DAY ONE ROYAL EASTER SHOW AUCKLAND 2002
Woke up with an opaque foreboding.
Remembered it was the first day of the Easter show
Got up off the floor at nick nickolas's place and went to the bathroom to remove inexplicible bat-shit from my hair. Reheated 2 day old coffee in the machine and had a cigarette. Got a lift from porn star to the gig as nick had blagged off till 7pm (and was still sleeping)
A dressing room with lit mirrors and a bath (shared between 4)
Next door 84 teenage girl guides of choreography giggle and fit and then 100 geriatric crooners descend, harmonizing succinctly.
I go out among farmyard animals, cowboys, candyfloss, ferris wheels, steer roping, towing fire engines with your teeth, Polynesian bands, spa pools, climbing walls, paintball shooting demo's, Micheal Jackson Impersonators, sausage rolls, a cat show, cheese displays, halls of mirrors, horses, hydrangers and the general public.
I make do.
And for one bright shiny moment Scores of atrocities were commited beyond imagination and mention. One of which is a large pond in front of the stage.
The only guaranteed comedy is the St John ambulance caravan where you can peak at head injuries. (people are forever falling over and landing on their heads) more tomorrow.....
Woke up stoically fatalistic, bordering on good cheer
Got up off the floor at nicks place and went to the bathroom to inspect various organs that had been sewn onto my body as I slept.
The sky was blue and cloudless, melanoma farming weather
Drove in with
nick, passed the stage and thirty four ten year old girls were singing Thank God Im
a country boy. Backstage and the entrance to the dressing rooms is full
of another contingent, these all 50 plus and dressed in Lavender singing You
are my sunshine.
Got to our room, switched on TV, watched cricket. TV broke (Cookie the clowns TV )
Cookie the clown said it overheated so I waited till he went out then put his TV in the fridge for 25 minutes but it didnt help.
Its hot sweaty thankless work and if not for the occasional hysterical infant there would be little light on the horizon as this is but DAY 2.
I have to do a parade at 3 every day, a brass band, 4 indiscriminate cheerleaders, 3 dancing girls (Formal), 5 dancing girls (informal) 4 assorted human stuffed animals, Cowboys on a ute,
These are the best days of my life.
Woke up, gradually focused
on a prize sows pristine off-pink buttocks and realised I'd somehow slept over
in the animal pens at the show. Squealed a quick apoligy and left.
Made it back to nicks place by morning, he gave me some valuable tips on various animals eroginous zones and how to deal with jealousy when you're not an alpha male.
(focus on another species)
Went back to the easter show for day 3.
It was raining and a monday ,I put my stilts on and went for a walk. In order to lance a collective tedium contained within the stallholders and roustabouts I chose to personify a bleak, unforgiving ,emotionally insolvent, utterly bored, angry and dangerious pantomime. (it was like an a startling revelation crossed with a suppressed memory)
Theres a middle aged polynesian woman with one eye focused several latitudes shy of the other who works at a hot dog stand and she flirts with me by waving a tomato sauce dipped hot-dog in my direction while crooning in Tongan.
Disregarding the danger I accept the hot-dog, I think she muttered some rude thing because her workmates almost fell into the deepfrier laughing. The hotdog was average.
Theres a guy with a stall for "Putt Putts", small toy boats that sail in small circles in the bath, he doesn't engage anyone, he just sits there reading a book as a handfull of his product clack around a tub. He has a sign that reads "Putt Putts--$10 each or 2 for $25"
I suspect he's not entirely committed to retail.
In the strongman tent today a large man towed an aircraft carrier 10 meters by a pubic hair clenched in his teeth.
Drove home, Nick cooked, we ate and watched insufferable pompas twats rewarding each other for irrelivant renditions of thirdhand fiction designed as both product placement and missdirection from lifes pointless purposeless futility.
I immediately start writing a screenplay about an individual who's principalled stand and integrity brings a large multi-national corporation face to face with its immoral past and transforms it into a cancer curing, non profit organisation.
I call it 'Debbie does Mcdonalds'
Hunched painfully up on the balls of my feet while making strange clucking noises I hopped towards a small saucer of seed set in the corner.
After giving myself a bloody nose pecking at it I remember the hypnotizm session with nick the night before and get up.
We have weapons-grade coffee, read the paper, check internet, discuss obscure philosophies, laugh heartily at the failings of others and head off to the Easter show.
We stop briefly to assist a throng of blind people crossing an intersection on their way to their annual scratch and sniff movie.
Some of us have thumbtips and personality but others rely on makeup, Cookie the clown (more later) and I both arrived and put on our clownfaces while nick lounged about producing inexplicible things from mid-air.
Cookie is a fellow drole, who's into multiple revenue streams but still finds time to do dieing cancer kids birthday parties ("happy birthday--Its your last.")
Between sets Cookie and I get chaffered up one tree hill by Nick,
Two painted clowns in the backseat, one american style one european up to this hill (only 5 mins away) where you could see the whole city, Rangitoto, Manuera harbour, Manakaui harbour, the showgrounds.( We'll try to arrange photos for later on in the fest)
Back at work, in the animal tent, the sow and her 8 piglets slept oblivious in the sawdust.
Theres various forms of rodeo at the show and Cookie and i have come to label anyone paralysed or in a wheelchair for any reason 'Rodeo clowns'.
I play with them and let them ride between my legs.
its one of those all inclusive sad/bitter/proud things that one can do with clowns.
I spend the rest of the day being useful and dancing when the mood takes me.
Still to come are "Crazy Zany Capers" and "Master of fire and steel"
Surrounded by hostile
forces, naked, with the entire cast of Bonanza pointing and laughing,
I woke up.
I had been placed into the still warm chest cavity of a recently killed cow as I slept.
Sun dappled though yellow leaves of the large oak outside.
The coffee this morning is so strong it coats your entire digestive system in caffine plaque.
Hyperactive yet strangely sedated we proceed to day 5 of The royal easter show.
I arrived late, conveniently missing thousands of schoolchildren by mistake, Cookie the clown did clown-cover while I got my 3 hours in later in the afternoon.
There was a mid twenties rodeo clown today and he was going downhill and he must have had a souped up battery in his chair and he whipped between my legs faster than any rodeo clown has previously, and thats 20 years of rodeo clowns.
I patted a horse, it didnt mind.
I sewed 6 rubber gloves to the front of my costume and filled them with custard and lay down with the piglets but they were having none of it, mother became riled and scared onlookers by crashing, foaming and howling in a nearby cage.
There is an older gentleman who operates a toasted nuts stand (cashews $2 a bag)
And he looks like hes been sentenced to death.
He hasnt had a customer in 5 days and hes got that 1000 yard stare of the doomed retailer.
You can wave things in front of his face, he doesnt flinch.
Nick takes Cookie and I up to one tree hill again, Cookie in the front seat and me in the back with my head out one window and my legs out the other. (there will be pictures)
Its half way point and were going to have an Over the hump party tomorrow.
Its physically tiring. Please send money.
by a lifetime of embarrassment I thought the Over the Hump party
would be easy meat.
I was bamboozled, hijacked, taken hostage, brainwashed, led astray, bullshitted, fed lines, stitched up, falsely encouraged, patronised, ridiculed, autopsied, preserved and cremated.
The day itself went much like the others, I tried as much as possible to dilute cookie the clowns deplorible work ethic with the sweat of my brow..
I patted the horse again and strangely it was more wary today than yesterday. (it knew what I was in for.)
During work I found a mannequin , wearing a sleepingbag, and had a heart-rendering , pathos ridden relationship with it, no-one noticed.
Cookie the clown, wearing a yellow wig, white face, large shoes, had the ignominy of having his 6 year old daughter see how he made his living, she wept, we all wept.
The mind barracudas at the party, dave sheridan, nick, phil, andy and the ghost of christmas past had me snivilling in my cups as they craftily reminded me of favorite toys Id lost and misisng pets.
Then they made excuses and went to bed and I spent time rigging an explosion of cheese the first time anyone uses the bathroom.
Tomorrow is the beginning of the Easter weekend and numbers should get ludicrous.
Wood chopping, chainsaw races, mustache competition for woman, high pitched scream comps for men, little black sambo pancake races, all the wholesome multi-cultural texture of a nation truely in tune with its amalgam of newcastle coals and bamboo.
The moment I lay my head on a soft surface all this mental flotsum will cease.
I woke up, my head was
encased in a cage containing, in a separate compartment, a rabid starving possum.
Nick stood by with a shotgun in case of emergencies.
We puffed on coffee and glugged down cigarettes
Christ died for our sins and all the bars are shut and you can only eat candyfloss.
(apparently 2000 years ago faking your own death was a new thing.)
Checking to see that the fridge was well stocked for the evening we turned our backs on domestic affairs and hopping into nicks magicmobile we morphed into the proffessional show business personalities and quick-fire,nimble witted, verbally dexterious artistes for which we are so well respected and so handsomely paid.
The car wouldnt start so we morphed back.
The car started, we sighed and morphed again.
The car leaked charisma all the way to the show.
The showgrounds were well stocked with bipeds, many many bipeds.
More than all the other days together.
Children and the elderly were being trampled to their deaths as crowds surged from one hot-dog stand to the next, people were stepping on bodies for toffee-apples small fights would break out as people realised that they were walking in opposite directions , often body parts were torn off the dead and used as weapons. In midstream the current was so strong that weak children spent the day being swept along repeated circuits.
Stilts are fun in built up populations because your feet are at shoulder height and all you have to squeeze past people are two thin legs. The disadvantage is that you will never see the banana skin that matters.
or the pulpy potato -chip
bull, sheep, goat, duck, horse, rabbit, pig, shit.
entrails thrown from the Gypsies tent.
I tottered into the showjumping arena and did all the fences just flicking my legs over before the comp and had a grandstand with me on it.
It was easter so I got a few good crucifixions in as well.
Cookie dressed in his clown cowboy costume today. Its really sad to realise that hes probably one of the few people on the planet who doesnt need help.
He hynotises chickens as a hobby. He has 3. He actually convinces them theyre chickens.
I did the parade, played with the animals, watch men sprint up 25 meter poles (nicks wrong) watched fast cowgirls barrel-race, danced to polynesia, made cynical faces at all the wrong people, did flicky one trick pony stuff with my legs. Stole two icecreams and one plate of noodles, some popcorn. (people just dont seem to believe the stiltman will just walk off with it.)
And then it was over, the laughter faded, the happy children but memories.
Your life one day shorter and for what?
Woke up, tired, very
tired, my body just wants to decompose quietly and my soul would rather be kept
in a potted plant. Still at this stage routine takes over and I fix my rictus
Nick had bought a sleepwalking sleeping bag with legs and feet and hands free for opening cans of baked beans in the next squat he inhabits in London. (that much sweat in one waterproof sack.)
At 11.30am it ejected him with a loud belch.
I was there with the car keys and we went to the royal easter show in auckland new zealand.
A national opposition politician was going to skydive into the fair today. (gosh Id vote for him.) tandem to the only guy that mattered, the bored guy tethered to the politician as he plummets to meet his constituencies. It was called off due to inclement weather. I was furious.
Its day 8 so theres a lot of stock material.
The Polynesians still press $5 bills on me and tell me to eat.
The goats are still there to be stampeded.
The pigs are understandibly wary.
The chickens are still unconvinced regarding roadcrossing.
I don't mess with the horses, too much history.
I stoll about, people seem to be urgently in search of distraction.
I oblige, Im not happy either.
Nick gets rained out on his first and spends the afternoon turning others sunny dispositions into sour loser backgammon refugee mindsets.
I dont gamble.
I work the rodeo instead, hard men and woman, used to compound fractures and faces worn by actual sunshine. Horse-wise, dog-knowledgeable, hamster friendly, stilt-unfriendly till that crust is broken then its a chucklathon. Sad people really.
The same human squirrels sprint up the 25 meter poles, different horses jump over the same fences. Ive been checking with Saint John Ambulance on a daily basis to find out whether anyones lost an eye yet. (theres this old thing about it not being a party untill someone loses an eye)
We had drinks after work
what else is new.
Still it was a sort of carnie bonding session.
A perfect opportunity to find a woman who would ingest weedkiller to give you a two headed baby.
4 people lay in crumpled
heaps on nicks living-room floor.
But only one wore a sleeping bag with legs with Sac with attitude written on it.
I went and bought steak and potato pies for everyone, nick inhaled his in his sleep.
I then followed up with badly cooked eggs and bacon and raw mushrooms and coffee but nick was hard to muster this morning, he was acting like a pony with colic, all pensive and brainless.
The sleeping bags taken a strange hold on him. (he says he can feel it against his skin when hes not wearing it)
He got it off at 1-15pm and we eventually drove to work.
Todays theme is drizzle, it drizzled on the parade, it drizzled on the shows, the animals, the public, the stalls, the arenas, the rides, all was drizzle.
I decided to wear my brand new disco stilt-pants, they look like liquid silver and really freak out the miniature pony. I wandered about in the rain while not lounging about the dressing-room listening to porn star (Gareth-master of fire and steel) go on and on and on about the abnormally large penis that inhabits his perpetually leather-clad groin.
He would sometimes grab it through his trousers for emphasis, tomorrow is april fools day and I intend to cut it off.
Go fishing with it.
Nick continued to acquire credit via backgammon.
Cookie the clown has gone professionally mute, I fear I am a bad influence on him, he no longer seems happy, we swap ideas for a move starring us involving mini-golf, looking at the job boards at social welfare, perhaps being sent on a quest by the international clown council to find a fresh new gag and save the world.
Gee we were bored.
Once again the parachuting was put off, I like the idea that for the last three days a leading politicians put himself in a small plane (with a big idea) buzzed the showgrounds at altitude then gone home unrealised.
maybe tomorrow. Day 10--the last day.
It was the
last day today and a lot of the animals were sad because theyd made
good friends with children and everything but after today they had to go
back to farms where they might be used for meat.
You know if the Palestinians and Israelis could just get together over a ferris wheel.
Share candi-floss, win pointless stufffed animals, grin aimlessly.
The whole shell of the royal easter show split open today to reveal a seedy underbelly full of colourfull figures of note.
The potpourri was so dense with the rich seedy aroma of old money, I found myself genuflecting to all points of the compas just for insurance.
The sleeping bags with legs are going to be the big news but.
Im suffering from sensory overload, too many abstract exclamations, very little makes
sense apart from the sleeping bags.
Where was I?
I drove back to nicks, remembered lost luggage and repeated the journey.
Left a $4000 computer on a horse float and remembered to drive back to grab it off the fender before the rain started.
Im all messed up and humourless.
Crying children under my belt, 10 days of roving relationships, various reliable bands and P.As, the various fast food stalls and political parties.
Im sick of it
Im going to bed.
But enriched by an event thats my countries cultural stable