australia this Wednesday… and yep, I do a little song at the end – this time dedicated to that kind and brilliant New Zealander, Alan Brough. It is a mere curiosity, and will mean very little to our fine friends in the UK… but it’s cute.

I then flew to Wollongong to start off my Australian Tour in the presence of my #1 Fan, Sarah, who had managed to convince the venue to give her a six-foot high poster of my head. She’s looking hot, and her boy Blake dealt admirably with her pleas to have me sign her boobs. The show went fine, I think… although I was so jetlagged I actually barely remember doing it. And I fucked up the words to RocknRoll Nerd – of all songs – given that it is my #1 Fan’s myspace moniker.

Adelaide Fringe was next – me and my piano in a big red tent. Highlights include an improvised song about a pretty girl who walked out straight after my cot-death gag. I was so worried that I’d upset her that I fucked up all my Tony-the-Fish stuff, but redeemed myself by making up a song about her visit to the toilet. Typical perverted nonsense, but fun at the time. (I’m pretty sure the timing of her walk-out was purely coincidental and motivated by the sensitivity towards the needs of her bladder rather than the particular gag.) Also interesting was the night that The Space Cowboy – a mind-reading, spoon-bending, sword-swallowing legend of a man – stuffed up one of his tricks and put a knife through his hand. And by through, I mean fucking through. It somewhat overshadowed my drama of a couple of nights previous when my piano-stool collapsed when I jumped on it. Sigh.

Alright, this is getting boring.

So, I’m in Melbourne now. I filmed the Gala last week (as mentioned) and have had a bit of time off over the Easter weekend. I’ve been parenting a little more, which is novel and good. Off to Perth again tomorrow… I’ve nearly sold out 2 shows at His Majesty’s – which is very exciting for me, because it is the theatre I went to as a child, wide-eyed and never dreaming I might get to do shows there myself. There is some sort of significance there, if I choose to impose it.

Hope everyone is feeling mentally healthy.

Thank you Kirsty and Hannah for keeping my myspace page from being overwhelmed by spambot bitches. Hello, hello.

And on and on.

txx

* You’ll notice below that Kirsty has pointed out below that GUD – my musically comedic forefathers and friends – also had a song called “Fuck the Poor”. I – in my eternal ignorance – didn’t know this… however I think I’m OK: they’re very different songs. So my Gala song is now called “The Guilt Song”, which is what I originally called it anyway. Phew… no law-suits just yet.

Below are the lyrics to “The Guilt Song”, of which I am proud. (Mostly because of the almost masochistically small amount of time that existed between its creation and its – thankfully – reasonably error-free performance). The only little bit of local knowledge you might need for it to make sense is that the Oxfam number in Australia is 1800 034 034.

Orright:

I would be a liar if I pretended I admire
The red-light windscreen-cleaning empire that you’ve built.
But my heart is good it’s not a thing of stone and wood
I’ll give you 50 cents to take away my guilt.

I give money to folk who just don’t have enough,
To try to justify my further purchases of stuff
That I don’t need.
I know that one less Vodka Cranberry tonight
Could probably feed some foreign family for a fortnight,
But I might just have one more.
After all what is Vodka for
Apart from making you want to shag your best mate’s wife,
And drowning out the guilt you feel about your perfect life?

Fuck the poor, what is all this hoo-haa for?
There’s only one reason I’ll phone 1800 034 034
It’s the force behind Teresa and the school that Oprah built,
I’ll give you 50 bucks to take away my guilt.

Fuck the poor, I’m not pretending any more
That I really give two shits about some kids in Bangalore.
I’m more interested in footy than seeing the Solomons rebuilt,
But I’ll give you 50 bucks to take away my guilt.

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