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March 23, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Day the Laughter Didn’t Show Up

Derek Flores, the svelte Canadian improviser and co-host of the New Zealand Fringe’s venerable variety chat show the Chit Chat Lounge and I, Sando son of Sando, arranged to meet up to discuss comedy, love, improv and the Young Guns of Comedy (the 20th and 21st of March 8pm). Feeling like the most beloved son of Odin One Eye and his hot Nordic Missus, Freya the Frigid, [Baldur the beautiful– NS], I was happy to accept. My editor trusted me enough to interview a leading light of the Wellington comedy community, the man behind the Fringe Bar himself and god damn it, I was going to rock the fuck out of that interview or die trying.

I waited at the soon to be defunct Espressoholic from 0955hrs to1027.39hrs, a full 27.25 minutes longer than he said he’d be there by. Now as all journalists know the high code of journalism, which was first codified by Journo of Alpes Maritimae in 64c.e, and states that an interviewer should forgive a new parent —which Flores is—22 minutes of tardiness to an interview, as child bearing addles the mind and misaligns your four humours. Understanding that and knowing how important humours are to both comics and breastfeeding mothers, I gave him those 22 minutes. Willingly Wellington, believe me. In fact out of love and admiration for the waif-like humourist, I gave him a further two. The clock kept ticking though, didn’t it? A full 2.33 seconds later and I was spewing; vomituous bile, that is. I should point out, dear reader, that this statement was true on both a figurative and literal sense. I was asked, politely yet firmly, to leave the coffee shop and thanks to the incomprehensibility of the land lords I shall probably never return. Adios and adieu to you, you centralised coffee shop.

Now, a better journalist than I could, and indeed would, attempt to reconnect with his subject, or mayhap search out an even better interview. Not I, however. Armed with Journo’s creed I decided to do the interview alone with the help of my favourite acid alternatives—passion fruit flowers with just a light dusting of PCP. Realising that now I had evacuated my stomach, I fled to La Casa Pasta, where I was to dine on a light luncheon of creamy pasta and comic words. Who was Flores, and where was he now? Strung out, I looked down towards my food. ‘Blub flub’—was that just the sound of my over-sauced fettuccini cabonara settling into its wide bowl or was Flores trying to compel my interest with tales of MC Jerome Chandrahasen’s impeccable yet restrained comic appeal? I was too fat and too hungry to find out.

Another flower, and I was out, prowling the streets with my good buddy Derek ‘The Bucket Fountain’ Flores by my side. “It was vital”, he said, spitting over everyone, “that you mention that Sarah Harpur is very amusing, and rather cute.”

“Fie! Fie and what ev’s” said I, throwing back my head in resentment. Journo was quite clear that I was to control my interview and not let an interviewee lead me. Standing up from my multi-coloured seat, and glowering at the small children nearby I left, chasing the shadow of Flores as pidgeon down the street and towards the bus shelters.

“Please try card again,” Flores’s mechanical yet strangely calming voice erupted from his speakers. “Please try card again.” I was, damn him I swear it, I was. “Insufficient funds.” I almost leapt at him, but I remembered my Journo: ‘we report, or verily, sometimes fabricate the news, though we never be the news ourselves.’ I paused, “Insufficient funds, the Young Guns is only $8 dollars at the door, Insufficient funds.” Grunting, I desperately flung three dollars at the bus driver. To calm myself, I fingered my cut out of the heavily pregnant and fantastic light entertainment reporter Francesca Rudkin and bore on towards journalistic integrity. Oh Francesca, if you can put up with reviewing Neil Diamond concerts, and the grasping hands of Paul Henry, I can deal with this hypnogogic subject. “Nic”, Derek talked to me now through the screeches of the bus’ ancient shock absorbers, “Why don’t you run away with me? We can live together on my Canadian dirigible and commune with the celestial kitten. We could converse about Del Close and Keith Johnstone!”

“Oh Derek”, I shrieked, and I fell into his arms, a marshmallow cradled by a spider. We lay, his gentle spooning turning into a loving fork, while I gazed out to the sunset watching worlds collide collapse and eventually…end.

[NB- We contacted Derek Flores as part of Salient fact checking procedure and he said that he hasn’t talked to Sando since a food poisoning incident at the Chit Chat Lounge in early February. Sando was too busy batting away imaginary bees and cutting himself with glass to comment. The magazine is currently reviewing why he was allowed to interview anyone anyhow. Possibly, it’s because we’re chronically under staffed and under-budgeted.]

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About the Author ()

Nic Sando is a god amongst men, fifteen fathoms high he be, with strange and wyrd powers at his disposal. Only a fool won't harken his ears to the east when he hears The Sando man stumping his way.

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