Tittling Toupees at The Tap


Image result for 1st birthday cake tap

Suffolk Punch Comedy Club’s 1st Birthday

(and the cake that our compere, PJ, did not bake for the punters)



What better way to celebrate Suffolk Punch Comedy Club’s first birthday than with …. Gavin Milnethorpe? No, not with Gavin – not yet awhile anyhow. First stop’s the bar. No woman in her forty-eighth year of life on planet Earth can’t possibly celebrate someone or something else’s first birthday, something else’s youth, without a pint of Mango cider in hand.

My favourite laughing barman, little-wizard-Oz, is serving this evening. My pint of cider is about to be hand-pumped by a wizard. Like myself, Oz failed to make the mark as a we-want-you-back comedian, at the Club’s debut gig twelve months ago; and, like myself, he’s still here – still standing (even if he is somewhat diminished in stature!).  A pint of mango served up by Oz is sure to be like downing a bottle of Alice’s ‘drink me’ potion. It’s rehydrating properties’ll knock the years off me and, if only Oz were allowed to drink on the job, it’d expand his personage into giant proportions. Unfortunately, there is no mango cider – the barrel is dry! Seems I’ll have to settle for Aspall’s ‘Five Berries’ instead. What a let down!

But, I cannot be glum for too long. Gavin Milnethorpe, my very best and most favoured comedian of all time, is here … he’s just put one foot through the door … and … yes, here comes the other one … and … his guitar .. and …yes, Gavin’s head has arrived. Strange, how horizontal he’s looking today. Still, best not to linger too much on that thought. Best not to tell Oz that the comedians, as well as the regular punters, are now starting themselves off with cheap Tesco Value wine, before venturing into The Brewery Tap.

And, in any case, it’s most likely for the best to be horizontal, Gavin, when you’re into singing the ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ song (especially for fragile height-fearing types like the desperate-for-any-job-cos-I-ain’t-making-any-money-out-of-my-repeated-appearances-at-a-charity-gig Gavin Milnethorpe). If horizontal with a bog brush pretending to clean windows, when actually you are a peeping Tom, it’s best to look sideways rather than down. And it’s best to take sidelong glances, when singing insane lyrics about ‘honey-mooning couples’ and ‘blushing brides’, whilst simultaneously making footnotes – pencil between your toes – recording confessions of a freak with an Oedipus complex, a freak who’s sent his father into a stew.

But I’ve barely got lost in the fantasy of Gavin as a high-flying celebrity detective, when he changes tack and starts bemoaning his baldness and the loss of his old ‘curly mop’. What have you got to worry about, Gavin? You’re still a young, thirty-something! Wait until middle-age hits you, then you’ll really know about the loss of your curlies. In the meantime, get on out of here; us ageing Tap punters want to be reminded of our youthfulness, not of our bareness and your baldness. A toupee’s not that bad an idea, though … cut down to size … there must be a demand for it … here at the Tap .. A nice little sideline for Oz? Will have to put the idea to him …. but, for now … here’s ..

Chris Ray. Chris Ray? Who’s Chris Ray? Well, whoever he is, he’s outed the balding Gavin, and he’s abandoned foreign climates (Norwich), for poor dwindling little Sudbury. He really must be hard up. Not sure what he’s spent all his pennies on, though, ‘cos he’s ranting on about how much he hates technology. He hates SMART fridges, toasters, lightbulbs and trouser presses, and he hankers after the old days. Feeling sorry for him, I think about offering him the eyesore on my kitchen table, the bottle green kitchen scales made of cast iron, complete with 1, 5 and 10 Oz. weights (No, Oz – no, I’m not referring to you – you’re not heavyweight enough to counterbalance a pinch of Colman’s mustard powder!). An eyesore that I bought, out of embarrassment, from the vintage shop on Colchester High Street  – after a failed attempt to haggle on a price for myself! But all thoughts of making such a donation to the worthy, but worthless Chris, disappear in a puff of Oz smoke – when he confesses he spent last week’s food budget on a PlayStation and a pack of Curly Wurly bars. Never mind the curlies, Gavin’s already taken off with those for his follicle transplant. It’s the PlayStation that gets me. Such hypocrisy! Such wanton technological greed. He’s sitting there getting all excited, with his hands around his own joystick ,whilst his girlfriend’s left high and dry on a diet of rice and pasta for the next twelve months. Get off with you, Chris Ray. Beam yourself on out of here. Get back to Norwich! Go and play! We want …

Ben Cohen! Ben Cohen – all the way from London!

But, first ….

Taking a quick stop to make my break at … the … cleanest conveniences in Sudbury. This ‘Five Berries’ stuff sure clears through the old pipework efficiently!

Shame it’s so cold and icy in the Tap’s Ladies’. What I need is a nice warm blast of air. I ready myself to communicate with the sensory controls of the hand-dryer, but am stopped in my tracks ..

‘HAVE A BLOW JOB, COURTESY OF THE BREWERY TAP!’ reads a new sign above the hand-dryer. A blow job? Surely not? … Oh! I’m in the Mens’. Quick turnaround manoeuvre – and I’m out! Out and straight into the oncoming traffic. “Oh, hello Ben. Hello, Adam Joyce. Hello, Matt Bray, Adam Bromley and …

No, no. No, I’m not Suffolk Punch Comedy Club’s resident Blogger! No, no, definitely not. In fact, I’m just one of the regular punters. Just a bit on the tipsy side. Just on my way out … out to …

… the Ladies’ …. Oh, hello PJ! Why are you in the …?

Aspall’s? Five Berries?

The Mens’ are that way! Yes, that’s right … out the door … follow the warm air … you’ll see a sign offering you a …. You put it there? Well, go and deal with it! Sort out the punters! Otherwise it’s  a prime example of misleading advertising! You’ll get done by the …. commercial regulating thingmebobs …. SORT IT OUT!

By Jay Cool, September 2017

P.S. Please come and try out the Brewery Tap’s unique brand of hand dryer! Be at the Tap from 7.30 pm, first Wednesday of every month! Join the Blogger in  laughing with, or at, the comedians and donate generously to the Prostate Cancer Research fund.

Credits: Birthday Cake picture, labelled as ‘free for reuse’, courtesy of Omer Wizar at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thewazir/4232029536

Published by The Silly-Savvy Salopian

Freelance writer and descendant of the cave dweller and outlaw, Humphrey Kynaston. Banished from Shropshire for my eccentricity, I have made my home in Suffolk. I write poetry, short stories, travel journals, comedy gig reviews and non-fiction articles. My wish is to write my way back into the heart of my birth land. All writing commissions (and free holidays in Shropshire!) considered.

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