I never dreamed that a life-changing moment would come in the form of a tiddly, elderly lady heckler, but that it did. It was after a recent comedy gig that the said lady approached me.
“My dear,” she said, holding my arm in one hand and a wobbly Chardonnay in the other, “can I give you the perspective of an older person?”
I braced myself. Having been raised by a grandmother with a repertoire of well-intended advice insults regarding my body shape (which I had become as accustomed to over the years as luncheons at the local RSL), I could just feel in her tone what was coming: almost to the point where it crossed my mind to intercept right then and there, “Uh, let me guess: you’re about to call me fat.”
Instead I did exactly what I do when my grandmother is in the firing squad: I smiled.
“You are beautiful, you have a lovely voice, but…” (here she tapped my arm in either a gesture of conspiratorial secrecy or increased urgency) “…you must wear longer skirts. You see you have these…these, pub legs.”
Stop. Let’s just take a moment to take that in, shall we? Yes. PUB LEGS.
I still to this day have no idea what ‘pub legs’ actually means. I can only hypothesise that she meant either that they remind her of the look of a haggard barmaid, gravity slowly pulling the weight towards the ankles after one too many years bent over the beer-tap, or alternatively, that they are rectangular and well – block-like – enough to actually resemble the physical structure of a pub.
Once I got over the surprise – and confusion – of my newly found fan’s token of career advice, I had three thoughts.
The first was to thank her very much for valued feedback, which will prove most useful should I ever opt to actively pursue that very overlooked niche demographic of inebriated over 70s.