Comedian. Writer. Biped.

Backstage in Cardiff / llwyfan yng Nghaerdydd

I bet you wonder what it's like to be a comedian on tour. That's what people wonder, I bet. It's what I would wonder, if I were a person.

It's one of the unspoken facts about stand-up comedy that it involves more ironing than you'd think. It doesn't involve much ironing, but assuming you'd think it didn't involve any, it involves more than you'd think. Basically, you're away from home, your clothes have to go in a bag, and to avoid everyone on the bill looking like they were pulled out of a skip before the show, most venues have an iron and ironing board. The irons are of varying quality, and the ironing boards are almost universally filthy - the sort of filthy that raises more questions than it answers. You know how if a two-year-old has jam all over their face, it answers the question of how that face got dirty? But if there are also runes and sheep's hoofprints on the child's face, it makes the dirtiness more mysterious? Like that. Most of the ironing boards I've seen on this tour are the sort of dirty that would make sense if you were given them with the words, "Here you go - it was used last week as a surfboard in a daring escape from an island prison in the middle of a lake of dogshit."

At the moment I'm on tour with Dave Gorman. The venues are of varying sizes, between about 600 and 3000 capacity, and usually within the 900-1200 range. I'm writing this backstage at Cardiff's St David's Hall, which seats about 1500. And it has no iron.

You heard that right*.

I had to go onstage 2 hours ago, in front of 1500 people, in an un-ironed shirt, because St David's Hall doesn't have an iron. And why doesn't have an iron?

Because the Waterboys stole it.

The fucking Waterboys. Yet again, they dog my every move. You might not know this, but they're called the Waterboys because they steal anything that contains water. Their audiences, being about 60% water themselves, don't know the danger they're in.

Now, maybe you're thinking, "You don't know for sure that the Waterboys stole the iron. You were just frustrated that the iron was missing and noticed the Waterboys had been on there recently. At best, your evidence is circumstantial."

Well, maybe you're right. So I say this: if the Waterboys are innocent, let them prove it. Let me go through all their houses, and if there is no iron, ironing board or ironing accoutements (little plastic jugs, etc) to be found, then fine - I will downgrade my assessment of their guilt to merely 'unproven'.

The ball's in your pool, Waterboys. Your move.

I better go. Dave's got to the Found Poem.

*Or read it right. I'm assuming someone else is reading this out loud to you**.

**If you are the person reading this out loud to someone else, please ignore this bit, or at least don't read it out loud.

By the way, I have no idea if the Welsh bit of the title above is correct. I don't speak Welsh. I just guessed by extrapolating from the dual-language fire alarm instructions, etc.