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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Reasons why Fran is writing at midnight

I'm writing this while sitting in bed very late on a Wednesday evening, unwisely so because I have to be up at six. But I usually listen to Radio 4 at this point and they're playing some of their unfunny comedy. I swear they use the late comedy slot to try out people who ring up and say 'My mum says I'm hilarious. Can I have a show?'

'Yeah, sure. We have a space at 11.15pm we reserve for people whose mums think they're hilarious.'

'Will it be a big audience?'

'Sure, we get all kinds. Insomniacs who really don't care what's on as long as someone's talking to them. Women breastfeeding and using our show to bore the child back to sleep. Drunk people: they're easy to please. Shift workers so knackered we could play them Paradise Lost backwards and they wouldn't realise. Old people who napped for longer than they meant to at 4pm and now won't sleep until 3am. Women still breastfeeding. Ex-comedians who want to feel smug that they weren't that bad at your stage. Oh, and usually a wannabe comedian's mum.'

'Do any talent scouts listen then?'

'Pff. If they do, it's because they're insomniacs, breastfeeders or drunk people. Or their radio isn't tuned properly.'

'So am I not likely to hit the big-time if I have a late show on Radio 4?'

'You're more likely to hit the bottle. As are your listeners from what we've heard on your demo tape: those who aren't already half-blood-half-vodka.'



If I turn the radio on now, at 23.45 it'll be Today in Parliament. The problem with that is, I've already watched BBC Parliament for half an hour today on BBC iplayer to see what the result of the launch-Brexit vote was (not that it was a surprise). That was half an hour of my life I'll never get back: MPs shuffling about in the House or gossiping thigh-to-thigh with other MPs on narrow not-enough-room benches; (mostly) men in suits squeezing their paunches past each other on their way into and out of the lobbies like a fat man's version of Inuit-rubbing-of-noses ; and over it all the Speaker calling for 'HORS-D'OEUVRES' all the time and not a canape in sight, poor chap.

Here's the list. I want dim-sum, a couple of mini sausage rolls, and a cracker with a touch of liver pate. 


I'm lucky with my sleep, especially since hitting fifty. As long as I sleep for five hours solid, I'm up the next morning ready to roll, although in the winter that first peel-back of the duvet is a challenge, then there's the insult of cold air, the search for the slippers and the blind shuffle to a chilly bathroom. All that achieved, though, I'm soon perky-perky and as bright as a new coin.

That means that if I go to sleep too early - say, at ten - I'm awake at four and only get back to sleep with the help of a hot drink and - here's a trick you can borrow - reciting my times tables in my head. It's so efficient, this method, that I rarely get to 1 x 4 = 4 before I'm snoring like a troll. Ask me anything about multiples of three. Past that, don't bother. Ask a real insomniac.

We're into the midnight news now so it's time to get horizontal and curl up. I don't think I've missed much, not listening to the late-night sessions of what passes for humour, and anyway the news itself at the moment contains a generous helping of bizarre could-that-really-happen comedy.

14 comments:

  1. I just get coffee and a good book and read in bed until I fall asleep again.

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    1. Coffee? Decaffeinated?....

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    2. Instant coffee, regular. We don't do decaffeinated.
      I'm like my dad, coffee doesn't keep us awake.

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  2. Whenever I hear the words "President Trump" I either laugh or cry!!

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    1. I feel the same. I'm entertained though by the newsreaders having to say PresidenT Trump and take care to separate the Ts. President Obama tripped off the tongue much more easily. Those little linguistic moments are what keep me going.

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  3. I can't bear to watch our House of Representatives on TV. All they seem to do is mill about. I guess I probably can't have one of those late night radio comedy shows because my mother didn't think I was funny. She often told me I had absolutely no sense of humor.

    It's true. I don't.

    Love,
    Pathetic Janie

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    1. But you are hilarious!! One of my funniest commenters. How can this be?

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  4. I often think that about Radio 4 comedy shows, even the 12.30 pm ones. My opinions are a bit out of date, mind you, since I normally rush to switch them off (though there are exceptions). This even applies to two friends of actor son-in-law. They're BRILLIANT and very funny in their improv show but the two minutes of their R4 show that I listened to was so cringey that I couldn't listen any more. Maybe it's me...

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    1. We doubt ourselves, though, don't we? If it's on Radio 4 I tend to feel I ought to be loyal, as I mostly love what they do. So I'm listening to the comedy, thinking, 'I must try to find this funny. I must. Obviously, someone does. Maybe it's just me. I must try to find it funny.' But ....

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  5. I'm tucked up in bed asleep at that time as need to get my sleep in before fiveish when my cats either want in or out of the house & treat me as a slave to windows and doors ( no cat flap )
    MPs do sit very close to each other; very touchy feely. I thought we Brits didn't like being touched; perhaps one good reason why we should be staying IN Europe !

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    1. Ah, the early morning cat situation. My daughters have a ginger cat who does the same to them.

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  6. .. so glad you do get some good sleep..... I very rarely have sleep problems I'm pleased to say....
    I miss late night radio.. I used to listen to the talk back shows... but my hearing is failing and the tone of the radio sends me round the bend... even with hearing aids... Barb xxxx

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    1. I often feel very fortunate, being able to sleep. So many can't. (My wandering-around-at-all-hours husband, for a start.)

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  7. Heaven knows what the neighbours would think was happening if I started laughing riotously in bed .
    No , I'll carry on taking the crossword , instead .

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