I have a friend who works in a hotel, and his job involves being nice to people, polite, offering good service, even when he doesn't remotely feel like it.
The weird thing about what I do - broadcasting, or to be precise, talking between records - is that most of the time, when I feel like (as Michael Stipe once said) Dog, by the time 2.00 pm comes along, some mystical process turns me into a reasonably articulate member of the broadcasting (not necessarily human) race. And for two hours, I become the relatively entertaining figure I am, in real life, not.
Today started off brilliantly. I found some documents I'd been looking for all week. Good news arrived regarding work and play. Cars started, bicycles were ridden. There was good news about Black Gold Tide, the new book with Tom Kidd(first edition almost sold out - go to www.blackgoldtide.com for more). I had some great soup for lunch. But as soon as I opened my mouth at the start of the TM Show I knew it was going to be a real struggle. Something wasn't working right.
How bad or acceptable it was you can judge (for a limited period) by going to www.bbc.co.uk/radioscotland and having a listen. Words came out garbled; stupid and marginally insulting things were said. I wandered, I woffled and stammered and stopped. It was just really, really hard.
Why? Years ago, I occasionally (early morning show) broadcast with ferocious hangovers or somewhat sozzled. These days, the TM Show goes out sober. There was nothing about the music or the "furniture" today which was wrong. It was just me. End of the week blues, some sort of inner exhaustion? Who knows?
In the end, it's like relationships with friends. You hope you aren't judged on one anomolous performance, conversation or encounter. It's a continuing thing, and you put the bad stuff aside and keep going.
Afterwards, as I was getting the bus home, I headed for the Marlex and had a pint of Belhaven. Perspective gradually returned. On the bus there were two girls from my son's year at school, dressed in pyjamas and apparently handcuffed together. I have no idea why.
Maybe I was hallucinating.