David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 91 – Don’t Forget Your Toothpaste

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I woke up this morning to the sound of birds. Just to be clear, I am referring to the feathered creatures, just in case you thought that, being the sexist chauvinist that I apparently am, I had decided to employ a harem of women to sleep in my bed, who were chatting away with each other, as women are of course prone to doing, on and on relentlessly. Obviously if this harem of chatty women did exist, then presumably they’d be talking about shopping or make-up, right men? And before any women write to me about me being sexist, I want to reiterate again that I am not sexist, I am merely just stating a fact, which as I’ve said before, is very different. You are just being over-sensitive, which is only natural because you are a woman, and women tend to get a bit over-sensitive; it’s probably your time of the month or something. if this is your first Dollop that you’ve read then you might be wondering what the heck is going on. See yesterday’s Dollop if you’re confused, which to be honest, if you’re a woman, you probably will be anyway even if you have read yesterday’s Dollop. But don’t worry your pretty little heads about it.

Anyway, I woke up at 530 in the morning to the sounds of the birds outside. It was a really beautiful experience. The bird sounds of Australia are very different. I think the birds in England are much more melodic. Perhaps if the over-sensitive Australian woman from the Blue Mountains Festival is reading this, she will now be seething at this comment, seeing it as proof that as well as being sexist, I am also racist, and my preferences for the bird sounds of England is proof of my anti-antipodean opinions. I think it’s the familiarity of the sounds that I appreciated, and after 30 hours of sitting in a metal box, emitting the same annoying droning wining sounds (that’s the plane that’s doing that, not me), I found the sounds of bird song was quite emotional, joyous and life affirming.

I just lay there, basking in the beautiful sounds, until I noticed that there was another sound lurking below the birds. It was the noise of the aeroplane’s persistent drone and wine. For a brief moment I was filled with horror. Had I been dreaming? Had I dreamt that my journey had ended and that I was at home in bed with the sounds of birds outside? Was I about to wake up and realise that I was still on the plane, with another 15 hours still to go?

Apparently, the brain constructs our reality partly around what sensory information it expects to receive, rather than simply what it’s actually receiving, so that we can get the information transmitted to us quicker. Therefore, even though there wasn’t actually a droning wining plane sound occurring, my brain had presumably processed that sound for so long that it was still presenting it to me, assuming it to still be present. Similarly, I could also feel sensations of movement, even though I was lying motionless on the bed. It felt as if I was still on a plane experiencing turbulence. I could feel myself rising and falling. I focused with more intensity on my actual surroundings, the feel of the bed beneath me and the birds outside, and after a few minutes the droning and wining and sensations of movement began to dissipate. But it was an odd experience while it lasted.

I got back home last night about 8pm. The first thing I did was go upstairs to the bathroom in order to brush my teeth. I hadn’t brushed them for 44 hours. I’d brushed them upon waking up on Tuesday morning, before checking out of the hotel. In my rush to leave the hotel I left my toothpaste behind. I suppose I could have bought a mini tooth paste at the airport, but with all the hassle making sure that we were in the right place at the right time, I never got around to it. So as soon as I got into my house I went upstairs to give my teeth a good brush, which I’d been looking forward to doing, as my teeth were hurting due to the lack of cleaning. I rinsed the tooth brush under the tap, and reached out for the tooth paste, but it wasn’t there.

Ben and Elsa had decided to go on a mini-break to Spain for five days, and had seemingly taken the toothpaste with them. I appreciate that the way that I’ve structured that last sentence makes it seem as if I’m suggesting they’d brought the tooth paste along on the holiday as a companion, rather than merely as an item of luggage. Perhaps you read that sentence and jumped to that assumption, maybe thinking that this was just another quirky thing that the French do. So there was no tooth paste. I’d only just got back home after over 30 hours of traveling, and I really needed a shower and to brush my teeth before I went to the shops. It’s not as if I could just walk into a shop, pick up the toothpaste and leave without exchanging a word with anyone. Being blind I’d need to interact with the people in sainsbury’s (the nearest shop to me) in order to get help finding the toothpaste. I dreaded to think what my teeth must look like and how my breath must smell after almost two days without being brushed, plus I hadn’t had a shower for about 60 hours, two and a half days. I’d planned on getting in the shower when I woke up on the Tuesday morning, but I didn’t wake until five minutes before we had to check out of the hotel, and I still needed to pack, so I just hurridly brushed my teeth, packed and left. I really didn’t like the idea of going to my local shop and interacting with the staff, who know me, without first having a good wash and brushing my teeth. But I couldn’t brush my teeth until I went to sainsbury’s and got some tooth paste.

I considered my options. I wondered whether I should put a bit of soap or shower jell on the tooth brush, give my teeth a quick brush, before spitting and thoroughly rincing. Was that better than not brushing them at all? I didn’t know how safe it was to stick shower jell in my mouth. I figured it would be absolutely fine, so long as I didn’t swallow it, and I’d only use a little bit. But would that even make a difference? In theory it should, I reasoned. If there are any dentists reading, or dilettante teeth enthusiasts, let me know your thoughts on this. In the end I just used the tooth brush and water, and did as thorough a brush as I could without tooth paste. I then checked Sainsbury’s opening times and realised that by the time I’d had a shower and got out, the shop would be closed, so I’d have to go tomorrow morning, meaning that by that point I’d have gone for 60 hours without having given my teeth a proper brush.

I’m sure many of you who are reading this are now getting quite excited at the prospect that finally, after weeks of waiting, I’m about to impart another story from Sainsbury’s, but unfortunately I knew that I was going to have to minimise my interaction as much as possible, as I really didn’t want anyone to smell my breath. Before heading out, I gave my teeth another toothpasteless brush. I searched the house for mints, but there was nothing to be found.

I went into Sainsbury’s and asked for assistance, only to be greeted enthusiastically by my usual lady, now infamous to David’s Daily Digital Dollop regulars. This was the very thing I was dreading.

“Hi, welcome back, how was Australia? You’ll have to tell me all about it,” she excitedly declared. I tried to answer her many questions as succinctly as I could, while also making sure not to face her or open my mouth too much. On the plus side, this meant that she wouldn’t be able to smell my breath or see my discoloured teeth, but it probably made me seem very weird, not facing her and speaking with my mouth barely open. I’ve made this woman out to be a bit eccentric and odd, maybe even a bit unintelligent and ignorant about a lot of things, but to her, I probably seemed really unusual with my weird way of talking and my refusal to face her. For all I know, she might have her own blog, where readers are being treated to stories about the weird halitosis-ridden blind man who comes into the shop, buying pretentious vegetables that no one has ever heard of before, who’s not clever enough to have realised that one of the key principles of talking is to open your mouth.

I got the toothpaste, jogged back home and had the best teeth brushing experience of my life, and that’s really saying something, because I’ve had some bloody incredible teeth brushing experiences in my time. But I’ll save those stories for another day and another blog, or possibly I’ll wait until the book comes out and make you pay for them. It would be a shame to give them away for free and squander the financial potential of those brilliant stories. I’ll have a chat with my branding and marketing team about all that when I’ve recovered from the jetlag.


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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 90 – Quinoa For Victoria

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Within two minutes of disembarking the plane, it was patently clear that we were in London. In the customs queue, waiting to get our passports checked to allow us back into the country, I heard the following sentence from a very posh upper-class sounding man: “yo Charles, would you pop into Waitrose and pick up a Quinoa salad for Victoria? Yeah, great, chau.”

There were written notices and audio announcements instructing us not to use our phones until we were out of the customs area. However, I’ve just done some Googling, and it appears that there is a caveat in the rules that states that it’s OK to use your phone if you’re a posh upper-class hipster who’s simply trying to procure some South American food from an upmarket outlet. So that’s fine then.

So I’m back in England after a really successful Australian tour, where we only managed to anger one person; or at least that’s all we know about. Last week I mentioned the woman who had a go at us for being sexist. This was because when the sound technician bounded onto the stage in order to change a cable mid-gig, I joked that she could have waited until I’d got off stage after the gig if she wanted to ask me on a date. A lady then approached us after the gig and accused us of being sexist and making chauvinistic comments towards the sound technician, as well as telling us that we wouldn’t have said that if it was a male sound technician. We tried to point out to her that we may well have said the same thing if it was a man, which is true, but this line of defence seemed to anger her more. Apologising for any offence caused ddidn’t really placate her either.

The complaining woman was obviously so incensed by this comment towards the sound technician that she’s made a complaint to the festival, meaning that we received an email from the festival organiser informing us that a complaint has been made against us on the grounds of us being sexist. I’m not sure how seriously the complaint will be taken, and hopefully it will be dismissed pretty swiftly, baring in mind that the rest of the audience were laughing and were very effusive in their applause at the end of the gig, as well as being very complimentary to us when we met many of them afterwards.

Surely one woman’s complaint can’t jeopardise our future festival attendance, baring in mind the tremendously positive reaction we received across the board? It’s one woman for goodness sake. I’m assuming that the festival adopts a points system for feedback, whereby men’s comments are worth double points to that of women’s, which is clearly just basic common sense. I am not being sexist here, for I am in no way sexist; I am just being logical, and there is a fundamental difference. If the festival is using this logical points system, then one woman’s voice is worth practically nothing.

If the festival does decide to ban us from appearing in subsequent years on the grounds that we are sexist, then they should also ban their audience, given that they all seemed to laugh loudly after I made the sexist comment. In fact, they should also fire the stage manager, and all the staff who were working during our gig, because they all said how much they’d enjoyed the show, the bunch of sexists. If you’re one of the festival organisers reading this, you might be thinking, “ah, but David, the stage manager is a woman, so we can’t fire her on the grounds that she was complicit in supporting your sexism, when she’s a woman.” But you have clearly fallen into the trap of being sexist yourselves. If you only fire men on the grounds of sexism towards women, whilst refusing to fire ladies who support sexism against their own gender, then you yourselves are being sexist. In fact, why don’t you fire yourselves while you’re at it? You sexist pigs!

I feel as if I have so much more I could write about. I was running through today’s Dollop in my head on the plane and I had some really good ideas, but that was before the deep-brain thrombosis set in and addled my mind. I’m writing this in the car on the very last leg of what’s going to amount to a 30 hour journey. Now let’s just hope I don’t get back home and discover that the WIFI is down. It would be ridiculous if I’ve managed to keep this challenge going in spite of the fact that I’ve been in Australia for three weeks, only to then discover that I can’t get on the Internet in my own house to release the 90th Dollop.


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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 89 – You’ve Got To Take Your Medicine Bob

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I’m writing today’s Dollop in the eating area of the hotel. Our flight isn’t until 9pm, and although we had to check out of our rooms by 10am, they have allowed me to stay in this area until we need to leave. I’m not sure whether that invitation will still stand once I start reading out the audio version of the Dollop. There are people eating around me, and so I’m going to have to make sure that this Dollop is completely family friendly, as I don’t want to be turfed out onto the streets by the hotel staff for putting all their customers off eating because I’m audibly discussing vegan porn stars or pissing dog-ladies. Oops. OK, from now on I’ll keep it family friendly. I’m going to have to read those words out now. There is a devilish part of me that wants to write something really inappropriate, knowing that I’ll then be forced to read it out loud, but I must control the demon inside me. Wanker. No, stop it! Arsehole. No, don’t make me say these things, there are people eating! Shit, cock. No, demon, begone! I am an idiot. I am going to have to read that out now. I could delete it and start this Dollop again, but if I do that then I might get halfway through, only for my laptop battery to run out, thus making me fail the challenge.

The song currently playing in the hotel seems to entirely consist of a man singing, “you’ve got to take your medicine, we’ve got to take our medicine, I’ve got to take my medicine,” repeated over and over again, with the occasional “yeah yeah yeah.” I wonder how songs such as this ever get made.

“So, thanks for popping into the radio station and talking with me today. Now, I’ve got to ask you this. Your song about the medicine. How do you possibly come up with such powerful lyrics?”

“Well, there’s quite a story attached to that song. I was visiting my father in hospital and a nurse came to him and said, “you’ve got to take your medicine, Bob.” Bob is my father’s name you see, hence why she said Bob. Anyway, I turned to the nurse and I said, “what did you just say?” and she said, “I said, you’ve got to take your medicine Bob.” At which point I sprang to my feet and embraced the nurse, thanking her for providing me with the inspiration for my next sure-fire hit. I then immediately wrote it down. “You’ve got to take your medicine Bob,” I wrote. I excitedly passed the piece of paper to the nurse, and watched her as she read those words: “you’ve got to take your medicine Bob.” She didn’t seem as moved or as interested as I was expecting, but I guess she’d had a long shift and was just feeling really tired. She passed the paper back to me and walked off, seeming nonplussed, baring what had just happened.

Unfortunately, all of this had completely distracted the nurse from her originally intended reason for coming to us in the first place, which of course was to give my dad his medicine. Sadly this resulted in him dying later that day. However, before he slipped away we had an emotional moment where I sang him the first draft of my song. “You’ve got to take your medicine Bob, you’ve got to take your medicine bob, you’ve got to take your medicine Bob.” The nurse overheard my song and came sprinting towards my dad’s bed. “Shit,” she said, “I forgot to give him his medicine.” But it was too late, for in that moment he died.

Two really amazing things happened as a result of that incident. I was able to sou the nurse for negligence, and my dad left me a small fortune in his will. I was able to use the money from the nurse and my dad in order to buy a recording studio in which I recorded my sure-fire hit all about my dad needing to take his medicine. Looking back on that moment, it’s as if it was meant to be, you know? As if fate had predestined that event to happen.

Obviously, being a professional songwriter, I knew that the song needed to involve more than just “you’ve got to take your medicine Bob.” It took days of painstaking work to get the song perfect, in fact, I had to miss my dad’s funeral because I was just too busy writing. The first thing I thought was, “we need to lose the Bob, because it’s not scanning properly.” I then thought that just singing “you’ve got to take your medicine” over and over again was a bit bland. I was at a complete loss over what to do. These things take time and concentration to make happen. But then, I had a dream, and it came to me: “you’ve got to take your medicine, we’ve got to take our medicine, I’ve got to take my medicine.” I woke up in a cold sweat. I needed to write it down before I forgot it. I jumped out of bed and searched feverishly for a pen, all the while singing, “you’ve got to take your medicine, we’ve got to take our medicine, I’ve got to take my medicine” over and over again, fearing that I might forget this moment of divine inspiration. Eventually I found a pen and wrote it down. But I felt there was still something missing. But what? The song was almost there, so nearly perfect. But there was something.

It took another couple of weeks for inspiration to reach me. Again, it came in the form of a dream. “you’ve got to take your medicine, we’ve got to take our medicine, I’ve got to take my medicine, yeah yeah yeah.” Again, I woke up in a cold sweat, my heart racing. I jumped out of bed. Where was the damn pen. Eventually I found it, and added the final bit to the song: “yeah yeah yeah” I wrote, my hands shaking with excitement. I read it through, over and over again. It was perfect. I immediately went into my recording studio and laid down a vocal track. I listened to it back on loop, over and over again, sobbing, just so overcome with emotion. And that, my friends, is the story of that song that we all know and love today, and I want to dedicate it to my dad, who’s death made the song possible. His death brought that song to life, and in many ways, my dad lives on through that song.”

The song seems to literally just consist of a man singing those same words over and over again. Then again, I’ve kind of done a similar thing with today’s Dollop, essentially stretching out the same single point for over a thousand words, except I haven’t made any money from it. On the other hand, at least I haven’t killed anyone or got them the sack by writing this Dollop, unless the hotel receptionist who let me stay, is fired because I’ve scared away all of their potential diners by talking to myself, and calling myself a wanker and an arsehole. Oops.

This is my final Dollop from Australia, not that I’ve really mentioned anything about Australia in this Dollop. Tomorrow I shall be back home. As an extra special treat for putting up with my ramblings from Australia, I’ll head straight to Sainsbury’s as soon as I get home and have a conversation with the shop assistant. That’s what you want from these Dollops, isn’t it?


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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 88 – Don’t Strike The Dollop Down

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Our final gig in Australia turned out to actually not be our final gig, because we’ve been asked to appear at the final concert. This is apparently when four of the highlight acts finish off the festival with a concluding concert. So basically, our reward for being brilliant is to play for an extra thirty minutes for no extra money, while all the other less brilliant performers get to have the night off and drink the free beer that’s been laid on by the festival. I am of course being facetious, and we are really thirilled to have been chosen to feature as one of the four acts. It’s incredible that to observe how well the Australian audiences’ have taken to us. Of course, playing this final concert means that we have been given another opportunity to bugger everything up. I might accidentally insult the audience with a joke, and get booed off stage, undoing all of our work over the last three weeks, and never be allowed back into Australia again.

Tomorrow might pose yet another challenge to this 366 consecutive daily blogging project. So far I have managed 88 days in a row, and have blogged everyday that I’ve been in Australia, even though one of them had to be recorded and uploaded from the airport. Our outward flight took 22 hours. Our return flight is 26 hours.

Our transport to the airport leaves the hotel by 10am tomorrow, which will be 12am British time, so I might be able to hurriedly publish the blog post bang on 10am, just as the bus pulls away from the hotel, and out of WIFI range. Although this would mean writing another Dollop when I got back to the hotel tonight, and then having to record it before 10am the next day, which is doable, but I’d be writing two Dollops within just a few hours of each other. Also, I’m not even sure when I’ll get a chance to record this Dollop. It might not be until I get back from the hotel later tonight. I don’t really want to have to record and publish today’s Dollop, then immediately start writing the next one during the night, and then get up early the next day to record and publish tomorrow’s in time for when we leave for the airport, but this might be the safest option to ensure that the challenge remains intact.

We’ve got quite a lot of time to kill in Canberra Airport, so I’d probably have a few hours to write it there, and providing there’s free WIFI then I could release it from the airport. I’ll be back home by about 7pm on the Wednesday, and I could publish Wednesday’s Dollop then, which I’d have had loads of time to write on the excruciatingly long plane journey.

I appreciate that this isn’t particularly entertaining to read, but this challenge is just as much a logistical one as it is creative. Plus, there’s bound to be someone reading who is turned on whenever I write about the logistical aspect of these Dollops, and they just grin and bare all the nonsense in between the occasional bit of logistical talk, impatiently wading through all the tedious blabber about kettles and vegan porn stars and women dressed as dogs, in the hope that a bit of logistics will be around the corner. So that last two paragraphs was for them.

Apparently there’s a national airport strike on Wednesday, meaning that the airports of Australia will be understaffed. I don’t know which elements of the airport staff are going to be striking. I hope it’s not the pilot. The strike doesn’t commence until Wednesday, meaning that he’ll still be working on the Tuesday, when our flight takes off. It would be more than a little harrowing to be thousands of feet above the Indian ocean and suddenly hear the pilot’s voice over the plane saying: “Hello ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. Just to let you know that it’s now 12am on Wednesday, Australian time, which means I am now technically on strike. Therefore, unless I hear from my union that there has been a settlement reached, I shall be relinquishing control of this plane. I’d like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.” He then sings “you won’t get me I’m part of the union, til the day I die,” as our plane begins to spiral out of control and rapidly descend, making the “til the day I die” line of the song especially pertinent.

Let’s just hope it’s those useless people at the entrance to the plane who are striking, with their random, pointless, arbitrary questions about whether we have anything dangerous in our bags, as if someone is going to get to the door of the plane and suddenly say, “do you know what, you’ve just reminded me that I actually do have an AK47 in my bag. I can’t believe I forgot about that, and goodness knows how it got through security. Thank goodness you’re here and you said something, otherwise I might have had one of my funny turns and killed some people.”

There’s been warnings that due to the strike, our journey time may be increased.
I’m a folk singer, so naturally I support people’s right to strike, but if they dare increase my journey time to the point that I don’t get Wednesday’s Dollop released, then my sympathy for them will be destroyed. I just hope that everyone can come to some sort of agreement, so that this 366 consecutive daily blogs project doesn’t come to an end because of striking airport staff, or death-inducing pilots.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 87 – How a Bowl Of Custard Changed A Banker’s Life

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One of our sets yesterday was a kids workshop. There’s an entire area at the festival for children. The person on before us was impressively lively for 930 in the morning. At the end of his spot he threw a bucket of custard over himself and the children roared and squealed with laughter. I was wrestling with whether I admired this man’s commitment to entertaining children, that he would seemingly happily douse himself in custard for their amusement, or whether I pitted him for his life choices. Still, I suppose there are some people who feel ground down by the monotony of their dead-end jobs, and they are considered to be “normal”, well-adjusted adults, whereas this man spends a couple of hours a day making silly noises and throwing custard over himself and gets the reward of seeing and hearing joyous, ecstatic children. So who’s really the mad one? Arguabley this man is more liberated than the majority of us.

I wonder whether he gets sad though knowing that one day the very children who once found him hilarious eventually turn their backs on him, finding him too immature and simplistic for their tastes. Or maybe he’s happy in the knowledge that there will always be children to entertain and impress, and he’s not in it to gain a long-term fan base.

I certainly wouldn’t be able to do his job. There’s no way I’m getting covered in gloopy liquid for anyone, unless maybe there’s an orgasm at the end of it. And even then, obviously the context would have to be very different, and certainly wouldn’t involve being stood on stage in front of lots of children; I thought I’d better make that clear.

Again, like with the pissing dog-lady, how do you get into a job like that? Did he wake up one day and think, “I’m fed-up with being a banker. Everyone hates me, and I’m feeling depressed. But what else can I do? Banking is all I know.” Perhaps he was grappling with this dilemma whilst eating dessert with his family, and being so distracted in his thoughts, he accidentally knocked over the custard bowl, which drenched him. His instant reaction was annoyance, but then he looked up, and through his custard spattered eyes he saw his children laughing hysterically at what had just happened. He hadn’t seen them this happy for months; he’d been such a miserable bore to live with.

So shocked and moved was he by their reaction that he refilled the custard bowl and proceeded to pour it over his head. His children howled with laughter. He felt so good. He couldn’t remember when he’d last felt this happy. Come to think of it, it was probably the last time he’d been covered in custard, but let’s not go into that here.

He opened some more custard tins and poured them into the bowl, which he dramatically poured over his head, this time adding a series of silly noises. His kids fell to the floor clutching their chests in fits of hysterical laughter. His wife was so moved by her husband’s sudden and surprising transformation that she didn’t even mind the fact that there was custard covering her new carpet. She couldn’t remember when she’d last seen him this happy. Come to think of it, it was probably the last time she’d seen him covered in custard, but as I said before, let’s not go there; I wish you’d stop trying to make me talk about that, you dirty animals.

He continued to experiment with different pouring techniques, and noises, until he’d entirely exhausted his custard supplies, at which point he went to the shop, and bought a vat of custard. His kids had told all their friends about their hilarious dad and the custard routine, and consequently he found himself being hounded by children, asking him to perform it for them. And he was only too happy to oblige. Of course the kids loved him, but their parents weren’t too sure. When they heard about the man who covered himself in custard and entertained children, they were more than a bit suspicious. After all, the man in question was a high-flying banker. He was the reason why they’d all had to pinch the pennies for the last few years, and now he was luring their children to him for highly circumspect reasons. But when the parent’s saw what was actually going on, and saw that it was merely a harmless bit of kid’s theatre, they immediately forgave him for his financial transgressions. They booked him to do children’s parties. The banker quit his job and spent all his life savings on custard.

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there, and have essentially spent over 500 words writing a fictional story based solely on the final minute of a children’s entertainer’s act. I think it’s safe to say that I’m definitely in no position to call anyone else mad.

Observing the children’s uproarious reaction to the man’s custard-covering finale, we were a bit nervous about having to follow such a clearly successful performance. We didn’t have any custard or any props with us at all. We were just planning on singing a few funny folk songs and telling a few stories, which let’s face it, isn’t anywhere near as exciting for kids as a man covering himself in custard. There wasn’t any time to change course now though, as we were straight on, and we didn’t have time to go out and get emergency custard supplies. The children did seem to enjoy our act, and a few of my jokes got some laughs from the kids, but I’d be a fool to think I could rival the custard routine. Still, we probably got paid the same as he did, and we didn’t have to cover ourselves in custard, so who’s the real winner?

Just two more days and two more gigs to go before we head back home. It’s been a really amazing tour. Let’s just hope we don’t manage to bugger it up right at the end. I’ll keep some tins of custard in my accordion bag just in case our final performances start to flounder and need redeeming by an emergency custard routine. Michael’s got a dog costume, which he can put in his guitar case. He had it long before he saw the pissing dog-lady, but it might turn out to come in handy for a different reason to its originally intended purpose, which I’m not going to divulge now, as much as you might want me to, Chloe. If you see a YouTube video of Michael rolling around the floor in a dog costume, spraying a water pistol between his legs to recreate a pissing effect, while me and Sean pour custard over ourselves, then at least you’ll now know why. Fortunately, we haven’t had to resort to any of that yet, and the audiences have been seemingly very enthused by what we do. And I’m also getting quite a few more Dollop readers and listeners from Australia since we’ve started gigging here, although that might not still be the case once they realised that my blogs are about pissing dog-ladies, vegan porn stars and fictional stories about bankers covering themselves in custard.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 86 – Return To Lender – A Teenager’s Melodramatic Concept Album Set Inside A University Library

From Vegan porn stars we swiftly move to another composition from my eighteen-year-old self, only this time it’s not just a song, it’s an entire concept album. Return To Lender is the name of my melodramatic concept album that is set inside my University library, and it tells the story of what happens when I realise that the book I borrowed is overdue. Don’t worry, the album never got made, only one track got recorded. In this audio Dollop I will play that track for your amusement, or possibly more accurately, your bemusement. I’ll also read out some of the other ideas and lyrics for other songs featured on this unrecorded concept album.

Download today’s Dollop here.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 85 – The Ethical Dilemmas Of A Vegan Porn Star

Download the audio version here

Just three days to go before we head back to England. We’re staying at the same hotel for those three days, and we have WIFI, which means that the Dollops challenge should live to see at least another three days. However, we do only have an allowance of 1 gb of data, and there are three of us sharing the WIFI, so if the challenge fails and a Dollop isn’t released, then it’s probably because Sean or Michael have been using all the bandwidth up watching porn. Perhaps I’ll have to go out and buy some porn DVDs in order to keep them off the Internet and thus save this project. The trouble is it’s so difficult to find something that they’ve both not seen before. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Chloe.

Knowing my luck, I’ll probably be spotted in the shop buying porn by the lady who accused me of being sexist at our gig last weekend. She’d get another incriminating photo of me to create yet another newspaper article, which shows me holding a porn DVD aloft, no doubt baring a highly misogynistic title. I might have to buy a gay male porn DVD as well, simply as a strategic measure to guard against the bigoted chauvinist claims.

We saw the pissing dog-lady for a third weekend running. In case you’re not a David’s Daily Digital Dollop regular, (yes, apparently they do exist) the Pissing Dog-Lady isn’t the title of a porn film, we’ve moved on from that subject now, although to be honest, that’s the kind of film that Sean and Mike would go for. It’s a lady who dresses up as a dog, howls, barks, rolls around on the floor, and squirts a water pistol into the air to represent pissing. We saw her at the last two Australian festivals we’ve done, and now she’s back again. Sadly we only saw her from a distance, so still no interview, but there’s still time.

The Pissing-Dog Lady isn’t the only Dollop title that sounds like a potential porn DVD, many of my blog’s titles could easily form the name of a porn film. If there are any people who work in the porn industry reading, then you are welcome to use any of these Dollop titles for a percentage of the DVD’s profits.

Young Hungarian Gay Plumbers; Lock Up Your Virgins. There’s a blog post called I’ve Got A Habit, which could be about a nun with a sex addiction, possibly an acted re-creation of the Sister Abbey song from Dollop 82. Dollop 51 is called A Proposition For Tony Blackburn. It’s a an innocent blog post, but I’m sure a porn film director would be brimming with ideas after seeing a title like that. And the upside is that Tony Blackburn is probably looking for another job, and porn might be it. Although, on second thoughts, he might be keen to stay away from that side of things, given the dubious reasons behind his sacking. Let’s put that idea on the maybe list.

Dollop 64’s title could make for a porn/horror cross-over film: Psychos, Murderers, And Vegans. My favourite scene in that film is when one of the vegans faces an ethical dilemma. She is sucking on a man’s penis, but then she begins to wonder whether, being a vegan, is she allowed to swallow the man’s ejaculate, as then she would be consuming an animal product. You can hear her inner monologue playing out as she carries out her pleasuring. Has she already broken the rules, given that she’s currently got his meat in her mouth? I don’t just want these porn films to be all about sex and smut; they need to have other dimensions to them as well, and I think that the vegan’s ethical dilemma scene is a good example of creating thought provoking pornography. I won’t tell you what she decides to do, because I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.

Dollop 79 – Time Warping, Mind-Reading, And More Pissing Dog-Ladies. This is the sequel to the highly popular Pissing Dog-Lady film. So successful was it that A-list celebrities are queuing up to be a part of this follow-up. This film features David Tennant, reprising his role as Dr Who, which takes care of the Time Warping element; Derren Brown features, as the mind reader; and Joanna Lumley plays the role of head of the Pissing Dog-Lady pack.

Granted, that might have made for very odd, disturbing and possibly uninteresting reading for many of you, but there’ll hopefully be a porn director out there who sees this blog post and wants to work with me, and make me my millions. I’ve conquored the folk music world, been there done that; now it’s time to move on and take the porn industry by storm.

P.S. The last few Dollops have been written partly while being drunk, partly while being hungover, and I am very much sleep deprived. Less than a week to go before we’re back to me blogging about my trip to Sainsbury’s. Hang on in there.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 84 – Plane, but Not So Simple

Download the audio version of today’s Dollop here

Fortunately, we managed to get booked onto today’s flight to Canberra, and have arrived safely in spite of the fact that I was a bit worried that I might be responsible for killing everyone on the plane. As with our flight to Melbourne, there was another example of seemingly anomalous messages from the airline stewards. We may have solved the one about me being told off for putting my seat belt on too early. Gill commented: “As far as I know all airlines ask you to leave your seat belt unfastened when refuelling. I have always assumed this is so that in the event of said fuel igniting everyone can get off the plane faster!”

I could ask the airline staff on my plane journey home in order to try and verify whether Gill’s hypothesis is correct, but I doubt that if I asked them they would give me a straight answer in case it was overheard by a nervous flyer. I’ve been on two planes since then, and each time I’ve put my seat belt on as soon as boarding, and no one has said anythin. I may be endangering my own life, and possibly the lives of the people in the seat next to me, but I think it’s worth it in order to see if anyone says anything to me about it, which obviously I’ll report in this blog. I’m sure my fellow passengers would understand and be completely fine if they knew that their lives may be being slightly endangered due to a blogger carrying out some important research. I would argue however that I am not impeding my exit time by keeping my seat belt on. If the fuel happened to ignite then it would take me less than a second to take off my seat belt, and I really don’t think that this amount of time would matter.

But this kind of hubris may end up killing me and others one day, and perhaps this Dollop will be read or played out in school assemblies to warn children about the importance of taking safety instructions seriously. Even bloggers carrying out important research aren’t exempt from the rules. Or maybe this blog is being played out over the aeroplane’s PA system, as a warning to stubborn flyers who think they know better and refuse to heed the warning to keep your seat belt unfastened. As my voice played out over the plane’s speakers, Some people would be sobbing in their seat, as they recall where they were the day they heard the news about my body being found, smouldering in my seat with my belt still attached. How was I to know I’d get pins and needles? A group of women are gossiping together: “I heard he was a right sexist, chauvinistic pig.” Another group of people would be reminiscing about their favourite David Eagle moments: “Oh, I used to love his stories about his kettle. And of course we all remember his catchphrases, don’t we. Collie flower? I wouldn’t imagine it would taste very nice. Haha. Classic moments from a true comedy genius.” If you’re not a David’s Daily Digital Dollop regular then the last few sentences might have been a bit confusing, but if you’re not prepared to put in the groundwork then you can’t expect the rewards.

Just before we reached the plane, there was a lady checking our boarding passes. As I got closer to her in the queue, I heard her ask someone, “Is there anything dangerous in your bag sir?” to which the man simply responded, “no.” And that was it, he was allowed to pass. Then the person behind him was asked, “do you have any spare batteries in your bag?” to which the lady answered no, and again was allowed to pass. The person behind her was asked whether he had anything dangerous in his bag. He didn’t give an answer, but just marched purposefully onto the plane. Rather than calling him back, she just trailed off halfway through her question, and said nothing about it. The next lady was asked whether she had any spare batteries, and again, the answer was no.

We were getting close to the front of the queue. I did have a pack of batteries in my bag. Should I say something? I didn’t want to have to forfeit them, as I needed them in order to record the Dollops and things for The Young’uns Podcast. But at the same time, I didn’t want to be responsible for killing people. If taking batteries onto a plane is dangerous, then why didn’t someone say something earlier. We’d already had to go through numerous checks before we got to this point, which was right at the steps of the plane. It seems a bit stupid to wait until the last moment before asking people about batteries. And what did she mean by spare batteries? She wasn’t asking people if they had any batteries; it was whether they had any spare batteries. If the batteries are housed in my digital recorder, then does that mean that they aren’t classed as spare, but if they are loose then they that falls under the spare bracket? The batteries were altogether in a pack. Does that still make them spare? Or are they only classed as spare if they’re unpackaged and just lying around the bag loose?

There were still lots of people waiting to board, and I didn’t want to hold everyone up by asking loads of questions. But surely the question is too open to interpretation for me to know how to answer it, without posing further questions to establish whether my batteries are deemed spare or not, and whether they are classified as dangerous. I’m also a bit confused by the seeming casualness and randomness of her questioning. Sometimes she’d ask someone if they had anything dangerous in their bag, other times she’d ask about spare batteries, and sometimes she wouldn’t ask any questions at all, but just let them go through unchallenged. And seemingly, if someone doesn’t want to answer her questions then they can just walk off, and she’ll let them go without contest. Plus, what does she mean by “dangerous?” We’re not the experts, we’re just boarding a plane in order to get from A to B. How are we meant to know what she means by dangerous? Surely if she’s asking these questions and it’s important, then there should be checks, rather than relying on people’s memory to remember what’s in their bag, their correct interpretation of what’s meant by dangerous, and also their honesty. You shouldn’t be able to just say yes or no and then be allowed on the plane, or just walk off an ignore the question completely. The system, if you can call it a system, was clearly random and ridiculous.

Should I feel obliged to report my batteries even if she doesn’t ask? I mentioned it to Sean, and he suggested that I don’t say anything about them, even if I’m asked. He didn’t seem to be too concerned that he might be an accomplice in his own death. There were three people to go before me and Sean in the queue. The first wasn’t asked anything, but was just allowed to go, even though they had a large bag with them, that could have been bulging to bursting with batteries. The lady next in the queue was asked the battery question. I’d noted that so far, only ladies had been asked about spare batteries. Was this just a coincidence? Or another crazy random element of their ridiculous system? The man in front of me was asked whether he had anything dangerous in his bag, to which he responded that he didn’t, and he was allowed to pass. Then it came to me and Sean, and we were waved through without question, even though we both had bags, and I had batteries. In fact, we were waved through so quickly that she’d already moved onto the next person in the queue, who was being asked if they had anything dangerous in their bag. I mean, I could hold up the queue, even though I’d been dismissed, and explain to the woman my confusing battery situation, but given that there were potentially hundreds of people already on the plane with batteries and an assortment of dangerous items, I felt as if there was little point, so we just boarded the plane, with my batteries, and Sean’s collection of knives.

Fortunately, despite the haphazard safety checks, the plane touched down in Canberra without issue, and we’re ready to play our final Australian festival before heading home.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 83 – Burnt Toast

Download the audio version of today’s Dollop here

Last week I wrote about the issues booking into our hotel in Melbourne, and tonight we’ve just discovered that our tour management company given us the wrong information for our flight. In our information booklet it says that we are meant to be flying tomorrow, however we’ve just found out that our flight was actually today. We only found this out by chance, because we needed to book on an extra item of luggage, and when we typed in our flight number, we were informed that the flight had actually departed earlier that day.

In fairness to the tour management company, they were probably too busy making sure that we were armed with facts such as how to refer to female breasts and erections in Australian slang, and the incidental stuff like getting from A to B and having somewhere to stay kind of got a bit forgotten, which is understandable. Presumably next time around they’ll be able to concentrate on those little incidental things, safe in the knowledge that we’ve already been primed with the requisite list of phrases to be able to survive in such a vastly different country as Australia. Unless they decide to advance our Australian knowledge further by maybe providing a list of handy facts about the country, or maybe an instructional section on how to play the Didgeridoo, throw a boomerang, 101 essential Neighbours facts, 101 essential Home And Away facts, in which case we might run into similar problems next year. I would maybe start off with sorting out the flights and hotels, and then maybe if there’s time, compile the facts sections afterwards. But I suppose we’re in the Southern Hemisphere, and so it’s only natural that things should be done upside down.

Having said all this, if anyone from the tour management company is reading this, please don’t take any of this to heart and consequently refuse to work with us again, thus eliminating our folk career in Australia. I am gibing at you merely for mildly comic effect, and because nothing much else has happened today and I need to write about something for a daily blog that I’m doing for free for a few hundred people. I would delete what I’ve written, but it’s getting late, I am falling asleep as I write this, and so I really can’t afford to start this Dollop again. Please accept this as justification, and don’t pull the plug on our Australian folk career. I wonder though, if they did pull the plug, would our Australian folk career travel down the plughole in the opposite direction to how it would if we were in England? Actually, that’s an interesting thought, maybe the tour management company can answer that question in their next booklet.

I’m writing this part of the Dollop in bed at 6am in the morning. I can smell toast, which I assume is because breakfast is being cooked in the hotel. However, I remember hearing from someone that apparently one of the warnings that you’re about to have a stroke is being able to smell burnt toast. At the moment the toast doesn’t smell burnt, although I am now lying here paranoid, in case the toast does start smelling like it’s burning. I am pretty sure that breakfast isn’t served until 630 in this hotel, so is it a bit premature for me to be smelling toast? If you’re about to have a stroke then do you immediately smell burnt toast, or do you smell the toast cooking first and then burning? Any doctors reading this? I mean, it’s quite an intellectual blog I’m running here, so it’s likely.

If I smell burnt toast and I know that there is definitely no toast cooking in the vicinity, then that might suggest that I’m about to have a stroke. But if I smell toast that isn’t burnt, and there is no toast cooking in the vicinity, does that just mean that I’ve been given even more warning time, and that I should probably seek medical help before the toast starts to burn? Plus, it’s unlikely that I’ll know for certain that there is definitely no toast cooking going on anywhere near where I am. Perhaps I should keep my neighbours numbers to hand, so that any time I start smelling toast I can give them a quick call just to establish whether they’re making toast or not, or whether I should maybe start worrying.

“Hello Mrs Wilson, sorry to bother you at 3 in the morning, but I was just wondering whether you are making toast? No, I didn’t think it was likely at this time, but you never know do you, and what with the whole burnt-toast-smelling thing being an early indicator of a stroke, I thought I best check. Well, thank you Mrs Wilson, sorry to bother you for the third day running. Goodbye.”

“Hello Mrs Wilson, sorry to bother you again. I just thought I’d let you know that as soon as I put the phone down after talking to you, I sneezed, and a bit of toast flew out of my nose. Not sure how it got up there, but I did have toast three days ago. So I suppose that explains the toast smelling phenomena for the last three days. Sorry for all the phone calls Mrs Wilson, but you can’t be too careful can you? I thought I’d act while the toast was still smelling nicely cooked, just in case it started to burn. I mean I’d be a fool to wait until the toast started smelling like it was burning befor I did anything about it. Those extra few minutes might make all the difference. Best to be overcautious with these things, I’m sure you’ll agree Mrs Wilson. OK, well I’ll hang up now and let you get back to sleep. Goodbye Mrs … Hang on, I don’t seem to be able to move my left arm to put the phone down. Oh well, never mind, I must just have pins and needles, I’ll just use my right hand. I’m sure the pins and needles will be gone by the morning. I mean they don’t tend to last very long do they? But at least we figured out the toast smell, and I can rest easy tonight. Goodbye Mrs Wilson.”

Well, that was a rather haphazard Dollop. But I really must go now, as we have to be out of this hotel in the next hour and I still need to record the audio version. Thanks for reading.

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David’s Daily Digital Dollop – Dollop 82 – Liquid Laughs and Technicolour Yawns

Photo of pub wall art featuring ladies in various states of undress

Download the audio version of today’s Dollop here

The award for best heckle of our Australian tour so far goes to the man who interrupted one of our gigs by shouting, “how’s the football season going for the North lads?” I didn’t want to challenge the heckler too much, after my run-in with the lady the day before who accused me of being sexist. Perhaps she would be in the audience again, ready to pounce, and maybe she’d brought her friends along to back her up this time. Possibly even a journalist to get evidence for an article on the sexist chauvinist, masquerading as a left-wing folk singer, presumably in a bid to preach his sexism to a different kind of crowd, in the hope of converting lefties to his bigoted ideology. I’d have to be careful, just in case I challenge the heckler and then get lambasted because he was a Jew, or gay, or dyslexic, or walked with a limp.

“you wouldn’t have said that to him if he was a heterosexual Christian who is steady on his feet and has no issues with numbers or literacy, would you? Shame on you. People like you make me sick. And you probably took extra pleasure in putting him down because of his nut allergy, didn’t you? You evil bigot!”

You can hear our interaction with the football heckling man on our Australian Young’uns Podcast in April, although annoyingly the recording level on the digital recorder has been doing odd things and so some of the recordings are a bit distorted; but hopefully they’ll be listenable. Otherwise I might have to hire in some actors to pretend to be an
audience, and recreate the event, in order to get a none-distorted recording. The upside to doing this is that I’d be able to cheat, and add extra jokes into my dialogue, meaning that I’d come across even funnier and unbelievably quick-witted. By the time I’ve finished honing the script, the original two minutes of improvisation around a heckle could end up lasting for half an hour. Now I think about it, this is a tremendous idea, and I’m regretting openly blogging about it now, as many of you might consequently be suspicious about whether what you’re hearing is actually a genuine clip from a gig, or a professionally acted and perfectly crafted bit of fiction. I would delete this section, but it’s getting late and I can’t afford to reduce the word count. Hopefully you won’t remember, although you probably will because everything that I write in these Dollops is amazingly memorable; I am cursed by my own brilliance.

The people putting together our tour have produced a booklet for us which tells us what we’re doing and when. There’s also information about local attractions, places to eat and drink, fuel stations and other points of interest. Then at the back of the book is a glossary of “handy Australian phrases.” I think the tour management company think we’re a lot more sex drugs and rock and roll than we actually are, given their choice of phrases to include in their “handy” list.

Amber fluid: beer. A Blow in the bag: a breathalyser test. A Booze bus : police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers. A technicolor yawn : to throw-up, especially as a result of the over-consumption of alcohol and narcotics. A liquid laugh is another word for the act of vomiting. To crack a fat means to get an erection. Franger: condom. To have a naughty means to have sex. White pointers is a term to describe a woman’s breasts.

If only our tour management company knew that for the first week we were in bed and to sleep by about 10, after having a fairly civilised evening meal with maybe a couple of drinks. There has been no vomiting, no naked women, no sex or drugs. Although, in fairness, there’s still another week of the tour to go, so those phrases might prove their worth yet.

Before the gig, we were looking through the list of phrases. I thought that we could maybe play a game of guess the Australian phrase with one of the festival acts for the Young’uns Podcast, so we highlighted the interesting phrases, which were the ones that I listed above. We then went on stage, leaving the booklet on our green room table. Chances are that the stage manager saw the list of phrases in the booklet when she was in the green room. If she then noted the kind of phrases we’d deemed important to highlight, then she might see this as further evidence of the kind of man I am: a womanising, boozy lout. But I have not lived up to that phrases list in the slightest. The only thing I’ve had to drink today is water, a fresh orange juice and a jasmine tea. Perhaps next year, word will get out about how un-rock-and-roll we are, and they’ll provide us with a more suitable phrase list to cater for a jasmine tea drinking none-sex having bore who spends his spare time blogging.

After the sexism-accusation gig we went into a pub for a couple of Amber fluids. It wasn’t until we sat down that we noticed the artwork on the wall, above my head. Many of the images were of women showing off their white pointers and behinds. If the woman who accused me of being sexist had walked into this pub now, she would see a sight that would only corroborate her opinion of me, as I sat beneath a giant collage of naked and scantily clad women. She’d probably assume that I’d chosen this pub specifically because of its sexual wall art. She’d sell the story to the papers, who would also include my “sexist” remarks to the stage manager, as well as a statement from the stage manager who mentions my womaniser’s phrase book, and that would be it for my Australian folk career. So we hastily downed our pints and hurriedly left the pub, hoping that we hadn’t been spied, at which point the beer and my catholic guilt both curdled together in my stomach and were emitted in a giant technicolor yawn, which sprayed into the face of a passing lady, who turned out to be one of Australia’s most notorious feminists. Then I heard the sound of a camera shutter closing and a newspaper journalist shout, “say cheese,” and the thought of cheese caused me to do the most enormous liquid laugh, which covered the famous feminist. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Farewell Australia.

I’ll let you into a little secret: not everything in the last paragraph was 100 % true.

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