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: 4 November 2014
Subject: Daniel Sloss
It is to our delight that we are leaving Paris, although the gig itself was a bastion of enjoyment and our host was the perfect gentleman, the remainder of our experience was in stark contrast to more preferable impressions instilled in us by our previous destinations. I found it difficult to adapt to the manners of which proprietors of service were proudly lacking. When you courteously part with currency in exchange for assistance as advertised you shouldn't expect to be subjected to such unnecessary disdain when this transaction is the very goal of the provider's business model. What I'm trying to express is that based on my findings public sector employees in France, as a rule, are generally contemptuous pissants.
Daniel presented me with his carefully formulated theory that Paris acquired its status as the paragon of romance due to the fact that bringing an intimate companion here for an amorous retreat would result in having to indulge her with flattery, grand gestures and affection to compensate for your geographical err, it forces you to rise up and provide the charm that the city so clearly lacks. As he eloquently put it "its just a bunch of miserable ****s tutting at art depicting wars that they ****ing lost."
We are currently in the cab to the airport and the driver is sighing an audible breath of displeasure with every exhalation, I am getting increasingly concerned that he may deplete all of the oxygen in the car and suffocate us with his scorn, I have lowered the window a smidgeon just in case. It is interesting trying to decipher the internal monologue silently projected from Daniel's facial expressions, I imagine it might go exactly like the sighing that is being emitted from our sullen chauffeur.
Arriving in Oslo we each draw a breath of fresh, friendly air. It's a pleasure to be in such beautiful and affable surroundings with our dwelling situated pleasingly overlooking the fjord. Given that we have time to kill this will be a good opportunity to explore our immediate catchment and study my subject as he spiritually detoxes from the negative flavour of France and further recuperates from the physical fatigue of Amsterdam.
As I delivered my luggage to my room I made the mistake of perching on the bed to slowly blink, in doing so four hours of time which I planned on utilising accelerated past me in a dark dreamless warp of the cosmos. Upon waking and in negligence of my studies I felt the urge to inquire how my subject deployed his time in my absence, in an attempt to obtain some information on his behavioural patterns in the city of Oslo. It transpires he spent the afternoon watching YouTube videos of failed public marriage proposals rather than absorbing some of the city's delights.
The Norwegian audience were very responsive with their enjoyment as we regaled them with our colourful anecdotes. This was as much to do with a perfectly structured and expertly developed working environment as it was to do with our own aplomb. They say a bad workman can't blame his tools but I believe any workman can credit his workshop. I am now sat in a bar with a small pouch of tobacco pressed between my top lip and the gum of my incisors, I'm not sure to the purpose of this Norwegian past-time other than making you feel like you have a harelip. My subject is also partaking in the custom with minimal elegance as he unattractively prods at it with subconscious repulsiveness whilst flirtatiously chatting to a harem of admirers.
We shot beverages of high alcohol content in Norway from vessels the size of an average household vase. After several of these refreshments we challenged some of our newly acquired Scandinavian acquaintances to a friendly game of their national sport, Shuffle-Board. Shuffle-Board is an indoor sport that requires you to carefully slide a smooth metal weight from one side of a lengthy wooden surface, which has been varnished and lightly sanded, to the other. Their are zones at the far end of the board which should your measured toss land the weight within, will result in points for your team, over shooting these zones will put your metal weight in a gutter of sand nullifying your attempts. Mix this game with alcohol and split the teams into nations and it can be quite interesting how competitive this event will become. At one point my subject took a particularly good shot knocking our competitor's weight out of the scoring zone and into the gutter then he proceeded to unashamedly extend his arm and subsequently his middle finger then present the vulgar gesture an inch away from her face to a back drop of belly laughter. His humility also ebbed when we won the game and he did a victorious lap of the gaming table which he concluded by sliding on his chest across the bar room floor in a fashion reminiscent of the way German footballer Jurgan Klinsmann would celebrate his goals in the early 1990's. I've never seen him this happy.