So, how did I spend my Saturday night?
Well, for my son's 14th birthday I took him on a surprise treat - to an upstairs-at-the-pub Comedy Club. Five acts - most filthy - what could go wrong!
The guy with the black-and-white pork pie hat on the door was also the MC, and the bloke that I'd e-mailed to make sure they would let my son in. Is it his birthday, he asked? Yes, I said (OK - not clever) - but don't mention it, he'd be mortified.
So, how does the evening start? 'So folks, we've got a comedy virgin here tonight. It's his 14th birthday. Well son, we're going to assist your sexual development here this evening'. And then proceeds to tell a story/joke/horrible warning about how he as a 14 year old always dreamed of being touched up on the tube, but when it happens it's not the beautiful blonde of his imagination but a dirty old man. OK, thanks.
Then the group turns up to the 'reserved' table next to us - seventeen guys on a stag night. Son had said he could cope with anything, except perhaps nudity - my assurance that there'd be no stripping now feels to have been rash.
In front of us, and the only line of defence in the way of the stage, is Benjamin - by his own description, bald, fat and middle aged (and pissed, and with a girlfriend who is, as the guys with the mike comment repeatedly, 'above his category'). He is the immediate target of every stand-up, and gives as good as he gets.
Beam me up, someone!
Somehow we're still there for the final act - a woman with guitar asking everyone to sing along with the title of her song, 'It's Vagina' - and who throws in a few of John Terry's favourite words as well.
My son says on the way to the tube that he'd be up for coming again.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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