Crap Comedy Chapter 31: Poutine

Crap Comedy Chapter 31: Poutine

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.

We get to a place called George something, which Joanne suggested because apparently they do ‘vegan chilli and some lovely hummus’. As soon as we get within sight of it, my stomach is battered by the smell of food. I am fucking starving. All around us are vans chucking out meat, and crepes, and chips. I might get all three, and put them in my mouth all at once.

One problem – between me and every item of food stand two dozen people in a queue. They’re only doing this to piss me off, they don’t really need food. Case in point – the two girls in front of me in the first queue I join, which promises to lead me to a van called ‘Burger City’. I challenge you to think of a place you’d want to live more than ‘Burger City’. I mean, if it was an actual city, not just a creaky van. I’ve spent long enough in a fucking burger van.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 31: Poutine”

Crap Comedy Chapter 30: Olivetti

Crap Comedy Chapter 30: Olivetti

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.

We make our way through the park. I’m still muttering ‘80 quid’ to myself over and over again, so I don’t notice the park has become a market until Joanne and Fax start going ‘Oh look, Himalayan salt lamps!’ I look up from my self-inflicted misery to see stalls selling ‘hand woven dream bags’ (whatever the fuck they are), ‘goat soap’, and crystals. It’s always fucking crystals. I guess we’re not having dinner for a bit then.

They’ve stopped at a stall called ‘The Psychic Hedgerow’. ‘Ooh, tourmaline!’ says Fax. ‘Would that help with potential stage fright?’

Joanne gets a tiny book called Crystal Prescriptions out of her bag, and they pore over the best remedy for stage fright that involves holding a rock.

While Joanne and Fax shit themselves over ‘septarian flame’ and ‘rough agate’, I browse the other stalls. There’s really annoying clicking noise following me wherever I go. With any luck it’ll be my bones giving up, and then I can just lie here in a heap and die quietly. 80 fucking quid. At this point it might have just been easier and cheaper to hand myself over to the Andi Peters QVC Police.

I try to distract myself by looking at dragon statues and handmade cards with pictures of fairies on them. I recognise the fairies as part of the ‘Dawn Bibby Fairy Enchantment Collection’, which they sell late at night on Create & Craft. I told you, I have a problem.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 30: Olivetti”

Crap Comedy Chapter 29: Gin

Crap Comedy Chapter 29: Gin

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.

After half an hour navigating through cagoules and avoiding other people promising ‘free five-star comedy’, I manage to duck into an alleyway. Fuck knows where I am now. But the alleyway leads to some sort of… place. Let’s have a look.

Ooh, a gin bar! This is a nice surprise; I’d been bracing myself for anything up to and including more Polish nudists. I’m still a bit on guard though, so I scan the area. Grass, some pub tables, a rickety temporary bar. No one trying to give me ‘free five-star comedy’. So far so good.

‘Artisan gins’, the sign says. Lovely. To be fair, I’d have stayed if the sign had said ‘artisan paint strippers’. I peer behind the bar, but I can’t make out many of the labels. Fucking hell, I hope I’m not going blind on top of everything else.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 29: Gin”

Crap Comedy Chapter 28: ‘Friends’

Crap Comedy Chapter 28: ‘Friends’

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 know I sort of agreed to do ‘leafleting’ for Fax last night, but I was a bit pissed when they asked me. Also, I didn’t have all the facts at my disposal, namely:

· I would regret agreeing to do leafleting in the morning
· There would be people milling around so close to me they were actually trying to wear my clothes
· It would be fucking raining again
. I don’t fucking want to

‘Free five-star comedy’ I mumble half-heartedly to no one in particular. I am ignored. Good. Hopefully they just think I’m a crackhead talking to myself.

I’m so hungover even my eyeballs are dehydrated, which is a shame because I could really do with crying right now. My right knee really fucking hurts because I’ve been stood on a slope for three bastard hours. Occasionally a passing tourist will try to murder me by stabbing me with an umbrella spoke. I’m not doing anything to stop this happening. I would have escaped hours ago, but I’m surrounded by wet tourists. Every time I breathe in it smells of soggy wax jacket. If I get past those, I’m met with a battalion of screeching drama students peddling their own shit.

To count my one blessing, at least I’m not next to Joanne and Fax. Thank fuck, those two are 20 feet away, but I know they’re trying to keep an eye on me, otherwise I’d have just chucked the leaflets at a passing drama student. Occasionally I hear snatches of Fax’s terrible acoustic guitar:

‘Meat is defeat, the goddess says…’

‘Come to my awakening, you liver clad folk…’

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 28: ‘Friends’”

Crap Comedy Chapter 27: NICAM

Crap Comedy Chapter 27: NICAM

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.

We’re staying in tonight. This has come as a relief to me; I’m tired and fat and I only came to Edinburgh to get away from the QVC police. I have no interest in going to watch a half-arsed comedian demanding we put five-pound notes in his bucket. Most of the time that wouldn’t even work out at a fiver a laugh.

I reckon they’re onto something though. I wonder if I could get away with standing in a pub yelling words at people, then demanding money off them.

Yesterday I saw a poster for a show called Come and Look at the Baby. Further inspection revealed that this woman was sitting in a community centre showing off her baby to people. No word on if prices go up when the baby does something interesting, like shitting itself or biting its mother. I imagine the mother could make quite a bit of money if the baby had a specific talent, like juggling or making its head spin all the way round. Or if the baby was still up the woman’s fanny.

I could get in on this racket, if that’s what passes for an Edinburgh show. I could call my show Come Look at The Depressed Woman in Her 30s Drinking Neat Vodka and Looking at Pictures of Andrew Lincoln. With any luck they’ll think I’m like Tracy Emin. Didn’t she make a load of money off having a disgusting bed full of cans and tampons? Big deal – try having a carpet with a stain on it. Oh that’s the one – Come Look at the Depressed Woman in Her 30s Yelling at a Stain on the Carpet.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 27: NICAM”

Crap Comedy Chapter 26: Pig

Crap Comedy Chapter 26: Pig

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’m fucking starving when Joanne and Fax finally emerge from the Hitler’s Fanny or whatever it’s called.

Joanne immediately starts. ‘Do you know how emba-’

‘DINNER. NOW.’ I reply.

‘And,’ I continue, as we make our way to the Royal Mile, ‘that was shit poetry. It didn’t even rhyme and it was mostly just her feeling her tits and yelling about knobs.’

‘Oh my god you’re such a philistine!’

‘I’m hungry is what I am. And pissed off. You promised we’d go for dinner first!’

‘Well we got held up! We had to align with Mars for the upcoming equinox!’

‘And you just had to do that at lunchtime, because of course you fucking did!’

And now it’s raining. Great. I’m standing in Scotland yelling at Joanne, in the rain. I can think of better holidays.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 26: Pig”

Crap Comedy Chapter 25: Pottery

Crap Comedy Chapter 25: Pottery

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.

Sadly, my genius plan to ‘go off with the bald guy I just met’ is thwarted by the reappearance of Joanne and Fax.

‘Come on, we’d better get in there, it’s starting in a minute.’

‘“Oh wait, I can’t. I’ve just remembered, I’ve been barred.’

‘What?!’

Her skirt starts whirling. How does she do that?

‘How the fuck did you manage to get barred? We were only gone a minute!’

I shrug. ‘Don’t look at me, I was just trying to talk about football with the barman.’

She peers at me. ‘That’s bollocks. You must have done something. You must have been offensive.’

‘Unless talking about Brian Clough is offensive, no I wasn’t.’

‘Who’s Brian Clough? Was he a slave trader or something?’

I look around for my bald friend, but he’s fucked off.

‘No, he’s a footballer. I think.’

She looks sceptical of my claim. ‘Well then, you must have done something, otherwise he wouldn’t have barred you. I know what you’re like.’

What?

‘What am I like?’ I’m getting sick of this. May I remind you that I still haven’t had any fucking dinner, and I haven’t even had any Hitler beer.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 25: Pottery”

Crap Comedy Chapters 23 & 24: Polish Sausage, Brian Clough

Crap Comedy Chapters 23 & 24: Polish Sausage, Brian Clough

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.

23. Polish Sausage

The front door is up a dozen steps because of course it fucking is. I can hear my vodka bottle clinking every time I drag my suitcase up one.

Joanne unlocks the door and we’re hit by the smell of… cooking? There’s no one here to be cooking anything. It must be coming from one of the other flats. Nope, the smell’s definitely getting stronger as I head towards the kitchen. Have we got burglars? Admittedly, I wouldn’t really care if we had; it’s not my stuff they’re stealing. Plus, burglars wouldn’t cook something that smells so nice. Or anything at all.

I push open the kitchen door, and my scream brings Joanne and Fax running. There is a naked man in our kitchen, hovering over a pan. He looks at me as if to say ‘what the hell’s your problem?’, then he shrugs and turns back to his pan.

‘What’s the matter with you?’ asks Joanne. I point to the buttocks in the kitchen.

‘That’s Stefan. I think he’s Polish,’ she says, like I’m expected to just know this.

‘Why didn’t you tell me there’d be someone else here!’

She shrugs. ‘You never asked.’

‘I never asked if there would be a naked man in our flat who you think is Polish. I fucking wonder why.’

I shut the door on our new flatmate and herd Joanne and Fax into the living room. Then I flop down onto the settee. It would have been the floor, but I got lucky.

They start looking round the room, Joanne sniffing the chairs and Fax jiggling the wire connecting the TV to the wall. Unsurprisingly, the TV goes off. Now I’ll never get to watch Loose Women, should I ever get brain damage and want to watch Loose Women.

‘Who is that man? Is he Polish or what?’

Joanne whirls round. ‘God, what are you, a racist?’

‘I just want to know how to say “put your cock away” in his language.’

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapters 23 & 24: Polish Sausage, Brian Clough”

Crap Comedy Chapter 22: Parking

Crap Comedy Chapter 22: Parking

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.

When I say Edinburgh is busy, I mean ‘it’s against the laws of physics to have so many people in one place’ busy. Seriously, I think multiple people are managing to occupy the exact same atoms on the pavement.

The first thing I notice as we drive through the city centre is a group of people waving their limbs. No one seems to notice or call an ambulance. When I point this out to Joanne, she goes ‘Oh, that’s a silent disco.’

‘It’s a what?’

‘You know, a silent disco!’ She looks at me like I’m slow. ‘Um, I think the general idea is that discos are a tool of oppression, because they make everyone conform and listen to the same music. This is a way of fighting that oppression.’

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 22: Parking”

Crap Comedy Chapter 21: Mob

Crap Comedy Chapter 21: Mob

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.

Hours pass without incident, mainly because I’m asleep. When I wake up again, Fax and Joanne are listening to BBC Radio Scotland.

‘I’m afraid we have a blockage on the A7 just going into Galashiels, as an event is taking place.’

‘There’s a bit of a hold up ladies, never mind’ says Fax.

An hour later, Fax has his forehead on the horn. Joanne is stabbing her phone with what looks like a pin.

She sees me looking. ‘I’m expelling the negative energies onto that man from the services.’

She’s stabbing a photo of Phil Mitchell. ‘That’s not him.’

‘Yes I know, God!’

‘Look, we should wake Fax up.’

‘No, he’s had such a spiritual trauma.’

‘Yes but he’s driving.’

‘But-’

‘-No.’

I shake Fax awake.

‘FAX YOU SHIT WAKE FUCKING UP’

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 21: Mob”