Fringe Review – Edgar Jameson Scott: Scott’s Happening?

A cult figure in his native Canada, Edgar Jameson Scott is a new name to all but the most adventuresome comedy explorers on this side of the pond. And there’s good reason for that – what Scott has created with this scintillating hour is a thrilling, meditative, adrenaline-charged, ennui-soaked journey into the heart of modern living. Scott’s thesis – that ‘some stuff sucks, and some stuff sucks less (but not by much)’ – tells us more about us as an audience than it does about him as a performer. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that what at first glance seems to be about us is actually about him, and what seems to be about him is also actually about him, or the way he perceives himself to be understood by others (‘us’). It’s this recontextualising of the comedian’s ‘self’ that really cuts to the heart of what it is to be a white 20-something male trapped in a world that exists only, seemingly, to provoke, with endless minor irritations and inconsequential annoyances. ‘Why is the last Pringle always the hardest to get out??’ Scott rages. ‘Don’t make them so moreish and I won’t get my hand stuck in your tube so often!’ This image – of a powerless man in shorts and an ice hockey shirt, hand entombed in too-slender crisp packaging – is striking and hilarious in itself. But Scott goes further. Not content with subtly critiquing our enslavement to consumerism and self-destructive urge to ingest all that is bad for us, both physically and spiritually, he then conjures the image of himself, finally free of the aforementioned malevolent snack storage/gratification delaying device, upturning said item over his yearning mouth (like an engorged penis, he pauses to inform us, shockingly), his salivary glands working overtime as they anticipate the treats about to be delivered to him – only for there to cascade out of the cylinder and all over his face and upper torso a finely powdered dust (‘like blowing an old guy’) which is the result of his frenzied efforts to extricate himself earlier; the longed-for Pringle literally no longer exists! Scott does not delve into the deeper philosophical implications of this scenario; he wisely leaves it for us to ponder in the hours and weeks after his performance. And this is not the only situation he evokes using just words and the power of his imagination and some deft mime; there are a number of others as well.

Highly recommended.

*****

Edgar Jameson Scott: Scott’s Happening?, 11.45pm, The Wee Shithole

TOP 5 SEX TIPS FOR MEN!

1. Take Control!

There’s nothing a woman likes more than a man who knows what he wants and goes out and gets it. It’s all about the subliminal messaging, guys. So thrill her subconscious by masterminding a plot to steal the final seat on the bus from under the decrepit derriere of an old man with a walking stick while screaming obscenities in his face! (She’ll adore your rugged determination and caveman-like refusal to respect your elders!) Or undermine your boss at work by only putting half a sugar in his tea when he asks for a full teaspoon! Either way, your maniacal hyper-aggression is sure to get her lust zones palpitating!

2. Be Sensitive!

Women love sensitive guys. I should know; I married one!! Demonstrate your sensitivity by sobbing uncontrollably at any given moment, like when the supermarket cashier hands you the receipt for your weekly shop, or as the postman gently but firmly slides the latest Argos catalogue through your tight, vulnerable mailbox. The hot, salty deluge of water and mucus flowing from your eyesockets and noseholes will remind her of what she’s missing in the bedroom, and your howls of unpredictable anguish will set the tone for a night of passionate lovemaking!

3. Get Steamy!

It’s a biological fact that females of all kinds can’t resist steam. So introduce an industrial strength carpet steamer into your bedroom frolics. She won’t know that in the context of carpet cleaning, “steam cleaning” is usually a misnomer for or mischaracterisation of the hot water extraction cleaning method! (Actual steam could damage man-made carpet fibres or shrink natural fibres such as wool!)

4. Dress It Up!

Vampires are hot! Women (and us guys!!) can’t get enough of them. But sadly vampires are fictional, and dressing up as one will only make you look like an idiot. ANNOYING! Here’s the thing, though – try dressing as an UMPIRE and see if she notices the missing and/or substituted letters. If she doesn’t, it’s GAME ON!!! If she does, you can still keep it sexy by discussing other words which are similar, such as brisket and bucket, or lamb and lamp.

5. Be Prepared!

Just like scouts, women love men who wear badges. Award yourself one badge for each day you have resisted the urge to punch your own stupid face in, and proudly display those badges on a giant dress shirt which obscures your entire body! REMEMBER: YOU ARE THE BEST!!

The Legacy of William Shakespeare

We all know that the original and best William Shakespeare was a playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon who married a woman named Anne Hathaway, moved to London to pursue a career both writing and acting for the stage, and hated the fact that he shared a birthday with St George. But what about all the other William Shakespeares who have come since, forced to live their lives under the imposing shadow of the man who many describe as “perhaps one of the best writing guys ever”?

Here are some of the “not so famous” William Shakespeares that history has forgotten!

  • William Shakespeare (1795-1836) – like his namesake, William Shakespeare was called William Shakespeare, but he lived at a later point in history. He was a merchant who dealt in cheeses (a ‘cheesemonger’), primarily from cows, but he was also noted for a specialty range of dog and cockroach cheddars, then considered a delicacy. Some things change over time, but food fashions remain fickle, and sadly William Shakespeare was beaten to death by his customers when they realised what they had been eating.
  • William Shakespeare (1800-1874) – like his namesake, William Shakespeare was the 13th President of the United States (1850–1853) and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the office of president. As Zachary Taylor’s Vice President, he assumed the presidency after Taylor’s death.
  • William Shakespeare (1836-present) – this William Shakespeare was (and remains) a ghost, though scholars have argued for centuries over which William Shakespeare he is actually the ghost of. Certainly he shares the writing guy William Shakespeare’s fondness for using words (generally scrawled in blood on the walls of abandoned farmhouses, and with a similar fondness for slang and vulgarity), but there have also been sightings of his translucent personage attempting to break into pet cemeteries and ‘milk’ the spectres of deceased guinea pigs, parrots etc in an effort to produce ectoplasmic cheese.
  • William Shakespeare (1924-1990) – like his namesake, William Shakespeare was a playwright, although significantly less successful than the original William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon. Confusingly, this William Shakespeare was also from Stratford-upon-Avon, married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and moved to London to pursue a career both writing and acting for the stage. However, his work never reached the level of audience approval or critical acclaim of that of the other William Shakespeare (original – from Stratford-upon-Avon, married Anne Hathaway, moved to London, now famous), as it was primarily composed in the unpopular ‘epic limerick’ form, and littered with characters from vaguely pornographic sounding towns. For example, every single stanza of his most well-remembered work, the eight-hour endurance test ‘There Was A Young Woman’, began with the words ‘There was a young woman’ or ‘There once was a man’ – and each stanza introduced a new, idiosyncratic character, so that by the end of the performance (the play was performed only once in full) there were thousands of actors filling the theatre, spilling out into the auditorium and forcing the audience into the streets, where they gladly boarded buses and went home. Shakespeare, shaken by this experience, quit the theatre, and lived out the rest of his life quietly as a William Shakespeare impersonator.
  • William Shakespeare (1980-present) – like his namesake, William Shakespeare is an unemployed fishmonger living in Booragoon, Western Australia.

Art

Me: I don’t know about Art, but I know what I like.

Art: Yep, me too.

Me: Two hotdogs, please.

A penny saved

My family was very poor when I was young, so whenever I saw a coin that had been dropped on the pavement, I’d pick it up and carefully save it in my home-made piggybank – a cereal box which I had taped up and cut a small, coin-shaped hole into. While other kids were having fun and spending their pocket money – which they had been given by their wealthy parents – I was working hard, looking for coins and diligently saving them.

They all laughed at me then, but now they are all suffering thanks to enormous debt and an unforgiving economy, while I enjoy living in my cave with my enormous collection of coins.

Two leopards fighting

These two leopards are having a fight over who has the right to some meat that has been thrown to them by a zookeeper.

The first leopard swipes at the face of the second leopard, his sharp claws slashing and drawing blood. The second leopard, surprised, cringes, his paw instinctively covering his wound.

The first leopard, sensing an advantage, leaps at the second leopard’s neck, his huge, sharp teeth sinking into the neck of his opponent. They both fall to the ground, wrestling for superiority.

The second leopard manages to fight his way on top of leopard number one, whose belly is now exposed. Eric – for this is the second leopard’s name – raises his clenched paw and delivers a series of powerful jabs to his cagemate’s gut.

The first leopard, whose name is The Amazing Patterson, is badly winded. But out of the corner of his eye he notices the glint of a bowie knife, the handle of which is just inches from his right foreleg. Without taking his eyes off Eric – as he doesn’t want to alert his foe to the presence of the weapon – he stretches towards the blade, all the while absorbing the painful blows Eric is delivering to his midsection.

Then, suddenly, the bowie knife is in his grasp. He plunges it deep into Eric’s back. Eric roars in pain, backing away from The Amazing Patterson as he attempts in vain to remove the bowie knife from his flesh. But he can’t. The knife remains in place despite his efforts.

Meanwhile The Amazing Patterson is retrieving a pistol from his briefcase. With methodical purpose he attaches a silencer to the barrel of the weapon, and strides towards Eric. He takes a pillow and places it over the face of his opposite number, muffling his howls of anguish.

He presses the weapon against the pillow, and mutters a quiet prayer.

He closes his eyes, and pulls the trigger.

There is no sound.

He pulls the trigger again.

Still nothing.

He looks at the gun, mystified.

Then he hears the sound of muffled laughter.

It’s Eric, who takes the pillow from his face, and The Amazing Patterson can see that he has tears streaming down his furry cheeks. Tears of hilarity.

Between giggles, Eric points to the camera crew outside the cage, who wave back.

“You, my friend, have been punked!” he chuckles.

The Amazing Patterson looks shocked for a moment, then joins in the laughter. He had forgotten that Eric is a vegetarian.

Scene

MAN: If eating human flesh is a sin, why did God make it so darn tasty?

GOD: It’s the tempting flavour of my 11 secret herbs and spices.

MAN BEING EATEN: I’m finger lickin’ good!

GOD: And that’s why you’re going to heaven.

[high fives all round]