CANADIAN funnyman Glenn Wool’s escapades have taken him around the world. In his new show at Assembly George Square, discover if there is an unseen companion travelling with him and if there is, is it an inner monologue or a heckling demigod? Here, the comedian recalls a recent trip to Japan.
I was in Hiroshima, at The Peace Park last year. I know, not really a place you expect something funny to happen, but there’s a mutilated music hall they let stand as a grizzly reminder of man’s inhumanity to man, in the hope that no human would ever again do something like this to so many other humans.
I was there in February and a light snow began to fall. If you stepped close enough, the small fence was out eyesight and it looked like the fall out from a nuclear winter.
It is one of the most powerful moments of my life. There were some kids playing close by. I guess they’d been brought there on a school trip, or something, but they certainly weren’t able to grasp the gravity of the situation.
They skipped, jumped and squealed and maybe that was a good thing. The happy ending to the horror because, against the odds, human will had won out and 70 years on the children were smiling again.
A small tear rolled down my cheek as the full power of the moment consumed me... at that very moment, almost directly behind me, an elderly Japanese man let out the loudest fart I’ve ever heard in public.
So loud was it, I initially assumed he’d done it with his mouth, but then the stench of the rotten cabbage hit my nasal cavity and I knew all thoughts of a ‘Bronx Cheer’ were just wishful thinking.
I whipped round and shot him a dirty look. It’s acceptable to do that, even to an elder, you can’t just let them rip anytime they feel like it.
Now, that look would have been fine, but I doubled down on indignation... and got schooled by a master because of it.
In the glory of the moment, I made eye contact with him and then shot a look at the children as if to say. “What did you do that for? There are kids here?”
To which he looked at my general North Americanness, then looked out the burnt out building, then gave me the same look back.
Touche, my Japanese friend, touché.
Glenn Wool’s new stand-up show Creator, I Am But A Pawn is at Assembly, George Square Studios, until 30 August, 9.20pm, £10-£12.50, 0131-226 0000