Rebuilding My Life After The Divorce

Posted: August 15, 2013 in As If I Actually Ended Up Going To Uni, Back To The Edge, Dan Meets Celebrities, Springing Into Life

rebuilding my life after the divorce


I am smiling, and dropping a four year old from a distance repeatedly. I am with new friend Gamble, thrilling his daughter with sofa-bombing antics when his face suddenly drops.


“What’s the matter?”


“Did you say the fifteenth?”




“Oh no! We’ve got friends round that night!”




“Yeah, but you should still go.”


“Yeah, I suppose I can invite Big Boots.”




“My old housemate. We’ve been best friends since we were 8 but I don’t see him so much since the divorce.”


“Oh. Why is that his name?”


“I accidentally called it him the one time. Seemed like it should probably stick to him for several years.”


“Oh. Well yeah, definitely take him. It’ll be brilliant!


I smile. And enjoy the moment. A good moment. Life has moved on. Big Boots is engaged, and I have a new harmonica. I have a new life. A good life. With new friends. New housemates. New comedy. And there could be no better way of showing it all off to Big Boots than by taking him to see my new favourite comedian.


A Wolverhampton comedian.


From Canada. Who I discovered in Wolverhampton. He is the prize discovery of my new post-Big Boots life. The kingpin of my new comedy world order. No longer am I held captive! Bound to the whims and wiles of Graham Linehan! I decide to invite Big Boots to come with me to see Craig live. This is going to be brilliant.


I send him a text.



It is a few days later, and we are taking our seats for the show. Only something isn’t right. Craig Campbell is here. But so are two other blokes. Stewart Francis, who is a comedian. And Glenn Wool. Who is apparently a comedian. And Canadian. And therefore probably likes wood.

“I really hope they don’t only give Craig Campbell a short set. That would suck.”


“But hey, maybe you’ll get to speak to him like you did with Milton Jones!”


“That would be ace!”


“That’d be funny if you came just to see Craig and then ended up speaking to one of the other ones instead.”


“Oh man, I’d be gutted.”


A wispy sound like a mountain-dweller chewing on raw bees into a microphone suddenly echoes around the room. A wispy sound I’d recognise anywhere.


The voice of a Canadian.


Ladies and gentlemen…. the lumberjacks!”


I smile, and watch as Not-Craig #1 takes the mic and bates the crowd. He asks if anybody has been to Canada, and I smile, as several people roar.


“Did you like it?”


This is exciting! We’re talking about Canada! With a genuine Canadian! This is such a good demonstration of my new life!


“No? Where did you go? …Winnipeg? …Has anyone here been to Winnipeg?”


I burst.




Big Boots cringes.


“Oh, really? What did you do there?”


I reply truthfully. As both a man, and an Englishman.


“Went to SEVEN-ELEVEN!!!!”


I fall back into my seat, and accidentally trap the guy next to me’s finger in his seat.

“So… you went to a 7-Eleven… in Winnipeg….”


I smile. Flipping yeah I did.


“…Living the dream.”


Everybody laughs. And I smile. Because sometimes things are so exciting you can only laugh. Like finding out John Terry’s been given an etiquette lesson. Or you’re getting a pet.


“Did you know anybody there…?”


I sigh. Stewart Francis. He doesn’t understand that I was in Winnipeg with a travelling youthwork team.


And he won’t.


I smile, and yell.




Stewart is stunned. The crowd laughs. I’m ace. Genuinely funny. I smile, as we witness the emergent visage of second lumberjack Glenn Wool – as in Wool-d not pay to see him if you knew what you were in for. He mocks abused children of divorced holocaust survivors and insults the crowd for not enjoying his comedy before finally clearing off. I sigh, and long for John Terry to come and give him an etiquette lesson. When finally it happens…


Craig Campbell appears on stage!


And is very, very funny! But not quite as funny as we’d hoped. He screams into the microphone for a while doing an impression of a mysterious evil creature he saw a few times when he was high, and spends a long time asking an audience member detailed but informative questions about his degenerative disease. I sigh. For this is not the humour I’d imagined. Craig wraps up, and I suddenly realise that I haven’t got to speak to him, as Stewart Francis comes back on for the curtain call. Flipping diseased people. Always hogging celebrities. I decide that I may yet get another chance to see Craig and wait for my moment to pounce. I start listening again, as Stewart announces the return of his two lumberjack brethren as they appear on stage.




Giblets and all. Oh no! That is not the another chance I meant! And I didn’t mean to see that much of him! I look at Big Boots. Who is not a nurse. Who is not used to giblets. Or all. He turns to me, and stares at me with a lost look in his eye. He wants to ask why. Why did I bring him here? To my new giblet-infested world! Hang on… This even shocked me!


Wolverhampton! It’s… it’s tricked me!


We decide to leave, partly because the show’s just finished and partly to escape the visual abattoire, so head for a kebab. We walk through town, wondering what just happened as two homeless guys tease an excited dog by holding a potentially dead mouse above it’s mouth by the tail.


“What the heck?!”


“What is this town? Is this really your new life, Dan?”


I sigh, like a boyfriend whose lady friend has just insulted his parents, as we kebab and head home, to find Jackson sitting in the room pointing at things. We arrive, and he pops to the loo. I look at Big Boots, and beam.




We switch the lights off and hide. And make Jackson jump. A LOT. We laugh, and Jackson pummels us in the usual way. It’s not really pummelling. It’s pointing with style. Jackson heads upstairs, and jumps out of his skin! As Violin laughs in hysterics, perched atop the stairs showing a huge scary face on his laptop. We laugh even more, before Jackson gets into a surprise waterfight with me. I sit back down, and smile.


“Now this is my new life.”


Big Boots smiles, and speaks up.


“And it is good.


I smile, and duck out of the way of a flying pint of tap water that lands on Jackson’s own shoes.


“You goon!”


I laugh at Jackson, and show Big Boots my harmonica.


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