Written by Lou Conran


A Brew With Lou: Mates

In her latest dispatch from the frontline of chitchat, comedian Lou Conran raises a glass to the friends who have helped make her who she is (and let her beat them up with salad tongs).

Illustration by Claire Jones.

Illustration by Claire Jones.

When was the last time you sat down and had a think about how amazing your mates are? We so rarely appreciate what they bring to our lives. So today, over a brew, I urge you to celebrate your dearest chums, and thank the lordy that they are in your life.

My mates fall into several different categories.

There’s the one I can ring at any time of day or night and she will without exception deal with me appropriately according to my levels of stupidity. She has me rolling on the floor laughing and thinks my snoring is endearing, not annoying, and, like me, will do anything for a curry. She’s the one that tells it like it is, and won’t piss about, and won’t complain when I beat her up with salad tongs after a night on the gin.

There’s the one that I speak to infrequently, but when I do, it will be just like it was when I last spoke to her. She’s the supportive friend, who is busy with her own life and yet will always put down whatever she’s doing to speak to me and will never think me ridiculous for following my whims and will always encourage me, even if she thinks I’m insane. She’s the one whose breast milk I tried for a dare (from a cup, I hasten to add). She’s the one that snores louder than I do.

There’s the one that’s the bad influence. The one who’s led me into several compromising situations. You know the sort; the one that will get you so hideously pissed at New Year that you then spend two days recovering on the sofa while they grab another Foster’s and carry on until all the food and booze has gone and you have no other choice but to get washed and leave the house. She’s the one that, on holiday, can’t tolerate snoring in any way and would rather sleep in the wardrobe than be near you.

There’s the one that you hated when you first met, the one that hated you, and together in your mutual hatred of one another realised that you’d be the best of friends for the rest of your life because she is the only person that is able to tell you when you’re being a total knob, and it’s OK. It’s OK when you get irritated by each other because the friendship was signed, sealed and delivered when you were both working out who you were, and they know you. Like, really know you. They don’t notice your snoring because they are always asleep before you’ve even said goodnight.

There’s the one that you’ve known for the longest time, who will always be in your life and always be loyal. They won’t necessarily know everything that has happened in your life because your relationship is based on longevity more than detail but they’re a constant. You started practising smoking together, you rang boys for the first time together and got rejected for the first time together. And yet the snoring hasn’t been shared because you only started that when you were older, and anyway you were too busy chatting to snore at your regular sleepovers.

“There’s the one that’s the bad influence. You know the sort; the one that will get you so hideously pissed at New Year that you then spend two days recovering on the sofa while they grab another Foster’s and carry on until all the food and booze has gone and you have no other choice but to get washed and leave the house.”

There’s the one whose family adopted you when you were at college. The one whose dad taught you the value of a good curry, the one who you learnt to smoke properly with, the one who let you steal their mum’s fags, the one who let you throw up in every room of their house while you learnt how to drink properly, the one you accidentally almost killed on a few occasions because of their nut allergy, and you’ll always feel bad about it, but it does make for a good story. The one who you love unconditionally because they’re just bloody brilliant, even though they did get off with a bloke you fancied when you were 17, but hey, who still remembers that…? The one who doesn’t notice your snoring (at least you think they don’t).

There’s the one you met while doing that shit job that you hated but when you met, you knew you’d met each other before, but you can’t place where or why or how, but you know that you know each other. You’re instantly comfortable with each other and nothing matters. You share sentences without speaking. You share the same space without even having to acknowledge each other’s needs. She’s the one that doesn’t sleep properly anyway so your snoring is just another reason for her to stay awake thinking.

I urge you, dear reader, to phone your mates. Tell them how much they mean to you because they’ve helped you to be the person you are today. They’re the ones that you can count on, unless you can’t, in which case they’re not really friends, so you know, have a cull, and raise your brew in celebration of the wonderful women that you have around you, even if they don’t live near or you don’t speak often. Think how fab it would be to make their day with a little tinkle on the blower right now. (I mean ring them, not piss on your phone.)


Lou is due to be appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from 531st Aug. Tickets for Lou Conran: Small medium at large are available here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/lou-conran-small-medium-at-large

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Written by Lou Conran

Lou is a comedian, writer, actor, lover of curry and cheese, and is also a giant simple child.