Thursday, April 2, 2009

Open Mike Night (Never a good idea if you've got a big mouth.)

Last week I did something I hadn't done for over twenty years; I gave a performance. (Hmmm..perhaps I should add that this had absolutely nothing to my new status as a soft porn starlet.) My friend Mrs B and another friend, Damien, had invited me to what is commonly called an Open Mike Night which is when budding writers and poets read their work aloud to a (questionable) audience of hecklers, drug addicts, pseudo literary critics and dinner ladies from the local school on a night out. (The recession is hitting us hard in the UK; you've got to take the cheaper forms of entertainment when you can. In this case - £2.00. Not bad for a small dose of Mrs T, cheap coffee and a hard plastic chair.)

Well, as it turned out I was last but one on the schedule so by the time it was my turn I was feeling a little nervous, especially as being the grossly under prepared person I am (no surprises there)I hadn't managed to practice my piece other than reading it twice in my study about an hour beforehand. Fortunately,the Gaviscon numbed the effect of the disturbing churning in my stomach otherwise there could have been a hideous explosion on a par with Krakatoa.

I took four pieces of work with me but as the evening passed I elected to go with an abbreviated version of my blog To Cook or not to Cook? I tripped over my words a couple of times but, all in all, I thought it went rather well. I got some laughs and a few nice comments afterwards which rather made me yearn for those days years ago when I used to tread the boards as an amateur. Mrs B was very kind in her praise but the thought did cross my mind that she was after a giant Green & Black's Easter Egg that she keeps pointing out in Tesco Express. (Look, Easter Eggs are for kids Mrs B, I know you like screwing the shiny green tinfoil into little balls and dropping them into Mr B's vegetable hotpot disguised as peas but you've got to get a grip on yourself woman.)

My friend Damien sent me a nice text too the following day. Well I think it was nice. Only it was in text word speak - which I have as much chance as understanding as I have of becoming an Olympic long jump champion. So in the interest of egotism and sad delusional behaviour I translated into Turley word speak.

" Geez Jane, you were well hot last night. Have you ever thought of becoming a soft porn starlet?"

Yes, I've had strange thoughts since......

Anyway, I met Damien on a creative writing course about three years ago and since then we've kept in touch. Occasionally we meet up for a coffee and discuss our latest forays into writing, work (his work - not mine as obviously I don't do any) and whether or not the fly landed on the Chelsea Bun on the counter or on the Custard Slice. Important discussions, as you can no doubt discern.

Now a while back, when we were in less of a Chelsea Bun mode and more of a Kit Kat mode we decided to write a poem about each other. Damien, being a proper poet wrote a serious but sweet poem extolling my more virtuous characteristics (This was before my secret identity as a global super hot horny housewife became public knowledge.) and I wrote a poem about him that was full of blatant untruths, nonsensical rubbish and downright stupidity. And you know what? He kinda like it!

Boy, do I love folks that are easy to please!

Bond, Damien Bond.

Damien works for The Ministry of Defence
Sitting at a desk at the taxpayer’s expense
Shuffling paper work, imputing data
But it is what he does later
That makes me feel
All is not real
Perhaps it is a lie
For between you and I

I think Damien is a spy

His passports reads “universal exports”
It proves he is in cohorts
With the likes of “M”
And dubious men

Beneath his coat there’s a protruding bulge
The secrets of which he has yet to divulge
Some say it’s a Walther PPK
But perhaps he’s just a jolly good lay

Oh yes and those big thick glasses
Through which his perception passes
Are they X-ray specs
Oggling the opposite sex?

I’m a little bit worried
If Damien looks hurried
He could be on a mission
Requiring expert vision

If I’m one of his foes
He may peep through my clothes
And when his eye flickers
He may see through to my knickers

And if it’s one of those days
When I’m set in my ways
He’ll catch me in huge pants
The source of my awkward stance

But enough of this trivia
He may break by tibia
And poison my food
For being so rude

I bet he has already got out his pen
Glanced at his watch for the moment when


For there is no excuse
To make someone so puce
With writing so shit
On a par with Chick Lit

But you watch him escape
As he binds you with tape
Your acknowledge I’m right
As he takes off in flight
With jet propelled pack
Strapped to his back

And as I go to Heaven…

He’ll shout “I’m 007!

Copyright Jane Turley (aka Miss Funnypenny)

Okay.. yeah it was dire. That's why Damien calls himself a poet and I call myself an idiot.


  1. Loved this post Jane, and i take my hat of to you getting up there and speaking. I couldn't think of nothing worse. I've got a best man's speech to do in august, but I should be okay on that one with a few pints down me. Providing I've lost 12 pounds by then.

  2. So how puce was he?
    Good for you Mrs. T standing up in front of an audience and reading out your works! Go woman(S-P-S)go!

  3. Hmm.. a best man's speech! Ooo opportunties for humour there. I'd love to to do a best woman's speech...but tradition being what it is I've never been invited. Boo hoo...maybe one day.... Still I do plan to write my own funeral speech; just so I can have the last laugh.

  4. Sue,

    If puce could be measured on a scale of 1- 100, it scored 100! I enjoyed the challenge and there's another in the Autumn and Master Sy says he may come along too!

  5. Wow Mrs T, You make speeches and all before a real audience - wow!
    and the poem, it was hilarious. Is damien still your friend? hehehehe.

  6. Usha,

    Damien has lodged a formal complaint with the poetry police! I may shortly be arrested and stuck in a cell and forced to read the Complete Works of katie Price.

    (Google "Jordan/Katie Price" and you'll understand!)


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