Don Moses Comedy & Magic Blog - A light hearted look at life, comedy and magic.

Archive for September, 2007

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Heroes

Here is a weird thing.  I am not able to lift anything heavy – I will spare you the manly joke which usually follows that set up line – you know the one?  Sure you do.  It is the one which implies the very opposite of why men buy sports cars.  I have a sports car, so it is not a very realistic joke coming from me anyway.  Look I am not explaining ,ok?  So anyway, I can’t even lift the kettle and I should really be resting.  Perfect you would think?  This will be an ideal time for me to keep up to date with my blog.  But no.  I don’t know how this has happened, but I seem to have slipped behind with my daily writing target*

There is that expression, which states: “if you want something doing, give the task to a busy man because the man of leisure has no time”.  I am annoyed with this adage, and not just because it seems a little sexist.  I am annoyed because, even though I know this saying, and therefore should be able to fight  against it, I seem to have fallen in to its’ trap.  Not to mention, the saying which goes: “a job will always expand to fill the time available for it”.  Since there are at least two sayings warning  us of the dangers of thinking we have loads of time to do stuff and then doing sod all, does make me think it is only human nature to kick back when we get the chance.  So I should not be too hard on myself and I am recovering, but hell, I have been lazy this week.

This is how lazy I was the other day, I was wanting to listen to fellow comedian, Mark Watson’s Radio 4 show, which strangely enough was about the deadly sin of sloth, and I could not even be bothered to switch on the radio.  The only thing I have seen on DVD has been all the back episodes of “Heroes”, which I never thought I would get around to viewing, well, without using my superpower of reversing time to watch them all.

I know what I should have done of course, and that is, to focus on one thing at a time – this should be easy as I am a man and therefore can’t multi-task.  I do love it that the TV programmes think that men can multitask.  Let me tell you, Sky Sports News, if you are expecting me to do the maths on Sunderland’s relegation chances, I will be requiring the ugly newsreader.  And what is the point of the “stock market type” news running along the bottom of the screen.  It isn’t even breaking news; you might as well have the captions – Jose pretends to be a tramp and beats up Fergie, or these breasts are magnificent aren’t they – yes they are real.

What was I talking about?

*Although I am certain my very good start in July, to the blog writing, will be keeping my average at over 500 words ever day.
 

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Pain threshold

I did not sleep very much last night, as I had my hernia operation yesterday.

By the way, the more observant of you will have noticed that I have missed a week of blogs.  Well, I feel I am doing so well with these blogs* that I have decided to take a week off.  We self employed answer to no one (well, obviously the tax man).

Anyway, last week I was enjoying the Indian summer, and I had made a late bid at getting fit for the operation, by swimming three mornings in a row.  I was also doing as many shows as I could, in preparation of my (hopefully short) layoff, due to the operation.  I have passed the jobs I would normally have been doing, on to colleagues, who will reciprocate later in the year when I am fit (a gentle reminder there).   You see, life doesn’t have to be cut throat.

Talking of cuts, I don’t want to be one of those people who talk about their operation.  However, I will say, it seems to have gone well.  Although, I am in agony today just writing this blog – but then again, I am a man, and so my pain threshold is ludicrously low. 

I would also like to say, that the surgeon was very reassuring.  Before the operation he explained everything so well, and I was filled with confidence, that he would be meticulous enough, not to leave anything inside of me after clipping up (they don’t use stitches these days).  He must have been very good, because after the explanation, he returned to my ward to pick up the pen he had been using for the paperwork – and I still had faith in him.

The pre-operation nurses were also brilliant.  Customer relations must be at its’ very best for people who are about to go in for surgery.  I was not disappointed; the ladies were very upbeat, and again put me at ease.  I love to see people really enjoying their jobs. 

All systems seemed to be in place and they were very thorough with the form filling.  When I was asked which religion, I resisted saying “All of them, I don’t want to be caught out on a technicality”.  I treat hospital questions the same way as I treat airline security questions, seriously.

I had a general anaesthetic** for the operation.  Two hours later, I returned to the ward talking gibberish (the effects of the anaesthetic I guess) and feeling as if I had been stabbed in the abdominals (which I guess I had). 

Surgeons are like Super-Heroes who turn up, solve the problem, and leave unnoticed.  It takes years to train to be a surgeon and I like the thought of that.  It is a bit different from a stand up comedian, who even on his first time on stage, is introduced as a funny comedian.

Anyway, he did not strike me as the type who just wandered in and said, “Any one could do this, give me that knifey thing”.

*I am writing nearly 700 words per day – I had promised 500 per day, so, by my maths, I am about 9 to 10 blogs ahead, and so still on target for 182,500 words in the year – that is 500 per day for 365 days.

**I decided not to try the being awake self hypnosis – I suppose I could have checked that the surgeon was performing the operation and wasn’t just doing the old Penn and Teller Psychic surgery trick.  Only a magician would think this way.

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

September Morn

It is Monday morning 8:53 a.m.  Last night I did not wear the airline blackout mask, and yet I didn’t get woken up at 6 a.m.  Usually, the gap down the side of the blinds and the sunlight combine to produce a laser beam effect which ends up on my retinas with sniper accuracy.  Since this did not happen, it must be cloudy, or because summer is nearly over, the position of the earth in relation to the sun has changed.

Yes, we are heading for autumn, which means my subconscious mind has reminded my conscious mind that I used to teach in schools and colleges.  The start of September means that the children will soon be back at school.  It would be good for the kids to go back to school, so as our (world renowned and enviably low) murder rate can return to normal – and yes, I am still blaming the overrunning Big Brother series.

People (and other teachers) often say, teaching is a great job, which it is.  But then they follow up by saying, no two days are ever the same – yes they are, nearly all of them in fact.  Well, that is how it appeared to me as I was leaving teaching all those years ago.  Don’t get me wrong, teaching is a wonderful profession and I have taught in the very best and the worst of places.  The best were a real joy, the worst, the equivalent of self harm. 

It would be easy to say I left teaching because of the above; however, it is simply not true.  The truth was, I had always wanted to write and perform comedy.  I’ll rephrase that, I was driven to write and perform comedy; I say driven because it felt as if I had no control over it.  The only problem being, when, was I was going to get my arse into gear and do it? 

For years, I had admired comedians who could walk out on stage, grab the microphone out of the stand, and then perform for an hour; however, it was only when I read an article by Jerry Seinfeld, that I realised the time was right for me to take the first step towards that goal.  It was a particular paragraph in this article which made me immediately book myself an “open mike” spot at a local comedy club.

Anyway, here is the part of the article, which got my arse into gear and started my new career.  So, without building it up too much, here is my moment of epiphany.  Oh yes, that is not too much build up Don.

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking, Number two is death.  Death is number two.  Does that seem right?  That means the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the coffin than doing the eulogy” *.

I am not sure why this article acted as my fillip for action, but it did. 
They do say, you should always be preparing for your next job while you are still at your present job.  And that is exactly what I did.  I started writing comedy immediately, stopping only occasionally to look up and set homework for the pupils**.
*I am certain, judging by the comedic sentence structure, that this bit of the article was also a part of Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy set from the early 1990’s. 
** I felt the need to shoe horn in that last joke, as I have realised that when I talk about comedy it can get a bit serious.  Yes, it is a joke, I was very professional at college.

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

London’s World’s End

I hope you enjoyed Rob, our decorator, standing in for me yesterday.  That is right, he is a nice bloke.  I haven’t read his blog entry yet; I hope he didn’t just bang on about my poor sanding techniques, or the fact that the “spell check” keeps second guessing him.

Well, it is Sunday morning and the house looks fresh* unlike me.  I was using trains and taxis as my method of transport last night, so by law, had to have a drink.  Yes, after the gig, not before; see my blog on dangers of this.

I met up with my wife and friends and only had a few drinks (not several, I can’t be more specific than that surely); so must be a bit out of practise.  I used to over indulge, however, nowadays I am a real born again sober** and sanctimoniously frown on you heavy drinkers.  I think this is because I look back on all the time I wasted as a youth (youth age ends at 43, right?). 

Don’t even get me started on why anyone would want to do drugs.  I remember being asked when I was a kid, if I wanted to take some drugs (I don’t know which type of drug it was, as I have not done a degree, in names used as euphemisms for illegal drugs).  The guy said I should try it because, I would be able to sit around with my friends laughing about things which weren’t even funny; I told him I had that one covered, thanks.

I don’t take drugs but I have seen all the adverts for the use of drugs provided by the media.  I particularly like the one which says “take drugs and you get to go out with Kate Moss”.  If I were a youngster today, I would be seriously confused and possibly think drugs are an option; what with recently discovering the Lynx deodorant does not live up to its’ advert’s promise.

Last year, I was going to a stand up comedy gig in London.  I can’t remember the tube stop, but it comes out at the appropriately named “World’s End” public house, frequented by Goths.  It could have been North London, I am never quite sure of my Norths and Souths in London, what with the Thames being so curly (you have seen the start of Eastenders).  Anyway, as I left the tube station, in the space of two minutes, I was approached four times by badly dressed people, mumbling “do you want some “mumble mumble / obscure euphemism” drugs?”***.  They could not have been more obvious if they had a cardboard sign on a stick, with the word “Golf” crossed out, and the word Drugs written in its’ place.  I mean, how can’t we stop this kind of behaviour in the UK?  Now if you excuse me I am off to buy my Daily Mail.
*I haven’t told my wife that Rob did all the things on my “to do, when I get time” list.  However, I don’t think she is reading my blog, so I should be able to pass them off as my handy work.  I don’t want her thinking I wasted my money on my leather tool belt.

** Well, I say sober, not quite – a bit like a vegetarian who eats fish.

*** My friend Patrick Monahan does a great bit in his comedy set, about a guy asking him, if he would like to buy a skunk.

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Don can’t come to the blog right now

Hi, Rob the decorator here.  Don can’t come to the blog right now, what with it being the weekend.  He said, he was going to give a lecture on escapology and he couldn’t get out of it.  “Sniff, sniff” that smells like a joke, no just the emulsion, but I think he was trying to be funny –  quite good really, no wonder Don can command such exorb, exorba, sorry about this, as you can tell I am not used to standing in for Don.  Wait a minute, these computers have a spell check, exorbitant – there you go.  Blimey this blog thing is easy; I don’t even need to spell correctly.  My job as a decorator is much more difficult, I mean, if I put the wallpaper on the wrong side down (believe me that anaglypta can be a bastard) I can’t just press “undo”.

Actually, I shouldn’t complain too much, as Don did hold the ladders on the exterior of the local Chinese restaurant “Wok this way”.
I seem to be getting a lot of those types of jobs recently; for example last week I did the flock wallpaper in the Indian restaurant “Balti Towers” and also did the graphics on the side of a minibus called “PG Trips”.  And last year I was flown standard *class to Dublin, to redo the sign, for the magician who owns the Greek takeaway shop “Abracadabra”.  I can’t believe it, I have just been overruled by the “Spell check” – I make the decisions, I wanted to say Abra Kebab ra – get it? 

The guy who owns the Abra-kebabra (lets see how “spell check” deals with a hyphen) wishes he hadn’t called it this name though, as he gets a lot of drunks.  Their favourite gag is saying “Now you see it, now you don’t” (magicians of course never tire of such comments** and laugh heartily as a rule, I would imagine) anyway, at this point the drunk eats all of the kebab in one go.  He then promptly throws it up (Da darrr, a very messy prestige).  That has got to wear thin after a while, for the proprietor.  Next door at “Chews carefully” restaurant they have no such nonsense.

Anyway, I have been drafted in, to touch up the paintwork.  Well that is the pretext, actually Don has left a list of jobs for me to complete; you know the kind of thing, fence repairs, shaving bottoms of doors etc.  I am almost sure that Don will convince his wife that he actually did the jobs himself.  Yes this is exactly the kind of thing he would do.  He is really not very handy and he sands like a girl.  I had to re-sand after his poor prep on the “Breakfast at Timothy’s” roadside caravan kitchen job.

Got to go now; I must say, it has been a pleasant change standing in for Don.  I suppose comedy is a bit like painting: it is all in the preparation and you should always have a great finish, however, if people are laughing at you, you probably just have undercoat on your nose.
*I am not sure what an upgrade is, however, the Ryan air stewardess did drop two bags of peanuts.  Result: peanuts F.O.C.
**I would also imagine that magicians love it, when you say to them, “Can you make my wife disappear?” – Why not try it next time you see a magician.


Don performs as a wedding magician, corporate entertainer, and after dinner speaker at events throughout the country. London Magician, Manchester Magician, Liverpool Magician, Birmingham Magician, Newcastle Upon Tyne Magician, Magician Surrey, Edinburgh Magician, Oxford Magician, Bristol Magician, Magician Milton Keynes, Leicester Magician, Leeds Magician, Magician Kent.