He’s been doing this for a while now and promoters keep asking if he has any merch to sell, so here - at long last - is the debut collection from writer, comedian and national poetry slam champion (almost world champion (he came second (first the worst, second the best))) Daniel Piper.
Arbitrary & Unneccessary contains over 150 pages of comedy short stories, poems and plays, as well as extracts from two smash-hit solo comedy shows, Daniel Piper Is In Four Gangs (2016) and Daniel Piper’s Day Off (2017).
Themes include: death, Eamonn Holmes, Jesus, Eastenders, vegetables, money, Phillip Schofield, dinosaurs, One Direction, Berocca, marriage, robots, Christmas, drugs, Michael Parkinson, James Bond, mortality and the dentist.
It struck me while listening to One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful that the girl in question would cease to be beautiful if she heard the song, since not knowing her beauty was what made her beautiful. Desperate to warn her not to listen, I tracked her down to a hut near the beach from the video. She answered the door with a bag over her head. I was her first visitor in years. She had heard the song on its release and transformed immediately. The only thing keeping her going now was the hope that the boys might one day reform and write a new song in which she was beautiful, even though she knew it.
Concerned about privacy, I deleted Facebook. While the absence was refreshing, I soon began compensating for it in my daily life. I would stop strangers and ask to see their holiday photos, show them newspaper headlines (whispering a single word such as shocking or appalling), and politely suggest that they respond with one of four facial expressions. I knew something was wrong with me after I furiously entered a lingerie shop, insisting that they remove their poorly-targeted window display and demanding to know whether I looked like the kind of man who wore women’s underwear.
It had been a long time since Phillip Schofield last looked in the mirror. He’d been very busy what with This Morning and Dancing On Ice and All Star Mr & Mrs and it wasn’t until he did look into the mirror one Tuesday morning that he realised he was no longer Phillip Schofield, the man.
At some point between now and the last time he had looked in the mirror (at least two months ago), he had become Phillip Schofield, the fish.
At first he was surprised. Why had nobody told me? He thought. Then he looked at his watch. Six-thirty! He had to be at the ITV studios in half-an-hour!
[I haven’t written the middle of this story. I’m thinking that Phillip probably goes to work, people realise he’s a fish and there are all sorts of hi-jinks. I have written the ending though, because I know how I want it to end. All you need to know is that Phillip is now in a restaurant and at some point during the day he has changed his name to Fiship Scalefield]
The waiter approached.
Are you ready to order, Mr Scalefield?
Fiship looked at the menu.
Hmm. I’m not sure. Do you recommend anything? Let me see, said the waiter. The fish is good.
No thanks! He said. I think I’ve had enough fish for one day. I am one.
When I told the taxi driver I dabble in comedy, he told me to tell him a joke. I told him I don’t really do jokes, more like storytelling or poetry to be honest. He asked if I wanted to hear a joke about his penis but then said never mind actually, it’s too long. It’s a shame because I did want to hear it.
Hello, my wonderful Arbitrary and Unnecessary pledgers! I’m not calling you Arbitrary and Unnecessary, by the way. If my book were named after you, it would be called Essential and Beloved [and just an all-out bloody legend].
The crowdfunding process for my first book has been (and still is) a fun, terrifying, uplifting and humbling process. I realised recently that I have often been the kind of…
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