I have been spending a considerable amount of time with the splendidly eccentric Tim Fitzhigham, one of those quintessentially loony Englishmen who do loony things; things like rowing 160 miles up the Thames in a paper boat, or rowing across the Channel, and then 200 miles around Kent, in an old Victorian bath (including the last 160 miles with a broken shoulder).
On Tuesday, I wandered into the Pleasance to see his Flanders and Swan show, performed with pianist, Duncan Walsh Atkins. Absolutely brilliant! I knew the Gnu Song and Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud (The Hippoptamous Song) from All Aboard, of course, but there were many other delights, including The Gasman Cometh and the superb—and particularly wonderfully performed (with Tim wearing an Edwardian alchemist-style hat)—Have Some Madeira, Me Dear. The hour passed incredibly swiftly—the hilarious banter between Duncan and Tim linking each song conjuring up the spirit of Flanders and Swan themselves—but we were to be unusually privileged: since the show after them wasn't happening, the two decided to give us some more bonus material and we were treated to another half hour of amusing ditties. The two so obviously enjoy performing and was a pleasure to be swept along with their enthusiasm.
Tim then walked me into his solo show, Untitled, in which he tells of how his obsession with Don Quixote led him to pursue a quest to become a mediaeval knight, to win the heart of a lady that he loves from afar ("the lovely, bouncy Claire Sweeney"). The events that befall him as he attempts to achieve this aim, retold with characteristic vim, include an exploding toilet on Granada whilst attempting to gain access to the world's smallest kingdom (the island of Rotonga); a broken ankle whilst attempting to win a cheese-rolling contest; sending £10 worth of book tokens to Tony Blair (a knighthood must be cheaper than a peerage, right?) which were rejected out of hand; he then lived in a cave in La Mancha wearing a suit or armour, before finally returning to Norfolk, depressed, without having achieved his aim; and there was a surprise on the doormat...
Anyway, as I said, he's a loon but you have to admire that sort of lunacy and, besides, he bought me many birthday drinks, so hoorah for Tim (and go see his shows).
The other thing that made me laugh on Tuesday was a line from an excellent and typically comprehensive fisking, of an egregious article, by the P-G.
Well, I'll be dipped in dogshit. Can I use your strawman to wipe it off?
That made me laugh out loud, even as the object of the fisking arose my rage...