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the SHORTS project 1974/5



Well, it’s great to be here, really tremendous, came in today, fresh in from Sydney, came by plane, only way to fly. Oh you’re a wonderful audience, really wonderful, thanks for laughing mum, no, really, it’s great to be here, did you hear they invented a new deodorant, a new deodorant that’s so strong, so strong it turns you invisible, completely invisible, so now when you walk down the street, everybody just wonders where the smell’s coming from.

And there’s this new fly spray, just out on the market, makes the flies very sexy, sees very sexy, so now you can swat ‘em in pairs. Great to be here, really, gets me away from the wife, you know, my wife, now there’s a funny lady, very funny, took her to the zoo last week, took her to the zoo and there we were, standing in front of the gorilla’s cage, right in front of this big, hairy gorilla, see, and suddenly this gorilla reaches out through the bars and grabs the wife and pulls her in through the bars.

Well, she called out to me, Harry, she yells, Harry, this gorilla’s making eyes at me! Then she calls out again, Harry, this gorilla’s touching me! Well, I just stood there, didn’t know what to do, and she yells out again, Harry, this gorilla’s tearing my clothes of! And then she yells out, Harry, this gorilla wants to make love to me! So I turns to her and says, why don’t you tell it you’ve got a headache, same as you do to me,

Oh, you’re getting better, getting better, every minute, you’re really wonderful, look, the other day I was up in the country sitting in the local pub, having a lemonade and talking to these three old mates of mine all standing round the bar. Well, I said to one of them, how old are you, grandpa? And he turns round and says, ninety three. Well, I said, that’s fantastic, congratulation on reaching such a wonderful old age, what do you attribute your long life to?

And he says to me: milk. Milk for breakfast, milk for lunch, milk at dinner-time – and I turns to his mate, and says, how old are you then? And he answers, one hundred and four years old. Well, I was really amazed and asked him the same question, what do you attribute your long life to? And he says, beer. Beer for breakfast, beer for lunch, beer at dinner—time. Well, I turned to the third old man, really old he looked, and he turned round, looked me in the eye and said, women. Women for breakfast, women at lunchtime, women at dinner—time…

And I said, and how old are you, old timer, and he said, I’ll be twenty three next weekend!

crawling, down on his knees he was, and he looked up at me with his big starving eyes and said, ‘Please mister, I haven’t tasted food in three weeks!’ I looked down at him and said, ‘Still tastes the same.’

What about the guy who walked up to this beautiful chick at a dance the other week, smoothed up to her and said, ‘Hey, baby, I’m gonna give you something you’ve never had before.,’ And she turned to her friend and said, ‘Ay,Maggie, there’s a guy here with leprosy.’

Can’t shock me, you know, can’t shock me, I used to be a doctor, I’ve seen the other side of life, nothing shocks me.. I remember when I was at medical school cutting up the corpses, end of term came, end of term, everyone excited, suddenly started chucking bits of the bodies round the room, bits of legs, arms lung, stomach, penises all flying round the place. Well, all of a sudden there was the professor standing there in the doorway, watching. Silence. ‘You should be ashamed of yourselves,’ he thundered; ‘how do you expect them to sort themselves out on the Day of Judgment!’

I had this patient, little kid, ten years old, funny little kid be was, had hydrocephalus, water on the brain that is, cerebrospinal fluid that can’t get out of the head, makes the brain swell up, very painful it is, very painful, I used to stick a needle in the kid’s head and drain it all cut, used to gush out, you know, ten feet in the air. Anyway, this kid, be was reading Pickwick Papers, thick book, and the one thing he asked God for, was that he could finish it before he died.

He died before it was half-finished!

I once went to this child-birth that had been dragging on for sixteen hours. Sixteen hours! Well, finally it started to come, and you know what it was? A frog! A large, grey, slimy, human frog! No neck, no head, with eyes, nose, froggy mouth and long arms, Well, I wrapped it up in newspaper, I dunno whether it was alive or not, I didn’t care after all that waiting, and I

way there, I passed this pub, well, I thought to myself, I deserve a drink after all that hanging around, so I went in fronted up to the bar and ordered myself a whisky and you know, suddenly I thought, I’d like to unwrap this little bundle under my arm, I’d like to unwrap it and hold it up, hold it up for everyone to see, a real—life Gorgons head, to turn the world to stone.

Now that’s a really funny thing, me wanting to do a thing like that, that’s a really funny thing.,.

I know so many bad jokes. At least I didn’t make them up. But you gotta laugh, haven’t you.

Haven’t you?