From Jester To King (Opening - EDITED)
By Simon Barget
Well I’m playing to this audience in Ohio and this guy throws a glass and it hits me. One of those frosted beer glasses with the ear handles and those patterned indentations, you know the old-fashioned ones you get in practically every sports bar in the States. And it hit me, right here [points to spot just above right temple by receding hair line] you see it, see that scar? Yes of course I was bleeding, I mean I could have been knocked out or gotten permanent brain damage.
So I go crazy, jump off the stage, there’s a middle aisle and he’s on my left and I’m trying to get him and he’s just sitting there comatose, and then a couple of audience members intervene at the last second to stop me from absolutely killing the guy because they can see I am going to kill him, and he’s not moving, and then a couple of others right next to him are trying to stop him getting away so that he can get his comeuppance but he wasn’t going anywhere anyway, like they’re holding him to account on my behalf.
I mean nothing gets you more enraged than a glass in the head from a drunken cunt. Yes. He’d been heckling throughout, just mumbling, but you could still hear him, then he’d go quiet then he’d pipe up every so often, basically just mimicking what I was saying in this twee English lady’s voice. [Does voice.] Annoying enough for you? I ask him to be quiet more than a couple of times, very politely and the rest of the audience are losing patience but some don’t know what to make of it, giggling; anyway I knew he wasn’t going to shut up so I just left it. Yes, Ohio, Columbus. No not the front row, near the back by the aisle. About 45 I’d say.
Now the funny thing was that Stuart came on that trip so he got the whole thing on camera, the file is there on my laptop. And you see me on stage doing the Michael Caine bit, you hear him repeating I’m Michael Caine, every time I say it, which is a lot because I say it a lot, you see me leering at the guy and then you see the glass, you see it manifest from nowhere, you see it hitting me, then you see it falling down onto the stage like a brick Then you see how quickly I react, hurling myself towards the guy and shouting: WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM, FUCKER? and GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE CLUB! And Stuart has the self-possession to get the whole thing recorded.
And then the couple of people trying to break it up come from the sides and form a cordon sanitaire around the guy, while he just seems unfazed, cool as a cucumber, and that was the thing that peeved me the most, that he’s totally oblivious, totally unapologetic, and I am shouting COME ON BUDDY trying to jump on him but can’t really because of the peacekeepers, and then there’s another fat guy who’s trying to make sure he doesn’t get away and I’m flailing but the peace-keepers are in front of him, so I can’t really make contact.
Eventually they pull me away, I calm down, people ask me if I’m ok. It just happened so quickly but felt like a lot longer. Someone hands me a handful of napkins and a glass of water (which I think about throwing at the guy, but don’t), and then I just want to start up from where I left off. But I can’t with the guy in the room; I can’t stand him being there, so I go up to the promoter who I see cowering in the back, I go up to him and tell him he has to tell this guy to leave and the promoter is just this weedy guy with a moustache and obviously he isn’t going to do anything, so get this, while the guy’s sitting there with his back to us, Stuart, me and the fat guy come up from behind, I grab legs, the other guys grab the arms and we manage to pick him up, actually haul him up, and bundle him out of the stage door, all whilst Stuart is holding the camera, and once we’ve set him down, he starts going on about he’s paid his entry so we have to let him back in. Red hair. Yeah like dyed, maybe a streak. 1996. Drunk? Don’t think so. He just thought it was funny. Just a one-off. Yes people heckle sometimes but it’s never like that. Honestly I’m not violent but the fact my Dad was twice combat veteran means I’m not afraid of confrontation. If someone starts I’ll give full account of myself, believe me. Good point, it doesn’t hurt to be 1.98 either.