That's no yarmulke, it's a space station

Today I’m going to a Jewish wedding and I’m not happy because I’ve just found out that I’ve got to bring my own yarmulke/kippah/skull-cap.

This isn’t a logistical problem because I’ve been to Jewish weddings in the past and have been given a yarmulke each time. I now have a small collection of them which I keep between the heavy brass fittings that I would steal as a child each time our family went to “Sizzler” and the coffee mug of foreign coins that I’m too lazy to organise, but too stingy to throw away.

I figure the change is good for the collection box of any compulsory, Christian-church attendance (If God’s not happy with Euros, he can kiss my Costa Rican colón), the yarmulkes are fine for any Jewish weddings or impromptu indoor frisbee tournaments and I can use the brass fittings for braining any Mormons that actually make it through the front door. They’re my religious insurance collections.

The only reason that I’m bummed about having to bring my own yarmulke is that getting a free skull-cap is one of my favourite things about Jewish weddings. In fact, until today, that’s what I thought Jewish weddings were about: Joining two souls in the eyes of God, contract law & free hats. Also, my yarmulke collection is how I keep track of my Jewish wedding attendance. How will I know how many Jewish weddings I’ve attended if I don’t get a free hat?

Previously, this was an easy question to answer as: Jewish Weddings Attended = N (where N is the number of free yarmulkas next to the change mug). Now that I have to supply my own skull-cap, my equation will have to be updated to: JWA = N + 1 which a) is a clumsy expression, and b) is going to look horrible when I amend the original formula in my “Kent’s Big Book of Life Equations”.

Since updating the equation would be an administrative pain the arse, I’ve decided to take a radical course of action and make my own yarmulke for the wedding which I’ll wear and then add to the collection. I’ve cut a picture of the Death Star out of my Star Wars Annual (2009) and stuck it to a small circle of fabric the same size and shape as a regular yarmulke. Now, when I stand next to someone at the wedding, from the back, it will look like their head is about to become the victim of an intergalactic laser attack.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-02-14

  • Fablemonger for free tonight at the Builder's Arms in Kensington. Details at http://www.fablemonger.com #
  • Ahhh my old nemesis, Colney Hatch #Tesco What manner of sanitation or organisational fuck-up will you surprise & disgust us with today? #
  • What good can come of a day that starts with a muffin, filled with lemon custard? #
  • Its A-OK if you want to bow in subservience for the next 22 hours. It is my day, but I don't get royalties so your fealty can pay the rent. #

The Dwarf-Smurf Re-think

Last Saturday night I did a gig in Bristol where there were three stag parties, one of which had gone to a lot of effort. As I wrote later that night, one of the stag parties had “dressed as Smurfs, (blue paint & white curly wigs – technically inaccurate but visually arresting). The stag was dressed as Smurfette and handcuffed to a dwarf dressed as Papa Smurf. Yes, they’d hired the dwarf. He was being paid to spend the night topless, painted blue and chained to the leader of a cavalcade of cunts. I hope he was being paid a lot.”

I thought a lot about that dwarf over the next few days as I told a number of people about the STAG-SMURF-DWARF menage-a-wrong, which seemed to elicit exactly two reactions. Either the person I told was physically and intellectually appalled at the idea that a stag party had hired a dwarf, painted him blue and chained him to the stag, calling it a moral outrage and a strong indicator of a society in decline; or they thought that it was the best thing in the world.

I even decided that this was to be the point on which I judged all people. I didn’t care about your politics, your religion, your race or gender, just tell me what you think about a stag night hiring, painting and handcuffing a dwarf dressed as Papa Smurf?

Having seen the unhappiness on the dwarf’s face on the night and the behaviour of the stag party, I was siding with the moral outrage people.

I was angry that the stag party thought it was ok to hire someone for that purpose, I was angry for society for condoning the practice and I was even angry with the dwarf for taking the money. What kind of prostitute do you have to be to demean yourself like that? Performing like a clown for a bunch of drunk boorish cunts in blue?

Then I remembered that I’d done exactly that by taking the gig in the first place, and agreeing to perform for two hundred drunk stag and hens. When I realised that the only thing between me and the dwarf was a thin layer of blue paint (and forty inches), I promptly fell off my high horse.
I had initially thought that the stag night’s treatment of the dwarf was insulting, especially to persons of short stature. But then I thought, “why would they give a shit about him just because he’s also short? If he’s stupid enough to take the money, then he gets what he deserves.” I wouldn’t necessarily feel insulted on behalf of another man, or another Australian, or another comedian, if I saw them painted blue and then hand-cuffed to a dick on a night out. Assuming that there is a camaraderie amongst shorter people only serves to perpetuate the idea that it’s an us and them kind of situation.

Perhaps those men were in fact celebrating the dwarf, I mean let’s look at the facts:
1) The dwarf was the only person on the stag night being paid; all the rest of the guys would have been paying hundreds of pounds to be there.
2) The dwarf was drinking for free, whereas all the other men were constantly paid for drinks out of ever-dwindling stashes in their smurf pants.
3) The dwarf was dressed as Papa Smurf, the wisest and most knowledgeable of al the smurfs. This reflects the respect that the other smurfs afforded the dwarf as their spiritual leader.
4) The stag was hand-cuffed to the dwarf, not as punishment or some kind of humiliating hazing, but because by being handcuffed to Papa Smurf, he was constantly attached the wisest and most sensible of all his blue brethren.

In fact hiring the dwarf, dressing him as Papa Smurf and handcuffing him to the stag, was probably the most respectful thing that a bunch of drunk cocks could have done. In light of this, I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my previous post. Having said that, if I was really concerned about not causing offence, I wouldn’t be constantly referring to a person of shorter stature as a dwarf.

Wearing White

Today I’m covered in vomit and I don’t care. If I changed my clothes every time my daughter Florence spewed on me, I wouldn’t have time to leave the house; but this afternoon I took it too far towards the other end of the spectrum which was probably even worse.

While down at the green grocer, the man behind the counter pointed to my jumper and said, “I think that you have something on your top.” I didn’t really have the energy or inclination to lie about what it was, so I just told him “oh, that’s just vomit,” and when the look on his face changed from concern to horror I tried to allay his fears by following it up with, “but don’t worry, it’s not mine.”

To a stranger, the only thing more alarming than being blasé about being covered in your own vomit, is being blasé about being covered in someone else’s.

The problem was, whenever I heard someone say, “you’ve got vomit on yourself,” I assumed that they were doing it out of a concern for my appearance and the welfare of my clothing. The real reason that people will tell you about vomit on your clothing however, is to measure your mental stability by gauging your reaction to news of the spew. If you have a normal reaction to news of the vomit, “oh God, really? Do you have a cloth?” then people can rest easy that you’re ok and that the vomit/porridge/tipex/semen down your top is the result of an accident that probably wasn’t you’re fault.

If however, you react with, “don’t worry, it’s not my vomit,” you present yourself as an absolute fuck-trophy, seemingly incapable of recognising or acknowledging the social damage that can occur when you’ve got a suspicious white stain on your top.

I mean, what kind of toolbox gets vomited on by someone and doesn’t think or care to clean it off? As it happens, this kind of toolbox.

To be fair, baby vomit isn’t as bad as adult vomit: It’s watery, it doesn’t smell of chartreuse & regret and until your baby is eating solids, it’s blissfully carrot-free. But despite this, telling someone that the vomit on your shirt is “only semi-curdled breast milk” doesn’t placate their concerns, it’s just a surefire way to make sure that you’re well on your way to earning a reputation on par with trough-man.

The up-side is that at least fatherhood has allowed me to break free from the shackles of caring what other people think. The down-side is that I’m no longer welcome at my local fruit shop.