Wednesday 2 PM I have never done one thing I’m supposed to do every day for a week straight. Until now. I have written this blog for 8 days in a row. And now I am supposed to write a post for today? Eff off.
I hate to be told what to do. I know: who does? The Germans. Okay, besides them and that cliché. But I hate it more than most. I know what to do and just don’t – and I just won’t – do it. “Tell the jokes as written and in the proper order,” I tell myself after every disaster of a gig. “Eff off Lewis Schaffer!”
My doctor asked for my blood to taken to measure the affects of the high blood pressure medication I’ve taken since I was 28. I was diagnosed at 22 so I know it isn’t that I’m getting old. Okay, not getting old. It isn’t because I am old. But the doctor says I can’t eat for 12 hours before the test. I can’t do it. Sorry. “Eff off. Gonna die.”
I used to wear contact lenses back in the day – and that was when there was only one day back in the day. Does anyone in the present day say “back in the day” except people who lived way back in the day? The lenses then weren’t breathable so you couldn’t sleep, not even for 15 minutes, or your eyes would dry up and shrivel, like what happened to my great-aunt who’s eye fell out of her socket from cancer. I had the good luck to be there when it happened. That was a sight of sore eye. I’m morphing into Tim Vine with the puns! Once I put the contact lenses in I’d pass out. It was like watching Downton Abbey. “Eff off, contact lenses!”
Speaking of sleeping, I’m an amazing sleeper. I slept through most of the 80s and half of the 90s. It is 12 noon now and I could put my head down and sleep til 11pm. That is when I should go to bed. As soon 11 pm comes, my mind comes alive with rebellion. “Don’t tell me to sleep! Eff off”
Last evening, for the first time, this blog was telling me to write it. “Eff off, I told it.”
A friend who knows my capacity for work avoidance warned me that a blog isn’t work. Calling for gigs is work. Doing gigs is work. Work, she reminded me, is anything that gets you money, and that my growing alcohol habit of maybe three or four drinks a week was getting expensive. She pointed out that successful uber-cool English comic Richard Herring takes only 15 minutes to write his blog. I thought: “Eff off! Don’t tell me to stop!”
I blame John Fleming. John is the comedy blogger and, well, I don’t know exactly what he does for work. I have learned in Britain not to ask personal questions. It makes people uncomfortable because everyone here is a bit dodgy or wants you believe they are a bit dodgy. I know this isn’t what you see in the movies. “What do you do?” merits an evasive “I work for the government.” Does that mean you clean the loos or are Prime Minister? To get a rise out of the English – oh, I just remembered the post I was going to write today – damn, I didn’t need to be writing this fluff. Okay, I will continue and do the other thing tomorrow – anyway, to get a rise out of the British – and starting tomorrow I am only going to call these people English and not British, I’ll explain more tomorrow – ugh, you see what I did? Now I set tomorrow’s post for me to write and now I don’t want to do it. Who are you to tell me what I am going to post about, just because I mentioned it today? Eff off!
Well, to get a rise out of the English I ask them “Does your family have money?” cause it bugs them. But I don’t do that very often anymore because I’ve lived here for 12 years and have had the life sucked out of me. But I can because I am still an American.
So my friend John Fleming came to my show in Soho last night. He had a look of panic. Something was up. He was on his own – more disheveled than ever – and the man is disheveled. His beard is always two days away from a shave. I am sheveled. My ‘act’ may not be disheveled but I am always sheveled. In New York I would never have left the house without a shave. In England that is the Alan Sugar look. Alan Sugar is the English poor man’s Donald Trump. And Donald Trump is the American poor man’s idea of a rich man. Eff off Donald Trump.
Since John started his blog two years ago (?) I only see him when he is completely devoid of ideas for his blog. The rest of the time he spends writing it. His blog has taken over his life.
And I feel I let him down. My show was unusual in that nothing extreme happened. Extreme things were said but that is comedy. I am the best comic in Britain today because extreme things usually happen at my shows. More on this later. No. Eff off!
The 18 year old girls in the front row – not my target audience, at least not in comedy – were typically – how do I put this? – put it this way: Lewis Schaffer is no Justin Beiber. I am not even dad-like to them unless their father hated their mothers and beat them, and who wants to see that guy. But 18 year old boys like me because even at that age they have experienced pain from women. 18 year old girls have only experienced pain from other women. They don’t know pain from men.
Anyway, John got a blog out of me - see this link. And I got so carried away with saying “eff off” that I enjoyed writing this and it stopped feeling like work. I was back wasting time when I should have been writing jokes, getting gigs and doing my UK taxes from the year ending 5 April 2006 to 5 April 2010.
Don’t worry. Her Majesties Revenue and Customs has me on their radar. Now I have to do my taxes. You know what I tell them? “Sorry, I will do it!”
Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio.
Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London.
See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission but you will be guilted into giving me money to get out. Reserve at http://bit.ly/londonfreeshow