Groundhog Day at Leestock

Suffolk Punch Comedy at the Leestock Festival

Suffolk Punch Comedy’s show, hosted by the emcee Pauline Eyre, every child’s nightmare of an embarrassing yes-I-think-I’m-funny mum, gets off to a cracking Sunday start:

     Why did the baker wash his hands?
     We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
     Because he’d kneaded a poo!

Imagine being a Blogger, located in a comedy tent at the Leestock Festival, sandwiched between a battalion of Portaloo cabins and a beer tent … and you start to get the picture.

1) As it is extremely hot, and as the comedians on today’s billing are also extremely ‘hot’, the Blogger’s priority is to make a short trip over to the beer tent to secure a sample of cider. Being a logical sort of person, without the least-tinsy bit of sense, she starts at the top of the extensive list of consumables with a request for ‘Black Dragon’. As it’s a charity event, the barman refuses to hand over any free tasters, so the Blogger is forced to purchase half a pint; the alcohol content is 7.2%, so this is a sensible start to a big (long) day.

2) The Blogger returns to the comedy tent, eager to lap up a dose of Adam the Bailiff. Instead, this is what she gets – Pauline Eyre and a second dose of:

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

It was humorous enough the first time but, thanks to the ‘Black Dragon’, it is now really funny and it even starts to sound as if it might be a Pauline Eyre original.

3) Adam the Baliff’s first on, and he soon sweetens up the Blogger with his associations between orange-faced Essex girls and Sunny Delight, but the Blogger is impatient – she wants more of the real stuff – as a Tipexed-white-faced Suffolk-Shropshire hybrid, she’s feeling unwanted, redundant – almost lonely. So Adam is abandoned ….

4) As it is extremely hot, and as the next up and coming comedian is going to turn the ‘heat’ up a notch, the Blogger’s next point of call is  …. the beer tent. She makes a second attempt at securing a free taster, by homing in on a different barman – but he’s having none of it either. So out comes the purse, and a request for half a ‘Dog Dancer’ (only 6.5%, so perfectly acceptable).

5)  The Blogger returns to the comedy tent eager to lap up a dose of Tom Caruth. Instead, this is what she gets – Pauline Eyre and a third dose of :

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

It’s now not just humorous, or really funny, or a possible original – it’s ground-breakingly fresh and 100% orginal! The Blogger starts to spit and splutter. Everyone in the audience gets a taste of the ‘Dog Dancer’.

6) Tom Caruth refuses to do an impression of C3PO, so the Blogger gets that sweaty-under-the-long-armpit-hair feeling that she always gets when Caruth does his French Chewbacca performance. And, she does a little wet-dog shake to relieve herself of the excess.

7) As it is extremely hot, and as the next up and coming comedian, Carl Denham, has made a point of asking for a generous press review, the Blogger’s subsequent point of call is  …. the beer tent. She makes a third attempt at securing a free taster, by homing in on a bar lady (sure to be more generous than her male counterparts) – but she’s having none of it either. So out again comes the purse, and a request for half a ‘Farmhouse Scrumpy’ (only 5.3% this time).

8) The Blogger returns to the comedy tent, eager to deodorise herself with the sweet music of the James Arthur doppelganger, Carl Denham. Instead, this is what she gets – Pauline Eyre and a fourth dose of:

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

It’s now not just humorous, or really funny, or a possible original, or even ground-breakingly fresh and 100% original! The raucous laughter that now emerges from the Blogger’s mouth is so Earth shattering that Organiser PJ‘s deckchair, gives out a creak and a crumble. Inspired by the effect she has on others, the Blogger considers launching into her own rendition of the ‘Apple Crumble’ song as a kind of Britain’s Got Talent Preview. But, a little shell-shocked by her own earthquake, the Blogger decides it might be kinder to check on the well-being of the next I’ll say-and-do-anything-to-get-into-the-press comedian.

9) But Carl Denham turns out to be a blood-sucker, with a thing about ‘Twilight’ – and a morning slot just isn’t really him. He’s a repellent, rather than a deodoriser, telling his audience to come back later on – the glare from the Blogger’s sunny pink hair disturbs him. The Blogger takes the hint and leaves.

10) As it is now sizzling, due to all the hot lava, and as the next up-and-coming comedian, Alex Oliver, is going to show a snippet of his best Edinburgh peek show, the Blogger’s subsequent point of call is  …. the beer tent. She makes no effort to secure a free taster, as all of the bar staff are looking like we-all-need-some-of-this-cider grumpy, and this time she has double-the-usual money ready. Slurring out of the Blogger’s mouth comes a request for a pint of  ‘Two Trees Perry’. (Only 4.5% alcohol, so why go for a half, when she can practice her ‘doubling’ skills?)

8) The Blogger returns to the comedy tent, eager to lap up a dose of the young and dashing Alex Oliver. Instead, this is what she gets – Pauline Eyre and a fourth dose of :

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

It’s now not just humorous, or really funny, a possible original – or even ground-breakingly fresh and 100% original, or earth shattering. It’s explosively – flat! The loud bomb-like sound that let loose out of the Blogger’s a***, has made an impact crater beneath the stage (the vegetable crates) and the safety of the young Alex Oliver is in doubt.

9) Alex Oliver screeches and squeals and squeaks, not because he’s fallen through the flimsy crates and into the crater below, but because – his mum votes Conservative! Worse, he hasn’t even got a dad with ‘long hair’ to make up for it! He’s so much into slating his mum and dad that the Blogger, now with a thing about doubling,  makes a note in support of Alex’s declaration that he’s two twelve year olds stuck together. But doing the doubling undoes the Blogger. If two twelves, make twenty-four, then two twenty-fours make … No – that means that Alex is half the age of …. The Blogger makes haste …. desperately in need of a refresher ..

10) As it is now scorching, the Blogger’s has-seen-better-days skin is shrivelling, and she needs something to plump out the wrinkling effects of mathematical-brain overuse. She dives under the cover of the beer tent. Perhaps things can be ironed out a little before she has to face the next comedian in the line-up – Si Deaves! She goes for ‘Autumn Magic’, a cider which seems aptly named – a spell out of the summer sun, without venturing into the dark shades of a Carl Denham winter. The Blogger doesn’t hesitate this time – she orders a pint and a half. (It’s only 4.0%, so the extra consumption makes perfect numerical sense!)

11) The Blogger returns to the comedy tent rejuvenated, and keen to share her tips for a do-it-yourself-with-a-pint-of cider tips for a face lift with Si Deaves. Instead, this is what she gets – Pauline Eyre and a fifth dose of :

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

It’s now not just humorous, or really funny, a possible original – or even ground-breakingly fresh and 100% original, or earth shatteringly flat – it’s – it’s really something. In fact, it’s kind of sensual … The thought of the baker with his large hands kneading the same old dough is all just a bit too much … The Blogger turns to Si Deaves and is drawn to inspect his hands – they are tiny! Tiny Si turns out to have Tripophobia – a fear of small holes close together. The Blogger does her calculations: lots of small holes getting closer make one big hole or one massive crater, and Tiny Si is standing directly above his very own Room 101. She’s not going to be the one to tell him; she’s off …

12) As it is now tropical, the Blogger is hallucinating. She thinks it’s Happy Hour at the beer tent and demands a barrelful of ‘Thundering Molly’. It claims to have a ‘well-balanced finish’, and the world at Leestock looks a little topsy-turvy, so the 5.2% cider ought bring the Blogger back into the centre of things.

13) The Blogger re-enters the comedy tent refocused and with an ambitious plan – to stay upright during Martin Westgate’s Leestock debut! But, instead is confronted with a renewed bombardment of  …..

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

It’s no longer just humorous, funny, nearly or wholly original, flat or sensual – it’s now … a killer! The Blogger is knocked flat. She’s on the ground and out for the count. She’s actually a bit of an embarrassment, especially as her pink wig has flown off into the crater, revealing her in all her ageing baldness. PJ sees the Blogger. There’s not much of her left. She hasn’t made much of a mark. And she’s a bit of a liability. He looks down into the crater beneath the vegetable crates. No-one would notice if ….

14) But PJ’s feeling generous. Martin Westgate’s jumping up and down on the vegetable crates playing ‘Spot the Difference’, inviting the kids to shout out every time uses a substitute in a once-was-a-space-for-a-swear-word in his jokes. PJ, thinking that he’s an adult, excuses himself.

15) He wanders over to the beer tent and purchases (with his last intended-as-a-pay-off-for-a-comedian-but-kept-for-himself beer ticket!) a couple of barrels of ‘Black Rat’. At 6%, it ought to finish the Blogger off good and proper.

16) PJ returns to the comedy tent – his very own comedy tent – and is welcomed with a chorus of:

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

It’s all a bit much. The cider would be wasted on the Blogger, and anyway she’s snoring! So PJ cracks open a barrel, puts the other aside for later, and settles in for the Headline Act.

17) It’s Janet Garner. She’s sharing her romantic candle-lit meal recipe for corned-beef-and-malteser omelette – PJ guffaws as loudly as a Gruffalo! Janet admonishes her errant husband (foolish enough to be in the audience) for his tactless rejection of her lovingly-made sausage roll curry – PJ’s guffaws are transformed into a kind of unable-to-breathe-choking sound.

18) Janet, a qualified first aider, jumps down from the vegetable crates and rushes over to PJ’s side. And Pauline Eyre, always ready to be a distraction, steps in and up to offer some relief:

    Why did the baker wash his hands?
    We don’t know Pauline Eyre! Why did the baker wash his hands?
    Because he’d kneaded a poo!

19) PJ vomits.

    Why did the baker …..?

As the official blogger for Suffolk Punch Comedy Club, these are the kind of conditions within which I am forced to work. Please give generous donations to our charity, so that PJ reaches his target, and so that I can retire from blogging and take up my true vocation  – as an immortal cider taster, destined to prop up the bar of The Brewery Tap for ever more.

And please visit the Brewery Tap on every first Wednesday of the month to see each and every one of the Suffolk Punch Comedy Club shows. Free entry, but all donations for Prostate Cancer Research are gratefully received!


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