Can’t take a joke

You know you’re getting sensitive about your age when …

You think a comedian is making fun of you for being old … when he’s actually dissing you for being in love.

I went to the Sydney Comedy Festival Gala on Saturday night with DD and a group of friends. DD unwittingly booked tickets that were front and centre of the second row.

Never ideal at a comedy show.

Even worse when the person who’s supposed to be sitting in front of you doesn’t show.

So, every comedian had me in their direct line of sight …

I was a teeny bit nervous, but most of the performers didn’t give me a second glance.

Then a bloke (not) recovering from a nasty break-up walked on stage with a beer, starting pointing at DD and I and went in for the kill.

We weren’t talking during his schtick, we weren’t looking at our phones, we hadn’t arrived late. He just needed a target, we looked happy and that pissed him off.

He asked us, in front of hundreds of people, if were were a couple. When he got an affirmative nod he launched his attack. I don’t cope well with public humiliation, so I’ve blocked out most of what he said, aside from his final words, which were: “How long do you think you’ve got?”

For some reason, I thought he meant how long until you die because you look soooooo old.

I don’t know how much laughter his remark generated from the crowd because I was completely frozen with mortification.

It stung because I’ve been feeling past my use-by date lately, with my middle-aged pooch and rapidly diminishing collagens levels.

But I’d dolled up for my big night out – I was wearing my nice new boots and had applied mascara and lippie and everything, so I was hoping I looked vaguely presentable, despite being over 50.

The bitter comedian then moved on to completely tear strips off vegans – which is apparently his main claim to fame – but I’d stopped laughing because I thought he was mean.

After stewing on it all night, I suddenly realised on Sunday morning that he was being cynical about love and was actually wondering when DD and I would break up, like it was a given.

Also not very nice, but not a slight on my elderly appearance. Although DD says he’s not entirely sure if he was also having a go at us for being ooooooold.

Not that DD was bothered either way, he thought it was funny that I was so upset about it.

I couldn’t even remember the comedian’s name – take that! – but DD informed me he was Alfie Brown. I’ve since Googled Alfie and it turns out he’s deeply bitter about being ditched by his former partner, a fellow comedian called Jessie Cave (she was also Lavender Brown in Harry Potter). Alfie impregnated her on a one-night stand, one thing led to another, they had another child, things didn’t work out, he’s very shitty about it …

Alfie has also been described as a narcissist, misanthrope and self-indulgent … all in the same Guardian review.

Anyways, aside from that angry man, we had a fun night. I laughed so much I felt sick on the stomach … or maybe that was the kilo of pasta I ate at Fratelli Fresh beforehand. The crab spagettini was EXCELLENT. I’m so often let down by pasta in restaurants these days, but it was delicious.

Co-incidentally, I’d bought my ex tickets for his birthday to see Dave Hughes with the kids on the same night. After their show, Hughesy hopped in a cab to perform at mine, which was a great surprise. He was one of my favourite comedians of the night. I also really liked Steph Tisdell – who riffed on what it’s like to be an Aboriginal dating a ginger and how naming the albino whale ‘Migaloo’ was a giant joke on white people because it’s really rude – and Luke Heggie’s deadpan dissing of artisanal bakeries, while Fiona O’Loughlin was a hoot in a kinda terrifying way as she discussed her parenting fails.

DD and I also had the most glorious late autumn dip on Saturday afternoon. It was 22C both in and out of the water, Soooooo divine.

On Sunday night, we backed up to see another comedian, Becky Lucas, at The Factory.

Knowing I was a bit bruised by the bastard comedian on Saturday night, DD assured me that Becky wasn’t mean. Well, her claim to fame is that she was banned from Twitter for threatening to chop ScoMo’s head off …

Becky had the flu, but she was still good value. Afterwards, DD and I wandered out to grab some pizza. I headed to the bar for a couple of glasses of wine and whaddya know … there’s Alfie the misanthrope sitting in The Factory grounds.

If it had been a movie scene, I would have walked up and said something really pithy and cutting to him. But it wasn’t. It was a Sunday night in Marrickville and I’m terrible with confrontation, so I just gave him a filthy side-eye sneer that he probably didn’t see.

Then I walked back to DD and said: “You’re not going to believe this! That muthafarker comedian is on the other side of the box office.”

DD immediately ducked over to confirm the sighting and agreed it was definitely him.

Alfie, it must be said, looked pretty miserable as he sat there nursing his beer with a few fellow comedians.

So I decided happiness was the best revenge. I shared a capricciosa with my spunky boyf and drifted serenely off into the night, all my fury and hurt blissfully gone.

Did you have a good one?

Song of the day: Crowded House “Mean to me”

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