Newsletter - July 2018 - UK rest stops, massage chairs

Hello newsletter people! (I’m going to do a bit of Edinburgh promo up top and then talk about random stuff after.)

I’m doing my show Malaysian Sensation up at the Edinburgh Fringe - it’s a show about Malaysia, and shit white people do wrong in the UK (like buying sushi from Boots). If you’ve seen me before, it’ll have some of the bits you’ve heard, but probably improved and honed and sharpened up a bit. And yes I will be bringing my newly bought Zojirushi rice cooker, like every proper Asian would. Doing Edinburgh is hard enough. I’m not going to make it worst by having to endure Uncle Ben’s instant rice for a month.

7.10pm at City Cafe. For the whole of the Fringe (2-26 August except Wednesdays). It’s a free show, with a bucket collection at the end. Here’s the link to it: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/nigel-ng-malaysian-sensation-work-in-progress

Edinburgh poster

Since I last wrote I also recorded my first ever TV set for Comedy Central! Super exciting! I sent my mum a pic of me on stage and she just told me that I looked fat. And that tweet is now the most liked tweet I’ve got. Thanks, mum. The show’s going to air in the autumn sometime and I’ll make sure to keep you guys posted on that.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of driving on motorways in the UK, and I think this country has a gambling problem. Every UK motorway rest stop has a casino in it. With slot machines and everything. It usually looks like this:

An example of a Welcome Break Gaming at some random location nobody wishes they were at

Who’s gambling on the middle of the M4? Is there someone on the road, narrowly avoiding an accident, “Oh shit that was close, I almost hit that truck. Man I must have a hot hand right now! Let me hit up the fruit machine in this rest stop. If I win I’ll buy everything from the WH Smith!” Cause what are you going to spend your lottery winnings on at a rest stop? And the worst thing is, that’s usually the only thing that’s open 24 hours at the rest stop! As someone who drives late on a motorway sometimes, I’d much rather they have a Burger King open. Because with Burger King, you know it’s not a gamble - you’ll always get diarrhoea.

In other news, I’ve been trying to find a good Thai massage place in London recently. I’ve had a few really good ones in Asia but it’s really hard to find a non-sketchy massage place in London. Because they all look kinda seedy. Dingy decor. Those neon signs that say “open” have got to go. There seems to be something about pursuing a massage therapist career that makes you hate interior decorating. Here’s an idea: why don’t we get hipsters to rebrand Thai massages? Do to massage parlours what trendy artistic types did to coffee shops. Have some exposed brick walls. Organic massage oils. Gluten free bread while you wait. Vinyl records spinning in the corner. You’re not gonna ask for a happy ending if your masseuse has a handlebar moustache. If you do, they’ll be as condescending to you as if you asked for (gasp) sugar in your drip coffee. “Er sir, we feel the happy ending overpowers the nuances of the massage. At this massage facility we strongly encourage customers to actually experience the sensations of a massage.”

I think having electronic massage chairs would be nice too. We had those everywhere in Asia. You pop a coin in, and off it goes. I remember killing hours at Seoul Incheon airport getting kneaded by a chair. Why aren’t there any of those here in the UK? Those chairs would be quite nice actually. They’re usually placed out in the open in the middle of a mall or an airport, so we know nobody’s getting a happy ending there. One because everybody can see you, and two because the chair will just crush anything you put in its way.

Anyways, do come to my show in Edinburgh if you venture up there. Would be nice to see some familiar faces! I hear the venue now even has newly installed air-conditioning. AND the rest of the year it’s a karaoke room. What more can I want?

Nigel

Newsletter - May 2018 - Butlin's and Self-driving cars

Hello newsletter people and new joiners to the list, welcome!

If you want to come see me work on some new and old things, got a few solo shows coming up:

Do come if you’re around! If you’d rather see me at clubs, I have more dates here.

I’ve been thinking about self-driving cars a lot lately, mainly because of all the crashing they’ve been doing. As a comic who drives up and down the country, I used to be so excited for this new technology, and it’s a shame they can’t get it right yet. Tesla and the other self-driving car companies say they’ll roll out updates to make their technology better. But who even updates their computers? I don’t want to die because I clicked “remind me later” too many times. These crashes all happened in developed countries where people are civilized while driving. What will happen if you put a self-driving car in Asia? Where people DO NOT GIVE A FUCK. Rules? What rules? Where people view traffic lights and roundabouts as more of an optional guidance kind of thing. The robot car is going to lose its shit! Can it even recognize what rickshaws are?

Once, while driving in Asia, some guy on a motorcycle gave me the finger. And I saw that he had four kids sitting behind him. Man, I must have really pissed him off. I had so many questions! Why are you so angry? Did you start out with five kids? Did you lose one along the way? Why not take the bus?

I think that’s where the stereotype of Asians being bad drivers comes from. We’re not worse - it’s just a different driving culture. Transport a Western person to Asia and make him drive there. We’ll think HE’S the shit one! What? Are you giving way to people crossing the road? They’re taking advantage of your generosity, mate. You’ll be stuck there for the next 5 days. “Please let me exit this junction, I just want to see my family!”

I got to spend two weeks in America last month, had lots of fun seeing old friends in Chicago. I lived in the US for 5 years and you know what I missed the most? Portion sizes! I couldn’t even finish a single meal there! Everything was HUUGE. Pancakes? Here, have 15 of them! Tapas? What’s that? Small plates? We don’t do that over here. Get right out with your small plates business. Sharing food with your friends? We’ll have none of that commie European bullshit. I chatted to a guy at a coffee shop and when I told him I live in London, he went, “oh London huh? London, England or London, Kentucky?” Er… How about default London? The first London that comes to mind. Why would you name a town after a way better town it can never live up to? That’d be like me naming my kid Bruce Lee. And then going, “Oh you a fan of Bruce Lee huh? Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee? Or this kid drooling on his shirt Bruce Lee?”

I had a great time there, flew back, only to die horribly at a gig at a Butlin’s (Britain’s worst holiday resort). I think there are just some people in the UK I’ll never be able to entertain. That’s a story for another time. I’m working on material about that one Butlin’s gig so come check out a show if you want to hear what went down. I’m happy to still be alive.

Nigel

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