Went down to the Stag’s Head in Queensferry for the heats of Scottish Comedian of the Year, in which The Great Tommy MacKay was performing. Tommy didn’t win, which I think was a source of relief to him. But he didn’t ‘die’ – I don’t go to comedy shows much and I’ve heard about comedians ‘dying’ onstage but never actually seen it till last night. I experienced a queasy mix of sympathy and embarrassment for a couple of the performers. The winner and runner-up, however, were really good. (I realise my utter failure as a correspondent in that I’ve forgotten their names, except that the winner’s first name was Rowan!). I got a bit bored at some points, and tried to imagine their acts without the word ‘fuck’. Only Tommy and one of the others – the excellent runner-up – really managed without it.
Later Tommy told us about a woman who’d come up to him after one of his recent gigs:
‘Do you mind if I ask you a question?’
‘No, go ahead.’
‘Why does your guitar have twelve strings?’
‘Er … (searches for witty response but finds none, only bafflement) … because it’s a twelve-string guitar.’
‘Ah! Thanks’ (goes away satisfied).