I've just hit 40. People use words like 'hit' when talking about this age (you 'turn' 21 or 30). Personally I'm rather enjoying it. Bits of me are aching, but it's ok. In the days leading up to my 40th I got tweets from people saying 'hey, it's just a number' and I noticed all of these were sent by people whose avatar wasn't their own face. I do seem to have a lot more ointments and lotions now. I wish Black and Decker or De-Walt did them for men so my bathroom would look a bit more manly.
A fundamental question discussed in all forms of media is "Can I have it all?". At the micro level, the answer can be best illustrated in the Pickwick household through the topic of cake. The Pickwick family are fans of cake, setting upon it like a pack of hyenas around a decaying carcass, wherever it can be found. Mrs Pickwick however is a woman for whom cake and guilt are regular bed fellows, convinced that cake will be her downfall but at the same time enjoying the descent.
The sheer number of would-be joke writers within its walls tells you that it's relatively easy to fire out a few one liners in the safe environment of Twitter. But arguably Twitter's cosy bosom is no place to prepare yourself for the bear-pit of live performance. If a joke falls flat on Twitter it will simply get washed away in the ceaseless stream of the timeline. No one boos. No one gets up and walks out. The long, deathly silence which must haunt the dreams of every stand-up comedian is of no concern.
Taking the bins out or feeding the cats is just a mundane duty to most of us, but we all know some people who do these everyday chores and receive wide recognition and rapturous applause. These people are Facebook Famous. They're the winners of the most competitive popularity contest on earth and every aspect of their life is so damn fantastic that it needs to be shared with their legions of adoring friends. But how the hell do these cocky little upstarts do it and how can you achieve similar glorification from your online acquaintances?
We've come a way in female comedy. When I created Funny Women just over 10 years ago it was the 'single white female' of the comedy circuit. With the help of an experienced (male) comedy promoter, we encouraged and cajoled around 70 women to enter the first ever Funny Women Awards in 2003 for one main prize. Now we attract over 300 women (and growing year on year) to enter for five different categories.