I went to a comedy club this week to watch a friend do his act. It was in a packed South London basement: it felt like going steerage on the “Titanic”. I was the oldest by about 30 years. The compere wanted to warm us up, even though it was about 45° down there. “Hug the person next to you!” he yelled.
I’m a Brit. I don’t really do hugs unless you’re Mrs K or the Kirwood sister or you’re rescuing me from a fire. The two girls on either side of me wrapped themselves round their blokes. “Hey – don’t leave him out!” screamed the compere. All eyes swivelled to me. Thanks, mate. One of the girls gave me a peremptory shoulder pat. I thought of screaming “Fire!” but it would have disrupted the evening.
The first act was in her 40s and her routine was about “fanny farts”. To the uninitiated, these are nothing to do with breaking wind. They involve a female sexual organ, an intimate act, and suction. Yep, you’re right. She wasn’t subtle. But her impressions of how ageing affects these noises - a twenty-five year old (like balloon air escaping) and then a thirty-five year old (imagine quicksand) - raised a lot of cackles.
She said “Now for a forty-five year old…” and someone shouted “Please – not that!” Then she “did” a fifty-five year old and was drowned out with groans of disgust. To these kids, jokes about older people having sex were about as off-limits as ones about strangling babies.
I was the only person laughing. All eyes flipped back to me. I touched volume control: maybe an older person actually chuckling in public is disgusting, too. I lifted my beer to my lips… NO! the sight of a sexuagenarian physically ingesting liquid would start a riot…
Luckily my friend was on next. He has a great routine about the difficulties of keeping your sex life going when you’re married. How we all roared. Mind you, he’s only 32.