15th Nov – What do you see when you turn out the light? I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine.

Cleaned myself: 0
Monkey see, monkey do: all night long
Tics: 0 0 0 0
Believe in God? Fuck off
YTLH: yeah

We have put opening night of the pageant back a week, so that we can get in a week of actual rehearsals before going live. Even then, we don’t know what the post-lockdown restrictions are likely to be, so we are basing our assumptions on at least a reinstating of the rule-of-six, and are planning for no-audience events. Roger’s promotional budget for the extravaganza must now extend to a live streaming facility, since our ‘six’ will be taken up with cast, who will also perform important crew roles too. I don’t know how live streaming will work, but I have Big Tooth on my side who a) does, and b) is her sociopathic father’s conduit into real life.

Until then, we progress by Zoom and email, which has been a mistake, since I wrongly assumed that an open and inclusive approach would bring a sort of collegiate cooperation, instead of what it has done: prove an opportunity for each of the participants to show to the rest of us how smart they are. Mrs. Lindsay, who is definitely no Julia Louis Dreyfus, has re-written, and added to first draft scripts in a way that is not a powerful endorsement of my authority. Then, in a poorly managed effort to nip her solipsistic note-giving in the bud, I sent a long critique of her re-writes back to the email group, making it clear that we did not have time to incorporate new ideas, and that we especially did not have the running time to add new, or to lengthen, existing scenes. To seal the deal, I added a waspish note to ask that any notes from now on be spell-checked and proof read more closely before being circulated, in the interest of saving us precious time.

“We built this city on foot and mouth”

Within five minutes a reply-all is received from Johnny Carver, who by the way, has taken to referring to me as Alan Parker – to reflect my local infamy over the Pearl & Dean advert, and that I have now moved into directing, which simply said this: “*proofread.“

Not his own work of course – I imagine that he was merely repeating a rebuke he’d received over his own illiterate submissions at work, but it was delivered with such an icy sweep of real authority that it undermined my efforts far more completely than anything Mrs. Lindsay could have done with her creative writing-weekend-retreat doggerel. Worse, is that numbers are so limited we are stuck with the cast and crew and I cannot summarily dismiss him to show who’s the real boss.

So, instead of managing the situation the Alex Ferguson way, by embracing intolerance and ignorance as my weapons of attack, I found that I’d sent the reply, ‘A lesser man would be embarrassed at such a correction,’ before I’d had time to think about it.

I am back having a night in the shed as I record this, surrounded by sharp and heavy objects, looking out at the light in Mrs. Lindsay’s study, and as the night progresses, I fill up with dark thoughts, which include the unregulated use of hand-tools as percussion instruments.

Bedding myself into the military-class down, black sky thinking begins to give way to practical considerations, and I decide to re-write the foot ‘n’ mouth song as a duet, as the better way to humiliate my antagonists. Shock, shock, horror, horror, shock, shock, horror, I’ll shout myself hoarse for your international pork, the mad cow of the species eats the tail of the male.