Birthday, chat and cock

Yesterday was my birthday. Today is my first of 364 concurrent unbirthdays (to borrow a bloody awesome concept from Lewis Carroll)

At the time of writing (9am Australian April 6th which means that it’s just ticked over midnight on my birthday in the UK) I have 64 wishes of Happy Birthday on my Facebook wall. That’s 2 for each lap around the sun. Sadly, I have received no real, physical cards. I have been assured by one person that there is a card on its way but sheer weight of numbers suggests that a Facebook wall post seems to be the ‘choice du jour’ of telegraphing birthday wishes in 2010.

 

I had a bloody great birthday. Having it fall on a Monday – the collective festival day off – is great. Most comics are prone to not turning up to anything, any night that they have a show. Thus, the famous mathematical equation governing comedians attendance at events that aren’t their show on nights that they have shows.

 

Show = No show

 

For those interested in further mathematical equations regarding comedians, please see Blog 7.

The day began with Yum Cha (Dim Sum for those in the UK) I have discussed this with my brother and we both agree that in the unpalatable hypothetical situation where we were forced to eat one and only one kind of food for the rest of our lives, Yum Cha would be our choice.

 

Yum Cha is slightly cheating as a single lifetime food choice encompassing as it does a variety of different dumplings and dishes. It’s kind of like choosing to marry Siamese twins to facilitate sexual variety within monogamy.

 

We ate prawn dumplings, prawn and chive dumplings, calamari and Chinese greens amongst other things. My Mum was telling us that when she moved here in the 50’s, that Australians wouldn’t eat any foreign food limiting themselves to ‘traditional’ cuisine (meat and 2 veg, chips and eggs, etc) It boggles my mind when you consider the richness and variety that each and every one of the world’s cultures can bring to enrich the lives of the rest that people still to this day stubbornly resist “foreign” things and people out of some sort of misguided sense of local superiority. That said, I didn’t eat the chicken feet.

 

After coming home I watched a quarter of the Geelong v Hawthorn match before heading down to St. Kilda to catch up with my friend Graham, his wife Sarah and their friends James and Clare. We sat at Republica on the beach and had a lovely natter. I went to uni with Graham, we have the same degree (Commerce with honours in Finance) His is on a wall, mine is in a drawer. He also pulls 80 hour weeks at work, a madness I only vaguely remember from my previous life as a suit.

 

At 6:30pm I wandered down to St. Kilda pier to meet up with a gaggle of off duty comedians, friends, partners and revellers to watch the penguins emerge from Port Phillip Bay and ascend up the rocks to take care of the serious penguin business of being a penguin.

 

There are two areas in the penguin reserve. One is fenced off and inaccessible to punters, the other is the viewing gallery so to speak. Apparently the penguins who get off on prancing around for the hoi polloi are known as ‘Hollywood Penguins’ for their attention seeking tendencies. As a group of stand up comedians stood there gazing upon them, I couldn’t help but be struck by the similarities. And when Phil Nichol garnered a laugh from some of the assembled gawkers by quipping “Hey! That penguin stole my wallet!” I was pretty sure I saw the penguin shoot him a dirty glance for stealing his limelight.

 

Speaking of types of light, there was a woman in a lurid fluorescent yellow vest whose job it was to alternatively inform us about the wonder of penguins and upbraid us for taking photos with a white flash (Apparently white light elevates the heart rate of penguins)

 

She elaborated that only people with an infrared flash could take photos. Apparently red light has no effect upon the heart rate of penguins. How they found this out without shining a rainbow of different coloured lights onto penguins hooked up to heart rate monitors and whether this amounted to animal experimentation was not explained. You must forgive my cynicism, however I did begin to question her RSPCA bona fides when she later explained that the noise penguins make to communicate sounds like “a dog being strangled”.

 

After learning about penguins I drove up to Fitzroy North to have a dinner party with a great group of friends.

 

The thing I love about dinner parties is the way the conversation sways and eddies. Any person can come back from a toilet break to find the conversation miles away from where they left it. When Dave came back from taking a phone call to hear Andrew imploring Janine to answer the question “But why did you keep the spunk in the fridge?!?”, Janine replying “Because I guess it made me feel special” I couldn’t help but chortle (by which I mean laugh, not blog about it. Chortle.co.uk unlike Google has not yet obtained the sort of critical mass in Internet traffic to justify the word becoming a verb)

 

Dave listened in for about as long as he could hold his tongue to other tantalising tidbits of badinage, such as “Well I think he’s a hyprocrite if he doesn’t kill himself” and “Well I wasn’t going to turkey baste myself!” before interposing himself into proceedings with a vigorously inquisitorial “What?!?!?”

 

Some of you who were in Edinburgh last year may have already guessed that the conversation was in fact on the topic of Kim Noble’s show “Kim Noble will die” (6 stars – Time Out) in which he said he was going to throw himself off a bridge at the end of the run (a promise he REPEATED during his subsequent Soho Theatre run in London, a move seen by many on our table to be blatant hypocrisy) and each show distributed 4 phials of his own semen to 4 women in the audience with a promise of the proceeds of the run to any woman who used it to impregnate themselves (turkey baster optional)

 

After the firestorm that was the Kim Noble conversation died down, the next point of contention was the alleged statistic that 90% of the people on Chat Roulette (www.chatroulette.com, a website where each click of the mouse connects you to a video chat with a random person anywhere in the world) were cocks.

 

Not cocks in the sense that they were fuckwits. Literally that they were cocks. Not disembodied cocks who had learnt to operate computers independently. Men with their cocks out, playing with them in front of the camera. Wankers. But not fuckwits. I think you get the idea.

It was decided that the only way to find out was to conduct an experiment. 10 random chats. Count cocks. Multiply number of cocks by 100 then divide by 10 to obtain a percentage*

 

It is a sign of the times that stopping a dinner party to congregate 7 people around a computer, essentially trawling the Internet for cock didn’t seem the least bit strange. I remember when people just threw their keys in a bowl. At my suggestion we turned off the classical music in the background. I argued that such beautiful music shouldn’t be subjected to this potential cesspool. And with a deep breath and a curious click, we entered the world of Chat Roulette.

 

Person one (and I am not making this up for effect) was a cock.

Thankfully this person had decided that exposing his bare cock to the world was probably a bit much and had done us all a favour by only exposing an erection sheathed by tracksuit pants. There was definitely a distinct outline. Let’s move on. CLICK.

 

In between a couple of Emo kids who gave us the finger, a rather perplexed looking woman and yet more sheathed cock we woke up a teenager. I think he’d fallen asleep at his laptop. He might even have thought he was still half asleep as his field of vision coalesced into 7 grinning idiots waving like African children chasing a bus.

 

Finally, on the eighth guy we struck paydirt. Well maybe not paydirt. It was definitely dirty though. Framed on our screen was – in profile – the torso, upper legs and reproductory appendage of a member of the 90%.

 

We squealed in disbelieving, uncomfortable laughter as this someone, somewhere, chalked his cue for whose stimulation? Ours? His? We didn’t know and in the frenzied mental space between watching, screaming and clicking “NEXT” each of us to a man lost our innocence.

Afterwards, we all felt different. Some turned to drink, others to drugs, yet more to religion. Me? I write about it and hope that one day the visions will stop.

 

20 seconds after we watched Wang-boy rock out with his cock out the computer crashed. Granted, it was running Vista so you can’t really extrapolate much from that but I like to think the computer was making a principled and non-violent statement of opposition to being used in that way.

 

We tied up the loose ends at the party, I gave Andrew a lift home and drove back to my place, exhausted from the volume of what had been packed into a lovely birthday.

 

To everyone who was part of it, from my parents, to the penguins, to Phil Nichol, to the lovely Nikkita, to Pinger even to Captain Six-Inch thank you for making my 32nd birthday a lovely day. Keep smiling.

Yianni

 

* By our reckoning, Chat Roulette is approximately 50% cock, of which 20% are exposed. These figures are in my way scientific.

 

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