Over many years Tommy stayed in many, many, many places. Here's some things he noticed whilst touring them.
Blackpool I was once asked to do a show called The Garden of Allah. It was at the Winter Gardens. A man called Fred was the gardener. I was playing the part of a rake. "What's that hair on the top of your ears, Fred?" I asked him. "Earwigs Tommy, they keep me ears warm," he replied. "You know Tommy," he went on, "I've just come from doing Madison Square Garden. Come to see me at home Tommy. I grow tobacco plants. I'll pick you a nice fresh cigar." Fred then found a leek in his ear and started to chew it.
Hong Kong I once appeared in cabaret at the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong. It was great. I did the Chinese rope trick. It's like the Indian rope trick, only you do it sideways. There was a Chinese comedian called Chi Ken. He had known all the big shots - Mousy Tongue, Shanghai Jack and Chew and Lie. He had even visited the Chinese Premier at his country home, Chinese Chequers. I sat quietly, at the bar of the hotel, doing a Chinese crossword puzzle. I found it very difficult especially as I don't know Chinese. One day I took my usual table, in the hotel restaurant, the manager asked me where I was taking it. Chong, the cheeky Chinese waiter greeted me. "Hello me old China," he said. I said, "I can do without your sweet and sour sauce."
Las Vegas I thought as the hotel was called The Flamingo, I would do my big trick with flamingos instead of doves, but their legs kept sticking out of my coat-tails. In a casino I saw this right joker. He was jamming bananas into a fruit machine which was tilted upside down, and he was singing "I'll do it my way." He had blue eyes.
Manchester At one place I stayed we used to have a trapeze artist who took her meals swinging from the chandelier. There was a contortionist who could look up his own back to see if his hat was on straight. Then there was an hygenic acrobat who used to do handstands on the toilet seat, and a midget who had served in the navy on midget submarines. He was working as a radio repair man inside transistors.
Margate I stayed at a hostel. I could tell by the way that the tables were laid for dinner that our hostess was well travelled. I had an Iberia knife, an SAS fork and an Air France spoon. It was jet set. The hostess was blunt about it. She said she didn't like to leave everything in the air. She was an air hostess.
Newcastle I met a girl here who used to be a snake-charmer. She gave it up because the snakes were always messing about. The boarding house was strange. All night long I could hear humming but it wasn't until I was bitten I realised it was humbug. My landlady warned me to watch my step when she found a strange footprint on my hot water bottle.
Torquay A very nice town. I used to go to a tea shop called 'The Doll's House.' It was run by two brothers. They were known as the Dolly Sisters. They were always ready to scratch your eyes out. One asked me if I knew what good clean fun was. "I give up," I said. "What good is it?" I went to a fish bar. It was a popular place. I ate a nice piece of fivepenny skate. It was a cheapskate. I went to a cafe on the front.The boss stood at the door rapidly counting the people coming in for lunch. He was a quick lunch counter. I once called him over to my table. "These sausages are funny," I said. "One end is meat, the other is bread." "I'm sorry, thats the way the cookie crumbles," he said.
Walsall There was a convention going on for fruit growers. The language in the bars was choice and fruity. The shoemakers convention, a few weeks before, was a lot of cobblers talking about how they could save their souls.
Wells The landlady at my boarding house was a pirate. Her black beard repelled all boarders. The boarders were a motley crowd. There was an impressionist who was always taking off someone or other. One day he took himself off with the wife of his best friend. There was a couple of acts the talent shows hadn't yet discovered. One even had his own clapometer. An old girl, a Mrs Fargo, known as 'Wells' Fargo, gave drama lessons. She was a stage-coach. She told me about two friars who had gone to work at the local chip shop. One was a fish-friar: the other was a chip-monk.
Wigan In a boarding house we had a man who called himself a lion-tamer. He trained sea-lions. He used to get roaring drunk on sea shanties. Then there was the xylophone player. He got drunk one night. He tore up a couple of Belisha Beacons and tried to play the William Tell Overture on a pedestrian crossing. He had an uncle who was a bird impersonator. He used to go down to the Underground and ride round and round the Inner Circle and finally disappear up the Elephant and Castle.