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: 5 November 2014
Subject: Daniel Sloss
Today we take a day's respite from performing, but due to a professional obligation to my studies I must remain in a contained proximity to my subject. During our journey from Oslo to Stockholm I have arranged for a bouquet of pansies and a teddy-bear to be delivered to the workplace of my beloved inamorata 'Natalie' who celebrates the completion of her 29th year on this earth today. The doting gesture of adoration is to act as a surprise accompaniment to the gift I had already left behind before embarking on my journey, and additionally aids to pacify any displeasure she may harbour towards my absence. I dare say it also selfishly helps to quell my own guilt at the situation. Regardless, Daniel has informed me that my actions suggest that I am a closeted homosexual.
When you are subject to such intense exposure to another human being, like I have endured in the case of Daniel Sloss, you have to meditate your thoughts to ensure the mild irritation borne from that person's idiosyncrasies doesn't develop into irrational loathing. One such trait occurs when we are walking between two points and I cause a minor delay to our passage by stopping to tie my shoelace or taking a slight detour towards a litter bin. Daniel displays no patience, continuing at the same pace and trajectory without accommodating for my falling behind, leaving me to choose which is least degrading; loping after him like an obedient puppy on his heel or walking five paces behind him like an oppressed wife in a culture governed by religion. However, this display of megalomania is not the mannerism of his that grinds my gears the most, that comes when my subject becomes spitefully obtuse upon being asked a seemingly simple question. I recently inquired as to whether or not the Euro was legal tender in Sweden and Daniel quite needlessly responded with a vindictive snark at the mere suggestion that he should own such knowledge. Considering I asked this question based on my understanding that he has spent several prolonged periods of time in the aforementioned country in recent years, I am worried that if he is not being unnecessarily obtuse on this occasion and actually can't recall from his experience, that he may indeed be inflicted with severe learning difficulties. Maybe he simply isn't exhibiting the same stoic resilience as I to my own idiosyncrasies such as asking questions that don't benefit him in any way to answer, heartlessly forcing him look away from his iPhone for a moment at no personal gain.
Despite the negative observations forged in the metaphoric pressure of our situation I have became increasingly fond of my subject, this makes it very fitting that we are heading to Stockholm, the origin of the name given to the syndrome I have recently acquired.
In a miraculous quirk of serendipity I discovered through the black art of social media that an old friend of mine from my home town, who goes by the moniker of 'Picket' was a mere 200 yards away from my current location. On happening upon each other Picket and I spent the best part of an hour struck with awe and commenting on our disbelief by using various turns of phrase and visiting several clichés that referenced the odds involved in such an occurrence and how deceptively miniature our planet is, before we finally delved into any conversation of real substance. One thing we did immediately bring to pass was the inclusion of locally brewed ale into our extraordinary circumstances.
My Subject, Picket and I have been accompanied by several of the vanguard of Swedish comedy, needless to say spirits are soaring as our glasses frequently clink together in cheer as we bask in the merriment of such remarkable company. Daniel seems exceptionally familiar with the Swedish contingent of our group, reminiscing with zeal over previous shenanigans from his earlier visitations, however his recollection of this nostalgia must be a facade in lieu of his stuttering memory which previously rendered him dumbfounded by the suggestion of recalling major details from his stay.
In the competitive nature of Scandinavian countries our Swedish hosts discovered we enjoyed the alcohol and Shuffle-Board in Norway and felt obliged to indulge us in a double measure of both. The prices however are not so competitive as I discovered upon purchasing a steak pie that cost approximately the same as a semi-detached house in Fife.
Daniel has quite deviously dispatched an SMS to my good lady asking her if she received the flowers that he sent. I don't resent his interception of the accreditation from my gesture however, because I witnessed a photograph of the special delivery she had received and what I saw was not a gift I'd be proud to claim responsibility for. The flowers looked more like a fistful of wet nettles than the extravagant display exhibited on the promotional material that inspired my purchase. On top of that, the teddy arrived shrink wrapped as though it had asphyxiated in a torturous sex act during transit.
With the omission of a gig and the inclusion of some dear chums, the intake of firewater can escalate into a measure capable of reducing you to comatose. I teetered perilously close to this deep state of unconsciousness tonight as my eyelids began to feel as though they were resisting some kind of hypnotic sorcery that was working to knit them together. I have said my goodbyes and stumbled back to my resort. My thoughts are with Picket who must soon catch two flights then drive for three hours to return home whilst in the very same condition as I, when all he had initially planned was a quiet evening after work with a cup of tea and a box set.