I was woken up at 9.15am this morning by a phone call from the motorbiking legend that is Rick Hulse. Anyone who knows the man will testify that he is one of the most lovely, warm-hearted, well meaning blokes on the planet. Anyone who doesn't know him takes one look at him and thinks "Massive, drunken psychopath.". He certainly has a look about him - mid 40s, large, normally wearing a cowboy hat and shades. Full beard on him, a general air of menace and a walking stick (It's a long story).
Rick was coming up for a 24 hour party in Bedlamburgh and I had said he could stay with me if he got stuck.
Refusing to meet him until at least 10.30am (I had to go and enjoy my delicious breakfast of weetabix, orange juice, coffee, toast, bacon, eggs, beans, sausage and mushrooms) I left him to have a power nap in his van on the road that the University is on. He didn't mind.
I did. I could have used an extra hour in bed. The annual Edinburgh comedians' poker tournament had ended in disaster at about 3.30am when Andy Smart got lucky with an unsuited 5/3 against my pair of nines and I was out in second place. It was an honourable 2nd I suppose but there was a lot fo money up for first that I, above all others around the table, could have done with.
It wasn't all bad though - my flyers finally showed up at around 9.45pm and I made the printer deliver them to the university. He told me to wait by the side of the road and asked me what I looked like. I pointed out that he had 5000 photos of me in his van if he needed reminding. He said he wasn't in his van - he was in a yellow Rolls Royce Phantom. He said to wave to him when I saw him. I didn't. He drove straight past me. In his white Transit van. He thought he was being funny.
He did however not charge me for the reprint which makes me think he just forgot about them but anyway... My flyer people did their work today while I was doing a lunch time show called "Edcom" with Dan Atkinson, Pete Johansson, Simon Evans and "Some bird who got the response she deserved" (Rick's words, not mine).
I left to go down to my own gig leaving Rick there to drink what I can only think was the equivalent of an EU wine lake. My show started a shade after 2.30pm and was going all right. There were a significant number of old people there but they were coping until I introduced Rick. I introduced Rick because Gareth Morinan (Who was supposed to be there) wasn't.
The result was not entirely what I expected but had a positive outcome.
Shortly after Rick took the stage and launched into a routine about a chimp shagging a frog, the old people got up and shuffled out, grumbling. I apologised profusely and they said I was nice but he was horrid. It worked out all right because I looked fantastic when I went back on and the removal of the octogenarians did lighten the mood a little. After the show I took him for a pint he didn't need and pointed him in the direction of Susan Murray's show. God help the poor woman.