Life isn’t a cabaret, it’s a panto


Thursday 19th Jan

I went to see my first panto today.

How have I lived thus far? Marx was looking in the wrong place for the plebs’ heroin stash- fuck God, I have found their opiate singing, dancing and making dirty jokes at the Liverpool Playhouse.

Relationship problems, cake addiction, and my accumulated belly-button fluff were all collected at the door, and I sat down to enjoy the penis jokes, transvestites and Alice Cooper covers unencumbered.

The audience were a motley crew of disabled children, saucy scouse grannies, and teenage boys. Cinders’ luck reversal was soundtracked by a strangle gargling that rose in pitch and speed as the visual gags reached their punchline; the funnier the gag, the more the the autistic child sounded like they were speaking in tongues. At other times, a child yelled

“REWIND REWIND REWIND REWIND”

as if expecting life to conform to the functionality of Sky+.

When Buttons was visited by the Fairy Godmother during his darkest moment, as she snowed glitter down on his upturned face I had to suppress a skull-melting sob.

"Here's a time-lapse photo of me during the performance"

Friday 20th Jan

This week’s visits to the Megatron were relatively uneventful, apart from mocking the consultant’s traumatic hospitalisation. I hadn’t seen her for several weeks, instead being lead down to the machine by whichever 17 year old airhead was on the desk. Now, the ME suffering woman who had taken the ‘Before’ photos of my shedding head at the start of treatment had returned.

“Did you enjoy your extended..break?”

I said, not quite sure why she was away so reluctant to use the word holiday.

She grimaced.

“Not really. I collapsed and as I fell over, I broke my ribs. I was in hospital for 5 weeks”

“Oh lord!”

My dry delivery had made my unfortunate use of the word “break” accompanied by my grin seem sadistic and cruel. I tried to apologise, but she fed me to Megatron and disappeared.

It is strange to spend 12.5 minutes twice a week doing absolutely nothing. Normally I am so afraid of silence and boredom that I read, watch TV and play facebook scrabble simultaneously. I find it very hard to do nothing. Maybe I should try and meditate, I think. Hmm, have I ever tried tensing every muscle in my body?

Starting with curling my toes, I work my way upwards, clenching, flexing and straining from top to bottom. I don’t know how Chippendales do it, but I simply can’t clench my buttocks and work my thighs at the same time. After a few seconds of straining, I let go of everything and feel awash with calm. However, I didn’t think about how this might appear from the outside. The booth they have built to house Megatron has a door with no handle that refuses to stay closed, so anyone passing by could look in and see what looks like a man having a seizure under a weird machine.

Next, I try to empty every thought from my mind. But I seem to have a peanut butter jar for a brain because no matter how hard I try, I can’t scrape out the crusted on nutty thoughts from round the edges.

Finally time was up, and I re-emerged upstairs in the cloud forest of the salon, child beauticians looming out of a fog of atomised product and singed perms. Still no sign of hair, but at least I got a little exercise.