Titles

Ran the Jinglebell 5k this morning. They didn’t play the national anthem before the race start because Santa isn’t necessarily American and it might have seemed a little jingoistic and we’ve got enough problems with that already.

Before the 5k, they had a kids 1k race and about 40 kids and parents set off on a little loop. We stood on the sidewalk with a lot of other runners and clapped and cheered them to the finish. I’m almost embarrassed to say how much I enjoyed watching this, the older kids sprinting in and the little ones toddling along, holding hands with their parents or high-fiving the crowd. There should have been violin music swelling in the background.

For a fleeting moment, I thought about how great it would be to raise a kid that was into running and fitness and to be all encouraging and proud of them. And then I realised that my child would probably still be at .25 of a k, refusing to run any further, screaming and choking on its own snot. And the last of my eggs fell out.

I ran the 5k in a not unreasonable time of 23 minutes and 49 seconds. I wasn’t exactly race fit, having spent Saturday night drinking and smoking in Temple, Texas and getting home at 1am. Whilst in Temple, I also failed to be the Best (semi-final) Comic in Texas, adding to my other titles this year of not Last Comic Standing and not Funniest Person in Austin. Not that I deserved anything more last night, it was a bit of a phoned-in performance on my part. Though it smarts a little to be beaten by both a comic from Oklahoma and a self-professed ‘comedy juggler’, whose volunteer picked at random from the audience just happened to be sitting at the same table as him. Coached? Really?

But, this is also the kick up the arse I need to forget about stand-up for a while and work on my Fronterafest 2007 show, titled ‘being cool and other dilemmas’. It may just be 25 minutes of me repeating the title over and over as that’s pretty much all I’ve written, in which case I’ll perform it lying on a bed covered in crumpled blood-soaked sheets and wait for the Best of the Week call.

I find it very hard to write until if I’ve decided on a title. I think this comes from my PR days where the press release headline was supposed to grab a journalist’s attention. I took this very seriously. My first PR client after I left college was a charity for the homeless called ‘Crisis at Christmas’. The crisis did later extend year-round, but at this time it was to raise awareness of people who adopted a homeless person just for Christmas but then threw it out in the new year when they realised how much work was involved and the kids bickered about whose turn it was to feed it or take it for a walk. But anyway, my press release about the slight rise of tuberculosis among teenagers sleeping rough in London was titled ‘Dickensian Death for London’s Street Children’. Yes, I was that good. It’s quite embarrassing to be fired by a charity, you feel that they should be more grateful for your work, no matter how rubbish you are.

Anyway, back to work. Once I’ve figured out the sub-head for the show, I’ll definitely start writing it.