FEATURE: BUNCH OF FIVES – Rahul Kohli | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Rahul Kohli is taking a show: Newcastle Brown Tales to the Stand on Monday 6th February. This is following on from his critically acclaimed debut hour, Newcastle Brown Male. While his first hour was a very politically driven one, his second is something much different: an hour of true life stories told in pubs up and down the country, but never on stage.  In an effort to entice you to come, here he gives us 5 highlights from the show.

(Note: Rahul would like to point out, that due to this being immortalized in the internet forever, these are the five tamest stories he could think of. If you want to hear stories involving alcohol, drugs, arrests, violence and strippers, you’ll just have to go to the show.)

(Note 2: Rahul would also like to say, “Mam if this is you reading, you know how I said all my stand up isn’t true, well none of these stories are true either, I promise you. P.S. Reader, they are true, but just don’t tell my mam. The latter part of that sentence is just a joke you don’t get mam.)

Over to you Rahul…

The First Time I Got Pissed
I don’t remember a thing, this is all a second hand account passed on from my mother and sister. Apparently I ran round the house in nothing but a Newcastle shirt which was long enough it went to my knees, and I kept lifting it up to flash everyone in the house. I then reached into our goldfish bowl, grabbed the goldfish, took it out the tank, and squeezed it to death. I then laughed manically before dropping to the floor there and then and passing out. My mother and sister then clocked my dad who’d popped out to pick something up, had poured himself a glass of whiskey before heading out. That glass of whiskey was empty but my dad hadn’t drank it as he was called out. Now you may think one glass of whiskey shouldn’t be eliciting that reaction in a teenager still. I wasn’t a teenager. The first time I was pissed, I was a mature 2 and a half.

Is It Raining?
My childhood was scattered with weird tales such as these. I went to the circus at 4 with me grandma once. This was back in the days before political correctness, and they had tigers jumping through rings of fire. I say political correctness, I mean health and safety. It wasn’t quite like the LGBTQ, feminist, Islamic or anti-fascist community took massive offence to Tigers jumping through flaming hoops in 1996. It was more just 300 people in a tent, a flaming hoop and a tiger aren’t necessarily the safest combination in the World. Cincinnati Zoo is testament to how even less dangerous combinations can end tragically. #RIPHarambe. Anyway afterwards, you’re allowed to go round the back and see the animals in their cages. Me and grandma go round and look at the tigers, who were my favourite animal as a child. As I was marvelling at them, the rains started to fall heavy from the sky. My grandma put up her umbrella only to find it was still raining on us, and just as heavily… and the rain had a foul smell too. It wasn’t raining, the tiger was taking a smelly hot piss on me and my grandma. My grandma helped build the tanks in World War II, and her husband was a soldier then too! But Do you ever see a Britain First trying to ban Tigers, do you shite.

The Priest & The Devil
I done some travelling in my time. Last year I was in Guatemala. I decided to go and see Guatemala City and travel from Antigua (a small province in Guatemala). I’m informed by every other traveller and resident of Antigua that Guatemala City is one of the most dangerous cities in the World and not a safe place to visit as a tourist. But something inside of me, the part that likes to take toast out with a fork, the part that went when Trump won ‘Well I’m looking forward to whatever comes next’, that part when screw it. Go. What’s the worst that could happen?’ It turns out not much. I did see some interesting things. Crime is so high, that they have armoured guards with shotguns outside every business… including McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken & the Pizza Hut. Goddamn I would love to hear the Guatemalan version of the Fast Food song. A woman tried to sell me a puppy from her cardboard box of puppies. And people say Latin America is socialist? A box of puppies being sold in the street is as free market as you can get. Can you think of the council’s reaction if I just stood at Percy Main metro selling puppies out of a box to strangers?! They also say Latin America is full of crime and corrupt police. My short time in Guatemala City at face value proved this to be true, after I turned a corner while exploring and saw two of the scariest looking men I have ever seen. Both topless, covered in tattoos, including all over their faces. Clearly gang tattoos. Now they looked at me for about a second with some scepticism, but soon ignored me and got back to their conversation. Maybe with my skin tone I look Guatemalan, hence why puppy box lady approached me in full Spanish. Anyway before I could so much as walk past them, a police truck comes speeding past the corner, 8 guards jump out and beat the shit out of these Guatemalan gang bangers, with batons and the backs of their rifles, there was even blood left on the pavement, and then they just threw em in the back of the van and drove off. The seeming gang bangers were literally just stood having a conversation while I was there and got absolutely mauled. It was at that point, I decided maybe I should head back to Antigua.
But it’s not my time in Guatemala City here that’s the interesting part. That was the journey there. Because in the minibus to Guatemala City, the only other people there were three guys, and my thinking was “okay, well I’m going here cause I’m an idiot, what are these people doing?” I get talking to them and it turns out they are three Americans training to be priests who after a short ‘vacay’ in Antigua were heading to Guatemala City to commence 4 weeks of voluntary work there and the surrounding areas. Now I’m not religious but I’m interested in religion and we got talking. Two of them seemed a bit cold-shouldered to me and seemed to be really cold-shouldered to one of the other priests. The one I was getting along with very well, who for the sake of me not being a snitch, I’ma call Donald. Writing this on the 9th November I have no idea why that is the first name that popped in my head. Anyway say what you like about organised religion or Christianity, but Donald was a lovely bloke who was going out helping kids get educated, and helping poor people get more food, and as he informed me, they weren’t trying to convert anyone. It was mainly Christian communities they were headed to anyway. I asked Donald as he was the one I felt most comfortable asking if he was celibate and would be forever? He said “yeah.” I asked him Is that not something that ever tempts him, or he worries about? He quite sharply says “No, Women are just trouble and nothing more.” Call it misogynistic but I just laugh it off.
Now after getting a bus back to Antigua after the debacle of the City, I end up at a bar, trying to chat up one of the bar-women who works there. Yeah that’s right. Young Rahul getting his flirt on, but we get into some pretty deep conversation, of God, religion, and the cosmos. I tell her of three priests I was in a taxi to the City with. She tells me of three priests who came in the bar the night before, and then the conversation goes something like this:

Me: ‘Oh they were really nice’

Her: ‘Yeah two of them were, but one of them…’

Me: ‘What happened?’

Her: ‘I was working that night, my colleague was off drinking at the bar like me, and so were they. They were hammered. Anyway she got a bit too drunk, and one of the Priests was like hey I’ll take her home, I’m a priest, I’m not gonna do anything, and I was like OK. Anyway she wakes up with very little recollection of the night prior in nothing but a t-shirt, with a text from the vicar saying he loves her, and last night opened up his eyes to the what the World really has to offer, he’ll be back after his missionary work and he can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together.’


Her: ‘YEAH! But she’s not too bothered. She remembers vaguely she thought it’d be funny, but she’s kinda feeling guilty on how carried away he’s getting, so she rings him, apologises, and explains why that it was just a one time thing… and he just despairingly resigns: ‘But But… I’ve told the two other priests I’m planning to give up training… and I’ve told my mom.’

And I asked his name, and yeah you guessed it: Donald. Sneaky Donald, can’t help but grab the pu…

Don’t Get In A Riot On Broccoli
Those Guatemalans reminded me of a time I thought I was gonna get battered by the police. I was in one of those ‘cafés’ they sell the green stuff Amsterdam is pretty famous for: Broccoli (Yeah mam, if you’re still reading, the Netherlands exports 80% of the Worlds broccoli, and broccoli has been proven to slow you down mentally by New Scientist). I was pretty wrecked with a friend we’ll call TJ, and we’re talking to a local. This local is informing us that there’s a big football match today in Amsterdam. Ajax vs Panathinaikos in a friendly. The reason the friendly is so important is last time Ajax went to play Panathinaikos, there’s trouble, and Ajax are out for their revenge, so to be safe on the street, TJ and I leave the ‘café’ pretty Broccolied out of our minds, and we’re strolling through the streets exploring, and we get a bit lost, we turn into one street all of a sudden, 7 Dutch riot vans pull up right behind us, loads of riot police come out the back of the vans, go into the street in front of us, and stop us from entering, so we turn round to leave, but there’s just as many behind us penning us in. I’m not this bad-ass. I have no idea what me and TJ have done to warrant this, shit I thought broccoli was legal here. I’m panicking, paranoid as hell. Then a bunch of riot officers run down this side street on the main street we’re on, and start dragging some violently resisting, some going willingly what seem to be football fans? It’s the Panathinaikos and Ajax ultras, and they’d seemingly organised a fight in a narrow street just off where we were strolling through. After the police put them all in the back of the vans, they all drove off, and us and the others who were penned in were let go. TJ turned round and said “hahaha how class was that”. I disagreed. I didn’t say I disagreed, but the fact I was sat on the floor hysterically crying might have given it away. It was the first time I had broccoli in Amsterdam.

The Time I Was Nearly Killed By A Fire-Breathing Dragon
You don’t get that one.

You have to come to the show to find out the truth behind it: Newcastle Brown Tales at The Stand, Newcastle on Monday 6th February.

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