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: 7 November 2014
Destination: Vesteras (Sweden)
Subject: Daniel Sloss
I haven't stumbled upon my subject all afternoon and I dare say I have enjoyed the serenity. Daniel has become quite the nuisance of late, it isn't uncommon for him to press every button on the elevator control panel in order to send the carriage to its uppermost extremity calling at every floor en route. Upon arrival at my desired floor Daniel will quite predictably follow his puerile misdeed by attempting to obstruct my exit with an intrusive physical act that closely resembles wrestling. It is not difficult to vanquish his attempted impediment due to his meek and puny frame. I must say I do admire the heart that he applies to such a fruitless task but I have to question where he gets his unfounded optimism to achieve his goal, given that he has the physical presence of a small child. Perhaps the key to his career success boils down to this extraordinary ability to dream. Although I never initiate such behaviour I have little other option than to compromise my own maturity by engaging in the formality of fending him off, noncompliance would result in spending an extended period of time in the enclosed space for no other reason than to concede victim to my subject's sinister intentions.
Another of his tedious stunts is to obtain a handful of crushed or cubed ice from the dispensers often found in the hotel hallways and wield it towards me as either a melee or projectile weapon depending on his range. To avoid the impending assault I must move rapidly towards the safety of my hotel room, but more often than not the hasty fumbling of my room key conduces to stall my evacuation long enough for the cold wet compound to rain down on my head and neck causing a great deal of discomfort.
These are just some of the tribulations I must endure to conduct this comprehensive study of Daniel's behaviour.
We are in the car on the way to Vesteras, which they care to pronounce 'Westeros' the name given to the domain wonderfully conjured by George RR Martin in The Song of Ice and Fire books. Due to the beautifully blonde constitution of the Swedish people which reflects that of the Lannisters and Targarians I feel as though all I am missing is a tunic and a flagon of ale to complete the illusion.
Before we arrived at the theatre we stopped by a local radio station so my subject could be interrogated. The host of the broadcast asked my subject what he would be doing with his life had he not found his calling as a stand up comedian, to which Daniel rather tragically responded that he'd probably be working in a job he hated, married to a spouse he didn't love, with children he didn't want. On measuring this brutally self aware proclamation I don't think Daniel considered the target audience of drive time radio.
Tonight's gig was wonderful, we came to the mutual conclusion that it was potentially our favourite performance to date, but I truly believe we have been fortunate enough to have this feeling on multiple occasions and this time only feels so prominent because it is the most recent. It would be unfair to choose a favourite when still immersed in the moment of one such event shedding bias on our decision making skills.
I shared my role as support act with a hugely successful Swedish comedian named Märten Anderson, he has provided us with his fantastic company on this leg of our tour and tonight I got to witness him perform incredibly to a very responsive Vesteras audience. Although I do not comprehend a word of Swedish, the language in which Märten conducted his repertoire, I was memorised into chuckling at the correct moments by the waves of audience laughter harmoniously washing over me to the familiar rhythm of his delivery. I was flabbergasted by the hypnotic qualities of comedy and the disconcerting effects that being part of a crowd can have on your natural impulses, it made me stop to wonder if any of our audience have understood a word of our Newcastle and Scottish accents on this tour, or whether we have just succeeded in bewitching them this whole time.
I bed down experiencing a sense of smug satisfaction. Our customary elevator showdown resulted in me seizing my subject's room key from his possession, then tossing it through the dwindling slither of space between the closing elevator door with expert precision. As the distance grew between Daniel and entry to his room, I watched his face resign to an expression of defeat, then quietly but victoriously, walked away.
There was a mysterious knock at my parlour door snatching me from the clutches of sleep, now I am both wet and cold.