This is a rehashed version of my first ever stand-up comedy routine. I’ve retired quite a lot of it now, so I thought I’d share it here. I’ve now done four stand-up gigs, and I’m keen to do more this year!
I’m talking about lies. Not the little lies we tell people – like “Mum, he’s not unemployed, he’s a musician”, or “Your best mate? I don’t know what women see in him…”
No, this is about the big ones – the lies sold to us by the ad industry, the wellspring of mendacity. I’m talking about the creams that promise to “Reverse the seven signs of ageing.” According to the ad men, these signs are “Fine lines and wrinkles, rough skin texture, blotches etc etc etc.” And you wonder why Amy Winehouse doesn’t get a gig advertising this stuff…
So as not to alienate the men reading this, here’s a handy tip so you can tell which adverts these are. They’re the ones featuring the women you used to fantasise about when you were 15, and they haven’t changed at all. It’s like magic! Or Photoshop. One of them, anyway.
But these are not the seven true signs of ageing, oh no. I’ve figured out what the real seven signs of ageing are, and there’s not cream in the world that can reverse them.
Number one – and this is one that comes all too fast – is when the number in the back of your knickers is no longer your age. Now I think this numerical size/age system of knicker-numbering is too confusing. Maybe that’s where Gary Glitter was going wrong. He was probably thinking “Hmmm – 8 to 10…sexy…”.
Number two is the dawning realisation that the only way you’ll ever be 8 stone again is if you lose one of your legs.
Now I went along to WeightWatchers lately – mainly because I hate myself – and this is the weird thing: I’ve been getting thinner, but I’ve been putting on weight. So basically I’m just becoming more and more dense – and I’m wondering how far is this going to go?
Perhaps I’ll get so dense I’ll soon have my own gravitational field. I’ll be walking down the street and small moons will start orbiting around me. And finally, I will prove my mother right – the universe will really revolve around me.
Three (and four)
Three and four come together – when all your mates have babies. Honestly, it’s like a zombie infestation – their brains are gone and all they can talk about is morning sickness or real nappies or how their little darling Ovaltina is already doing calculus at the age of 18 months. Well I might not have recently produced anything more impressive than a large poo, but at least I don’t wet myself when I laugh.
And you know you’re getting old when you finally prise them away from their precious little bundle of joy for a night out, and you try to get in somewhere – the bouncers turn you away for being covered in sick (“It’s not her sick!”).
Then once you get in somewhere, you spend the whole time saying things like “Ooh, it’s a bit loud isn’t it, can’t we go somewhere where we can just talk?”. And finally,you get to the bar. Your mummy friend turns to you and says “Would oo like a dwinkie?”
Number five. Grey hair. And no, I don’t mean on your head. I mean down below. If you don’t think you’ve got any grey hairs on the lower deck, you need to do more yoga.
The very first grey hair I noticed was in my lady garden, when I had none on my head. I was terrified I was turning into this Dorian Gray character – by the time I’m fifty I’ll still have hair like Jennifer Aniston, but my lady bits will look like Barbara Cartland.
Number six is another biggie – settling down. When finally you find someone whose belching, farting, obsessive hobbies, lazy sex and crap taste in music you can actually put up with, everyone tells you to settle down. But the only way you can afford to buy a flat in London is to invent a time machine, go back in time and buy a small shed in Willesden in 1997.
And, to be honest, if you’d invented a time machine, there would be better things to do than speculate on the property market. Going back in time and stabbing whichever idiot TV exec decided that Big Brother was worth a second, let alone a tenth series, for example. It’s lasted longer than most marriages and it’s just as brutish, degrading and bereft of genuine emotional interaction.
I digress. Anyway, so you go trawling out to some horrendous shiny development of pokey two-beds out in the arse end of Essex. I saw an advert for one of these the other day – “Can’t afford to live in London? Lost the will to live? Move to Loughton!”
The best thing they could think of to make this development exciting was the fact it was surrounded by “mature trees”. Now, I don’t want to live somewhere with mature trees. I think it would be much more fun to live around immature trees.
Spotting them sneaking off round the back of the block craftily smoking Marlborough Lights and sniggering “Tee hee, he said ‘conkers’”? Rifling under hedges for discarded pages of Gardener’s World magazine? “Corr, look at that bush….”
And the seventh and final sign of ageing – this is the big one – is when you realise you’ve finally turned into your mother. Oh god – I’m listening to the Archers, I drive an estate car, I’m thinking about buying a dog, and I’m desperately trying to find reasons not to have to have sex with my dad.