In a role-playing exercise in a seminar we were all given characters and fictional 'comedy' names. Mine was Doctor Pfeffer-Stephens-Feffer-Stevens. The following exchange occured when the course leader wanted to address me:
Course Leader: "Did you want to say something, Doctor ... sorry I've forgotten your name -"
Me: "Just The Doctor"
Later on we were doing a series of exercises themed around Holocaust Memorial Day. The idea was that we were all members of a development committee at Channel 4. The course leader played the role of the head of C4 and gave us all a brief to develop a landmark piece of TV based around the holocaust that would fit with the station's ethos. When she threw the it open for discussion my suggestion wasn't well received, unfortunately.
"How about Justin Lee Collins in Let's Bring Back ... Birkenau" fell on stony ground. Honestly, some people wouldn't get satire if it was tied to a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick and used to beat them unconscious.*
Out on a demo to make David Miliband and John Hutton feel the full humiliation they deserve, I found myself trying to get a posh family from a nearby mansion to sign a petition called 'End the Siege of Gaza'. They claimed to be opposed to the Israeli bombardment but wouldn't sign the petition on the basis that they didn't know what they were signing. Apparently the clear, short sentence at the top of the form and my patient explanation wasn't information. Eventually it transpired that they wouldn't sign because I was from a socialist organisation and they were, to use their own term, 'righties'.
What I said in my head:
"Great, well why don't you just wait until the Tories give a fuck about it then? I'm sure they'll be organising demos of their own momentarily."
And finally, a letter from today's Weekend Magazine:
My girlfriend reckons the Guardian is a "Trotsky paper" and has it in the house under sufferance. But when I give her the magazine to read Lucy Mangan's column, I don't get it back for at least half an hour. Is there hope for Torygirl yet?
No Jon, because she's clearly a fucking idiot.**
*Look, it's not holocaust humour. I don't believe that jokes about mass-extermination are funny. It's a joke about the way that Channel 4 markets its documentaries (you know, The Boy With A Goat for his Testicles) and the insanity of their promotion of Lee Collins as a 'face of the channel' (i.e. distinctive brand for this multi-channel multi-platform age) which will inevitably result in his taking part in some doc that is completely inappropriate at some point in the near future.
**Leaving aside the "Trotsky paper" cretinousness, if it takes her half an hour to read Lucy Mangan's column there's a good chance she's technically in a coma.