The other night I had the pleasure of meeting Fred McAuley, again, at the Catstrand in New Galloway. I had heard him in Radio Scotland but never before as a stand up comedian, which he has been doing for 28 years apparently. Shame on me. It was a hilarious two hours. I hardly ever laugh aloud at anything but this evening was truly funny. I must have added at least a decade to my life, if it is true that laughter lengthens your life. I had been once to a ‘comedy’ performance before. I was in Glasgow with a friend and we did a wee pub crawl. It happened to be a Glasgow comedy week. As we were heading for yet another pub we were accosted by a man in front of a refreshment establishment inviting us in for a comedy show. As it was free we went in and waited for the act which came soon enough. And we couldn’t wait to get out soon enough. The place was near empty bar some relatives of the performer perhaps, laughing raucously. Neither of us understood much of what he said and what we understood we didn’t like. We exited with him, in the opposite direction. Even with Fred’s Scottish accent I understood everything he said and liked it. He especially got the Glaswegians spot on. It helps being a frequent visitor to Glasgow myself to know exactly what he was on about.
I spoke to him after the show and told him we had met before, three-four years ago perhaps, but he probably doesn’t remember. He may have met one or two people since. It was in the bar then called Liquid Ship on the Great Western Road. Since then it has been the Roxy (Roxy???) and it is now Hug and a Pint. Recently I ordered a wine and obviously the hug comes only with a pint. Well, Fred was in the bar and we sat at the table next to his. The Husband was giving me the nudge and a wink but somehow I didn’t get it and he said in a stage whisper ‘That’s Fred McAuley!” Fred looked at us and asked if he knows us, who are we. The Husband said no you don’t know us but I am Dawson and this my wife Urpu and that’s Katie. This was the time we still could get her out in Glasgow, she was lying on the shelf under the table. Fred said he has a Labrador that was about to have pups/had just had a litter. We had a wee chat and left him in peace, sipping our drinks. (Can you sip beer?) Later The Husband was really miffed that he hadn’t thought about it earlier – to introduce Fred to Katie – a real missed opportunity. He could have said ‘Katie, this is Fred McAuley. Fred, this is Katie ma collie.” Hmphfh.
When Fred approached to speak to me at Catstrand I didn’t actually recognise him straight away. There was this neat figure, baseball cap, with a huge bag. Well, he did have clothes on as well. On stage he looked much bigger. It must be his ‘costume’, baggy trousers and loud shirt. Looks like his stage persona is larger than life.
It was a most enjoyable evening. I’ll go and listen him again.