Endings.

I’m writing a new show that will be biographical and feature tales about mental health. Last time I felt the black dog tugging on his leash was after the death of my dad. In truth though that wasn’t depression it was me grieving, which is perfectly natural. I feel it’s important we recognise that and don’t define ourselves via a condition…some of these jokes are in bad taste…good.  

I hold everything the NHS does in the highest regard. Being Scottish I’m quite reliant on them. I hate these twits that say, “Ah but you can’t expect free care forever.” It’s not free. We pay for it. And being an ex smoker of 20 years, with the amount of tax I’ve paid, when my time is up I want a gold plated bed and disgraced Tories washing my feet while I whack their arses with a rolled up copy of the Morning Star.

I’m not claiming NHS care is perfect. I used to have an uncle who had an NHS pacemaker and every time he farted the garage door would open.

My dad went out in an NHS bed. Not so much to do with a Scots lifestyle and more to do with he was chock a full of white asbestos from his job. The funeral was lovely and very well attended but his cremation went on forever.

That was the last time I felt depressed. But the point is it wasn’t depression I was just grieving. We should recognise that, I feel it’s very important we don’t define ourselves via conditions. Being sad is sometimes the right way to be. I really don’t like how we romanticise bad mental health. Poor old Van Gough get’s that, “Ah well, the reason he was so great was because he was so tortured.”
Bullshit. They claim his last words were  “la tristesse durera” meaning  “The pain is eternal” Well that was conveniently poetic of him wasn’t it?…and just not true. You know what my dads last words were? “You maybe better get a doctor. I think there’s something really wrong with me.” Which makes perfect sense. He wasn’t rattling out little bon mots on the nature of being. “Ah the universe is a hurricane and we are nought but farts.” What? What’s he saying? I’m not sure, something about farting like a hurricane. Ah…it’s probably the mixture of hospital cabbage and morphine.

I reckon Van Gough’s last words probably were more along the lines of, “Speak up you fool, I’m missing a lug. What? No I don’t feel like getting it down in a painting! I’m really fucking depressed! Send out for some prostitutes and Absinth, that tends to work”

And if those really were his last words then he was wrong. Pain isn’t eternal…Well unless you’re watching Scotland in a world cup qualifier. In which case it can feel like it. The point is you get better. Of course I can still feel a swelling of emotion when I think of my dad, but it’s a nice feeling. I was just thinking today how he could be full of constant surprises. I remember watching indie band The Smiths on telly one day and he looked up from his paper and said, “What a lovely singer that man is. Perfect diction, you can make out every word.” I was stunned. As far as music went he wasn’t into anything post Sinatra. Now he’s gone from Sinatra to The Smiths and cut out pretty much everything in between. That’s some gap. Or maybe he just liked the idea of “hanging DJs” Then there was the time gay icon Boy George first appeared on Top of the Pops. Again he looks up from his paper, “What’s that.” He enquired? Not who, what. I said, “It’s Boy George. He’s gay.” To which he replied, “Well if gay means happy then that man’s ecstatic.” A joke I feel good enough to go in this show.

Although the death of my dad from cancer was anything but pleasant I didn’t find it horrific either. Life kind of prepares you for such stuff. And even in among all the pain nice things would happen. The day before he went he decided to rally round and find the strength to watch Scotland play England at Rugby. We hadn’t defeated England in an age…that day we won. Nice one God. I always reckoned if he did exist he’s probably Scottish and invented England to punish us for our sins.

Even on the day of his passing quirky stuff was happening. My family is like The Broons. There’s as many of us as them and like The Broons if one heads out to solve a problem then another nine follow behind them. On the day my dad was at the end he had been put into twilight to ease his pain. It was decided a word with the nurse was required and in typical Broons/Scott family tradition nine of them set off down the corridor and I was charged with watching my dad as I had a “nursing background”. I’d worked for nine months in a psychiatric hospital about ten years prior. They hadn’t been out the room more than two minutes and my dad decided, from whatever level of consciousness he was on, It seems to have gone a bit quite I’ll just sneak away now. And he stopped breathing. I got a fright. I then said, “Shit dad they’re all out the room. Could you please just hang on.” And he promptly started breathing again.

So then I lean out his room and call on the family. As I was doing this I did the most ridiculous thing of keeping one hand on his bed, like you do with a shopping trolley in the supermarket…in case someone is looking for exactly the same groceries as you and makes off with your stuff. I’ve no idea where I thought he might be going. I think the chances of him leaping up and announcing there’s maybe some time left for a final bet at the bookies were slim.

PS My dad’s the one on the left in this photo.

 

 

 

A short conversation on right wing comedians.

As a comic I’ve no huge issues to make with comedians that go at stuff from the right. If I don’t like it I move on. Simple. Surely that should be the rule on all of it. But I did have this conversation with a posh old lady recently that really made me laugh….

 

 

OLD LADY:  “Why is it that all comedians are on the left? I’m a Tory and would like to see more right wing comedians.”

ME: “Well there are conservative comedians nowadays. And if you think not so long ago lots of comedians were Tories or on the right. Just look at Jim Davidson and Bernard Manning.”

OLD LADY:  “Yes but they were horrible.”

ME    “Yeah I know. I wonder why that was.”

The Male Pill.

So we’ve got Trump, Clinton, Brexit and the failing pound but the big news is…Scientists announce they’ve finally developed the male pill. And it’s not really before time is it? I mean for women you’ve got pills, coils, implants, patches, caps, and being locked for a week in the menstruating hut. What do we have for men? Err…Rubber Johnny. 100 years of contraception and that’s it! Or get your balls cut off.

Thing is just by a show of hands…How many women here would trust a man who said he was on the pill? (TUMBLEWEED SOUND) Exactly!

I reckon before they bring the male pill out it should have something in it that helps prove a bloke is actually taking it. Perhaps it could make your willy glow in the dark, or it makes your balls make a noise like wind chimes.

I was looking at how the male pill actually works and apparently it lowers sperm count by targeting a bit of the man’s brain. REALLY? You’re telling me there’s some kind of correlation between the brain and the penis. No way! My willy can’t tell the difference between a woman and a bus.

Genuinely there’s a term for why men get unprovoked stiffies on public transport. It’s called Diesel Penis. It’s because of the vibrations from the diesel engine. I mean this could explain why bus drivers always look so unhappy. “Look son just pay the fare and get on the bus. I’ve been sitting with this thing for six hours now. I just want to get home and throttle the life out the bastard. Anyway when are you getting off?”

“When am I getting off? Well that really depends on your driving. If you just give the engine a good fierce revving when we get to the lights I’ll see what I can do.”

 

John Gets Mad. Bi-Polar Tales 2. Introductions and so who’s really mad?

Here’s another part of a new stand up show I’m putting together on mental health…

I was actually really reluctant to do this at first because unlike physical disability mental health still carries a lot of stigma. Mind you we’re getting to a stage now where comedy audiences at least are starting to go, “Oh…another Bi-Polar comedian…that’s original.”

It’s fair to say there are a few of us out there. I was thinking of gathering us all together, forming a jazz band and calling ourselves Mood Swings.

I actually get quite jealous of the physically Disabled. They get an entire Olympics. We get a Stephen Fry documentary every ten years.

When Stephen did that first documentary on Bi-Polar. I watched it and was gobsmacked to see we both had the same psychiatrist. I though, “Well I’ve not had his comedy career, but when it comes to shit mental health I’m up there with the elites.”

I do love the Paralympics and trying to figure out what the fuck is going on at times. One night I tuned in I genuinely thought they were having a three legged race. It turned out to be the blind sprinting. They have a guide running beside them. One guy was actually disqualified because the guide was hauling him along. Mind you he was strapped to Usain Bolt. Poor guy was screaming “Help! I think I’ve be tied to a Cheetah.”

Saying that, those guys don’t get it easy either. Now that the Paralympics is over I’m sure they’ve all been declared fit for work and sent to do time in some Mike Ashley style workhouse.

My Bi-polar is a bit different from Stephen Fry’s. He’s Bi-Polar Two I’m Bi-Polar One. Not that I’m saying here…Hey! My Bi-Polar is better than yours. Mines has gold epaulettes, brass buttons and is here to save the planet. Although being the centre of the world is a common delusion of BP 1. It’s not until the finally get you into a psyche ward that you realise, “The Masons are after me.” is quite a common delusion among the mentally ill. Which initially doesn’t help. “What is this place? They’ve managed to catch you as well? Is this some kind of holding facility for those that know the truth?”

You meet people with other mental illnesses as well. I feel for the schizophrenics. Bi-Polar is quite trendy now but those guys get bad press. Sadly it’s a condition where very rarely AND IT IS VERY RARE something bad happens and someone gets hurt. Saying that if Katie Hopkins is ever to go on QI could we maybe get the Yorkshire Ripper as guest host.

Those guys have auditory hallucinations. They hear voices. That must be absolutely awful. What gets me is the voices seem to tell them to do bad things like kill the neighbours. Why do they never say sensible things like, “Hey, maybe it’s time you tidied the house….Feeling a bit anxious? Perhaps you should give your mum a phone…or hey this is God. Have you ever thought about switching to a cheaper energy supplier.”

But you tell me…Who’s really mad. Those with delusions in a made up world or those with delusions in the real world? That’s right we’re about to make someone like Donald Trump the most powerful man on the planet. He shows all the characteristics of a psychopath and you folks think that’s a vote winner. People were surprised recently when he showed some concern for Hilary Clintons health. Yeah but we never saw that on camera. He issued a statement. I can guarantee there was some fucker putting a gun to his head going, “Just say the fucking words on the paper.”

We have our own deluded type in this country. The Working class Tory. What the fuck is that? You know what that is…remember those missionaries who used to head up the jungle, meet a tribe of cannibals and go Hey we’ve got some new friends and they’ve invited us to dinner. All the time not realising they’re on the fucking menu. That’s what a working class Tory is.

So you tell me. Who’s mad?

 

John Gets Mad. Bi-Polar tales 1. (Don’t be a pain in the arse.)

I’m soon going to do a new show based around experiences of mental illness called John Scott Gets Mad. The things I post here are first ideas of what will be in it.

There’s a fair bit of hippy dippy thinking out there that goes along the lines of, “oh but if you take a medication for your mental health problem you’re not addressing the problem you’re just masking it.”

Look the condition I have is genetic. It requires treatment but is also very treatable. If it rains you put on a coat. It’s the Same idea when taking a treatment. Of course you get whack jobs like Scientologist Tom Cruise who claims all mental health treatments are the work of the Devil. Perhaps Tom if you took a pill you might have a moment of reflection on your double divorces and come to terms with the fact that your gay.

Saying that, having a mental health disability isn’t an excuse for being a pain in the arse. Or so my wife keeps telling me.

I once went on a tour to raise awareness on suicide in the highlands of Scotland. It’s really proportionally high up there. Lots of alcohol and access to shotguns.

The woman who organised the tour works with self harmers. She herself was a self harmer. She was also one of the rudest and more difficult of folks I’ve ever had to deal with. If she wasn’t trying to completely control everything we did she spent the rest of the time trying to convince us we were all self harmers. By the end of two weeks I was wondering why she had to self harm at all. I would have happily offered up a quick punch in the kidneys.

“Oh you bite your nails. That’s a sign of self harm. Oh you smoke. That’s self harm”…OK you got me there…”drink, that’s self harm”…Fuck you the reason I’m drinking is to get through the next week with you. The best one was, “If you were a Goth in the 80s there’s new evidence to suggest that’s self harm.” Are you kidding me? The reason I was a Goth in the 80s was because I liked to sleep with slightly over weight girls in fishnets. How can being a Goth be an illness when you’re in a band called The Cure???

But the biggest pain was the obsession she developed over the size of my luggage. Every day at regular intervals. “That case is TOO BIG. It’s too big for the Highlands. It’s TOO BIG for this tour.”

The reason my case was bigger than the other comics was they were all going home half way through. I was away for a full 12 days.

Eventually one night in a calmer moment everyone got to speaking about their families, partners and children. “Do you have any children John?” She enquired. “Yes I’ve got three.” I replied. “Oh really? That surprises me.”

“Oh..Well I should explain none of them are mine…no they’re all in that big fucking case I’m dragging around the place.”

 

An open letter to Richard Branson and his trains (Renationalise the railways)

 

I travel on British trains a lot. I reckon trains in India are better. We have the worst and most expensive service in Europe.  

The east coast line went back into public ownership and became the most efficient and profitable in the country. But we can’t be having that. Where is the sense in customer care. But panic not we managed to get rid of all that by selling it back to Richard Branson.

He actually has a sign on these cattle trucks that asks How are we doing? and an address to send your thoughts to him….So here’s the letter I wrote.

HOW AM I DOING.

Dear Richard Branson I thought I’d just send a quick note in regards to your question how am I doing? Well I’m afraid the answer’s not very good. I’m not sure where to start on this subject but let’s first go with the often overwhelming stench of unprocessed shit that often tickles my nostrils when traveling on your bovine Cowperson express.

How can we explain to you that it takes more than an egg cup full of water to flush a toilet that has been blocked since Newark Northgate?

It’s not all bad news though as I’ve discovered a fitting revenge to this situation when passing through Grantham the birth place of Margaret Thatcher and spiritual mother to pus ridden colossal greed juggernauts like your good self.

As soon as your train pulls into Grantham station I take great delight in running through it and flushing every toilet IN THE STATION. Thus depositing the pungent effluent of two generations of an exploited, tyrannized and quite frankly totally constipated work force. Try leading the masses by the nose after that one you creepy haired cat wanker.

If somehow I manage to work up an appetite on your defecation express can I please point out that not even NASA have figured out how to make a cheese and ham toastie in a fucking microwave.

The fact that this service costs £132.00 to go from Newcastle to London and is often so overcrowded I’ve seen people pass out yet still remain upright, packed in like Scousers at a Poundland sale, is yet another moot point. This should be enough reason to have you put on one of your new space shuttles on a one way trip to the moon.

I can’t believe you actually think we want to go into space with you? The toasties would be even worse and there would be shit floating everywhere!

Personally I would like to beat you to death with bags of your own money.

I’ll tell you this sir your trains are well named Virgin because nobody wants to ride on them.

Yours the customer.

Some economic advice.

It’s interesting when you go to the cash machine and one of the options is, would you like an advice slip. The thing is it’s not really advice is it? It’s just the correct information about the precarious state of your financial affairs.

If it was advice it would say something like…ah well…you’re fucked. But it isn’t all your fault.

The reason for your financial distress is our governments have sold themselves out to large corporations.

These corporations are moving cheap labour all around the globe which results in wage stagnation and push down economics.

They have no interest in your financial welfare. They are designed to push for maximum profits at a great cost to human welfare.

These profits are then divided among a small group of share holders and directors while you the worker get pushed further and further into almost slave like conditions.

You have one of two choices in this situation. You can stick your head in the sand until they take the last of your rights from you…or…you can unite, take up arms and tear down your oppressors.

Now that would be advice.