Nauseate Ate Ate

I’m Keith.

Or at least, that’s what I tell people.

I’ve had a rather busy month, and it’s all about to come to a head. It’s not the best way to end an eventful few weeks, but it has to be done, and do it I will.

It started with a dare.

“I dare you,” said my Nan. “To live your life according to a pop song.”

“Which one?”

That was my first mistake. My Nan has a wicked sense of humour, and a mean streak that puts a bright glint in her eye.

The first part was easy. I just got a frozen one from Sainsbury’s and held it aloft in the garden. Then there was the obligatory Instagram photo my me pushing my nostril down on one of her pieces of garden furniture. I had to skip part three for a bit, so I dug a hole and dumped my wardrobe in it.

With my synovial joint suitably emerald, I was still wondering how I could afford a plane, especially after the hefty, and unnecessary dental bill. Convincing some musicians to join me was weirdly made easier by the deception I then adopted around my name. I couldn’t sing because of the swelling, and I don’t own a violin.

But I was always good at languages, so I skipped to that one, before deciding that I just couldn’t bring myself to do that to Rover. I ruminated on the morals of murder, whilst ruminating on an old exhaust pipe. That was easier than I had expected actually, because the odour from my ears actually gave it some edible taste.

So here I am, one hearty meal inside me, and one buried relative fewer, preparing to fall on my sword.

Well, spear.

Nan doesn’t think I’ve lived up to the spirit of the dare. I’ve failed to do three things. Well, four, but she’s going to use my skin afterwards for something, just by way of forfeit.

The spears are mounted on the wall, and all I can smell is salami.

Here we go.

Staring Into The Void

She’d been staring at the blinking cursor now for what seemed like days. When she checked the time, it had really only been a few hours.

And in those hours, she’d made enough coffee to fuel a battalion of soldiers for a week. She’d eaten too many mince pies, bought on offer because they were past their best before dates. The bath was cleaner. There was no fluff in her keyboard. And her phone screen was now fingerprint free.

All in all, she’d done nothing.

And still that bastard cursor blinked on the black screen, rhythmically taunting her with its relentlessness.

Relentlessness was a fun word to say, and a difficult one to type. She knew this because she had typed and deleted it half a dozen times in succession just to feel like she was writing.

There had to be better, more constructive ways to spend this time. A walk maybe. Clear the head. But it was raining. Hard. A stint on the exercise bike then? Except, she couldn’t remember where it was. She knew it was in the house somewhere, piled under some washing probably, but it would take longer to find it that it would to write this.

Deadlines were looming over her, casting shadows across her brain that just made seeing things in there that much harder.

She sighed.

There was nothing else for it.

She had to go down to the basement.

The light fizzled into life with a lethargy that felt far too apt. She should have followed her own advice. Just write one sentence. The next one would present itself, and before she knew it, the work would be done.

No.

She walked down the rickety stairs instead, listening to the creaking noise as she descended. She could feel it already, even though it was still out of sight. There was a cold breeze that didn’t move the air, somehow, one that bought her skin up in goosebumps as big as bubble wrap.

Her toes pressed into the dust covered basement floor, and she turned slowly to face it.

The Void.

It was black. With black light dancing and swirling around black mist in an atmosphere of blackness that was so bright and vibrant it made the back of her eyes throb.

There was nothing to do but stare into it.

And it stared back.

It offered no solutions.

It answered no questions.

It made no good points.

It just was. And it made her feel like nothing more than a speck of dust on a speck of dust. Hideous. Unloved. Worthless. Insignificant. Nothing.

An hour later, exhausted and drenched in cold sweat, she emerged from the basement and returned to her desk.

The cursor still blinked.

She went back down into the basement.

Fundation

Yesterday we had a look at The Entertainers briefly. Today, let’s explore another episode which introduced television viewers to Fundation. Fundation was a comedy troupe consisting of Gareth Hale and Norman Pace, Terry Morrison, Joe Griffiths, and Victy Silver.

It’s possible that this appearance lead to a Radio 4 show called Don’t Stop Now – It’s Fundation, which ran for three series between December of 1983 and August of 1986, but I don’t know the actual timings of this.

Norman Pace is particularly remarkable in this sequence, don’t you think?

Take a look at the full album on Flickr of the troupe’s time at The Tram Shed.

Hale and Pace went on to have their own show on LWT of course, starting in 1988 after a successful Christmas special in 1986. It’s a show that seems to get overlooked a bit too much really.

The Entertainers

It’s been a while since we had a delve into The Radio Times Guide To TV Comedy, and a random opening threw up the listing for The Entertainers. This was a Channel 4 show, produced by Paul Jackson, that aired for one series in 1983, and a special in 1984. Each week it featured new performers, including Ben Elton and Helen Lederer. It was broadcast at 8.30pm.

Hmm, so why are Channel 4 promoting the French & Saunders episode at 11.25pm?

It’s because they used the word ‘clitoris’. That was a word that scared people back then, more so than the word ‘penis’ which had gone out at 8.30pm on a previous episode. The word appeared in the sketch ‘Psychodrama’, and the show was a staging of their well-honed and well-received fringe tour. The Entertainers marked their televisual debut as a double act.

Paul Jackson was miffed by the rescheduling decision.

“We’d been trundling along nicely at two and a half million, and the figures never recovered. French and Saunders got about nothing.”