From the archives, here is a short piece I wrote to be my biography in the program for an old improvisation show that I compere’d in Wimbledon a few years ago. See if you can spot the subtle references.
I live in Tooting, on Renmuir Street, on the 1st floor.
My name is Matthew Petty.
I’m 30ahem years old.
Despite appearances, I believe in taking care of myself, in a balanced diet, in a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I’ll put on an icepack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the icepack, I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower, I use a water-activated gel cleanser. Then a honey-almond body scrub. And on the face, an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply a herb mint facial masque, which I leave on for ten minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. While the kettle boils for my Co-op Red Label Tea, I feed my West Highland Terrier and talk to him. His name is Shuggie and I love him, although his opinions on Intelligent Design are a little worrying.
I always use an aftershave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm, followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.
I enjoy the music of The Human League. Interestingly, I enjoy their early avant-garde work as an electronic 3-piece (The Black Hit Of Space, Dreams Of Leaving) just as much as the later, more chic, cinematic cocktail disco of Don’t You Want Me and Open Your Heart. I also like The Who, Talking Heads and Dollar, and there is no shame in that.
There is an idea of a Matthew Petty – some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me. Only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable –
I simply am not there.