I am comedian Kai Humphries. Each autumn I tour throughout the UK with my fellow stand-up and flatmate Daniel Sloss. This year we also roll out the tour to Europe for the first time, visiting 18 major cities over 21 dates. To amuse myself whilst we travel between cities (and whilst Daniel snores) I am keeping a journal of our adventures in the style of a scientific journal where my study subject is Daniel and my role as his support act is merely a disguise to cover up my true objective which is to psycho-analyse his behaviour.
Date: 15 November 2014
Subject: Daniel Sloss
We've arrived too early to check in to the hotel and have sat down for lunch, I ordered orange juice while Daniel ordered Lemonade, the waiter arrived with my freshly squeezed refreshing beverage and served Daniel with a tepid glass of dirty dish water, Daniel looks nonplussed.
I ordered the Tuna steak and Daniel ordered Turkey with dumplings, when the waiter arrived he served me with a delicious cutlet of grilled tuna fish, then presented my companion with a waterlogged plate of soggy dough that looked akin to something you'd expect to be shoved through the small hatch in the door of a Bolivian prison cell. Daniel looks broken.
Daniel has gone to bed.
I have ventured out alone into the heart of Zagreb, I have decided not to stray too far away from the hotel as my abilities regarding navigation are little to be admired, my aptitude in this capacity is so remarkably low, that I believe if the other regions of my brain that dealt with motor skills, logic, communication and such, operated at the same defective level, I'd be being fed, bathed and put to bed every day by a team of care workers.
I've taken a pew on a park bench where I have a clear view of the hotel, I like to sit and let a city's atmosphere wash over me, smell the air, listen to the buzz of social animation, watch the people flow, the eccentric young professionals cantering with ambition, the zealous pensioners walking their zimmers, absorbing the culture as it cultivates. My subject likes to enjoy all a city has to yield by finding an internet connection to stream a succession of 18 second motion pictures which have went into rapid circulation, of people flamboyantly failing to succeed at their perilous endeavours. I watched an elderly chap clunking his metal frame on the footpath in front of him and surmised Daniel would only like to be here if the gentleman was guaranteed to lose his footing and tumble undignified onto the gravel in a clatter. He'd probably record it on his mobile phone and post it to an online forum so someone like minded sitting in a different beautiful city could enjoy being in that city from the comfort of hotel room WiFi too.
I've been reflecting about my weeks of work and have not yet come to a conclusion as to what Daniel wants from the world. Judging by his constant dissatisfaction with service from workers who he deems duty bound to improve his day, you'd assume he'd like everyone he interacts with to be just like him. Which is why I was astonished to find out he didn't like being in France. Extinguishing my theory that being surrounded by clones of himself would be his idea of utopia.
Having done my final sound check of the tour, I relax back stage to the harmonic lure of a symphony orchestra rehearsing auspiciously in the adjacent room, it is actually quite unnerving being subject to real talent moments before you go out to perform a spoken showcase of humour.
There is a sweet taste of melancholy in the air after our final show, although performance has been my auxiliary goal to observing Daniel's behaviour, it has had an addictive quality that leaves me yearning for longevity in this project so I could indulge in more of its more-ish byproduct. The last hit of this drug they call show business just so happened to be the most potent, a rapturous sell out crowd on a Saturday night in Zagreb courses through our veins in one final rush...
And so it goes the study has reached completion, I will compile a conclusive report of my data and the evidence it presents in a later entry. But for the present I am packing my apparatus and releasing my subject back into the wild, confident in the knowledge we have learnt more about the habits and behavioural patterns of a young international touring comedian. I have endured some serious health ramifications by alighting my social activity with the pace of the project that I must retreat to rehabilitate in the tranquility of my home... Wait a second... I live with the bastard!
Before I close this file I consider it is best practice, for continuity, if we have a drink with some Croatians in Zagreb first. In the interest of science.