In Which It’s Funny Old World

(Posted by Miss Mish)

I’ve just been trawling the ‘What’s On’ in Nottingham pages and have found quite a few things  that interest me.  Nottingham Playhouse   is hosting both Mark Thomas and Jeremy Hardy. Not on a double bill sadly.  Comedy is always a difficult thing. You never know what is going to make you laugh or if your friends will think the same.  You may for example, be pant-wettingly moved by  ‘Only Fools and Horses’, ‘The Royle Family’ or ‘Jack Ass’  which leave me completely cold. However, show me ‘Teachers’, ‘Spaced’ or  the songs of Noel Coward and Tom Lehrer and I am in hysterics.

Now (bit of name dropping here) the last time I saw Mark Thomas was on the enormous and moving ‘Stop The War’ march in February. I walked next to him for an hour or so and shared my brandy flask with him.    Lovely man, great ideas and with a conscience. There are so few of them around.    He seems to have dropped off the radar recently but no doubt he’ll have a  host of fresh anecdotes. I do worry about him though. I just expect his blood pressure to rise so dramatically during one of his polemical outbursts about Dubyah and Governments in general that he’ll have a stroke or something and  that’ll be the end of him.

Jeremy Hardy is another wonderful funny man. Again with a conscience, although he appears to be settling into middle age with his copy of Stovold’s Mornington Crescent Almanac these days. Now  I missed the last visit of  Jeremy  – I was working in London for two days. But The Husband bought tickets for himself and a  few friends and promised to tell me all about it on my return. So dreadfully early on the Wednesday , I slipped out of bed, kissed the still sleeping cat and Husband and went off to catch the 6.30 train. Husband worked at home that day working to a script deadline and so  stayed in the office with a pot of coffee. At 3pm, as I broke for coffee and turned my phone on, there’s message from him to ring home urgently. Imagining the worst ( accidents,  grandmothers, earthquakes, death of cat etc) I rang home.

“Have you got my keys?” he asked

I check the handbag and find to my surprise that I have picked his up by mistake. But wait! What was that in the other side of the bag? My set of keys too……

It appears that in my dash to get to the cab, I had taken the keys out of the door, locked  it and put them in my bag. Along with my own set which were already in there for safekeeping. So I have actually locked my own husband in the house.

“Sorry” I  mumble.

Now our house is odd in the fact that it has no large opening windows in it. You can only get out by the doors. And as I have BOTH sets of keys, all the doors are locked… well… The Husband is staying EXACTLY where I left him that morning.

Luckily, Ed our next door neighbour, has a set for cat-feeding purposes but he is at work so I leave  message on his mobile and ask him if he can please get home sometime and  release The Prisoner of Nouveau Basford as soon as  possible.  So I carry on working after telling the Husband that his liberation is all in hand.

When I return, The Husband sees the funny side of it but it appears that it got quite fraught. Ed rang to say he’d be home at 6.30 and would let him out then. Husband then books a taxi for 7pm, just enough time before the gig starts to meet people, get and hand out the tickets for everyone. However, just to make sure, he rings up the box office, explains all to the giggles of the staff and they agree to give out replacement tickets to our friends. He then rings them all up and explains  – to even more hilarity – what has happened. Crisis averted.

However. It all turns into a bit of a farce. Ed rings to say he’s got to work late but he’ll be home by 7.

So far so good. However- the taxi arrives EARLY  and is hanging around outside hooting.  Husband waves through window  miming  “Five minutes!” Still no Ed.

Taxi hoots.
Husband mimes.
Still no Ed.
Taxi hoots.
Husband mimes.
Still no Ed.

At ten past 7,  Ed  screeches up and unlocks the door. Husband hurtles out just as the taxi is about to leave and gets to the box office  just after they’ve all gone in.  He explains that there should be a ticket for him.

“Ooh yes! You’re the Man Who Was Locked In The house aren’t you? Just a minute”
“Carol! It’s The Man Whose Wife Locked Him In! Where  is his ticket?”

I’m afraid he took a bit of a ribbing from our friends  in the bar afterwards.

I go out for a meal with colleagues that evening and they  think it’s highly amusing.

I am smug however. “ I know EXACTLY where my partner is tonight. What are yours doing now you’re out of town?”

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