So I survived the Edinburgh Fringe, just. I managed not to have an emotional breakdown despite being tested several times. Flyering, having people wander into my show partway through, (That never happens at The Pleasance does it? No-one ever turns up late to a 7pm £10 show at 7:30pm and says, “Here’s a fiver, we’ll watch the second half.”)
Now it’s September, like the start of a school year. I’ve got a new book, but no new pencils as I’m a self-confessed tight arse, I bought a 6 pack of clicky pencils (yeah, that’s what they’re called.) and I still have at least 4 that I can find.
I’ve begun rolling out new material, although I finally sampled one of those dreaded London open mic nights where the crowd is 98% other comedians. It was about as fun as stepping on an upturned plug then biting your tongue really hard and twatting your funny bone all at once. Actually that probably would be funny to watch, but I meant in the painful sense.
The gym welcomed me back with open muscular arms, then squeezed me a little too tightly and whispered, “Where the fuck have you been you lazy bastard, is that instant noodles I can smell?”
I eased my way back into my 3 day split routine which is as follows:
Day 1 – Chest and Triceps (and abs) Day 2 – Back and Biceps Day 3 – Legs and Shoulders (and abs)
Courtesy of a workout I found by a man called Doug, although he’s a bit hardcore for me, I only do 3 x 12 reps for each. Here’s the detailed workout:
I had the odious joy of trying to lift weights whilst a personal trainer counted down reps for the poor victim on the Swiss ball behind me. As I’m trying to get to 12, all I’m hearing is “20, 19, 18, 17, 16…” which is annoying as I’m trying to count upwards. It’s like when you try and remember a phone number and some dickhead starts calling out random numbers before you can grab an eyeliner to scrawl down the number of the taxi firm.
Me: “7..5…3..6..2…1…. anyone got a pen? Chuck me my phone.”
Annoying Bell End: “0568 90, blind 90, 64, 69, 0800 118.”
Me: “Make that a permanent marker so I can write ‘nut sack’ on your forehead.”
It should be easy to keep count but it is distracting. This South-African-Pain-Doctor-personal trainer can bark loudly enough to drown out the booming steroid-activating house music.
I don’t employ a personal trainer as I feel this would be paying someone to help me self harm. Having an assistant surely negates the “self” part of self harm. I like to pretend I have someone shouting at me, like Sergeant Foley from An Officer and a Gentleman.
As I struggled to force the weights skyward, the thought of my chocolate drink (whey powder of course.) and the powerful shower waiting for me in the changing rooms was keeping me going. The gym showers are way better than my one at home. Ours dribbles out water like a hamster with a urine infection. Thankfully it smells slightly better though. My small whey chocolate drink is a little sweet treat after the pain, much like the lollipops I used to get as a little kid after an injection. (Oddly enough, the jabs I frequently got were cos I didn’t eat enough. I think they kicked in about 20 years later!)
As the steam from the shower always seems to make my mind wonder, I began thinking about the YMCA gym I was in. It’s a nice enough gym, although sometimes I look at the machines and think, they may be shiny silver and black leather padded contraptions to help us sculpt ourselves, but occasionally they do look like torture devices. I wonder if we had a Back to the Future style Delorean and popped back to 1852 and showed people these machines, would they think this is where prisoners end up for stealing bread? (Not to help burn off the carb calories, just for sheer excruciating punishment.)
The YMCA is quite nice, I don’t want to bang on about it or make a song and dance about it – that’s already been done. But I did wonder what effect the Village People’s vocal efforts had on the YMCA? What if you were a slightly homophobic dude and you needed somewhere to stay for the night? Would that song have put you off? YMCA does stand for Young Men’s Christian Association, last time I checked, Christians were not so gay friendly…
I decided to Google it for 5 mins, then draw a conclusion: What can I find out that’s interesting about the YMCA and the effect the song had on it. Let’s start the stopwatch.
5 mins pass and some frantic Googling, followed by a “Shit fuck!” As Firefox crashed, then I had to stop the stopwatch and restart it, once Firefucks had finished installing updates. Fuck-updates more like.
I saw this on Wikipedia. I know there is a “” in there, which goes to reinforce what I think of Wikipedia. Lovely as it is, it is open to people to post nonsense in, so Wikipedia is much like a glorious online gossip, but it’s still one of my favourite sites. Every girl loves a gossip and I firmly consider myself a Wikipedo.
Taken at face value, its lyrics extol the virtues of the Young Men's Christian Association. In gay culture from which the group sprang, the song was implicitly understood as celebrating the YMCA's reputation as a popular cruising and hookup spot, particularly for the younger gay men to whom it was addressed. However, Victor Willis, Village People lead singer and writer of the lyrics, insists that he did not write YMCA as a gay anthem (Willis is heterosexual). Rather, Willis said he wrote the song as a reflection of young urban black youth fun at the YMCA such as basketball and swimming. That said, Willis has often acknowledged his fondness for double entendre. Willis says that he wrote the song in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Upon its release, the YMCA threatened to sue the band over trademark infringement and concerns about the song's double entendres. The organization ultimately dropped the lawsuit when it noticed that membership significantly increased in the wake of the song's popularity. Today, the YMCA is happy to be associated with the song and sees it as a positive public representation.
Oh I bet they did! “We’re gonna sue you, you pricks! Wait a minute… we’re getting more members… more money… hey guys, it’s OK. You carry on, we’re cool with it now.”
This caught my eye too, on www.afterelton.com:
Earlier today we posted a video of New York Yankee fans singing a shockingly homophobic version of "Y.M.C.A." A short time ago I spoke with a spokesman for the Yankees who told me that video was from four years ago and that the Bleacher Creatures (a group of fans seated in a specific section of Yankee Stadium) had been told that homophobic lyrics would not be tolerated.
That turns to be true and not true. While the most virulently anti-gay version of that song is no longer being performed by most fans in Section 203 , the Bleacher Creatures clearly still don't get what is offensive about their antics because they have numerous videos posted of themselves from as recently as several weeks ago singing "Y.M.C.A." with the lyrics changed to "Y. R. U. Gay?" as a way to denigrate fans of opposing teams.
Sad times for the New York Yankees, although…
The Bleacher Creatures say they will no longer chant homophobic remarks
I do love that name “Bleacher Creatures”. Sounds like germs that need a bit of Cilit Bang.
And my last bit of finding before the bell rang out, courtesy of Washington Times:
CHICAGO (AP) - The Village People won’t be changing their hit song “Y.M.C.A.” just because the YMCA is now known officially as just “the Y.”
The lead singer of the original group, Victor Willis, released a statement Monday after the Chicago-based U.S. nonprofit announce that it’s changing both its logo and name to “the Y.”
Willis says the change won’t affect the song _ or the dance that goes along with it, in which participants use their arms to make the shape of each letter.
The name switch for the Y comes after more than two years of research indicated many people don’t understand what the group does. The group’s mission is to strengthen communities by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
So there you go. That would be quite a different song wouldn’t it? “It’s fun to stay at the Y…….. it’s fun to stay at the Y……” the dance would be more like Michael Flatley’s kinda thing too.
Although as I think about that dance, I realise that in the gym, I do the Y part of that dance with the weights quite a lot. Maybe I should try the whole YMCA dance with some dumbbells next time the personal trainer’s in, let’s see if she can keep count when I’m being a liability.
Y not eh?