Day Eleven, Stockholm (Sweden)
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: 6 November 2014
Destination: Stockholm (Sweden)
Subject: Daniel Sloss
The benefits of having a day off yesterday are reaped today as we wake up in not only the same city but the exact same venue that we will be performing in tonight. The day breaks with no pressure of early upheaval from the hotel, no airport check-in times looming, no checking every pocket and compartment of my holdall for my passport before finding it in a shoe under my bed and sighing so hard with relief that my neighbours think I got lucky. I have become so accustomed to the day commencing with a multitude of dealings that could go sour and blemish an otherwise flawless campaign. The responsibility on my shoulders that venue staff, marketing teams, agents, tour operators, ticket holders and of course Daniel himself could have their months of planning and labour scuppered if I take leave of my aptitude to hit 'snooze' one too many times. Even when I do efficiently execute the gruelling daily task of throwing my legs over the side of the bed and heaving my torso into an upright stance in order to set the cogs of the day grinding with a splutter into motion to the beat of my alarm and the throb of my hangover, I am served with a platter of internal queries; Passport? Wallet? Currency? Watch? Toiletries? Phone? Charger? What happened last night? Where did I leave Daniel? Why is my bed wet? Once I wrangle together my material possessions, find the location of my test subject and tip the maid, I relax in transit and begin to collate my findings from the previous day. Today is different, I have none of those anxieties. We exercised our freedom from these shackles up until just a few hours ago by sinking several units of a liquor given the deceptively amiable title of 'Fisherman's Friend.' At this point of the morning as the light cuts with relentless ease through the blinds, my eyes and finally my soul, I consider the beverage would be more aptly dubbed 'Comedian's Nemesis.'
So for what reason am I rebuking this opportunity to gently close my eyes, momentarily dismissing the world and burying the side effects of my alcohol consumption under as many layers of sleep deemed necessary to regain my zest for consciousness? Why am I staring at a clock that reads 09:59 with a stirring disquiet? It is as though the sand of time has a furtive secret that I'm not privy to, that it will only divulge when its face changes in sixty seconds or less. I wrack my aching brain trying to decipher this cruel riddle that the morning has bestowed upon me before it's too late. Then with an abrupt realisation the uneasiness I've been incubating manifests into heart stopping dread as the adrenal gland atop of my kidneys has a purge of epinephrine that boosts the supply of glucose and oxygen to the epicentre of my cerebrum, charging me to bolt upright in a sudden frenzy of panic: Breakfast finishes at ten!
It's a miracle that I managed to get out of bed, get dressed, document my thoughts and make it down the stairs in time for a feed before the offering of delights was brutally revoked from those less punctual. The character trait of mine that I attribute to the town of Blyth from which I hail is that I seldom forgo complimentary food. My test subject on the other hand doesn't appear to hold nourishment so high on his agenda.
I have made a noteworthy discovery in this very moment. If anyone ever asks me what can make a traditional fried breakfast even more superior than it currently is, I will tell them Meatballs, the answer is Meatballs. And I will tell them Sweden gave me this intelligence in the winter of 2014.
My test subject has risen from his slumber and joined me in the hotel lobby to partake in some comedic writing, as I make notes on his behaviour he proceeds to tweak a script which we have been pondering over of late. As I watch Daniel I observe that he talks with his hands even when the talking is done in his head. An onlooker might suppose he is having a Skype session with a deaf relative. I am just glad we are in Stockholm and not LA otherwise he could potentially start a gang war with a passing Crip.
Daniel pointed out to me that my attire of block grey Super-Dry branded leisurewear is not fitting to the plush surroundings of the luxurious hotel foyer but I have resisted explaining to him that this is the disguise I have adopted to throw him off the scent of my being a supremely qualified psychiatric scientists on a highly covert operation.
I have had the most harrowing of experiences. As I documented my findings from my former affairs in the field I unintentionally erased my entire body of work. As I attempted to copy my accounts from the computerised document and subsequently duplicate them into my online journal I got segued into the pit of procrastination that is YouTube, in doing so made the haphazard error of replacing the copied data on my clipboard with the link to a video of a chimpanzee urinating into it's own face. Upon realising that I had carelessly discarded my backbreaking efforts for the purpose of sharing the primate's folly with strangers on an online forum I immediately checked my archives. To my dismay it was gone, I had permanently cut the data from it's source rather than copying it, then tossed it into the chasmic cyber-ether with reckless disregard. The blank canvas was mirrored by my own physical emptiness, a void that no amount of free food will ever replace. Daniel sensed my gut wrenching disarray the way rats foresee tectonic activity and his head jerked towards me, he held a quizzical gaze as I wrenched at my hair with closed fists. Upon learning the nature of my misfortune Daniel didn't laugh organically but rather said the word 'Ha' multiple disembodied times. Although he bathed me in a verbal display of schadenfreude I could tell the man showed a glimmer of sympathy for my disastrous ordeal because he extended the gesture of quietly providing me with a caffeinated beverage as I embarked on the laborious task of starting again from scratch. I don't believe he would have extended this generosity had he known the rip roaring deconstruction of his idiosyncrasies in my recently disposed documentation.
Nothing extraordinary to report from our evening's shenanigans other than some wholesome socialising with a delightful mix of Swedish and Finnish acquaintances over a civilised drink post performance. All of the elements of the evening from the show to the Shiraz were to my subject's pleasure and he retreats to his chambers in a satisfied state of contentment. As do I myself after quite the roller-coaster of a day.