A useful taunt to any marauding Weeping Angels (yes, I do assume a working knowledge of Doctor Who in my readership), but also an important part of life – though terribly bad for the back, I should really be working on squatting as my primary alternative to standing or lying down.
As should be clear by now, I spend quite a lot of time supporting the Arts and much of this time is spent sitting down (young people’s music and the visual arts being the main exceptions where a chair is seldom on offer). These events take place in a wide range of venues: theatres, concert halls, cinemas, churches and comedy venues (and, at the Edinburgh Fringe, in any re-purposed space from a broom cupboard or urinal up to a sports hall) with a wide variety of permanent or temporary seating on offer. I’m relatively adept at finding decent legroom – where it is available – and for some venues know where to book to offer my buttocks a slightly more padded experience. Nonetheless, many venues are uncomfortable for any period longer than 15 minutes and some become almost unendurable before the first hour is up – or at least that is the case for me, there may exist a human being (or other animal) which has the appropriate biomechanical set-up to endure such seating in relative comfort (though I’m not convinced, I often wonder if chair makers ever actually test their products – when I rule the world -can’t be long now – CEOs will have to sit on their least comfortable product, which should drive quality up).
This past Sunday, at a church in Preston Park in Brighton, was one of the least comfortable seating experiences for a while. I am assuming the suffering is supposed to bring me closer to God and that my time there will net me a few hours off my tariff in purgatory – though I do worry that in these days of declining church attendance the dodgy chairs may not be helping (unless the CofE is aiming to capture the masochist market – perhaps cashing in on the success of 5o Shades of Grey?).
On Monday night, I went to the Pleasance in Islington for an evening of comedy. I arrived breathing like a steam train ascending a challenging gradient as I had elected to use the stairs at Caledonian Road tube station rather than the lift (it would seem I am not as young or fit as I like to imagine). The chairs for the comedy gig were adequate, but nothing special – luckily the comedy stylings of Carl Donnelly and Tom Craine kept my mind off the state of my glutes. I have reached the age where I am quite hard to embarrass and so sit at the front (effectively infinite legroom) despite the risk of becoming part of the show – though this is more fun if I’m with younger people who tend blush more readily. My participation in the show was modest, though I did find myself publicly pondering whether the verb most commonly used to describe onanism (it rhymes with “sank”) was transitive or not (Mr Collins agrees with me that it cannot take an object, though I suspect we may both be somewhat more purist in this regard than Mr Craine). In French, I would certainly expect the verb to be reflexive. Still, I seem to have becoming distracted by thoughts of self-abuse.
Whilst the StageSpace venue chairs were nothing to write home about (though, apparently sufficient to blog about), the bar/waiting area outside, where I spent some minutes waiting before being were allowed in, has the most comfortable couch I have ever experienced in 47 years on this planet. So comfy was it, that I am tempted to return to the Pleasance just to sit on their couch – tickets are cheap (a fiver), and I’m not sure anyone checks that you actually attend any comedy while there …