Tuesday, June 01, 2010

How Not To Grow Up

Today my copy of How Not To Grow Up arrived in the mail; it had been so long since I ordered it that I'd half forgotten doing so. It's a nice treat to have books magically appear for you, at a distance from when you paid for them, so they feel more like random treats you're being sent by a mysterious benefactor.
I resisted the temptation to read it at work, only getting stuck into it once I was on the MTR. The first few chapters are a bit slow, I think because I've read so much of Richard Herring's blog, and repeatedly watched DVDs of the shows he was performing or writing during this period, but as time goes on he reveals more details that nobody was aware of at the time, including sexual misbehaviour on a London Underground train.

Which surely has some Freudian connotations.

I'm about half way through, and I'm not sure it's the funniest thing I've ever read (despite the recommendation on the front cover from Frank Skinner that it's "really, really funny") but it's more interesting in how it reveals the fears and worries of somebody as they approach their fortieth birthday.

Petulant and immature as Herring is, he's not afraid to admit these faults, which leads to some passages where I winced with recognition (standing at his birthday party, trying to calculate if the presents he's been given outweigh the money he spent on hiring the venue and paying for all the booze).

I suppose what I'm more interested in is to see where things go; there's still around half the book to read, in which I expect him to confront at least some of his depravity and immaturity. But not all of it; after all, his 2010 act still involves plenty of puerility (a word, like ubiquity, that I didn't know existed before today). There's a charm to his clear awareness of his faults that makes you want to know what he's going to get up to next, and hope that there's not something terrible in store.

Having read this, I'm collapsing into bed. I need to conserve my energy for Saturday's race, which is why I'll be playing tennis for an hour tomorrow night and then getting in a fight with some flat-pack furniture afterwards. I'm living the dream.

Although it is a dream involving being crushed in a pile of pine veneered chipboard.1

1 Which I learned today is referred to by at least one architect as 'conglomerate', which makes it sound simultaneously more imposing and more rubbish. Ah well...


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