Funny/Not Funny or That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

I went out last night, to a comedy gig. I went to watch Andrew O’Neill, the finest vegan, occult, transvestite, Death metal-loving comedian in the UK…ok, the world….and the three other acts on the bill at Just The Tonic in Leicester.
A Bonus feature: Ben Van Der Velde, a small Hobbit-like creature, all curly mop and tiny feet, was compering. He dealt with a truly bizarre heckler with skill, managing to turn the room against this amazing example of Midlands Man.

I did my CBT homework before I went, made sure I wasn’t too tired, took a 2mg diazepam, well, two….and was ready. I was going to kill this.

I felt fairly anxious, but managed it well. I remembered to breathe. Stupidly, I didn’t eat, because I worry about throwing up if I panic. Remember this, for later on!

George took forever to get ready…I truly am the peahen to his peacock….I love saying that…I’m calling him a cock we were running late, and Leicester’s fucked up one way system really didn’t help. We got there eventually…..

Anyway….we got in, I picked my seat carefully, Near enough to an exit, but a seat that wasn’t at the back, or “safe”.
I had to make myself uncomfortable, not indulge in safety behaviours, no packets of mints in my bag, one extra diazepam-not a whole strip, no imodium. This I managed well.

I then had a big glass of wine on an empty stomach, which was a terrible idea! It went straight to my head, relaxing me, oh yes, but didn’t help my vision and hearing, which turns itself down when I’m anxious. I managed to nearly walk into the Gents twice, couldn’t hear the woman in the toilet who was complimentary toward me (never happens!)…threw my already dodgy balance off, and made my heart pound……fuck. I then had another glass……..

Andrew O’Neill is funny. Seriously so. He is relentless on stage, he cavorts from Death Metal to child labour to the stringing out of an idea so far past it’s funny origin, it becomes an Epic. His non-sequiters are genius.
He’s also a lovely person. I blether at him on Twitter, and occasionally in person, and he’s patient and sweet in return.
Last night, I was, ahem, more blethery than usual, having consumed two big glasses of wine and no food. Sorry Andrew :/
He was of course his usual lovely self, putting up with my rather shaky,  babbling mental-woman act.

So, he was hilarious, and Evelyn Mok, who followed was great too. A Swedish woman of Chinese origin, her (deliberately) rather flat delivery disguises wicked humour, and self deprecation, which she then turns on the room.

All going great….then…

The next two acts were really strange. A man in a suit, looking like a used-car salesman, and one in jeans and a shirt two sizes too small.

I started to feel like I’d gone back to the Seventies. Dick jokes, jokes about oral sex, involving gagging on the smell and pubes caught in teeth. Calling sections of the crowd “Lezzers” Deaf jokes, involving mimicking the way Deaf people sign and speak. I can sign fairly well, albeit rustily, but can still recall “fuck you, you cunt” and “you fucking twat” . However, I resisted. I did start to feel really quite pissed off though. I had to stop myself from heckling them.

When I plucked up the nerve to stand up, I left. I was worrying about being called out by the geezer, but managed to get out without being seen.

I spent a while last night thinking about my reaction. Am I over sensitive? Are jokes about “smelly caves” funny? Was there some subtlety I missed?
I know mimicking the speech of Deaf people really isn’t funny.

I’m glad I left. I had a great night, laughed a lot,  managed my anxiety levels well, learned a lesson about drinking (STOP!) and only briefly embarrassed myself with A O’N. Which sounds like a great night out to me.

I then sat up with my daughter til One o’clock…I can’t remember what we watched on telly. Which is funny.


2 thoughts on “Funny/Not Funny or That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

  1. I was moved to reply by your bravery, honesty, humour and talent, in writing moving, interesting and real stuff.
    I think a lot of people go through some of the things/feelings/issues/challenges you write about in terms of social phobia etc, so you are not alone, or weird; just honest about what you feel and how you deal with it. We all find ways in life to deal with challenges, and we all find we are good at some things, and not at others. What you seem to be good at is self analysing and recognising what you see as shortcomings, but maybe you are over analysing, I don’t know, I am not a therapist. You seem to have loads going for you, intelligence, humour, self-deprecation in a not too serious way, and a great family, you are very lucky.
    Anyway, I enjoy reading what you have to say, good luck with your progress, I am sure you will be fine and get where you want to be.

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