My name is Shazia Mirza. This week, I started my first national tour, performing my first date in Dartmouth, where I was introduced as Shaver Minzad. I walked out to an audience who looked at me as if to say: “How unfortunate.”
There was clearly only one of me in the village: I was the most exotic thing to have walked through their doors since Lenny Henry. The audience demographic was very old people in fleece jumpers, which I didn’t mind because I myself am on the lookout for a 96-year-old wheelchair-bound billionaire. It worked for Anna Nicole Smith.
Do you think she married J Howard Marshall for the money? I think he married her for the conversation. She might have loved him. But if cleaning your husband’s backside when he is old and dying is love, then I think the servants loved him more than she did.
Now that poor Anna Nicole has passed away, three men are fighting for paternity of her baby, with one saying the father could be one of more than 30 men. I’m not saying she was promiscuous – just disorganised. Surely a simple logbook or Rolodex filing system would have avoided such mistakes.
In Dartmouth I was reminded that you should never judge a book by its colour, as they were the loveliest, warmest people I have met for a long time. I didn’t mind that they had got my name wrong – it could be worse. I was walking through the town the next day when I got talking to a woman who had just named her newborn son Yo Yo, to join her daughter who was called Ya Ya.
There is a woman who lives around the corner from me, and I don’t mean to judge – but she’s quite trashy. We talk occasionally in the 24-hour shop – I go in for milk and hummus, she goes in for Pampers and scratchcards. She is pregnant for what appears to be about the tenth time and asked me what she should call her child. She’s worked her way through the names of biscuits and doesn’t know what to call little Hobnob’s and Ryvita’s new baby brother or sister. I said: “What about Tescocarpark – after the place it was conceived.” She said: “That’s a good idea. I might get more points on my Clubcard.”
If you really want integration in Britain, parents should remember: integration starts at home. I think all little white boys should be called Mohamed and all little brown boys should be called Barnaby. Mohamed Stafford-Clarke, and Barnaby Al Fayed would definitely confuse M15. Think of all those lovely homes in Richmond being raided by armed police at five in the morning.
It’s nice to go to sadistic medieval places outside your comfort zone, which brings me to Birmingham. A few weeks ago, I had a phone call from a holiday programme who informed me that Birmingham was now a great new holiday destination. Great – if you like your holidays in the Gaza Strip. That’s like saying Saudi Arabia is now the world’s greatest nudist camp. It’s never going to happen. Terrorists from Birmingham are the worst kind, because they are terrorists with a Brummie accent: hearing them speak is enough to make anyone behead themselves.
On Friday I travelled to Glasgow, where my hotel was situated directly opposite the police headquarters. I was a bit bored so I looked out of my window and ended up watching the officers at “work” for two hours. I saw two men reading – well, looking at Nuts magazine – and drinking endless cups of tea while throwing paper aeroplanes at each other.
I assumed this indicated one of two things. Either there was a coded clue to a devious and brutal terror plot cunningly hidden between Jordan’s breasts, or the number of rapes, muggings and brutal murders in Glasgow has dropped so drastically that the police have nothing to do. So I slept soundly that night, feeling safe and secure, the only worry being how they’d say my name in Glasgow.