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: 27 October 2014
Destination: Vienna (Austria)
Subject: Daniel Sloss
Today I embark on my most comprehensive study to date, I have been enrolled by MZA-Artists to accompany their flagship client Daniel Sloss on a three week excursion across Europe, the experiment has been set up under the guise of a "comedy tour" in which we will perform stand up comedy in various European cities in succession. I will be posing as his support act and it is paramount to the study that the subject is unaware of my true role in this endeavour as his observer. While the subject sleeps on the flights between locations I will update this journal on his behavioural patterns in accordance with the various social stimulations encountered on our travels. The results of this social experiment will be available online via my blog and social media pages.
The subject started his day how I expected him to start the day, with utter ambivalence, based on my previous research I have found he tends to show no outward positive emotions such as excitement, whether or not he feels these emotions inside is unknown, but if he does there is no trace of it in his facial expression or general demeanour. I think he has high expectations for the day ahead however because he washed this morning. We are currently airborne and headed towards our first destination, Vienna (via Amsterdam) I asked him if he had ever been to Vienna before while we were in the departure lounge and he nearly looked away from his iPhone to respond. He ordered a bacon sandwich and left the bacon, this behaviour is most peculiar, maybe he wanted to order just bread but didn't want the girl serving him to think he was a duck.
The hostess on this KLM flight just give me a free cup of coffee and a biscuit then asked if my companion, who is in a state of slumber, would also like a cup of coffee and a biscuit, I kindly accepted on his behalf and then proceeded to devour them myself. He will never know.
As we start our descent onto European soil my main anxiety is in my subject's ability to survive without 3G for an extended period of time, his systems may in fact shut down if he goes without tinder for too long, it will be my duty to usher him safely between wifi hotspots until he climatises to the change. Constant data flowing through his devices appears to be the subjects lifeblood, depravation could result in him entering a vegetative and catatonic state of consciousness. This would be detrimental to our trials... We've landed, I'm in too deep to turn back now.
We had to hurry to catch our connect flight at Schiphol, Daniel's impatience was piqued when we were held up at security by the lady in front of us at passport control casually chatting to the guard and holding up the queue, as soon as their conversation length exceeded that of the usual transaction Daniel kindly suggested that the pair added one another on Facebook and caught up in their own time, he did not address them directly but took the interesting approach of landing the suggestion near enough to them for it to invade their personal space. It was very effective. We still had to sprint however and my T-shirt is currently stuck to my back. My subject is already asleep as we ascend for the second time today, I'm looking forward to my coffees and biscuits.
There is food in our stomaches, drinks in our glasses and warmth in our hearts. We have been treated with the utmost hospitality from our wonderful hosts Liddy, Chris and Norman here in Vienna, it is astonishing how seriously they are taking my project. My subject seems to come to life when receiving generosity and his status is happy.
I need to keep my sight on the goal, I had so much fun on stage I almost forgot about the reason I'm here, I would definitely consider a career in stand up comedy if I wasn't a spy. Daniel is on stage as I write, the observation I made earlier about his outward display of positive emotion (or lack there of) seems to be rendered nullified when the boy is on stage, it's like there is an emptiness in him that can only be filled by the approval of strangers
The toilets in Austria have a flat, dry, porcelain shelf that catches your poo and shows it to you, so you can inspect it, you don't necessarily want to inspect it but when yesterday's lunch is served to you like a beached barnacle on an otherwise pristine shore you can't help but spare a moment to admire the gift you have left for yourself. Just hanging there in poo purgatory awaiting it's fate.
Well isn't Vienna just lovely, I thought I would test my subjects responses to alcohol and through nothing but sheer dedication to my cause I self administered myself with the same dosage as he so not to raise his suspicions. The results were astounding, we befriended upwards of a dozen Austrians and had a lengthy debate with them about Tom and Jerry, I will post more about my findings once my inebriation has alleviated. Our train to Prague is in five hours, I must get some rest.
Kai HumphriesSuggest a correction