As a child I would often get scolded by my uncle for being irresponsible (though I still refuse to believe that the suction power of the vacuum cleaner I was using to levitate my sister’s hair was enough rip her head off).
On Monday, before my show, I spilled camomile tea over my hand and had to be treated for burns (the condition, not the poet). Irksome as I had only bought the tea to help me relax, but, as I lifted the cup, it snagged on the counter top’s poorly-taped-down price list and a slick of scalding hot relaxant sizzled over my hand. ‘Fuck me mama!’ I exclaimed (when extreme pain bites, my latent Oedipal complex emerges). The girl serving me, who had turned away, spun back around, I guess worried that she had selected the wrong tea bag as I was vehement about herbal tea (‘Green tea, at this hour! Are you crazy! I’ll never sleep!’)
I explained what had happened and we looked down at the steaming, blistering red right hand resting on the counter. The girl looked thoroughly unimpressed, as if I had regurgitated a half eaten burger before her and said: ‘There’s more where that came from!’ Embarrassed I apologised and, hand bubbling, ran into the shadows, like the Phantom of the Opera unmasked by the woman he loves or an insensitive cafe proprietor.
I was buying the camomile tea as I have come to realise that my show’s late night slot does not so much attract bothersome drunkards as slightly tired but determined comedy fans; thus I have ceased taking a beer on stage with me to kowtow to the non-existent lads in the room, and now carry a soothing drink to kowtow to the very-existent pensive chucklers with one eye on bedtime. For stage, I transfer the tea into a silly mug, outwardly it screams FUN but inwardly it knows when to stop, like a responsible uncle. Then the show commences and I attempt to rip their heads off… with laughter. (Salutes dead uncle in the heavens.)