So last night was Friday and I sat in with my flatmate watching telly. My phone buzzed away and it was James -used to do overnights- Piekos on the phone. "Hiya mate, I'm really a bit drunk and tired, I don't think I'll be coming round later" he bumbled at me. Fair enuff, I'll watch Jimmy Carr's* stand-up set and then retire.
Just about to go to bed - buzz - my phone is going again. Jame's voice: "Yeh, that's where he drinks, it's his local. I've got him on the phone now. Hiya mate, I've woken up a bit, I'm with some people who don't believe I know you." --Muffling noise and then different voice -- "Are you Nick Margerrison? Are you really? Nick Mar - Jerry - Son? I don't believe you. Prove it!".
It appears that my little mate had got himself into one of those odd and very embarrasing conversations which local radio disc jockeys occasionally get stuck in. Living, as we do, on the absolute fringes of fame any normal chat can go in this direction.
"What do you do then?"
"I'm a local radio disc jockey on the local commercial radio station"
"Oh, I listen to that when I'm in the car because I like the music. What's your name?"
"I vaguely recognise that name, are you famous then?"
This is the bit where the conversation is in the hands of that presenter's unique personality and their particular circumstances at the time. James was clearly a little tiddly and had decided to give these people the nonsense. Unfortunately I wasn't tiddly so my responses to this gaggle of people who were passing his phone round were rubbish.
Eventually James did come round and we discovered that 24 hour licensing laws don't seem to apply to my particular part of Sheffield. In fact it was even amusing to my local landlord that I thought they might apply. As I was sober I drove to the Tesco which has a late licence and we got some Baileys to drink in front of the telly.
As soon as we settled down in the front room with a glass of it on the go I seized my chance to show someone else the Stewart Lee DVD I've got. Surely James would find this sort of thing funny, perhaps he'd even laugh at how my flatmates hadn't enjoyed it. Perhaps I could wake them up and point at him laughing at it and say: "Look see, Stewart Lee is funny, so you were wrong not to laugh and I was right! Do you see? I was right to laugh and you were wrong not too!". Then I could ask for some sort of apology.
It's a good job I didn't though as the plan would have backfired. To my horror, James sat there looking very drunk and confused. He tried to laugh but couldn't seem to work out where exactly would be the right point to do so. I think he knew I'd kill him if he didn't like it so he made a brave attempt to feign enthusiasm for it but in the end it was utterly futile. He made his excuses and left.
I sat on my own looking at the glaze of the TV screen as Stewart Lee's hilarious witticisms echoed round my flat. For a brief moment I wondered if perhaps this particular DVD set wasn't his best. Did you have to be there to find it funny? I checked myself mid thought. These people who don't immediately recognise Stewart Lee's brilliance are simply not brilliant themselves. Like me. I'm brilliant and so is Stewart Lee and that's why.. oh dear. Perhaps I should have put Ali G on or something.
*He's a funny stand-up. Honestly. No really. He's good! Honest!! I know he's on telly too much. I know he's got a smug punchable face but he really honestly is genuinely funny. Honestly! He's funny even to people who don't know good comedy. They'd like him too.