Yes, that was me in your Christmas cracker. Remember my name

Here is the news: if you are one of those people who insist on wearing party hats, no one likes you. You are a really dull person

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My new year comedown was lifted for a moment by the news that I had finally achieved one of my three lifetime ambitions. I'd featured in a Christmas cracker. A friend's parents rang to tell me the exciting news that I had been the subject of a quiz question in one they had pulled. My joy was dampened by the fact that my name had been misspelt but still, it was definitely me. In a cracker. Hollywood here I come.

My new year comedown was lifted for a moment by the news that I had finally achieved one of my three lifetime ambitions. I'd featured in a Christmas cracker. A friend's parents rang to tell me the exciting news that I had been the subject of a quiz question in one they had pulled. My joy was dampened by the fact that my name had been misspelt but still, it was definitely me. In a cracker. Hollywood here I come.

I have always harboured a reassuring little safety net of a dream about going into the world of cracker jokes when my career gets shot down in flames. Cracker jokes are so bad that I'm sure every comedian worth his or her salt assumes that somewhere in a warehouse in Wales there is a golden retirement awaiting them that consists of coming up with endless, crap jokes. I have a theory that several recently deceased comedians are not dead but faked their deaths in order to break into the world of cracker jokes without the pressure.

At least cracker jokes are good for kids. My daughter, Parker, has her first proper joke down pat, and it's a corker. "What do you call a witch that lives by the sea?" Answer: "A sandwi(t)ch." She loves this joke and tells it to everyone and laughs at it every time. I thought that this might be quite a good thing for her until I realised that she didn't really get it. She started trying to freestyle and came up with a couple of new jokes of her own, like: "What do you call a chicken that lives by the sea?" Answer: "A sandchicken." She continued with "What do you call a sausage that lives near the sea?" Answer: "A sandsausage."

You get the picture. She finds every nonsensical new joke hilarious, and I'm beginning to think that we might forget about her formal education and get her straight into working in the cracker joke industry. It could make me a rich man.

When I say working, I'm using the term loosely. The cracker industry must be as big a doss as being one of Santa's elves. Christmas comes, so we've got to have crackers. It's a bloody tradition so it's not as though your market is going to desert you. You probably only work for, at most, a month a year and you know the answer to all of the jokes as a bonus. Crackers are the same until you start paying vast sums of stupid money. I once got very flash and bought some at The Conran Shop and, although you might get a better quality bottle opener or tape measure, they still contained the same basic bollocks, and the jokes are no better. If you could get crackers from Tiffany's that might be all right, but someone would probably lose the diamond cuff links inside, and then I'd get angry and punch them, and that wouldn't be so good. Besides, I bet the party hats aren't any better. Here's the news: if you're one of those people who insist on wearing them, no one likes you. You are the dull person trying to be fun for once in your suicidal life. Don't put pressure on me if I refuse to wear one. I've got a gun. Everybody down! Sorry too much sherry, must have a little rest. Don't go! It's my party and I'll poop if I want to.

My last cracker bit, I promise. Then I'm going to go and sleep for a week. Is it too much to bloody ask for when we can put a man on the moon and kill Afghans at the push of a button from 10,000 miles away? Is it too much to ask to have a cracker that actually works? Just one that goes bang and divides equally and doesn't send my kid flying off her chair? Is it?

You're probably wondering what my other two lifetime ambitions are. Well, it's private. I'm not going to tell you. Well, OK, but don't tell anyone else. The first is that I want to reform Marillion and perform "Chelsea Monday" with them at the Cambridge Folk Festival.

The second is simple. I just want somebody to spell my name correctly one day. It doesn't have to be in a cracker; just anywhere, OK? What about Crackerjack? What was that about? Help!

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