The question is, is your fury pointless anger or righteous ire? Modern technology means you are never more than 3 centimetres away from something that will annoy you. If your day in the seemingly real, physical world has proceeded without fault, you can turn to the internet to find something amiss with the world and be comfortably cross in your home or office. With so much anger to be had, it can be difficult to prioritise your rage. Then you have to work out whether the rage is impotent or whether it can inspire some action. Some years ago, I came up with the title Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire. Originally it was going to be a solo show, but I thought it was selfish to keep all that barking to myself, so I invited another middle aged man with a skin ailment to join me. His name is the psoriasis sufferer and foot lumpy Michael Legge, this is his full name as his parents were prescient.
Tonight we took to the stage, chanting Daphne and Celeste’s ‘Ooh, Stick You’ melodiously, to share our fury and discover the audience’s frustrations too. Those who were not frustrated at the start could at least be frustrated by our abysmal time-keeping by the time it got to the late interval.
Here are some of the angers of the night, you can decide which are pointless and which are righteous. We were slightly hampered by the fact that Michael was happy today and his skin was not playing up. While he usually looks like a malodorous, bearded misshape, tonight he looked like the body double used by the BBC for Val Doonican when he had to do trickier rocking chair motions. (I should add that Michael only looks malodorous, he actually smells of salt).
Michael was still giddy from a walk with his dog, which he then bathed, gave a biscuit to, and then wrapped himself around her in the dog bed. I have never seen a man more happily married to his dog (he has a marriage certificate, but I think he made it himself as some of the cutting out and collages on it don’t look very official).
The audience members were annoyed by –
- People who walk along the street at rush hour and read the newspaper at the same time, oblivious to the danger of being immersed in tittle tattle about the honouring of Ant, Dec and Dave’s hairdresser or gossip about Angela Merkel on a main road.
- People who took on their phone while also dealing with post office cashiers (this applied to all forms of cashier transactions stifled by chattering about ‘who held your hair back while you were being sick’)
- Celebrities who do a mock walk off in fury on chat shows, then walk straight back onto the sofa. The latest offender was Miranda Hart on the Graham Norton Show. I once switched on the television and, for ten minutes, watched Call the Midwife, believing it to be a sketch that wasn’t really going anywhere. My wife then informed me it was a moving drama.
- Tesco sending a facebook message that said that for everyone who put “baby” as the comment under their advert, they would pay for a baby’s vaccination. So that general “we are kind and your mate really, but we need something from you before we jab these babies. Wanna join in the facebook fun, or do you wanna feel like you have a death on your hands”.
I felt 4. was the most “righteous”.
Our list consisted of
- Michael doesn’t love Doctor Who anymore. A shocker, but he was still thinking of biscuits and dog beds, so his fury was mellowed. And to think, this was a man whose fantasy when interviewed by Nancy Friday, was to go to an orgy where all the other naked, priapic men were the first 9 incarnations of the Doctor. Apparently, he didn’t want David Tennant there as he thought William Hartnell would get all kissy with him and not pay enough attention to Michael himself.
I went with –
- The unseemly rush to start shopping again by getting up at 3am to got to the Boxing day sales to buy things you do not want, but at half price or less.
- Men who have a problem with public breastfeeding and bang on about it just long enough for Freud to cock an ear from his grave. (yes, yes, I said cock an ear)
- Broadsheets that reveled in great big colour photographs of Miley Cyrus’s twerking in their neverending “what happened on 2013” pull outs.
- and a not long enough mention of anti-social behaviour and criminal policing bill which promises injunctions for anyone who “has engaged or threatens to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person”
actually, there was both lots more and in some ways lots less. We only got to number 3 out of our top 46 of anger.
But what did we learn? Well, there would be far fewer fist fights in municipal parks if there were more statuesque herons, and don’t look at dog sick as it makes you sick.
It’s all education, eh?
There is more Righteous Anger in Brighton, Northampton and London, and I am off to Whitstable, Leeds, Hull, York, Lancaster and London with Josie Long and Grace Petrie, oh and then Norwich, Sheffield, Bristol on my own, so many more places. Details of all HERE
Happiness Through Science DVD (incl Brian Cox commentary) HERE
And thank you very much to Nadia Kamil and Jonny and the Baptists. our superb guests.