Ladies and gentlemen, will you please welcome to the stage Mr Dylan Moran. (CROWD CLAPPING) (CROWD CHEERING) Hey! Hello! Thank you! Hello, thank you very much for coming out, thank you for leaving your computer screens and all the arguments you were refining at home, I am very glad you came. Um, now you people, all of you here are the survivors, as far as I am concerned. You are the people who are tough enough to live in London. I didn’t quite make it, I tried it some time ago, but, you know, you need a lot of grit, a lot of gumption. You’ve seen people who wimp out. They move to Kent or whatever and they still think that they’re sort of, you know, in the mix, and they’re not, you know that. They’re finished, they’re not even human beings. You’re glad to see them go, that’s it, you didn’t have what it takes, you couldn’t handle the irony before lunch. Jazzercise for dinner. Didn’t have that thing in you, that makes you hungry, that gives you what you need to live in a paper cup at the bottom of somebody else’s garden in Balham. You gotta have that thing. Twelve hundred pounds a month, it’s a fucking bargain. ‘Cause it’s tough, you know it’s tough here, look at the faces outside. Look, the streets are thronged with people who look like they haven’t been able to take a shit in years. It is tough out there, you know it. Everybody’s here, everybody. Everybody came from everywhere. That’s why all those right wing parties all over Europe, we have one here in Britain, UKIP, telling people to stay away, people. Going, “Stay away!” They’re never going to succeed long term anywhere, because, you know what, everybody goes everywhere, you may have noticed. And we need them, we need everybody. We need all the people that come here. We need all the people from the east, clever, ingenious people from Eastern Europe that came over. A lot of suspicion at first. These are ingenious people, look at what they did after the second world war, after 1989. These people didn’t have a whole lot in a lot of these countries. Their inheritance was, you know, half a cabbage, a rusty spoon and a cow with a cough, so… They had to think and make it work and they did, and now they’re here and people were suspicious for superficial reasons. You know, just because their names look like wifi codes. It’s a name, what does it matter? Does it matter? These people can pickle anything, of course you need them. Nowadays, when you see a Russian in a Hollywood movie, they’re always a villain because of one man, because of Putin. Everybody else is a villain all of a sudden, if you see a Russian in a Hollywood movie, he has a scar, it starts here, it goes over his face, over all the furniture in his apartment, out into the street, he doesn’t have a left hand, he just has a blender or something, and all he says is, (IN RUSSIAN ACCENT) “Since I come to your country, “it’s very easy for me to make bomb, “from old cereal packet and dead cat, “ha ha ha ha ha.” You need all the voices. You need American voices, you need the American voices from the further west to counteract our European attitude, ’cause those people are so positive, they’re who walk around going, (IN AMERICAN ACCENT) “Giving it 100%, 5,000%, I’m so glad to be here. “Are you good? Hey, how are you? Are you good?” To us that sounds like a threat. What is this giving it 100% stuff, we’re European, we give it 11% okay, that’s it. If somebody you know is on fire in front of you, maybe, you’ll knock it up to 13, but that’s it! But we need them. Even here within these islands people have suddenly gone all suspicious. I live up in Scotland, okay. You know, the other place. It’s become this weird division now, where people are regarding each other with a lot of suspicion, and wariness. You need all the voices of these parts. You need Scottish voices, these people are very good to talk with and argue with, they’re very good at catching you out, they’ll get you on a technicality even at 2 a.m., in a pub. If you listen to them they are very, very refined in their thinking. They’ll say, (IN SCOTTISH ACCENT) “Actually, you’re talking radioactive piss.” The Welsh people, of course you need the Welsh people, the Welsh people have sort of been side-lined because of what’s going on between England and Scotland. Wales is the traumatised child in the car being driven around by the bickering couple looking out the window going, “Oh please!” And you need all the voices, you need Welsh voices, they have the best voice in the world for breaking bad news gently. (lN WELSH ACCENT) “Well, it just sort of exploded you see, it just, “it was fine one moment, we were there and now we don’t go near it, it’s just…” You need, you need English voices, of course, you need English voices. They are very reliable voices for explaining why nothing works. (IN ENGLISH ACCENT) “It’s never worked, it’s always been like that, “it’s fine we like it, don’t touch it.” And you need, you need voices from the Republic of Ireland, of course, ’cause they’re the best excusers in the world. The most carefully crafted excuses that ever existed. People say, (IN IRISH ACCENT) “Oh well, now we would have had it, “but my brother gets wet very easily.” You need voices from Ulster because… I wasn’t actually doing this thinking everybody would be here, but you are, that’s okay. You need that really amazing voice from there because that just sounds like a brain talking to itself, you don’t know what’s going to come out next, it’s like a Van Morrison song. (IN NORTHERN IRISH ACCENT) “l was just there alone with my grapefruit, you know, “so I put it on a piece of wood, I like it in a box. “l go synchronised swimming by myself, you know it saves on the cost. “l haven’t slept in 17 years…” The point is, you need all these people, because people are always blaming other people for the crisis and you are constantly told there is a crisis, we’re in a major crisis all the time, because of the rolling news culture we live in, financial crisis, the collapse happened in all the fun countries, places where you go to have a good time, Portugal, lreland, Greece, Spain, you know. Places where people run around in front of you and go, “It’s nice, I make! “You sit, eat, drink, it’s nice!” West of Ireland, very dependant on tourism, and, um… The… You need everybody. The thing is you know, the crisis come and go and you blame this person or that group of people, but the ultimate crisis never changes, it’s always the same.

You know, and that’s that we’re all going to die. We’re all going to die, all of us. Yeah, I’m sorry that’s a spoiler, but we are, we’re all going to die, and people hate it when you say it out loud. Most of the time they hate it, especially if you’re having sex. If you’re afflicted with that condition that makes you go, “We are all going to die!” every time you cum, it’s very hard to get the mood back. But we are, and we are all, you know, there’s no point blaming everybody else ’cause we’re all ultimately alone, as well. Here we are, hot fleas in the gulping dark. We are alone. ‘Cause people don’t really have religion any more, you know. You don’t really have religion in this country anywhere, I mean, you know, the Christian religion doesn’t really exist in a big way here. You never really had it, to be honest. We had it in lreland, that was religion. What you had was a dressing up box with some cardigans with holes in the elbows, everybody would meet up and have some ginger nuts and sing a few tunes and go home, we had religion. The thing that makes you feel bad from the moment you’re awake with God squatting on the end of your bed with his fist pressed between your eyes going, “Wake up, shit bag!” That’s religion. Now that was a very confusing time for a lot of people. I grew up in the ’70s in Ireland and it was intense, the religiosity of the whole country, you know, it was confusing if you were young. I remember saying to my granny, “Granny, how many priests do you have to blow to get into heaven?” And of course, she was an older person, she didn’t want to talk about these things. She would go, “Oh, stop it now, eat your tea,” but I was persistent, “Come on, Granny, how many?” And she would go, “Oh, I hate putting a number on these things “about 40! Now come on, eat!” But that’s not really around, so much, any more.

Religion, people are very pleased that religion doesn’t exist. Secular people are delighted, they are thrilled with themselves, their material view of everything, congratulating themselves in the queue outside the Apple shop, which lights up the street the way churches used to, filling in there, feeling the shame, shuffling in because they have the old phone. They go in there to be told how to be liberated by the high priest who are all dressed in black with their piercings and ponytails who explain how the new pocket altar will release them from their earthly burdens. “Now it’s fox, pinker and humptown, “you can upwind monkey fuck on trickle back.” “Oh, great! “l didn’t know what I was doing there for a while, “you’ve completely set me free, thank you so much.” That’s the new religion. My son comes in, he’s completely, excited, you know, he’s 12 and everything, that whole generation is excited about all this technology but he’s kind of ambiguous about it, as well. He knows it’s not real fun a lot of the time, but he goes, “Oh, look, you’ve got to see this game or this app, it’s really interesting.” I grab it off him and I say, “Get out of here, “go and play, go and fall out of a tree, have a fight. “Don’t phone me until you’ve been arrested. Obviously, on a landline from some station. “Come on, this is just gonna waste your time.” Three hours later it’s me stood there going, “Haha!” On Candy Flaps or whatever that thing is. I looked up recently, it was one in the morning, I thought, “What am I doing with my life?” Species are being wiped out, glaciers are melting, somewhere somebody is eating a Swiss roll, and I am doing this, what the fuck am I doing? You know, life is so brief, here we are, there are four ages of human being, child, failure, old and dead, that’s it! That’s all you have. You have to be here and enjoy it. So I said, “What am I doing?” and then I realised I had to get to level 19 or it would all be meaningless. Now, of course people want distraction, of course we do, because reality is pretty tough stuff. The news, you know, all that stuff, the so-called Islamic state people. I tried to look for, you know, some bright points with these people, that’s a bit of a struggle, you know. At the beginning I was watching them and going, “Oh, come on, you scamps. “Stop it now.” But they don’t even take weekends. Somebody needs to tell these people they are seriously interrupting brunch for a lot of people. You look at them and you think, “Oh, my God, this is so bleak, this has got to be peak bleak. “l can’t… I don’t know who I am any more. “l can’t stand this,” you look at it and I don’t even know which snack to eat with which war. Look, say what you like about fundamentalist death cults, they go very well with the heavier cheddars. But you do think, “l don’t know if I can take much more of this shit.” I don’t really watch the news any more. I just have two old men sitting at the end of my room staring at each other, on the hour, every hour one of them shouts at the other one, “Terrorist!” And the other one shouts, “Paedophile!” And then a woman walks in between them and says, “Rain expected.” I’ve got it pretty much covered, I think. No wonder then that people look for other things to watch. Television, you know, all kinds of shit television. Television which was invented in Scotland, of course. My Scottish wife, we live in Scotland, reminds me all the time about all the amazing things Scotland has invented. It goes on and on, lists of things that you depend on every single day of your life, you’re not even aware of. Monkeys, steam, paella, lightning, kung-fu, pubic hair, the list is endless, and… Golf, that’s another one. Golf, you get that at the end of your working life, you’ve worked for 45, 50 years, that’s your reward. You get to hit the tiny ball into the tiny hole four miles away behind the tree using a shoe horn, well done you! To show everyone how into it you are, you have to wear these sexually repellent clothes, so they know just how hard you’re avoiding your wife, well done! But they also invented television which people are very addicted to in terms of distraction, you know. I started watching a lot of television in the last year or so, ’cause I gave up smoking, okay? Yeah, thank you very much, but the thing is, that’s… That revealed to me how exposed I was, ’cause it’s a prop, you know, you depend on something, putting something in your mouth all the time. It’s a screen against the world and so on, and I suddenly felt incredibly alone and depressed, you know, but it’s okay we can talk about depression now, that’s okay because of all the lovely celebrities who’ve come on and talked about their therapies and treatments, they’ve normalized it, and it’s fine now, you can talk about it. Although, I did notice when they were talking about it I felt the same way I feel when I listen to my own friends talk about their depression which is, “You don’t know what you’re fucking talking about. “My self-loathing is much worse than yours. “What’s that you say? “Face down in a pool of Cocoa Pops all day Wednesday? “l wish I had the strength for that.” But it’s good to be able to talk about it, and then, of course you get depressed, of course you get depressed, look, life is hard sometimes, you know? That’s why we don’t want to spend time alone, some of you came here alone and will return home alone and that’s okay but most people are trying to avoid that ’cause they’re afraid of their own thoughts. Have you ever had a bath? That goes on a bit too long, doesn’t it? By the end of that you think, “Get me out of here! “It’s enough, get me out! “I’m alone and I’m wet, I have to dry myself, I hate this bit, “so tedious. “Why do I have to manage all this pork?” And then…

I don’t even remember what I was talking about now. I suppose it doesn’t really matter, we’re just talking. Um… Oh, distraction, that’s it. And then… I don’t know where l… Reminder came from but the um, but that’s, I mean, that is something that people do. You drink, drugs, food, shit television, amazingly shit television. The things people watch in this country. Everybody goes on about how Britain makes the best television in the world, it does, but David Attenborough is not responsible for everything. So there’s some extraordinary crap out there. The thing, the baking thing, people are baking and they’re talking about it, baking, bake, bake up. That thing. Cake is a beautiful thing. Why fuck it up by talking about it? The, the whole point of cake is to shut people up! (CROWD CHEERlNG) You’ve got a cake, it’s a, it’s, it’s, it’s it’s a semi-religious moment, you don’t ruin it by standing there and going, “l did cream and sugar and…” Just shut up and eat it! What’s the other one, that the, the, the you must dance, dance with the old man, get in and dance with the corpse, that one. Who, what genius came up with this? And people are watching this. What’s wrong with them? I mean look at the austerity, the cutbacks, the schools, the funding for hospitals and all that stuff. If you wanna cut stuff back, shut that shit down. If you absolutely have to watch something that stupid… (CROWD CHEERlNG) If you have to see something, if you need to zone out of your own life so badly, save the money, just draw some smiley faces on cocktail sausages, cram them into Christmas decorations and rattle them on a tray. People will watch anything. I travel around in these hotels, turning on the telly looking for local news and Jeremy Kyle comes on. Who’s watching this horrible man? Somebody… He’s like a drunk seagull, badgering pregnant voles with his beak. (MlMlCKlNG) “You did, didn’t you, you fucked him, didn’t you? You did?” He should be strapped to the front of a fast car and driven into a big hole. But… The, the, the way… No, stop with the… Hang on just… So sorry, wait. The whole clapping thing is great for you, I know you’re there okay, I know, if you… Now, you’re annoying me now. Just… If you’re enjoying this, just give each other a hug, okay. I don’t… ‘Cause l, I talk quickly, I forget. If you clap I’ll forget stuff, okay and the laughing also, we could take that down a bit. They… People will watch anything! Twilight, pale teenagers sucking the lifeblood out of everybody around them. Where is the escapism in this? Anything. Game of Thrones, which has been running for 35 years by my calculation. I can’t look at that, I can’t watch the, the little hunchbacked man put on the amulets and the thongs and the swords and the helmets and the pelmet and the cloak and the daggers and the necklace of dead crows’ arseholes, just to crawl up the hill and go, “The boats are coming.” Oh, please. Do something with your life. People, people engage with this stuff ’cause it’s easier than talking to the people they live with, you know, it’s not so intense. You know, House of Cards or whatever, Francis Underwood isn’t going to turn around to you and go, “Why did you eat all the ham in the fridge, you fat fuck?” You know, you watch these things for years. So that’s what I was doing when I wasn’t smoking, I was watching television, I did some of these drawings as well ’cause you have to do something with your hands you know, you can’t masturbate all day long, I mean that’s… You know it’s, it’s easier if you’re a woman or something, you just hook yourself up to a clock radio or something and wait till it goes ding and you’re done. If you’re a guy it’s complicated, you have to get tarpaulin and ropes and secure the perimeter. I don’t want to get involved in all that shit. So… The… Mainly what I was doing was I started, I was watching a lot of television, a lot of television, and I realised, you know… Do watch the… You sort of absorb voices from around the world anyway. That’s why the people who are trying to keep people out of countries, they’re really not going to succeed longterm because not only is everybody everywhere, you’re globalized, they’re in your head, all these voices, little cartoon representations of all the cultures in the world. I realised this ’cause I was doing one of these drawings one day and I thought… I was quite pleased with one of them and I found out I have an African-American man inside me. I didn’t know this but I do. ‘Cause I did one of the drawings and before I knew this or thought it I heard myself say, “That pretty.” Now I didn’t know that was going to happen. But the point is you’re in there, all the people are in there, you have a crew in there. When I was eating in the house, I was eating all the time, all the time and I knew this, it was sort of building up, I began eating in a sort of pretty much semi-professional basis. So I would wake up, it was like I was being sponsored by rival teams of scientists, trying to see if it was possible to eat with your left and right hands all day and night and it is, it’s a question of focus, you have to commit. I was walking around, putting things in my mouth ’cause it’s comforting. I mean babies know this, they come out, they look around, they see it’s a stressful world, they go (MlMlCKlNG CRYlNG) and they go to the breast and they stay there, they don’t take calls or meetings or anything. They just go, “l don’t want to hear about it numnumnum…” “This is all… I don’t like, numnumnumnum…” “l understand this, the rest of it I’m not so sure.” We should have a giant tit on the wall of every office in the country. If you get stressed out, you can just zip your desk over there, your whole chair and desk and go, “l hate Peter!” “Numnumnum…” “The fucking printer’s out of ink again, for fuck’s sake. Numnumnum…” It calms you down. Putting things in your mouth calms you down. Most of the great times in your life were about putting things in your mouth. A lot of the time. You know, it goes through all your life, not just food but drinks and alcoholic drinks and cigarettes and body parts of people you admire, sometimes all at the same time, some mash potato and vodka martini and, “Hey, you busy?” You know, it’s calming and of course I started getting fat. And that’s what happens. You know, I started creeping up on myself from behind and around, getting cuddly in all the wrong places. Nobody wants cuddly eyes, nobody. And I was deluding myself as well ’cause I was telling myself, “It’s culture, “it’s just part of culture, you know.” You can pretend it’s cultural by having lots of cheese and wine and asking where everything is from. Great big pile of stinking cheese there, “Oh, and where is the cheese from?” “Who cares where it’s from, “it’s here now, “people are fleeing the building, “windows are melting, eat this shit before it kills us all, will you?” “No, I have to know where it’s from. Oh, the Catalan cave cows. “Oh, I love them, “they’re so musical, thank you so much, numnumnumnum…” Eating all the time, walking around eating. I had a drone of self-disgust watching me at all times as I was annihilating any possible moments of thought by eating all the time. “Look at him, look at him, “he’s buttering something as he’s still chewing the other thing.” How disgusting can I get? I am preparing for the next oral event even though I am still in one. Oh, God, I’m disgusting. Look at me, I make sex noises from the strain of buttering the toast. (GROANS) I am vile. “Quick, your wife is coming, hide! Take the hummus.” And… So disgusting to yourself. It’s terrible. This is how religion must have started in early cave times somebody had a tiramisu all to themselves, they finished it and they hung around going, “Oh, God, I’m so disgusting.” And somebody came around the corner and said, “God thinks so too.” “Oh, really, can I meet him?” “No, I’ll tell you what he thinks, “just give me money.” That’s how it began. So, all the time, all the time, all the time. And uh, you know, ’cause the, the mouth is just… It’s good to put things in there. You know, the ear, you can kill half an hour putting things in your ear, tops really. If you use every available orifice and you’re with a friend, maybe two hours tops. But once one of you has the dodecahedron up there and the other one has the triangle, it’s time to hit town and get lunch, you know, so… But I was deluded, I was deluded by my own snobbery ’cause I kept telling myself, “Well I’m getting uh, yeah I’m getting a bit fat, I am.” “That’s the way it is. But I’m still, I’m interesting fat, I’m European fat. “This is interesting, existential, detective, delicatessen fat. “Somebody wandering around, moodily chewing on a piece of prosciutto “as they wander down to the docks to see if the doughnut boats are in. “It’s not like I’m American fat. I’m not one of those guys, one of those huge people. “They wouldn’t even know if they had a monkey hanging from their cock, “too busy blodging around going, ‘ls there any more? “‘Any more cheese? I just want to eat it until I can feel my heart beating in my face.”‘ Um, but you know it just comes, it just comes to you anyway, you suddenly get seriously uncool, that’s how age functions, everything is sort of the same, everything is the same for ages you know, it’s like you’re there and you’re talking to your friend and you’re going, “Yeah, yeah, anyway and we did this and we did that and…” You know, Madonna is there reassuringly in the background going, # Like a virgin # (SCATTlNG) “And then, so we did this…” And then, you turn around and suddenly it’s Nicki Minaj going, “Ha ha, ha ha!” It’s a totally different kind of poetry and you just… The world has changed around you, and you are older, older, because the middle-age bus arrives. Nobody knows it, nobody wants to get on, it just comes for you, screeches to a halt right beside you, “It’s time to get on.” You don’t want to. Everybody gets on resisting, going, “Not me, “I’m too young, I don’t want to get interested in architecture, please, not yet!” “Oh look, an inscription, argh it’s happening, help me somebody!” And then you’re taken away to become a different person. And it’s alienating and frightening because you start liking things you don’t like. Quiet music, “Mmm,” “Put that Buble bullshit on again, I really like that.” You never liked it before, and now you’re going… (SCATTlNG) Serial killer music. That’s what’s happening in a serial killer’s head when they’re sawing somebody else’s off. (SCATTlNG) Ripping the spine out and playing Jenga with the vertebra… (SCATTlNG) Vaginating the bladder and making a hat… Let’s not get into details. The… The things appeal to you that used to disgust you, why else do people vote conservative? That must be what happens, it must be what happens to people. (CROWD CHEERlNG) ‘Cause they suddenly get, they start getting attracted to the, to the semi-repellent things. It’s like the really, really strong cheese and conservatism are basically the same thing. Um… A cruise, the idea of a cruise. I mean that would have made you just vomit all over yourself. And then suddenly you’re going, “Oh, yeah, travel without moving, I’m in.” “l can just be there like a starfish, “every hour and a half somebody will come and pour gravy all over me, yeah. “Where do I sign?” So yeah, you become this older person and it is quite odd, you know, and you can feel young people judging you to a degree. ‘Cause I’m at the other end of the telescope now. I remember… A lot of young people here, I remember being in my twenties, looking at people my age going, “What is wrong “with these, those people, why are they so weird?” “Why are they so shapeless and sexless?” “Why do they talk about renewing their car insurance for 45 minutes.? “What the, what the fuck are they up to?” “They must be smarter than that, what are they doing?” “Why are they so deliberately bland?” But now I’m here, I can tell you what’s going on. This is what’s going on, death becomes real and you think, “Maybe he won’t notice me “if I don’t experience anything intensely.” You just… All the gestures you used to have, all the big denunciations and accusations and declarations all the, “You!” and “Me!” and “That!” Suddenly just becomes, “Hmm, yeah, I know, kind of, yeah.” Um… He can’t kill you if you’re not properly alive, can he? Um… So, that’s why. And l, you know, I went to um, when I was eating all the time professionally, I would uh… My wife was really good about it, she didn’t refer… Never called it my stomach or anything, she would just sometimes mention, “The situation.” And um, sometimes she would say, “Why don’t you take the situation for a walk?” So, I would go to the supermarket ’cause you can eat there and nobody stops you, ’cause if anybody comes up to you, you can just go, “Fuck off, I’m going to buy it.” Um… And actually when I was there I found another voice inside me, this spirit guide, this elderly lady. And she looked after me. I think she was Asian but the main thing is she was wise. ‘Cause when I was reaching out for the thing I really wanted, the honey, nuts, cluster, fudge, fuck bomb, or the Iemon, coconut, apocalypse, ripple, yum-face dish, whatever it was, when I was reaching out she would leap into my frontal cortex and scream at me, (lN ASlAN ACCENT) “It’s a not for you, it’s not for you, walk away! “You go salad bar or some shit like that. Leave for other people, fatty!” She was there for me. More proof, if we needed any, that you need a team inside you. But you can’t go to the supermarket all the time, not all the time. So, one day I went to the art gallery and there was this old man there by himself and he was sort of quite striking, he was carefully dressed and looking at the work and walking around, obviously just you know having his own experience, and I am sort of moved by him ’cause he looked quite elderly and alone. And I thought “Oh, wow, that’s great you know, he is out and “registering his own responses, that’s how, you know, “how you should be living when you’re older.” And then he turned around and saw me and he sort of had this wrinkle of disgust in his face and moved away because I was wearing these crappy cut-off jean things, the sort of things that you paint a house in or bury a dog in. (CROWD LAUGHlNG) I had on these odd socks, a blue sock and a brown sock, ’cause I wasn’t paying attention when I was dressing and l’d cut the tops of the socks so my circulation still works. -(CROWD LAUGHS) -And I had some rubbish T-shirt on with stains and things, I didn’t look you know, as incredibly stylish as I do now, and he just maybe thought I was wandering around and he went away. And then this beautiful couple came in, people in their late 20s roughly and they were you know, tall elegant people, Iots of cheek bones and four elbows each and long and sinuous and elegant and wafting around, looking at the stuff. And then I saw them elbow each other and sort of point over in my direction and they were sniggering and then they disappeared, and I thought, “Well you know, they’re young, it doesn’t matter, “I’m a mature person that kind of thing doesn’t bother me.” But I’m not a mature person and it did bother me and I really wanted to find the young man again so I could tell him, “Listen, “this, all this, “do you think anyone chooses this?” (CROWD LAUGHS) “This just comes, this is for free, “this is the future, it belongs to you. “Right now you are walking around this art gallery with this beautiful young woman “and you’re talking about these paintings “and how they make you feel and she is listening. “You have peaked as a human being. Believe me.” -(CROWD LAUGHS) -“lt doesn’t get any better than that. “You, you don’t know anything, “nobody chooses this, “l didn’t ask for one tit to be bigger than the other, -“l really didn’t.” -(CROWD LAUGHS) “l never dreamed that one day I would be sitting on my couch with my one huge ab.” (CROWD LAUGHS) “Covered in crumbs, listening to the sound of my own mouth breathing. “ldly watching Dragon’s Den, the invention programme thing “where somebody comes around and they pitch ideas, “waiting for the genius who will finally walk in with the discrete spatula, “the thing you thread through the arm ofyour jacket, “that goes all down through your clothes “and dislodges your bollocks from the side ofyour thigh “when you’re standing in the supermarket queue so you don’t have to do this, “‘Hey, Mrs Johnson, how’s it going?”‘ (CROWD LAUGHS) “But he hasn’t appeared, that particular genius hasn’t showed up yet, “men are still not free, one day somebody will figure out “how to quietly peel the octopus from the wall of the aquarium tank “but not yet!” (CROWD CHEERlNG) “l didn’t ask for any of this! “Sonny Jim, okay! “You sit around on Sunday mornings propped up on your elbow, “looking at your beautiful girlfriend brushing crumbs of toast “from her beautiful breasts with her coppery hair falling all around her shoulders “and she’s looking at you, thinking you know, “‘When are you going to get a job,’ as you talk about your fucking “starts ups and your pop ups. “And the organic runway and how you’re the eyes inside the bleeding edge of the cloud “and you’re going to deep dive your own dot bomb and all that shit. “And she’s thinking, ‘When is this guy ever gonna earn any money “‘or am I gonna pay the rent by myself ’til we’re both dead, is that the deal?’ “And a few years later you’ll have a child “and she’ll walk up to you one day after an argument and say, “‘Here, hold the kid, I’m going for a walk,’ “and you won’t be sure if she’s ever gonna come back. “And then a little while after that you’ll start waking up in the morning “and putting your hand in the sock drawer “and pulling out and putting on whatever is in there “as long as it’s not a bra or the torso of an action figure. “You don’t need a bra anyway ’cause your t-shirt has ridden up overnight “and sits nice and snuggly there where you need it.” (CROWD LAUGHS) “And you’ll just be glad to be alive. “You don’t know anything right now, “all you know is romance, that’s the easy stuff! “Standing around your loft apartment, you’re both dressed in white “throwing each other annoying looks all day long. “The cats are walking over the piano “and giving each other more annoying looks, ‘Oh, I know you, you know me, “‘l know you, we have made love 10 minutes ago, “‘we will probably do it again in another 10 minutes, “‘l know you and your crazy genitals.’ “The cats are drinking espressos and reading the Sunday supplements.” (CROWD LAUGHS) “Let me tell you something, when you really know somebody, “when you both really know each other you don’t look at each other at all! “You don’t need to, you can feel each other walking into the postcode. “It’s like that old song ‘why do birds suddenly burst into flames.’ “I’m talking about love! “Not romance, “that thing that makes you grip your own skull and scream for death “and then look up and say, ‘Coming!’ “That special something that gives you the energy to go and “pick scatter cushions with another human being. “Even though you have no clear conception of what a scatter cushion might be “or why anybody would buy a cushion and throw it away. “You agree to do this even though the person you’re doing it with “has an inhuman degree of refinement in the act of choosing “and they look at you with an intense face and say, ‘What about this one, “‘do you think it’s green enough to be green, green?’ “ls that even a question? Can that be answered? “l don’t know. “‘What about this, do you think the waffles underneath it are creepy? “‘Feel them.’ ‘I’m feeling them, okay, I’m feeling them.’ “‘Are they creepy waffles?’ “‘l don’t know, to be perfectly honest with you.’ “‘But they’re creepy cause they’re underneath.’ “‘Well, couldn’t you turn it over?’ “‘Don’t be insane! “‘What about this one, do you think it’s weird?’ “‘Well, it’s a bit weird.’ “‘Why are you saying that, I knew you would say that!’ “‘Well, it’s made out of willow twigs and snow and krill, “‘it’s a little weird, it has a heron skull in the middle also.’ “‘l knew you would say that, you never let me get anything I want.”‘ But you know, you figure it out, it takes time but you figure it out. Basically, in any relationship you work this out, it took me years, one of you is Bert, one of you is Ernie. That is what it comes down to, one of you is really good at chopping up vegetables really small and explaining factional loyalties in the Middle East. And the other one is really good at saying, “Help! I’m locked outside, I can’t feel my arms!” (CROWD LAUGHS) Let’s have a little break, I’ll see you in a minute, thanks, bye.

Thank you, thank you. Okay, now, so… I don’t remember what we, how we ended this the last… I don’t, but anyway, the um, this is my… I realised I am very lucky to have this job, um, you know I know lots of people that do similar stuff, they make things, they work in theatre, you know? People who come into places like this and they go… “Oh, I love this space, I love it! “ls there any way we could make it bigger and smaller at the same time? “Somebody get me a cappuccino, please, no coffee or milk. “l love this…” You know, tossers, they’re my friends. People are scared, the young people out there are worried about getting jobs and everything and you know, resentful also, not just thinking my generation is weird ’cause we’re middle aged but also resenting us ’cause you know, nowadays there’s no money, no jobs, the planet has about eight weeks left. Well, you know, we’re sorry and everything but we had a long weekend and it got out of hand. We needed iToilets, that’s what happened. You’re always whining, you lot though, I mean look on the bright side, you’ve got Mars, that’s exciting. You can pick out the bath mats for that and everything and enjoy the solar wind. We’ll all be dead but you’ll have a great time. I mean, my children are in the school system, they panic about jobs and what’s gonna happen out there, they freak out ’cause all the exam stress and all that stuff. They keep changing the exams and everything and they come in and say, look at this maths, what the… x-y=c and c is an integer and also maybe a negative value, hmm? What’s that? They’re panicking. I say, “Don’t panic.” They say, “Of course we’re panicking ’cause we’ve heard the news, “it’s hard out there, what do we do?” I say, “Listen, don’t panic, when we get panicky we get snappy “like you’re being right now, and also we get shaky. “We look for the little door under the stairs and we go in there “and we rock back and forth, don’t we? “Milk builds up at the front of the house, cats take over, we die, they come, “they kitten into our skulls and then “our corpses are found by future generations. “It’s distressing, so let’s not panic… “x-y=c integer, what’s it all about? “Look, here’s a pound, “you know almost instinctively “how many sweets you can buy with a pound, right? “Here’s the thing, here’s five pounds, “imagine how many teeth you can make explode with this. “l didn’t understand all that maths stuff the first time around, “l am not looking at it again, take the money, I’ll see you later!” ‘Cause, you have to be straight with your kids. It’s confusing out there. My son comes to me and he says, “Hey, Dad, can I get an ice-cream?” And I say, “Have you cleaned your room?” He says, “No,” I say, “Well no, “work and reward, that’s how it goes, no chore, no ice-cream.” He goes, “Yeah but Dad, I’m just talking about you know, a thinking person’s ice-cream. “No flake, no sprinkles, just you know, I’ve got to work a couple of things out. “Come on, Dad, I’m from the old country like you, come on.” I say, “Forget it! I’ve got a headache we’ve spoken about it so many times,” and he goes, “Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, “a ball of ice-cream suspended mid air, no cone or anything, “I’ll run around very quick underneath it. Come on, Dad, “be a mensch, don’t put it through the books.” And I say, “I’ve got a headache,” and he says, “Would you like an ice-cream?” “l would like an ice-cream actually.” “l can make that happen.” “Okay there’s the money, I’ll clean your room.” You have to have a system. You have to have a system. Now I wasn’t ready… I’ve got a fantastic daughter as well, 17 years old but she still takes the time, that’s the nice thing, she still takes the time to sit down beside me and go, “Ew! You’ve got hair in your ears, “you couldn’t get any more disgusting but you did! “Ew! “Here, I’m gonna take a selfie of your ear, look at that, “look at the pig’s bum on your head.” The thing is, you know, I wasn’t ready for children, of course I wasn’t, I’m a man, men are not ready for anything, men spend their whole lives going, “Huh, now? Really? Ah, okay, ah, ah…” That’s how they die. (WHlMPERlNG) Not ready for any of it. Women are ready, women imagine it, emotionally, imaginatively, they have a time machine, they can travel, and imagine possible futures, ’cause they’re interested in life, you know, they’re quite interested in living. Men are afraid of life ’cause it involves loss so, and change, and they can’t stand that. Women go, “Yes, maybe this, maybe that,” they imagine a possible future with children and they go, “Yeah, let’s do that.” They know the man’s not going to be ready, he goes, “Yeah, one day, not today.” ‘Cause men are really good at wanting things. They go around wanting things. “Where is all the stuff I want? Is it here? “No? Fuck it!” And children are really good at needing things, and that trumps wanting. Because, I mean, children have weird needs. I didn’t know the things they need, they need pets, it’s not a whim, it’s not a fanciful desire, it’s a need. For years the children were coming to me going, “Daddy, please! Daddy please!” “No,” I said, “be gone!” In my throne of skulls in the kitchen, “Leave this place!” “Daddy, please! “A little furry with eyes and it goes mm-hmm, “please!” “Leave now! Take your sister with you.” In the end, you know, I realised, it’s good for the children, of course it’s good for the children. The child is, you know, with the parents all the time, looking after it, and they are in charge of this child and the child has to do whatever they say, whatever is going on. “Eat the crazy food we made. “Oh, look we’re having an argument, what’s happening, nobody knows, “never mind, it will all be fine tomorrow, “probably, good night!” So of course the child wants a little creature it can look after and you know, care for and say, “Have you been a good guinea pig? Have you been good guinea pig? “Have you been good guinea pig! “How would you know, you have no moral compass! “Do this maths homework!” And… You know really, the other thing is, I mean it’s the way people learn about grief, that’s the other function of pets, that’s the truth of course. When you open the door of the pet shop, really what you’re saying is, “Which thing that dies do you want?” That’s the truth. So they chose a hamster and the hamster was this size, this size, okay? He ate my couch, and he… There was one leg left and some foam, that was it, grrr, then he ate the cables to the fridge, then he ate the lnternet, and then he fucked off, gone. The pamphlet from the pet shop said look for a bad smell, we found 4859 different bad smells and no hamster. When we did find him, it was a week later in the hotel my children had made me buy him. He was dead at his desk, he had been writing prison poetry. Tiny bottle of Jack Daniels beside him and a pile of pills. Both hands down his shorts, he had been writing terza rima. And then of course we had floods of tears, all over the house, floods of tears, wailing, weeping, nashing and then more replacements. There was Dieter, Fenula, Cukoo, all these different people arrived, guinea pigs, hamsters arrived and they would last about seven minutes. They’d come in and go, “Hi, I’m so excited to be working with you people, “I’ve heard a lot about you here, very, very exciting time for me, ahh!” And they would have a stroke, that’s it, and then the tiny garden at the back of the house is a mass grave full of these fuckers. One morning my wife woke me up, I just heard this voice, Sunday morning, 7 a.m., midnight, right? And I am in deep communion with the pillow, the pillow is here, I hear this voice, “Dylan.” “What?” “Dylan, wake up.” “What, what is it?” “The rabbit.” “What rabbit?” (NOlSES) “No, listen, the rabbit is dead!” (GROANS) “No, really! He is. “Listen, he has no head.” (LAUGHS) I had to get up. I went into the garden and there was this perfect rabbit, perfect! Not a hair out place, not a drop of blood not a blade of grass moved, no head! Nothing, and a five layer modernist fox shit right beside him. Might as well have had a card on it saying, “That’s how I do, I see you later!” It was amazing. The threat, and then we had to get a dog, they wanted to get a dog. “Dog, dog, dog,” “No, no, no, no, no.” I’m saying. Now, of course we have a dog, of course we do, because I’m the father, people don’t listen to fathers, that’s the truth. ‘Cause fathers are not considered people in families, they’re not. A big force, yes, an elemental force even, sure, but not a person. Look at the Christmas presents fathers get. Nobody knows who this guy is, that’s why they come up to him… That’s why they come up to him and they go, “Here you go, we got you a… what is it, “it’s a woolly penguin, you squeeze it and says ‘fuck’ in Dutch! “You might like it.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) They don’t know who he is. “It’s a giant clog made out of lunch meats from all over the world. “You get into it and it plays the Austrian national anthem. “l don’t know, we thought it may be your thing.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) They don’t know who the guy is. So, of course we have a dog. Now, I don’t want to be here standing, talking about my fucking dog either, okay, that was never the plan for me. I didn’t want a dog, I didn’t want to stand up here and talk about it. You know, I remember passing these guys in the hills around where we live. These guys standing there in their barber jackets with some huge animal on the lead, taking a shit in the weeds and they would look at you with this face as if to go, “What can you do, eh?” Well you could not look around for excuses for giving up on your dreams, you fucking loser, that’s what you could do. I used to think that, I didn’t say it, now I don’t think it, I just say, “Morning, Bob.” So, anyway… So we were going to get this pup, from this friend of mine, and… He wanted to meet in this coffee shop place near where he lives, so I went and it’s one of these places, and they’ve popped up everywhere, they’re everywhere now, London’s full of them. You know what I’m talking about, they’re really cool, and this stripped back wood, and just bare brick, no real furniture just coffee sacks, it’s too cool for furniture, just coffee sacks and half of an old surf board signed from the 1950s, something like that… Very intimidating ifyou are of a certain age. I walked in, I was the only person who did not have an Edwardian cricketers beard. Very excluded I felt and everybody has a lot of tattoos. Tattoos used to be an anchor or a girl or a tiger, now there is the Book of Deuteronomy, and it’s becoming Lord of the Rings, it doesn’t stop, it just goes wrap around the whole, piercings everywhere, it looked like somebody’d gone by the building and just gone… -(lMlTATES SHOOTlNG) -(AUDlENCE LAUGHS) A lot ofvery earnest conversations, “Mmm, mmm, “yes, Hugo, we should, we should open a cauliflower bar, “we fucking should. “Yeah, brilliant idea, “a ukulele patio, that’s fucking great idea Miles. “Yeah, let’s do it, let’s crowdsource that shit.” People having those conversations, the tattoos, the piercings, one man with an actual javelin through his chest, nodding in the corner. So I’m very intimidated. I go up to the chief beard in front of his Harley Davidson coffee machine, there’s too many coffees, there’s too many different types of coffee. I wouldn’t… “Fetafetaggo”, I don’t want that, scaraccino, just give me a cup of coffee please. I say, “Do you put two shots in the coffee here?” He goes “Yeah!” Like I’d insulted generations of his family. I say, “Well, can I get it in a slighter bigger cup please, thank you,” and he went “Yeah, you could,” and he didn’t move. I thought maybe this is a new thing too so I just stood there looking at him, he didn’t move, thinking…. “Hmm. “Make it so… “l know you’re resentful of me and everything “because you have a degree in Marine accountancy or whatever it is, “and you have to pour coffee for a living but that’s the way it happens sometimes… “Just please, can you do this, what happens next?” And he is staring at me and he said, “You could, but you’re going to lose the umami-ness of the single origin bean.” That’s what the man said, okay. I said, “Okay, but you can still do it, right?” It was pretty neutral, very mature, isn’t it mature? Then he said, “Yeah, but it will get radially diffused on the camber of the cup.” I don’t know what I said then, ’cause we were on the street all of a sudden and he was saying some stuff about coffee, I was making some speculations about him and his place in the universe and in what possible continuum he might get laid. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) And it ended with me walking away and him shouting after me, “Enjoy your attitude problem, enjoy your life.” So I was really, really mad, okay, I was furious mainly at myself for losing my temper. So I go to my friend’s house, and my friend is annoying at the best of times. He didn’t understand the situation at all. He’s one of these people that’s always keeping up with cool stuff and telling me what I should watch and read and what I should be doing and all, you know… “Have you seen the new Scandinavian crime series?” “l haven’t, no.” “It’s brilliant!” (FAKE SCANDlNAVlAN LANGUAGE) “It’s Finnish, it translates as ‘hush,’ “It’s about these… “It’s about these three detective fishermen who get trapped in the hut over the winter, “they’re all in love with each other, “one of them goes deaf because it’s so cold, “the other one gets fat because he’s got a lot of bait hidden in the hood of his parka. “The other one is narcoleptic and insomniac, he spends the whole time just doing this.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) “lt lasts for a year and a half, “you have to see it in the original Finnish otherwise you lose all the ‘nawaganas,’ “which is Finnish for nuance.” So, there’s all that, right, and he didn’t understand the coffee situation. He was just following me around going, “How can you argue with the coffee guy? “‘Hi, can I get coffee,’ how can you have an argument?” I didn’t want to talk to him. I just wanted to sit down. I wanted to sit down, and I tried to sit down on this woolly chair but it shat on me. And then he came running over, “Oh, you found the dog, “you found the dog!” ‘Cause he didn’t have a proper dog, you know, he had one of these modern fucking “fadududuru schnoodle” dogs. What happened to dogs? The dogs. You know dogs, Labradors, I grew up with those classic dogs. Labradors, it’s a human being in dog form, you know what it is, it’s walking around going, “Have you seen my glasses? “l don’t know where they are I can’t find the… Where is it? “I’m sorry, have you got the crossword?” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) Even if they’re annoying you can recognise them, you know a spaniel, you know, is like some drunk auntie at a party, one whose ears keep going into their mouth and they have to spit them out. I’m a spaniel, I’m a spaniel, I’ll always be a spaniel. Or the St Bernard, they are ludicrous looking but you know what they are, they are that dog, the one where, you go up the mountain, because you’re a dick. All those people doing those sports, ridiculous sports, calling you in the middle of the night in January, “Hi. I’m stuck up the mountain, it didn’t go well…” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) The mountain at night in January, how does it go right? “What are you doing?” “We are having a curry, go away,” click. All of those people doing those sports, fly diving and hole finding. They’re responsible for their own actions, okay. If you want a sense of danger, stop wasting everybody’s time, okay? Blindfold yourself and walk around your flat, have a friend hit you with a stick. (AUDlENCE LAUGHlNG) But, if you go up the mountain, you know the dog, it’s the dog that comes over and drinks brandy watching you die, it’s that dog. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) But he didn’t have a proper dog. He didn’t have a proper one, he had one of these dogs, you don’t know what they are. It looks like a car wash with teeth, you don’t what it is. And he came running over saying, “You found him, that’s our ‘Schnaper Daniel.”‘ He’s on his knees tickling the dog. “He’s called Mr Beans, isn’t he adorable? “We called him Mr Beans “because the first thing he did when he came into the apartment was “he jumped up on that table over there and he ate a plate of beans. “lsn’t that adorable?” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) I said, um… “l also like beans. “My name is not Mr Beans. “My name is Mr Shit Shoes, ’cause I have shit on my shoes. “When you are quite finished giving Mr Beans a hand job, or whatever you are doing there, “l would like a towel or a shovel or something okay, thank you very much.” Because the thing is he had gone for the easy relationship. Which is with a dog, that is not challenging. The dog never says anything difficult, like at meal times, doesn’t turn around and go, “Tut, tut, tut, why do you do that thing with your mouth? “Are you always going to do that, “am I going to have to look at that shit for the rest of my life?” All the dog ever says is, “l can’t believe you came home again, I can’t believe you came home again.” Is that it? Is that all the challenge you want in your life? (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) I happen to live with somebody who’s very stimulating, who asks me deep, philosophical questions that are hard to answer. Like she’ll walk through the kitchen and see me and go… “You’re wearing that shirt?” “It’s looking that way…” “But we’re going out, out of the house, people will see me with you, “works out rather well for you. “You look like you make a living fighting pigs in a hole, “put a different fucking shirt on.” I don’t argue, I don’t argue, I am not good at the arguing thing, it’s not my field. Some people are good at it. Somebody who knows you, don’t argue with someone who really knows you, ’cause they can just flip you, one handed. She knows all the moves. She’ll walk in, “You’re in a bit of a weird mood… Ah!” There’s no way you don’t react to that. “What, what do you mean?” Huh! “Well look, you’re being so aggressive.” And then you sort of twig what’s going on and then you go, “l am not, I am not, I’m not aggressive.” “Well, you’re very passive aggressive.” “l am not passive aggressive.” “Okay, but you’re very defensive or something, “I’ll see you later when you’re in a better mood.” And you’re just left there going… (SCREAMS) Very hard to think of a comeback. “You are just using me for sex!” -Um… -(AUDlENCE LAUGHS) But the thing is it’s great to be known by another person as well. You don’t know what to give each other at anniversaries ’cause you’ve been together for so long. You know? It’s not like when you first meet, there you go, cotton or silk or whatever it is, or when you are ancient you just roll on top of one another open your mouth and rubies fall out. It’s this ambiguous middle passage, nobody knows what you’re supposed to do, 18 years, 17 years, “There you go, “There’s a remote control covered in Nutella, I thought you’d enjoy that.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) You gotta work it out, you know. How you’re gonna do it. I mean, what happens is, you end up dividing tasks. You know, you are good at this, the other person is good at the other thing. My wife is, one of her areas is, you know, the future. What that is, where it’s happening, what time it starts, what’s gonna happen in it. The past is also something she has made her own. What actually happened, who is responsible, how the crime shall be remembered. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) Sometimes while we’re busy talking about something else! And my overwhelming resemblance to all the villains in history. Also the present is something she curates, something she understands. But no one person can do everything, that’s out of balance in a relationship, you can’t have that, that’s, you know, it’s stupid, so, I taste the crisps. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) There’s a lot of new flavours out there now. Beetroot and vertigo, Horseradish and deja vu, people don’t know how to approach those sometimes, you have to step in for them and tell them it’s okay… You know, you work it out… And of course it’s very rewarding, but people are misrepresented, men are misrepresented to women, you know, they’re always built up as heroes in films and so on. My favourite bit in those action films is when the ordinary guys who turns out to be a hero turns around to his own family and goes, “Everybody just shut up, stop arguing, “do what I’m saying, trust me for a minute!” That’s when all my family burst out laughing and point at me, and go, “Hahahah, imagine how quickly we would be dead.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) “lmagine all the different ways we would be dead.” Men are not heroes by and large, you know, you make it to middle age, you’re not hero most of the time, you are just, a jelly baby with a few quid. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) Women are misrepresented of course as well. I mean young men are full of nonsense about women, now, because of all the way they’re described, also because of pornography, that’s part of it. I didn’t know anything about pornography growing up, it didn’t exist in lreland. If somebody had a picture of a woman’s arse, it was a huge deal. People would start arranging ferries. There were power surges in the infrastructure. Now, you wake up and go, “Take the anal wall paper away, I just want some Weetabix please.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) Why are they called adult films anyway, what’s all that about? What’s adult about putting a part of yourself in and out of somebody else thousands of times in the space of a couple of minutes and looking pretty unhappy about it? A really adult film would be some bored looking woman sitting at a kitchen table looking out a rainy window and some depressed looking guy comes around the corner and says, “The bowel condition is fatal.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) And she goes, “Mmm, well I still don’t love you.” And then “The End” appears. That’s an adult film. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) But women are misrepresented because a lot of young men are told about hot babes, “Check out these hot babes, look at these hot babes, “listen to these hot babes walking around on modern flooring surfaces, “look at them, look at this hot babe over here taking her contact lenses “in and out, ooh, that’s hot. “What about this one? Look at her, she’s thinking of moving to Shrewsbury, mmm. “Saucy! “What about this one over here on the bus, “staring at her feet wishing they were a bit smaller. “She’s regretting that argument she had with her sister at Easter, ooh, that’s hot!” All women are hot, scientifically they are hot because they all regulate their temperature in a totally different way to men. Now this is the science section, okay. Some of you don’t understand science, it will sound like generalisations. They… (CLEARS THROAT) The… (APPLAUSE) During the day, the day light hours all women, all over the world, are freezing. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) And there’s a reason for this, it’s got to do with information processing. Women, as you know, were the original model for the lnternet. If the woman is doing something and she goes over here, she travels, she goes somewhere else, she goes, “Oh, I’m over here now, oh, it’s windy, oh look I found a grapefruit, brilliant, “I’m bringing that home.” She talks to another woman, “What’s it like over there?” “Well, it’s a bit windy but you get a grapefruit.” “Brilliant.” That’s the lnternet! Now. A man gets hold of a piece of information, he thinks, “Hahaha, I have an advantage over everybody!” He curls into a ball and dies there on that spot. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) It’s a totally different process, I know this ’cause I come home with a cool story to share with my wife, you know, this is just a gender split, ’cause I’ll come home with a cool story like you know, “l saw your friend in the supermarket!” You see, that’s something to share. And… And she’ll… I’m not a trained sociologist with a coat and everything, but then, what they probably call, all the crazy shit starts because she turns around with her insane requirement for detail, she’ll turn around and say, “Oh, really! Who?” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) I don’t… You have 4,000 friends, I have no idea, there was a woman I recognised, she has big hair. “Oh, Angela!” “Yeah. I think that’s her, yeah.” “ls her husband’s cousin’s orthodontist back from Peru?” “l don’t know that, I don’t know… “She was buying tomatoes, I didn’t talk to her in case she asked me something.” It’s a totally different way of sharing information. So all women during the day are freezing because all the kilojoules in their bodies are burnt up, by knowing everything about everybody around them, for a two-mile radius. And to make it worse, everybody they live with is a clueless zombie. So the women are standing around all day generally just freezing, just feeling cold, “Oh God! Somebody give me a cardigan, “please fix the draught, what’s with the fucking radiator in this house, “what’s wrong with everybody? “Nobody knows anything, they’re gonna come in and ask me stuff, “here they come, here they come “and they come, ‘Hey, have you seen my…’ ‘Yeah I put on the stairs an hour ago, “‘l knew you’d want it yeah, are you running for the train? “‘Yes, I made you a sandwich, I knew you wouldn’t think of it, “‘Yes, it’s vegetarian. That’s gonna last for a day and a half, you fucking moron. “‘What is that dear? Irregular Spanish verbs, “‘yeah, bring them over here, I can’t wait, there you go. “‘There you go, yeah.”‘ Freezing all day long, she gets into bed, she’s doing nothing, she falls asleep. Boom! She goes on fire. (LAUGHS) And then turns around and says, “Why do you never put your arms around me any more?” “That’s because I want them back, that’s why. “l don’t want two charred stumps. Thank you very much. “Nobody told me I was marrying fissile material. “What are you burning in there?” (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) And… They’re all hot. Now, you know, I’m not a hero, but I sort of imagine like most people, I think of myself as reasonably, not brave, but you know, sanguine or cool about most things, and… I said that after… We got this film, we were watching this film, it was, you know, a heroic film and I was thinking, I can’t do any of that stuff, but I can’t remember the last time I was really afraid and my wife said, “Oh, well, I can.” (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) We were watching television and she was right, ’cause it was one of those scary films, I love bad scary films, that’s what it was, it was from the ’70s or ’80s, it was terrible, it was you know, creaky landing and a woman with a nightgown with a candle, and there was a window with net curtains going “ooh,” and my wife was petrified, it is very funny watching, I wasn’t watching the film, I was just watching her. ‘Cause she was going, “Oh, the candle, the curtain, the curtain, the candle, “oh, something’s gonna happen.” I was laughing and falling around, I went to get some more wine or a cup of tea or whatever it was, I came back and she flipped to that thing, where babies, actual babies are coming out of real people! Born in a minute, that thing, and they are coming out and I was going, “Ah, no, no, no!” And she was saying “What’s the matter?” Eating lasagne. “It’s just twins.” -And… -(AUDlENCE LAUGHS) She’s feeling very brave then but she couldn’t handle it if there were curtains down there going “ooh,” and the babies came out with a candle going, “ahh, ahh.” So different things get you and the other thing that got me was we were walking along the river, and I don’t like heights or the dark, they are pretty much universal fears. I thought I was good with everything else but I don’t like small flying objects coming at me at high speed. And that’s what happened, a small flying object came at me at high speed, I shrieked as I fell, I’m a practical person. (CLEARS THROAT) Got into the foetal position, you hear a lot about how empathetic women are, I am not sure how empathetic my wife was feeling at the time ’cause she was busy laughing, it was that silent laughter where there’s nothing, she was just rocking. And after about half a minute she was able to work me into her schedule and go, “A leaf, “a leaf, a leaf, a leaf.” (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) In some cultures people would probably call that fear. And um… (CLEARS THROAT) (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) But… Actually I’ve talked for far too long, I should go. The… I’m gonna tell you this and then I’m gonna go. I don’t think… I don’t… Oh, thanks, that’s very, that’s very… There’s nothing left. (AUDlENCE APPLAUDS) There is but I am not going to remember it. You get to a certain part and that’s it, the car stops. Then it’s this, okay. One of the few things I can imagine that probably is easier, a bit easier for women, if you happen to be a woman, is flirting… That’s because it’s hard for men, there’s no guide, at least there’s a protocol for women, there’s a template, there’s something you’ve seen before. You know. In films and so on, the woman talks to someone and goes… “Oh yeah I’m kind of interested, “maybe a little talking and then maybe slightly laughing. “Hahaha yeah, well, I suppose it’s possible. “And then slightly more intrigued and listening and… mmm yeah… “And then maybe slightly shy about her own interests, looking away but “not being able to resist looking back frankly more interested this time and looking, “and thinking and then hahaha! Laughing and enjoying, “Oh, you really are rather, hmm… “And then revealing something more of herself possibly, “maybe just as a suggestion by accident and then disappearing.” So that person is left going, “Who is that amazing woman, wow!” Try that as a man. (AUDlENCE LAUGHS) Talking to a woman going, “Yeah, yeah, hahaa. (MUMBLlNG) “Oh, I looked too interested there, look away! “Wait, wait, I can’t help it, I have to look back. “I’m really interested.” “Hahahah.” (LAUGHS) “Judging just the right amount of scrotum to reveal before you.” (LAUGHS) Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. (LOUD CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) Thanks a lot. Night, night. (CHEERlNG AND APPLAUDING) (CHEERlNG AND APPLAUDING)

Okay! Okay. I forgot a thing. It’s not a huge surprise. So look, I’m going to do this, this is what happened. This book came out a couple of years ago and it was very famous, it was around for a while, it was around for a long time actually and the movie is just out recently and when the book came out I was thinking, “Oh, that will go away,” and it didn’t. So, I got very intrigued. I went down to the book shop and I read a little bit standing there. It was called Fifty Shades of Grey. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) And it’s just an erotic novel, it’s written, you know, it’s targeted at women. So, it’s, you know, obviously interesting… Well it is ’cause it’s such a success and I was reading a bit and I thought this is kind of funny but it’s also got to be possibly an easier way to make a living. So… I started, I started… It doesn’t have a title, there’s no title, it’s just called Erotic Fiction Blockbuster. Okay. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) So, I hope my hair looks good. The… (CLEARS THROAT) If you get aroused, don’t worry about it, it’s happening to everybody… (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) “Yes!” You see that, straight in there… “Yes! She said, “looping with her fingers a wayward glossy comma of fringe from her brow, “yes, yes, yes, yes, yes… “‘Who are you?’ he said. “‘What are you doing in my bathroom?’ “She approached him like a panther, “a drunk panther who was walking on their back legs as a party trick. “She looked at his midriff “naked under his vest, shirt, cardigan and three quarter length duffel coat. “Her breast heaved… “She saw the testicles bag twisting against his knee… “Her other breast heaved. “‘What’s in the bag?’ she said. “He stepped closer, wary, frightened, disbelieving, disorientated “but definitely aroused. “‘What’s in my bag?’ He said. “She raised her chin to him “showing no trepidation apart from some brief intense fiddling “with her hospital bracelet. “He stepped closer. Cruelly, deliciously, his duffel buttons pressed into her, “she thought she might cum, right there all over the loofah and everything. “His gaze was stern, unyielding like an Easter lsland head stuck in traffic.” (AUDlENCE LAUGHS, APPLAUDS) “‘Soup,’ he said! “Although because he had a cleft palate, it came out as ‘Clup!’ “‘Bite me using only your gums,’ she screamed, “‘Fling me into a windmill, “‘hide my phone charger.”‘ Thank you very much everyone, I’ll see you later, night, night. (CROWD APPLAUDS AND CHEERS)