Friday, November 18, 2005

I can't stand Theme Pubs. I hate all the twee props, the plastic-wrapped food, the fact that you could be absolutely anywhere and the place would still look the same. That was until last night when I stumbled into the Best Ever Dickensian Theme Pub in the World ( I exaggerate, best in East Yorkshire perhaps).

It was perfect, just like stepping back into the middle of the nineteenth century. There was a Bill Sykes type complete with Pitt Bull, a good handful of old crones of indeterminate sex, a buxom serving wench and a rowdy, jovial crowd of various pox-ridden and hideously-deformed characters. I suspect the secret of its complete authenticity has to do with the fact that no person in their right mind would ever set foot in the place without police protection and complete Tevlar body armour so the interior designers haven't had chance to give it a make over.

I would probably have had second thoughts about venturing in myself, especially as I was still in pin-stripes having gone straight from the office, but the row that was threatening to erupt between the patient St. Sophie and the incredibly bad backseat driver Martian made anywhere amongst a crowd inviting.

The purpose of our unusual mid-week excursion was to watch Mrs. Roger's husband, Roger at a comedy gig. I would probably have preferred to see him on one of his more regular, and probably safer, Jongleurs nights but they don't have one of those near me and I've never been invited at a weekend so it seemed as good a time as any, especially as I am planning on booking him for a do next Spring - it would be awful if he turned out to be Sheffield's answer to Chubby Brown and only the old men over 50 and boys under 20 laughed.

I have no qualms about it however. He handled the congenital mob deftly, even batting back such witty and dynamic heckles as " Well it didn't make your hair grow back!" ( Roger: And there's no scientific reason why swimming would, Sir!) Martian's ADHD was managed adeptly by formally declaring him Cheerleader of the Night, a role into which he entered with enthusiasm and vim, stopping short only of cartwheeling across the stage in his jock-strap ( which no doubt he would have been pleased to do but for the sinister bloke named Shirley leering lasciviously at him from the back of the room) So plans are now underway for my first comedy night. I need a name, something Phoenix Nightsesque to match my impresario status;

Tonight for One night only, brought to you by Cherrypie Chuckles....

Does that have a ring to it? No.

Got it! CheeryPie, of course!

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