This week Simon suffers a joke:
‘Yeah, so how do you feel about grass stains on your knees, Si?’ asked Stav (the self-appointed gagmeister).
I am genuinely thrown.
‘Grass stains on your knees. Is it a big issue for you?’
‘Er, no, not really.’
‘You don’t mind grass stains on your knees?’
Where is all this going?
‘So do you want to come camping with me?’
‘You’ve lost me now.’
‘It’s two gays.’
‘Oh, I see! Two gays. Yes, very good.’
‘Just don’t laugh too much on company time – or I’ll get the sack. Laters!’
With the deed done, like Macbeth after murder, he moves quickly away. Stav is a deputy manager, sure. But he’s also the gagmeister, the roving entertainer bringing a little light into our sad lives. He’s the elusive pimpernel of comedy, now you see him, now you don’t. He’s there by the oranges – until he’s gone in a puff of laughter and a guffaw. A joke about a spastic here, a gag about a paedophile there – he brings joy whever he goes. He delivers the set piece, and then retires backstage. Let the audience applaud. They love him! ‘Stav! He’s soooo brilliant!’