Tonight I went to see something called Tall Tales at The Good Ship in Kilburn. The Good Ship harbours all sorts of memories for me, some awesome and some a little more uncomfortable, but it's a decent enough venue for an hour of hilarious story telling.
The readers were all brilliant - I haven't laughed so much for such a sustained period for a long time - and I heartily recommend you attend the next one which is apparently some time in September.
I went, I saw, I didn't exactly conquer, but I did summon up the courage to talk to four real life people who I had never met before. One of them was the very lovely Belgian Waffle, sort of my blog idol, who was incredibly gracious and friendly - despite my irritating social awkwardness which was made even worse by lack of alcohol which I'm not supposed to be drinking much at the moment. Honestly, sometimes I am so awkward it's amazing I have any friends let alone a moderately good career as a journalist. We're supposed to talk to people, put them at ease and get them to tell us their stories, but I'm much better at this on the phone I think. Or in emails.
I am trying to get better.
I also spoke to David Mitchell. In fact I sat next to him for the entire evening and spoke about seven words to him, but still. Is there anything as intimidating as sitting next to someone who is funnier and more successful than you and not knowing if you should talk to them? I tend to end up feeling that I'm sort of in the film about myself and I'm an awful female version of Woody Allen. I'm fine if there's someone else with me, but my bravado evaporates when I'm on my own unless I'm already feeling pretty bullish about life.
The walk home was also slightly strange and oddly entertaining. Walking up Kilburn High Road I was aggressively chirpsed. I'm not sure many people know what a "chirps" is, but my little cousin once patiently explained that it is fairly common slang for when a man tries to chat you up and get your phone number in the street. Quite often in Kilburn said man will either be standing outside a chicken cottage or a kebab shop looking like he's used the cold left-over by-products of fast food manufacture as both hair pomade and moisturiser. Or like he'd like to carry a gun and use his gangsta name to impress the ladeez, but lacks the sense of commitment this would take and probably raps about living the 'street life' in the NW6 ghetto while working on the tills at Pound Land and attempting to flog homemade CDs to pretty girls outside Marks & Spencers or WHSmith instead - still a little misguided but a much better approach to life in my opinion.
I'm not a huge fan of being chirpsed at the best of times, but having someone who is both faintly swarthy and exceedingly greasy follow you, even if it's only for a minute, making increasingly foul mouthed attempts to chat you up is both absurdly funny and also quite uncomfortable. I it's essentially harmless and I am used to it, but sometimes you really just wish they'd keep their thoughts to themselves.
Then, walking down from Kilburn towards Queen's Park, the transition from scummy to posh was perfectly marked by the dulcet tones of a jazz-lite cover of Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale being played by one man and a piano in the expensive organic restaurant. I giggled the whole of the rest of the way home.