Duck Stand-up week
I wrote me a stand-up routine, with a bunch of old gags, a pile of new gags and a notional dinner jacket and bow tie, which I am too terrified to perform in public. So, until I get my act together (as it were), here it is, over the next few days
Part One: On the burden of my name, again
I'm still an Alistair, for which I still blame the parents.
I'm only here because my dreams of winning the X Factor were dashed by my crippling speech impediment, which - it iturned out- wasn't a good enough sob story to make me a major star.
And it's this: Whenever I go to sing "You raise me up", it comes out "Touch my bum, this is life".
I went and had Hitler Therapy for it - Hitler Therapy, it's like Hypnotherapy, only this German bloke shouts at you until your existing problems are replaced by a burning urge to invade Poland - but it only made things worse.
I turned up on the say, the music stared, and instead of the lilting tones of "You raise me up", I started singing the lilting ballad: "I WANT TO KILL SIMON COWELL IN THE FACE! IN THE FACE!".
Well, more shouting than singing, to be honest.
In the dathly silence that followed, Cowell stood up, looked me in the eye and said: "Congratulations, you're through to Boot Camp."
I have a morbid fear of boots.
And that's why I'm here.
So, back to the start, my name's Alistair, and I still blame the parents. There's a ritual associated with my name which occurs whenever I come up against petty officialdom, and it goes something like this:
Them: Could you tell me your first name, please?
Them: How do you spell that?
Me: However you like, everybody else does.
I have come up with many, many alternative spellings of my name, the most impressive of which being on a birthday card from a maiden aunt wishing Aleesha many happy returns. And I'm pointing at you, Lloyds TSB, to whom I've been "Alister" since 1985.
Why don't I simply use one of my middle names, then? After all, I have several friends who have done just that.
For the benefit of the jury, I invite you to choose between Alistair Runcible Shadrach Ebeneezer and call me what you will.
The more observant amongst you will also note my initials, and I respond with the fact that my parents were both medical students in the 1960s. Yeah. ARSE.
This being the case, I am of the opinion that everybody - as soon as they are old enough - should be given a free deed poll in which they may undo the sins of the fathers and choose any name they wish.
I have already availed myself of this facility, and have changed my name to Alistair. Only with the correct spelling.