Comedian Jo McNally Asks ‘Is Everyone Actually Replaceable?’

"We were about to begin the cathartic ritual of burning his boxers again..."

Something wonderful has happened. It’s magic, it’s like watching a bee carry pollen or when you wake up and realise that you and the stranger beside you are both still wearing your undergarments. Sheer bliss.

My mate (whom we shall call Flick after Holly Valance’s break out role in Neighbours) has been suffering the effects of a collosal break up. She was with ‘Nigel’ for millions of years. She assumed this was it – we all did, probably because she told us it was. Anyway long story short, they broke up. She was devastated. She packed her emotional baggage and moved into Heartbreak Hotel on an all-inclusive basis. I accompanied her because a) I adore a crisis and b) any situation that calls for excessive drinking, I get behind immediately.

All break-ups burn. Unless you’ve stayed in something bad for way too long and then the break up is like being released into a sunny meadow with a balloon and a picnic basket full of delicious cheeses. There are normal break ups and then there are the monumental “my life is over, I am nothing, don’t open the f*cking curtains” type of break ups, and this was one of them.

“We threw wine bottles down her throat…”

Flick went into meltdown, and we understood because love is genuinely a drug releasing endorphins in your brain so having it ripped away cold turkey has physical effects. We all gathered around and tried to soften the blow. We threw wine bottles down her throat and fantasised killing him off in various ways. It’s a tradition amongst my friends, we always kill off our exes in ways that will undermine them.

Flick swore through her Sauvignon fumes that she’d never be able to love like that again, she would never meet anyone she fancied ever again, if she couldn’t make it work with him she’d never make it work with anyone. She no longer lived, she just existed. She walked around with that horrific knot of loss in her stomach. That feeling like you’ve just had your insides scrambled with a magi mix. She broke down anywhere and everywhere and then rang me to tell me about it. My favourite breakdown was in her local Londis when the guy behind the till asked her if she wished to avail of the two for one offer on her bumper bag of wheelies and she just began weeping.

“We were about to begin the cathartic ritual of burning his boxers again…”

Just as we were about to begin the cathartic ritual of burning his boxers again, her sister arrived to the house with a truth bomb we were not ready for. “Everyone’s replaceable Flick. You are, he is, we all are. No feeling is for ever.” She then sped off in her Puegeot 206. Leaving us reeling. We looked at each other in disbelief, all thinking “WE ARE SNOWFLAKES! WE ARE SPECIAL!”

What’s annoying is, she’s right. And while it can sound depressing, it’s actually the most liberating thing you will ever hear. We all evolve and adapt. That’s the glory of being human. ‘He’s replaceable” I remind her. “He’s not” she says, “but I’ll try”. So she agrees to a Tinder account. She didn’t’ want to, she wasn’t ready, OK fine she’ll do it but it’s a waste of time, they’re all in bits. But then, after a mere two months of tinkering around on Tinder, the inevitable happens, she meets someone.

“I’ve met someone,” She tells me over lunch, her smile is so big I can see the entire chicken salad roll in her mouth. And then the words we never thought we’d hear her say. “I’m so glad Nigel and I broke up.” We raise a glass to this new man, who we will probably be killing off in a scuba diving accident in two years time, but that doesn’t matter. Because everyone is replaceable, and we all get over everyone eventually, it’s our super power. Some will take longer than others but it will happen, and the next relationship is always better than the one before cos hopefully you’ve learnt something from it. Ahh the wisdom of experience, would you be able for it.

This article first appeared in the December issue of STELLAR Magazine. Our January issue is on shelves now. 

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