New Entertainer :
#15 – The Man of 1000 Phobias
“Neville’s manager had confirmed the date of his inaugural performance and subsequent tour of “The Man with 1000 Phobias” – a Friday matinée he was destined for disaster. Although his manager had never actually seen the act, he prided himself on his ability to recognize, organize and promote real talent.
That morning started out ordinarily enough until, faced with a choice, Neville climbed over the balcony of the second floor landing to avoid the interior decorator’s ladder. He managed to avoid the cracks between the terracotta floor tiles in the bathroom whilst taking care of his ablutions. Brushed, flossed, brushed again, flossed, mouth-washed, brushed and then finally flossed – you can never be too thorough when it comes to the hidden dangers of tartar he reasoned. He then stopped his mother from opening the sodden umbrella inside after she returned drenched from a dash to rescue the paper from the neighbors hedge. One could never be too careful and every stage professional is known to have pre-show rituals.
He was startled during breakfast by a story of a black cat sighting, and this caused him to drop his toast soldier and knock over the salt cellar which plunged him into an anxiety attack from which he never fully recovered, having emphatically insisted he had asked for beans on toast anyway but that no one ever listened.
The 13th of March gig, which in retrospect was poorly advertised and for which the stadium venue seemed a trifle optimistic, turned out to be a spectacular mis-judgment of public interest in psychological imbalance. All subsequent bookings were canceled and the purchased ticket refunded – another disappointment in his poor mother’s life as she did not get out very often.
Neville’s show business career was in tatters before it had even began, which in hindsight was his only solace because he never really filled out the costume his mother had so carefully sewed the sequins onto, nor even liked Doreen his sadistic assistant. Even though he underwent extensive counseling, he could never again face ovoid shaped objects again, yet made a noble contribution to society by becoming a talented basket weaver, in between rounds of medication and electro-convulsive therapy.” – Biography by wonko