I don't like people much. They get everywhere. They're in the streets, in the pubs, in the cinemas, on the buses, on the trains, in the shops - you just can't move for them. And with Christmas just round the corner, things aren't about to get any better, that's for sure.

It's the season of mad people running around. Watch out, here come the mad shoppers and the mad drinkers...they'll all be coming out of their holes in the ground to generally mill around in various states of anxiety and inebriation, rabbitting on about nothing, pointlessly crowding on to buses and trains, ranting and honking in traffic jams and generally taking up space that could have been better occupied by fields..

It reminds me of the saying: 'Hell is other people'. Which reminds me: I was going to tell you about our post-cinema trip to the Not Quite With It café in Shepherds Bush. And, surprise surprise, there were some people in there too. And you can say that again.

So you go up to the counter and order your baked potato and your chicken Whatever The Hell That Is with rice and two cups of tea please. You sit down. You're hungry and you want it to come soon, but it doesn't. Never mind, you can watch the wild life while you wait.

Over there, by the door, sits a young man with his kebab. Eyes closed, in a drunken stupor, mouth wide open, churning and gurning like a demented cement mixer. Was he eating the kebab or resurfacing the floor with it? Answers on a postcard. And this, after some agitated searching, was the best place we could find on the Uxbridge Road...

Meanwhile, where was my chicken concoction? Nowhere to be seen. When it finally arrived the following Thursday, it was as cold as a cold thing fresh off a Siberian ice slab. So I took it back. The guy behind the counter, managing somehow to look even less with it than he had earlier, said he would heat it up. Then he asked me how many minutes I wanted it heated for. I shrugged, in an exasperated fashion. I felt like asking him if he wanted me to mop the floor while we were at it.

Anyway, I returned to my seat and we watched a bit more of the Cement Mixer show and pigeons pecking at debris outside, then my meal returned, slightly warmer than before. Hmm, they just weren't quite getting the hang of this microwaving lark. Well, I suppose it is relatively new technology.

To give them credit though, the 14th time they brought it back, there was a drum roll before I stuck the fork in, and it was so damn hot I burnt my tongue. Hallelujah. There is a god after all. But where the hell were the two hot teas we'd ordered.? Now don't get me started on that one.... 

* Phil Zimmerman is hosting a Christmas comedy party special at Libertaire, 1-3 High Street Acton, on Wednesday December 17, starring BBC TV's Chris Addison. Tickets £12.50 from www.wegottickets.com  

 Further information from 0785 366 4877.