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: 30 October 2014
Subject: Daniel Sloss
We are taxiing the runway in Vilnius bound for Estonia, already my subject's consciousness has lapsed and the vehicle of flesh and bones he uses to express himself in the physical realm has been left unattended while his mind meanders through a distant dreamland. It must take a lot of work for Daniel to keep his face together in his waking hours because it's natural fall is that of a 'Chronic' as described by Ken Kasey in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. If I didn't know the man already and this was my first impression of him I'd make the fair assumption that he is paralysed from the neck up.
As the cabin readies for take off, I have taken it upon myself, rather mischievously, to alter my subject's surroundings while he is unaware. I have lowered his tray table, elevated his arm rest, reclined his seat, unclipped his seatbelt and closed his window blind, the stewardess is heading methodically in our direction closing the overhead storage bins and checking the conformity of her temporary hostages. I am fighting a wry smile in anticipation of the impending confrontation.
The experiment was a huge success, I imagine if my subject was attached to an ECG monitor the display would be a colourful array of activity, it was magnificent to witness the way his loose face tightened instantaneously as his skin vacuum sealed to his face meat when the hostile interference of our dictator caused him to rapidly regain operation. His eyes widened, awake but not yet sentient, I saw anger and confusion flash through him from opposing directions and clash to create an emotion yet to be named by the English language. It was a joy to behold.
Daniel is asleep.
We have spent the afternoon with one of my field agents, Louis Zezeran, a cheerful Australian gentleman who has infectious optimism and ambition in abundance, an asset to Estonia's entertainment industry. Louis has spearheaded this particular mission and managed to sell upwards of 450 tickets for tonight's show in Tallinn. Just to put that into perspective I must point out that Estonia has a population of 1.3 million residents, so by that ratio it is the statistical equivalent of filling 23'000 seats in a British arena, a feat that the football club Crystal Palace often fail to achieve. Despite bearing the weight of such an operation Louis still took the time out to casually show us around the aesthetically charming sights of Tallinn's old town. Then Daniel had a nap.
The adrenalin and alcohol have entered my subject's blood stream in perfect measure this evening, I of course have maintained the same level of consumption in order to conclusively monitor results, and I must say, this is starting to feel a lot less like work. My subject and I experienced one shift in emotion tonight when we entered the realm of bemusement on discovering the Estonian people who we had fallen in love with are so casually racist (amongst other unnecessary ist's and ic's) that it almost surpasses offensive and becomes comical. It was brought to my attention that there is a popular TV show in which white Estonian public figures 'black up' for the purpose of entertainment. I was also informed by a group of lovely young gentleman that during the live radio coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest they partake in a drinking game in which they consume a small vessel of vodka every time the broadcaster uses derogatory words beginning with N or F to denote the colour or sexual orientation of the show's competitors. Allegedly this activity can result in you being rather intoxicated by the end of the radio transmission. Daniel and I quite firmly stated our disagreement with this cultural behaviour and questioned the authenticity of the facts we were receiving but the gentlemen insisted their information was not fictitious and despite being immersed in this environment they appeared to share our bewilderment.