I have nothing particularly original, insightful or otherwise to contribute today. Thus, allow me to direct your attention elsewhere. Look, a gyrating chimp!
Haha, got ya.
Firstly, came across this interesting blog entry about where to focus your energies in the pursuit of a comedy career. Dan Rock, who I recently had the wonderful experience of touring with, alluded to much the same thing, actually his exact advice to me was to take my focus off the stand-up circuit and instead just put together a butt-kicking theatrical piece to take to festivals and *gulp* Broadway. I feel nauseous even typing that. But there you have it.
Secondly, for some reason this week’s column is not online yet – I’ve no idea why – but it’s actually one of the favourite ones I’ve written thus far, so I’m gonna just cut and paste it here directly.
There you have it. Again.
Excuse me if this week’s column is a little – uh…zany. I’ve been sent mildly insane by a 2-day comedy tour of Saskatchewan. While I had been warned, nothing – NOTHING, I tell you! – could prepare me for the nuttiness of driving through exactly the same view for twenty hours of my weekend. At times I was even driven to wiggling my index finger in front of my eye, purely for stimulation. It is sore.
Anyhow, as promised, this week’s summation of events is NOT about Saskatchewan (“Thank the heavens above!” I hear you cry) but rather about my first foray into the incredible world of cross-country skiing.
Distracted by the wonders of snowboarding, we’d thus far neglected the good old fashioned ‘strap-em-on and shuffle’ style of snowsports – forgive me if that’s sacrilege by the way, it’s purely my Aussie-fied perception of the thing – but, motivated by the increasingly depleting snow supply, we decided that we couldn’t let the spring officially come on until we’d at least given it a go.
The day arrived.
“Come on!” I called eagerly to Miss Five and Mister Three. “Cross-country skiing! It’s going to be so much fun! On with the snowpants!”
Now, as those of you who read this column regularly will know, my son and I are engaged in an ongoing battle over his Rainman-like obsession with wearing shorts in ridiculously inappropriate weather. A battle in which I have long ago conceded defeat. Except, however, when snowsports are concerned, wherein I tear my white flag to shreds, leap on him like a just-woken-from-hibernation snow leopard and force the damn attire on his unwilling bod.
This time however, my little man decided to be even more stubborn than usual, donning blue and white makeup and shouting “She can take my shorts, but she’ll never take my FREEDOM!”
It was bloody. It was violent. Forty minutes later as we strapped our screaming – yet snow-panted – little warrior into our Volkswagen torture chamber, I sighed to hubby. “We haven’t even left the house and I hate cross country skiing already.”
Later at the Nordic Centre, the dude was finally distracted from his epic tantrum by the excitement of being fitted for his ski gear. As the four of us – hubby, myself, Little Miss and Little Devil Spawn – headed out to take on the not-so-slopey slopes, I smiled. This wasn’t a mistake. We were here!
I looked out at the people before me – expert cross country skiers, some of them apparently pros, gliding across the snow with the grace of gazelles dancing to Tchaikovsky. It was then that it struck me: here were these sleek, beautiful people in their sleek, beautiful suits, skiing with their sleek, beautiful rhythms and then: there was us. Me in my fluoro pink jacket and ill-fitting snowpants, hubby in his maroon 1980’s one-piece snowsuit, shuffling our way and awkwardly pushing our what-are-they-called- oh yeah, poles, that’s them.
I suddenly felt like I’d wandered onto a National Ballet production of Swan Lake and started busting out the Robot. Really, REALLY badly.
We shuffled along. Mister Three decided that two metres was about the limit of his exertion point, plonked himself down and started making snow angels. Face down.
Meanwhile, I pretended I didn’t notice this and left hubby to deal with the fall-out while leading Little Miss Five back and forth along the same strip of snow again and again and again.
Around 42 minutes later, my two men had moved a grand total of three metres. They finally resigned for the day and hit the lodge for a snack.
After a few laps of feeling like we were getting the hang of it – at least looking less like a legless walrus jutting along a glacier and more like a limping penguin with poles-in-hand – Little Miss led me back to the lodge to join our men. We’d done it! We’d endured the dressing, the tantrums and the learning curve and had conquered cross-country skiing! It was then that I discovered what my son had been apparently plotting all afternoon: his revenge came in the form of him sitting triumphantly, smack bang in the middle of the highly public lodge table with his snowpants smushed into the corner of the room – resplendent in his Spiderman underpants. And nothing else.
I froze. I grimaced. I denied I knew him.
And I swear that somewhere on the breeze I could hear the faint sound of the Braveheart theme.