On the run from Andi Peters following a misunderstanding about cruises, Melissa begrudgingly agrees to follow her friend Joanne (and Joanne’s 17th century throwback ‘life partner’ Fax) to the Edinburgh Fringe. While leafleting for Fax’s dreadful stand up show about faith healing and vegans, Melissa endures the highs and lows of pretentious student plays, ‘street typing’, and the knowledge that her shop has been left in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand tills…

Crap Comedy is the follow up to the 2018 novel Crap Holiday. Read it here.

I am absolutely going to clean my whole flat. I’m determined. I’ve managed to get myself the weekend off without feeling too guilty by promising Kay that Saif is not mental, and is great to work with. I’m hoping that when I go back on Monday, she’s somehow not seen through my brilliant ruse.

Yesterday he wouldn’t let this poor woman buy cigarettes.

‘Sorry we’ve only got that one packet.’

She looked a bit confused, as you would. ‘OK I’ll have those then.’

Saif shook his head. ‘I’m sorry, but that’s the display packet, and if I sell these we won’t have any of them, so how will people know to buy them?’

I managed to stop the woman murdering Saif by shooing him away to check the dates on the milk.

‘I’m sorry, he’s got a syndrome,’ I whispered to the woman. It was all I could think of.

Still, he always turns up on time and he doesn’t steal Rolos, not like me.

Anyway, today I will clean my flat, and then tomorrow I’ll… do something else. I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll go roller skating. Do people still do that?

Before I know it I’ve spent half an hour looking at pictures of 90s roller skates on eBay. I manage to talk myself out of buying a snazzy pink and black pair, for two reasons:

1) They are a children’s size three.
2) I’ve never actually been roller skating before.

None of this is getting my flat looking nice. I’ve been reading a thing online about ‘using Hygge (some Swedish crap, I don’t know) to transform your home into a cosy and welcoming living space’. They reckon your house doesn’t have to be immaculate or empty or anything, it just needs to not have used knickers all over it, and ideally for you not to have spilt wine on the carpet the night before. And then you light a candle and that’s the Hygge done.

It’s OK though, because I happen to know that white wine gets rid of red wine stains, so I’m just gonna nip and get some, and then I can get started.

I don’t know if it’s better to get good wine or shit wine for cleaning the carpet. I’d better err on the side of caution and get good stuff. ‘These are two for £10 today love,’ the man informs me. Oh, fair enough, I’d be silly not to.

I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to pour on the stain. The stain’s quite big, so maybe half a bottle? I slosh on some wine and leave it while I get to work.

As I’m picking up the pants off the kitchen floor, I make a to-do list in my head. I reckon it’ll be all lovely in an hour or two. This is the thing – I’m a bit messy but I do clean. Not like Joanne, who has yet to discover that waving incense around a room doesn’t actually clean it, however clean its aura gets.

I shudder at the thought of the sink in our old kitchen.

Every sink that’s left to its own devices for long enough develops layers. At the top you have the newcomers – the morning’s cups, a plate with a couple of toast crumbs on it – and it isn’t too bad. Everything in the sink begins life as the top layer, but it never stays there long. Soon those things graduate to the middle layer, which is where last week’s plates and that weird oven tray live, along with a spatula you used once.

The middle layer eventually merges with the bottom layer, which is where all the mysterious stuff can be found. Here you have the nutcrackers from Christmas, all the teaspoons you’ve ever owned, and the cereal bowls that you left ‘to soak’ three weeks ago. And one chopstick, for reasons you’ll never understand.

Do not attempt to explore the absolute bottom of the sink if you are religious, because you will witness the creation of new life forms, and you’ll probably go mad.

Specimens found in this area: teabags, the rice that didn’t make it down the plughole, and some brown… stuff. This is where you go if you want to commit suicide.

It never bothered Joanne, but it always bothered me. Unfortunately, any attempt to clean the sink out resulted in sickness and instant death, so I stopped trying.

I realise with alarm that I’ve finished that bottle of wine while I was thinking about dirty sinks.


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