Tell It How I like It

Actor, writer and exiled co-founder of First Draft, Sonia Jalaly, pens our next guest blog on the theme ‘Collections’, to further whet your whistles for our VAULTS event tomorrow…

I love a good anecdote. Stealing, banking and re-telling someone else’s anecdote in the pub in an attempt to trick people into thinking I’m incredibly witty, wise and worldly is something I do quite a bit of. I collect them. My own anecdotes and those I have stolen from people who have more interesting lives than I do. (Please note I always credit the owner of the anecdote. Friends, do not read this and think ‘Sonia is a plagiarist and a fraud and has probably stolen my identity at least twice’.)

One of my favourite things is hearing a story of a close friend or relative that I’ve never heard before, throwing my hands up in the air and shouting something along the lines of ‘that’s amazing, how did I not know you had mad passionate sex with Terry Wogan in the Taj Mahal on Halloween?!’ I will then commit this story to my memory and make them tell it again and again every time I see them.

I don’t just collect stories so I can re-tell them in the pub. I store them in a playlist in my head so I can request them whenever I see the author in the same way I would request Beyonce at a wedding reception: drunkenly, aggressively and if you give me Rihanna instead I will kick off. Yes, a half arsed re-telling of a story will not do it for me. A friend likes to call this my ‘TELL IT HOW I LIKE IT’ moment.

Tell me about the time your Grandma screamed ‘Son of a fuck’ down the highway.

Tell me about the time you had diarrhea in a treehouse.

Tell me about the time you set your face on fire with a flaming sambucca.

Tell me about the time a stranger tried to urinate in your car.

Tell me about the time you drank from your hamsters water bottle in a moment of desperation on a megabus.


This is the main reason I love the pub. Well, one of the main reasons. Beer is nice and I won’t eat scampi anywhere else. But more importantly the pub, to a hoarder like myself, is a car boot sale of stories, anecdotes, and in some cases long, verbal memoirs from the drunk man who sits at the bar and smells like cheese and onion.

But as I get older I find I can’t remember stories as well as I used to. Someone will say something like ‘aren’t ski seasons the perfect time for lemon meringue pies?’ and I’ll know I have a hilarious lemon-meringue-pie-ski-season related memory somewhere in the back catalogue but I can’t remember it. And I don’t even know if this memory belongs to me or someone else. Have I ever been on a ski season? When was the last time I had lemon meringue pie? I don’t know. The collection has merged and become one big epic tale of Terry Wogan urinating on a hamster in a treehouse.

This is the picture Sonia provided to go with her blog. First Draft should not be implicated in this decision.

This is the picture Sonia provided to go with her blog. First Draft should not be implicated in this decision.


Join us TOMORROW (19 March) for our special  VAULTS event at The John Rylands Library

Read the other blogs on this theme here

Sign up to perform at our next cabaret night: Nothing Up Our Sleeves

See more from Sonia on the First Draft blog

Follow Sonia and First Draft on Twitter and tweet using #VAULTSMcr


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