The Company Of Women
Despite what you might have heard about us media types, I actually feel a bit awkward when people offer me free tickets to gigs. It's not that I worry about some Daily Mail expose of my free-loading lifestyle, it's more about the potential for something to go wrong when you turn up at the venue and tell them your "name's on the list". I think you're supposed to feel like a VIP in these circumstances, but I always feel like a scrounger.
Well, the Glasgow Comedy Festival is in full swing and my nervousness started tonight at Oran Mor where comedian Ali Park had invited me to see her 'Company of Women' show.
"No that's not on tonight," said the girl in the box office. This was confusing, to say the least and having just walked from Pacific Quay to Byres Road (on doctor's orders) I was trying to work out how much I could claim back in shoe leather. But then the girl continued.
"No it's a comedian called Ali Park tonight."
"Yes, that's who I mean. I think... my name's on the list."
And so, a few minutes later, I was sitting in an audience of several hundred laughter-seekers only six of whom were of the male persuasion. I was one of those six, in case you were wondering.
Now, I thought it was a good show. Ali - and her two co-stars - do a fine job with their observations of womanhood in 21st century Scotland. She divides her spiel into different episodes including one about a dieting class and another involving a Govan mum preparing for a hen-weekend in Spain. It's funny stuff.
I smiled, I laughed, I clapped.
But some people just don't know how to keep their emotions in check. There were women behind me actually weeping with laughter...others were screaming and squealing and literally falling off their chairs. I mean it...actually slipping onto the floor and still laughing like a drain. That's what I call getting your money's worth.
When the show finished, I hung around in the bar for ten minutes, sipping a diet cola and hoping that Ali would appear so I could thank her for the invite. But I was now the only man in the room and I began to think that my "hanging around" might be misconstrued as "lurking". You know the type of blokes I mean. They usually look like me.
Besides, I had another venue to get to...another place where a friend in the comedy business had told me he would leave my name at the door.
But of course he hadn't and the girl at the box office left her post to consult two different managers before telling me I couldn't get in. Well, to be fair, I noticed the queue of young guys behind me was turning into an ugly mob so I told the girl not to worry and made my escape.
Of course the "friend" phoned fifteen minutes later, full of apologies and clearly worried that I would hold a grudge against him for the rest of his life.
Now, does that sound like me?