i have adventures (sometimes)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Be Kind, Have Fun, and Carry a Lemon

In my last post, I spent a little time fangirling about John Finnemore.

In this post, I'm going to spend a lot of time fangirling about John Finnemore. Because this weekend, I travelled down to London to be in the audience for John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, a very wonderful radio comedy sketch show, written by and starring this even more wonderful human.*

I can't use the word "wonderful" enough in relation to this man, but I'd rather this be a post I could conceivably mention him in when I link to it on Twitter, so I'll try and find that middle ground between "review" and "ALLCAPS SCREAMING". Of course, this blog being what it is, I'm also going to talk about What I Did On My Holiday (well, Weekend), which probably disqualifies it from being a review anyway.


Having read the alarming warning on our tickets that the BBC overbooks shows to avoid empty seats, Em and I arrived an hour early on Saturday night to find ourselves at the back of the following queue.

The lemon is in play.
Luckily, we were early enough to get in, because otherwise I'd have had to cry at the organisers about how I'd come all the way from York until they either relented or prised me from the doorway, and I don't think I'd have had the fingernail strength to win in that second scenario.

The show was awesome. It had an unrelentingly bleak tale of Christmas cheer, a museum guide for five year olds, a quiz show called "Nobody Knows", a psychologist restrained by professional ethics from telling his client not to run off with her stalker, strangers on a train, a rant by a man representing the underrepresented white middle-class British majority ("Because when the majority is in the minority, it's an affront to decency and maths!"), a defence of creative accounting, the folk etymology of Elephant and Castle, a harmonica prodigy, a vulture answering to character assassination, an action movie about a tram, a deal between two businessmen who can't work out who's supposed to be giving who money, the Archers for people who don't listen to the Archers, and the (questionable) wisdom of Solomon.

The episodes we saw aren't coming out until September, but there are a lot of clips from the first season on Youtube which I recommend you check out in the mean time if you're the sort of person who enjoys laughter and happiness.

And if you don't enjoy laughter and happiness, I don't feel like we can be friends.

Anyway, we waited in the bar afterwards to meet him, clutching lemons and trying not to hyperventilate from all the excitement. We'd cunningly combined a Cabin Pressure reference with a Souvenir Programme reference by writing "1. Be Kind" and "2. Have Fun" on a pair of lemons, although the pen started running out halfway, so it came out more like "1. Be Kind, 2. Move Fur", which I suppose is one lesson to live by.

After waiting in a crowd of fans and admirers and having a chat with some German Cabin Pressure fans who complimented us on our lemons, we got to meet the man himself, and he was lovely despite being exhausted. The lemon photo is the closest we got to having a picture with him, but he did sign autographs (and even drew me a doodle of his face in lieu of photo):
I may have freaked him out a bit by passing on Dasia's request that he lick an autograph for her, but he took it in his stride. I like to think we're not the weirdest fans he's encountered.

... Probably.

(I'll have you know that I was incredibly restrained, and neither incessantly quoted Cabin Pressure at him despite the fact that I more or less know it off by heart, nor made any confessions of love.)

We talked about the show all the way home. Of course, we sat at the front like we were the driver, because we're not dead inside.

The next day we were due to have lunch with my family and tea with some more of my family, so we took our lemons for a walk to Waterloo station because it was such a lovely day. A combination of lemon photography and slow moving tourists (or possibly zombies) meant that we nearly missed our train, and ended up having to sprint across the station and dive through the closing doors, which at least added a touch of the epic to the proceedings.

So that was my weekend. An excellent show, a lovely day with family, a meetup of speculative fiction writers, several cups of bad advice tea, lots of ice cream, a last-minute dash to Vx, and then it was back on the coach to York, just in time to watch Team York smash Trinity Laban in the first round of University Challenge.

York's pretty cool like that. YORK.

Oh, and I'm just going to leave this here. No big deal.

*Emily keeps pointing out that I obviously mean that I went to see her. This is of course what I mean.


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