THE MONKEY TRILOGY is a series of one man shows written & performed by John-Paul Hussey. It began in 2002 in a small gallery space on Flinders Lane in Melbourne with CHOCOLATE MONKEY. It received rave reviews, sold out and extended its season. The following year it was presented at 45 Downstairs in Melbourne and was critically acclaimed.
In that same year, it was nominated for 2 Green Room Awards (Best Male Actor & Best Production) & named Best Show of the Year of By ABC Radio National. It then toured to the Dublin Fringe Festival, sold out and dubbed the hit of the festival. So far CHOCOLATE MONKEY has toured to Sydney twice, once at The Stables Theatre 2004 and then at The Seymour Centre and The Melbourne Arts Centre in 2008.
In 2004 John-Paul Hussey was commissioned by The Store Room Theatre (Melbourne) to do SPACEMUNKI. It was critically acclaimed, & received a 4-star review from The Sunday Age Newspaper, later that year it toured to Dublin. Spacemunki in 2007 won The Melbourne International Festival Prize for its Music Score (Kelly Ryall)
The final part of The Monkey Trilogy came in 2008 with LOVE MONKEY @ The Northcote Town Hall. (Melbourne). Jo Roberts of The Age Newspaper called it, “a mighty production, a tour de force!” and Arts Hubs describing it as “a remarkable achievement…an entirely intriguing and entertaining production from start to finish…a stunning production not to be missed!” There are plans to tour Love Monkey in the near future.
The Monkey Trilogy is a project dedicated to merging multimedia with highly physical, text-based storytelling. Each new show pushes the boundaries of how far multimedia can be used in live performance. The main collaborators with John-Paul Hussey as writer, performer & producer are Lucien Savron as Director, Kelly Ryall as Music Composer and Shane Grant as Lighting Designer. The Visual Media designers are Natalie Lowery for Chocolate Monkey; Dean McInearny for Spacemunki & Matt Gingold for Love Monkey.
CHOCOLATE MONKEY is a story that speaks to anyone who knows life rarely moves in a straight line and that often, there’s no real success quite like failure. In a series of bizarrely interconnected stories, the audience follows a journey of how one man can gain and lose the world in the blink of an eye. It begins with the narrator’s disastrous attempt of putting on a one-man show and in the process losing his girlfriend, his job, his home and eventually his reputation.
Amongst all of this is a hilarious and absurd array of characters and situations. A mad Irish Funeral Director; a schizophrenic ‘pig chef’, a stocktake of a metropolitan train track system and Sean Connery as an imaginary personal mentor. Then there’s the tricky business of having to deal with an illegal performance venue run by an experimental and oversexed troupe of mud smeared dancers. But underlying the madness are two very magical Kinder Surprise Eggs that happen to reappear at the darkest moment of this story. In the end, it is the two little plastic figurines within these eggs that finally point him in the right direction, out of a personal chaos, towards a hilarious and very moving climax.
SPACEMUNKI is the future-now where the world’s information networking systems have become so vast and complex implosion is inevitable. Enter Munki-Hero: half astronaut/half satellite – Mr. Personality himself, to save the planet in the nick of time. The scientists have come up with a new ‘theory of everything’, that all knowledge and human behavior is influenced by the radiation of the sun.
The astronaut’s mission is to be blasted up into the space and to surf the radiation of the sun, as it makes its daily journey around the planet, His job, with his very special ‘information suit’, is to absorb everything that is known in heaven and on earth’ and bring it all back. If the mission is successful the scientists can then process all the information collected and hopefully reinvigorate their networking systems back to cohesive and manageable whole.
But something happens, something the astronaut sees between the bleeding fringe of the upper atmosphere and cold black space: a giant harvest field of potential personalities. This alternative dimension proves to be so beautiful and luminous it looks like the astronaut may never return to his planet earth. The dramatic twist is it isn’t ‘mission control’ that will safely bring him back home. It is his very pregnant wife who gives birth the very moment the astronaut re-enters the earth’s atmosphere, creating an oedipal dilemma of global proportions.
SPACEMUNKI is a parody of the much sought after scientific ‘theory of everything.’ A mini space opera of archetypal cartoon-like characters wrestling with epic terms, of gender biology reversing classical mythology and of information technology rewriting dream structures and traditional storytelling.
LOVE MONKEY is set during the night shift of an old hotel in Ireland. Its narrator is an out of work entertainer who now spends his nights as a porter vacuuming thousands of square feet of hotel carpet. Throughout his shift he reminisces over his past and why he has arrived at this sorry state. His only company is an obese and over demanding Bell Captain, an eccentric Indian hospitality student and the perverse wanderings of his own mind.
He boasts of his special talent for attending countless drug-fueled parties, and eventually losing precious teeth and his dignity because of it. He talks of traveling aimlessly halfway across the world in search of ‘romances’ that are always fast, but furiously never go anywhere. Each night he returns to dwell on these misadventures, imagining himself to be his own Captain Ahab, who never drowned but sank to the bottom of the ocean, and now forever cursed to walk the sea floor to contemplate his sins.
Throughout Love Monkey there are numerous historical references and literary allusions to ‘love’ and ‘water’ and how they are inextricably linked. There is an underlying theme that since ‘love’ and ‘water’ both sustain life, they, therefore, cannot exist without the other. There is also a strong environmental message concerning the depletion of this fundamental resource – namely water, as well contemporary society’s perception ‘of what love is’, and the countless ways we both use it and abuse it.
Love Monkey is a meditation on the interchangeable qualities of these two major themes, filtered through the mind of a porter who dutifully waits for a metaphorical ‘Captain’ to emerge and set him free. But ‘The Captain’ he realises has many faces, and the trick is to know which one of these ‘Captains’ will reveal to him the allusive and life-changing mysteries of the one, true ‘Great Watery Cup of Love’.
(The image of a huge egg reduces in size and remains.)
(Voice over/Sean Connery accent)
“Accipe ovum et igneo percute gladio.”
– Take the egg and strike it with a fiery sword.”
So, why is this important?”
Well, because it contains all the major themes of the show, Sean. The egg is the link, the centre piece of the work. All of that ballast I had to tread day in day out for the stock take of the Melbourne Train track system.
(Sean Connery) “Ah, of course ‘Coagualatio’: to bring things from the air to the earth. Rains, planes and falling angels etc, etc, etc.”
(The egg slide dissolves) Now, how I go this job is a bit a mystery. It happened in and around the time I separated from my twin monkey. This Engineering company just rang me, completely out of the blue. When I asked who or how they got my number, they seemed just as surprised at why I should query them in the first place.
“Because it’s on the data base.”…”but I’m not qualified” – OK.- the whole of the Melbourne train track system…?”
This is loco, like totally loco. No, stop that. My job was to push a trundle wheel on the track. Right. This is crazy. Hold, push and walk, 15 bucks an hour. No further explanation. Find out when you get there. And what’s a fucking trundle wheel? What is trundle?!
(Fashions a trundle wheel with his hands.)
This ladies and gentlemen is a trundle wheel. As you can see: (presents it like were a state-of-the -art weapon, and spins the wheel manually) One metre in circumference in toto, exactly. Here, (pointing to the attached counting device) How far, how long how much – The chainage, the numbers, 1000’s of them going round and round and round. Now this, a clamp lock. Simple mechanism: up, down, up, down; when not in use as well as to secure tight and holding vis a vi present chainage. Folds neatly, with a handle, to carry.Or to throw willy-nilly into the boot of a car, or on the back of a bicycle. And why are were using a trundle wheel for stock taking purposes? So, we can document where this that and the other are, exactly. As in position of ‘points’, ‘cross overs’, ‘bridges’, ‘underpasses’ etc, etc.
“Now the plan is to do the whole lot: 10km a day, one line a week, until the whole damn lot is finished.”
“Well, that does sound like it’s a terrific amount of track and a terrific amount of walking, doesn’t it?”
“No it doesn’t. It sounds like a doddle!!”
Just walking down some train line, where really the only thing you have to worry about is keeping the wheel on the track and listening to the safety man telling you to get off the track because – yes – there’s happens to be a very large metal train, hurtling towards you.
(Sound: train hurtling past)
Sounds like a very pleasant way to get to know the other Melbourne. (SLIDE) The backs of factories, (SLIDE) superior views of local high streets, (SLIDE) underneath bridges. But I was informed that I would need to purchase a pair of steel cap boots, money refunded of course. So, as to enable me to walk on the train track and the ballast not only safely but also legally. Again, not problem, I thought, I actually need a new a pair of boots.
“Lovely, lovely that sounds just fine.”
“Yes, yes, yes, but you must buy these boots”, they kept insisting, “you must, must have them on the day – these steel cap boots – terribly, terribly important, particularly in regards to the ballast.”
“Sure, sure, don’t worry, they’ll be there.”
But what’s this ‘Ballast’ they’re keep fretting about it. ‘Ballast’ what the hell’s that? ‘Ballast.’
“My apologies Inspector, but the explosion was merely a ‘ballast’”
“What? Only a ‘ballast’? Not a ‘ka-boom’?”
“No, sir not a ‘ka-boom’, a ‘ballast’.”
‘Ballast’ is any weighty, compact substance, as in stone and or iron, placed in the hold of a ship to give it stability or in an aircraft to help control altitude. Or, that which gives firmness to the mind or steadiness to the character. But for our purposes, ‘Ballast’ is the broken stone that is the bed of every train track.
(Slide floor and wall of Ballast)
This is ballast. And each piece of stone is called an egg. In the beginning Ballast is fun. In fact, it’s a bit like stepping the backs of a thousand obliging turtles.
(Walks onto the ballast)
You can hear them, right down close:
(Makes apologetic expressions with his face)
“How was that sir; there we are; mustn’t grumble”
After a few kilometres of that though, things change. Not the turtles: their characters, god bless them, remain the same for ever.
Your feet. Mine
(‘The Man Without Feet slide reappears)
(Sean grapples with this Alchemical theorem)
“There is a bird in the world, more sublime than all, Let it be your only care to find its egg. The albumen softly surrounds the golden yolk, Attack it cautiously with a fiery sword, (as is the custom);Let Mars assist Vulcan and the bird arising from it, Will be a conqueror of iron and fire.”
(The slide fades) (Lighting change)
On the first day, even before I said hello to any of them, my boots were examined thoroughly by the old railway men. All sorts of advice was thrown around to remedy the pain I would be experiencing in a day or two.
“Tooth paste on the inside of the boot, around the shin, that’s always a winner.
“And don’t, unless you’re incredibly stupid wear two pairs of socks”.
“Oh, why is that?”
“Because they rub.”
Binding your feet like a Chinese bride was another, particularly if you were a little weak in the ankles. But either way I would, with out a doubt, experience pain of medieval proportions, but like anything I would eventually get used to it. Eventually. The job basically involved a 5-person posse. A Greek train track expert of 15 years – Mr Peter Tzaskis. Some red headed chick, who was also on their database, to hold a clipboard and a red pen for documentation purposes.
(Peter Tzakis’ voice)
“Two safety guys, one positioned 100 m in front of us and the other 100 m behind us, to make sure we dont get run over by any of the trains while we are taking down the finer statistical details of the track that should lie relentlessly before us.”
The first day was quite leisurely; only 6 km from the end of The Alamein Line to the Camberwell junction. The Ritual was really quite simple. Mr Peter Tszakis The Greek train track expert of 15 years would go up head and spot a point in the track that were significant to the stock-take and call it out.
“Cross over on a left hand curve on the down line.”
Celia who would then ask me for the chainage. I’d stop at that given point and shout out, say 346 metres within the given kilometre.
She’d write it down and then off we go again to until Peter stopped and shouted out the next point. Easy. The only real pain in the ass was the trundle wheel perpetually falling of the track. I think I must have spent at least a 5th of my time just putting the damn thing back on. The first three hours were fine because I had the strength to focus, but by the last hour I’d be delirious. So, the damn thing would fall off every 5 minutes. By the end of the first week I was cursing the fact that someone hadn’t invented a proper trundle wheel designed for such work,
“I mean, come on! A Satellite! That’s it! Why the hell couldn’t they have done this job by air or, or, or satellite! Sure, haven’t you seen what they can see from up there these days? And hey why are we doing this job anyway?!!”
The ballast began to take it’s toll after a few days; I was breeding blisters on top of blisters
(Sound: of a train hurtling past.)
And due the constant irregularity of the surface, no turtle being exactly the same, my ankles became right weary, moany like a strangled, twisted bar of soft metal.
(Sean Connery) “My god Obi One Kenobi there were times, there were times, only 3 more kms to go son, when it felt like he was on some kind of pilgrimage.”
Although the job was easy, even if my feet killed me, and the idea of it so off beat to keep me amused, I did start speculating to why I was actually doing it.
(He sees a carcass on the track)
“Oh, God!! Peter, What’s that!”
“I dunno know…Let me check it out for you. I dunno know. Maybe a dog, a cat. Dog-cat. Dog-cat. Sometimes they chase each other and they merge.”
But the lines, the lines are bugging me, they’ve come up again haven’t they. What’s my thing with lines anyway?
“Hey John-Paul?! What’s the difference between a dog and a fox? About 5 Bourbon and Cokes. HaHahaaaaa!!”
(He turns to one of his train colleagues)
“Excuse me,. Can we get off the track for the moment. I need a piss “
There has to be reason. Now bare with me here. There’s punishment, of course, but also redemption: I can feel it. Well what have we got? A train track (slides of train tracks) and I am obsessively documenting every inch of it. Right. (A series of slides reflecting further thoughts) Two tracks, 2, duality, a line of thought, staying on track, working on a chain gang. Well the metaphors for train track are as endless as they are boring. Lines, constantly looking at lines….lines? Lines of communication? Telephone lines? Oh god. Lines of… The lines on my hand. Oh no, that’s what I do with the lines on my hand. Of course my hands, my hands! I’m doing penance for my hands!!What you sow is what you reap. The reason I looked at the lines on my hands was to find the ultimate gold pass that would confirm what I wanted to be.
(Sean Connery) “Aye, and what you resist you get you stupid little man. It was no wonder that your first gut reaction to this job is , was why the hell couldn’t they have done this by plane or by satellite.”
The more I walked more I realised that this was the point. In the past I had done far, far too much satellite work for my own good. Mapping out the big picture. Time to get dirty now, time to go down on the ballast. To do the work, not think about it. It was no wonder I was so bloody miserable. And as I pushed that damn wheel with my poor feet hurting for my hands I told myself over and over again:
(Cross fade slide of a satellite crashing in to land)
“You’ve done the geological surveying from up on high in your fancy space ship. You’re super good at that, sure that’s obvious, what with all your book learning. But If you want the real gold then you’ll have to get down on your hands and knees you lazy bastard and dig, dig, dig!!!”
(The satellite crashes. Darkness. Dissolve to alchemical of wall and floor slide of the eagle & the toad.)
John-Paul Hussey © 2002
SCENE: AL, HEAD OF PERSONNEL
(Images: A variety of images from The American Space Program.)
But that was many, many years ago and much more foolishness has happened in the meantime. But rather than throwing ourselves into another tawdry history of space travel, boys and girls, let us first tell you about someone.. Well, we’re not entirely sure if the little tot – the baby love was or would be a boy/girl/boy/girl. He/she/he/she could’ve been either, but we’ll have to come to that a little later on in the piece. First let me introduce you to Al.
(Thick-skinned, straight up & friendly)
Good evening fellow and future astronauts. Hi, my name is Al and I’m from the department of personnel. The man I am going to talk to you about is, of course, an astronaut, but one with a difference. He was part of a new breed; we figured that no longer was an astronaut expected to be a science Ph.D. with a life term gym membership; it all came down to attitude, your personality, like Elvis Presley for example.
Now technology had now made space travel so fully automated an astronaut was no longer fully obliged to fully understand what was around him, he just had to dig it! Sure there were accidents, but you had to be a rocket scientist to fix it and rocket science was now so vast and so goddamn complicated, it would take a whole host of human skulls just to house it.
This initially upset the old style space people. The whole idea offended them. “You can’t send a man out there unless he can manage the whole damn thing!” Oh come on brothers and sisters!
The administration naturally tried to talk sense to them. We even made a little CD ROM. Oh there were scenes, lots and lots of discussions of the most heated variety! ‘Take your glasses off; unbutton your white science coat; put your hands on your hips, “Oh, so you don’t agree with me!” Hands off the hips; button up coat; put the fancy glasses back on.’ Ladies and Gentlemen; I’ve never in all my life seen such incredible passion.
Oh yeah, there was one incident my boss the Head Administrator and me witnessed in the main lab. We just walked in minding our business and about say 250 maybe 300 technician put down their instruments, walked out of the building; jogged maybe 100m down the run way, all huffy n’ puffy and then, hell you wont believe it, sat down – yep with their arms crossed for a whole two hours!
Eventually the station nurse – hell on earth – had to come out with trays of little white plastic cups of Coke Cola in case they de-hydrated. “There you go honey, and you have one too. No, of course you can have one lover…”
All those white coats set against a million miles of jet black tar flourishing in the wind – jeez it sure was beautiful!
(Slow motion Sound & Image: A flock of white birds burst into flight)
Yup! It was a big hurting situation. But soon we forgave each other and very quickly they got to dig the idea too. Come on! You know it’s got to be personality!
THE ASTRONAUT’S WIFE
Now this man, Mr. Personality himself – the astronaut chosen for this special mission to save the world from immanent implosion. Well, he was a real prince. Wow, how do you describe a guy. Here’s some footage from before and after the mission.
(The performer crouch downs)
Tell us about your husband’s personality mam!
(He lurches up and distends his stomach as if pregnant. A light casts her magnificent shadow.)
(Sexy Deep South & full of grace)
I first met my husband in a jewellery store. I was there to pick up some turquoise and gold earrings. He said he was there buying a gift; he was lying of course as I saw him check my ass out and then follow me half way down the street.
The right one, the clasp, was still proving to be difficult and he volunteered to help. Well, having a complete stranger – a man – ask you pull up your hair in public and then touch your earlobes was really, really quite –
(She is distracted as if someone is signalling to her from behind the audience.)
Please, please gentlemen. I’m so sorry, ‘his personality’.
(Slide with huge black text with bright yellow background: ‘PERSONALITY’)
(He returns to the pregnant position.)
Well, my husband has a strong, stocky build. He has broad shoulders, a round head that is, well, it’s unbelievably round. Well, it’s more like a balloon that’s been shrunk in the sun. He has hair over most of his body; it is particularly fine on his arms. Big chest, but he does stoop. If we ever have a daughter she’ll have much bigger breasts than me; his sister’s breasts are simply enormous!
He has good feet with a real big-big toe with a wide gap between it and the sergeant major. He can pick up things with it, like brooms and pussycats. Calves like steaks; knees like a little girl’s and oh yes, he has a very nicely shaped penis. He-
(The PERSONALITY slide is turned off, the music stops. The lighting changes to stark office realism. A voice on an intercom.)
“I’m sorry ma’am, His ‘PERSONALITY’?
Yes, yes. Yes.
Well, my husband has…a lot of enthusiasm.
(Now angrily and defiantly with a full stomach and directly at the audience)
Oh come on, gentlemen! You know he is a warrior in complete armour of scale mail, and that his arms are bare on account of his vigour. And that he wears a rayed crown surmounted by a lion’s head and from that crown depends a curtain of flame. And in his left hand he bears the Phoenix wand, while with his other arm he reins the lion which draws the chariot which is fortified by a wheel radiating with that flame and that he rides upon that a sea of flames, both waved and salient. He…He…
(There is a long silence. She waits; she been through this ritual many times before. The air-conditioning of the interview room becomes more evident. The light becomes even starker. The sound of a crying baby in the distance, Intercom:
(His stomach reduces back)
“Thank you, ma’am.”
(Light fades to darkness)
(We hear a nail being hammered into the stage)
Hello. I am the inventor who will save the world from information implosion. Yah. So, watch out.
OK. Did you know the secret to doing a perfect German accent is to use absolutely no facial muscles whatsoever except the lips. Then stretch your forehead, like this. Now tighten your sphincter Yah? And now pronounce this one word absolutely correctly, ‘Fruit Loop’. Yah, ‘Fruit Loop’.
(He draws an imaginary circle on the stage, a floor spotlight gradually appears. Another circle is forming as a digital image on the background. While he does this he hums the children’s rhyme.)
‘There were 10 in the bed and the little one said, Roll over… “ Each and every attempt to draw a perfect circle is a feat of pure originality. But you have to be a very teensy-weensy, itty-bitty little monster with the hugest eyes in the universe to witness it. Which of course is impossible, thank God.
(He completes the circle and refers to both circles and self mockingly says to himself)
The Sun and the Moon; the King and the Queen; Heaven and Earth. Put them together and kaboom! Pah! You are clearly a genius.
John-Paul Hussey © 2004
SCENE: THE PORTER
(The porter emerges and begins to mop.)
(Sound/Video: cleaner’s view of a vacuum over a carpet, as well as all manner of other surfaces.)
It’s the New Year and I’ve had enough. Mid-January already and I haven’t even begun to attend to all my faults. This time though I’m not going take on the usual approach of ‘a head-on collision’, but more ‘casually reverse my way into perfection’. Trip myself up on each and every aberration and arrive backward, hopefully, to that purer place when I was…?
Right, there’s the restaurant, the main corridor, right up to the main gate. I have to be quick and quiet here and finish off vacuuming several thousand square feet of plush hotel carpet until the captain gives his nightly talk. The captain gives his speech at the witching hour of 3am like clockwork, on the dot and without fail. It can be on all manner of subjects
(Sound: old plumbing creaking)
Look, all this messy business began a while ago. Which is the reason why I’m in this god-awful situation and far, far away from home. Well you don’t think I do this sort thing all the time, do you? (To the mop). And quite frankly yes, yes. I am absolutely convinced it all began when my teeth started falling apart.
(Sound: a thunderous, underwater wave of sound reverberates through the space. The porter is thrown back.)
(He picks up the suitcase, walks in a wide circle.)
6 months ago me and the pig, my colleague, Mr. Music – Mr. Pig were invited to fly in the sky from Melbourne to Dublin to do our show in a festival and this festival was run by a tiger.
(He puts the suitcase down.)
Where’s the pig? He’s not here. Gone, gone back home to the other side of the world to have his lungs turned inside out for drinking a pint of Guinness the wrong way round. For a while we thought Mr Pig, each time we toured from south to north of the equator, (hops over the suitcase) he would turn, instantly, from straight to gay. A bit like his very own international waters had been inverted and reversed. A bit like the view of an upside down plane from upside down plane. But not gay-gay. Faux gay. Not gay. Mr Pig.
(Video: Slot machine display, a spinning wheel of fortune with a Tiger, a Pig and a Horse.)
(Picks up suitcase, walks the circle in reverse.)
But that’s not important. Not important at all. Because before we went to Dublin with that show, the Pig and I went to Sydney with another show, which was being produced by a horse and it was a complete disaster!
(Puts the suitcase down.)
Normally this show always goes well, but on opening night I decided not to wear any underpants underneath my trousers because I thought it made my arse look cuter. And right about the time where I do this rather dramatic physical twist as an Irish Funeral Director, “…get out, get out of my feckin’ building!” my pants ripped…totally…like right around here.
So, for the rest of the performance when I’m supposed to, ‘supposed’ to be making the audience feel all sad for my broken hearted stories, I was more concerned with making sure my bits didn’t fly out.
The reviews were good. So here we go! But then after that no one came.
(Music: background dance party.)
(Video: animation of a large rotating tooth.)
(He dances on the spot.)
One weekend on an unusually usual cold and windy summer’s night back home, I decided to go on this total bender. Now even though it was a repeat of my usual behaviour, the one positive I managed was to get rid of the last part of a bad tooth hanging around in my mouth for fucking ages.
(Lighting: Music: dance party)
(Video: nightclub image of a giant tooth rotates.)
(He dances, getting faster.)
You see, I’d been fiddling and fucking with it, the final third of the bad tooth with the tip of my tongue for so long now it had become another bad habit to join all the others. Bit by bit little shards of enamel would give in and fall away so I could return to a newer, sharper, more deliciously addictive phase of tonguing myself maniacally.
How I’d lost the first half was by stupidly taking a certain party drug orally. Ideally, it should be injected, but the pointy-pointy hoopla of it sends me into such paroxysms of the ‘no, no pointy-pointy moo-moo-hoo-ha’ of it, I can never ever imagine myself doing it!
SYDNEY # 2
(Video: wheel of fortune turns.)
That was a really good show, wasn’t it Mr. Pig? Maybe these Sydney audiences aren’t so bad after all, even if there are only three of them. Well, the couple in the front row seemed to laugh a lot. But what’s with the guy with the red jumper, hey? He seemed to shift around a bit. Does that mean he was bored or moved? Moved you reckon? The man in the red jumper was the usher?
(Video: Wheel of Fortune turns)
We were also sharing the theatre with another one-man show, a local boy. The horse had doubled billed us and this show was about a porn star who converted to Buddhism. Where each night he would jump on stage in an enormous penis suit made entirely of foam and his houses for some reason weren’t doing well either.
So, we decided to blame the horse. The pig banged on about horsy-horse, “and look at the way he flicks his hair and check out the Cuban heels” and not really understanding grass roots publicity.
(He hides behind the curtain.)
While I moped in the background pondering the personal karmic reasons to why I’d been double billed with a giant penis entirely made of foam.
(Comes out drawing the curtain in close.)
Look, hi, how you going! How many did you have last night? ‘Eight’! That’s great. Eight’s great. Me? Yeah look, I know the horse has us on either before or after each other with each changing week. But look the point is ‘the stage manager’. Well, she seems to have real issues about presetting your giant foam balls before you go on. Yep. So, if you could preset your own balls that would be great.
OK. You’ll only do that, if I stop using them as a couch?
TEETH # 3
The tooth? Right, the tooth! There’s this party back home, yes, in a tower block apartment in the city.
(He pulls a rope to lift up the screen, like a sailor.)
“There are more fish in the sea!
There are more fish in the sea!”
(Video: party lighting & miniature teeth falling like bubbles of champagne)
It’s well after midnight and all kind of social boundaries – pink is for the girls, blue is for the boys have gone to zip Hey, it’s me again showing off to a queue of girls outside’s the women’s toilet with my latest party trick!
(The middle section of the back screen, pulled up, creates the entrance of a large dance party.)
You see, I’ve got this fail-safe shtick of teaching small crowds how to catwalk – properly.
(Music: classic catwalk.)
Ok girls, strut like it is! Stop, classic pose, do another pose, stop. That’s it. Now single out a person in the crowd with your eyes from one side of the room. Now pick another from the other. Then bring both parties together like drawing a line between them. And now take everyone into your eyes, and just before you turn you tell them with your eyes, as if it were an absolute and ancient truth. Because I am this kind and you basically will never be my kind, which is why my darling, I will always have more cocaine than you!
(He demonstrates the catwalk and then stops.)
That night though it wasn’t cocaine, which for me produces the rather pointless exercise of the, ‘BIG HELLO HOW ARE YOU!’ While this drug, no. Well, why this drug? Well, it makes you go ‘Ping!’
I’m doing the catwalk, I’m doing this and I’m doing that. People are laughing and joining in. Women are coming out of the toilet in their twos n’ threes crossing their arms like receptionists on a lunch break,
“Hey what’s this, who is this guy!”
Guys are coming out and wiping those three fingers on their trousers, because they do that.
“Hey, hey what is this!”
Because they do that too.
“Yeah I know, but what’s with those girls with that guy?”
I’m walking, I’m talking while all the while anonymous specks of drugs still remaining in my mouth are swirling, zeroing in, super-fast clinging like bleached out piranhas on the weakest part of my system!
SYDNEY # 3
(Lighting: tight spot.)
What furthered my humiliation were my parents coming up all the way to Sydney to see the show. For the first time in a very long time I had the chance to give something back for all their years of generosity. (Exuberant German)
Yeah, sure you can stay at my hotel! No, don’t pay for that, I shall pay!
“How many did you have tonight, dear?” Ten…mum. Four. Ok, three…none. We cancelled.
But there’s always the other show in Dublin in couple of months from now. Its bound to go great! Bye Mum. Options, options, options; we always have options! Isn’t that right Mr Pig? Bye Dad. I reckon it was my ex girlfriend sending out negative psychic vibes again. That funeral director scene was always her favourite, and what with my pants splitting round the groin.
Mum? Mum? Mum! Muuumm!
TEETH # 4
I’m strutting, I’m turning, I’m showing those girls how it’s really done again and again because hey I’m the ping-fairy, ping! No, because I’m really fucking ‘it’, yeah, ping! No, because it’s funny because it’s true, ping, ping, pang, ping!
And then BLIP! Ping, blip, pang, blop, and as a proffered up visual accessory of my imagining – hey it’s the Giant Tooth Fairy shoving a fat-ass document in my face, entitled, ‘One big bit, a whole tooth and two small bits of a half of one still remaining’?
(A giant fairy, a screamer)
“I’m Giant Fucking Tooth Fairy and I hereby inform you under the powers entrusted to me under section blah, you blah have been invited blah, to assist the Ministry of Information with blah, blah, Blaaah!”
SYDNEY # 5
Blaaame, blame, blame, blame, blame! Once there is blame there is no end to blame!
(counting the audience)
There’s that guy in the red jumper again. The problem of blame got so bad; I would return to my hotel and take fantastically long showers, knowing full well the city was having chronic water shortages almost to crisis point.
(He jumps behind the curtain as a silhouette.)
(Video: animation of a shower on the curtain.)
That’s it yes. Why not you fuckers – use up all their water. All of it and maybe yes they will locate the source on their big bleeping machine. So, they can send their choppers and I’ll be on the news. So, I can explain my thing. This terrible thing that is happening to me! And maybe yes, just maybe you fuckers, you fucking fuckers will give me better fucking houses!
(A cop pulls back curtain, pointing a gun.)
“Now, turn off the tap mate! That’s it, slowly. Slowly. That’s it mate, turn it right off. Because we’ve got about sixty maybe seventy five people outside the theatre with tickets in their hot little hands!”
TEETH # 5
(Music/Video: sharp ‘Ping’, back into Party)
Ping! I’m losing teeth here! I run outside. I tongue myself gently. No bleeding, well a bit. No pain either, just a gap…and you know what? It’s kind of delicious.
(He removes the broken pieces with his fingers.)
What I’m supposed to do with these bits and pieces? What? What! Put them in an important little round metal box by my bedside table and let them resonate with greater and more combustible meaning?
Wow, that moon is so intense.
Oh, look! There, on the street! A parade of giant inflatable animals! Hey! Hey!
I can still hear the party five stories up.
Ping! I’m straight back up at the party and they’re still at it with the catwalk. But I’m over that; I’ve just lost a tooth buddy. No buddy, that’s really important. Yeah! Ping!
So, I try to find a girl I work with. Hi, hi, hi! Wow, that is intense. Whoa, no way too full on. Or more really intense or its maybe its you whose just a little too intense and full on. Fuck it – hi!
Hi! Hi! Hi!
And there she is out on the roof with the usual suspects being massaged rather violently by her recent ex because he still loves her but now he hates her.
“Love you baby, hate you baby. Love you baby. Hate you baby. Here let me massage your other hand baby.”
“But that hurts me baby.”
This is getting really weird.
More drink, more dancing, more fantastic bullshit regarding nothing!
(He dances maniacally)
Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!!
There are always more fish in the sea!
There are always more fish in the sea!
Then an old friend comes up to me and says,
“Didn’t you like only break up with your girlfriend, like only a month ago.”
“And that’s why you feel you should now flirt with absolutely every chick in the building.”
Fuck man, you’re being really intense.
“Yeah, well stop being so fucking full on!”
(He dances maniacally)
There are always more fish in the sea!
There are always more fish in the sea!
Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!!
(He climbs up the stepladder)
Hey! Now, we’re all outside again on the roof freezing our arses off having a whale of a time! Oh yes a whale of a time! Hi! Hi! Hi! Clinging onto plastic cups in our armpits with our hands dug permanently inside tobacco pouches. Hi! Hi! Hi! Because now, fuck it! Hi Hi! Hi! There’s nothing left else to pour down our throats, but observe a community of people disintegrating. Not just here in this party, but anywhere and it’s everywhere because it would seem there are more people every day being flung apart than flung together!
All of us leaning over the balcony looking down onto the street below, shouting and yelling and congratulating ourselves for being fucked up again and again for no real reason again and again and again! And wondering why the hell there are cold and windy days in the middle of summer when for Christ’s sake it shouldn’t be. Because isn’t it supposed to be hot! Hot! Well, isn’t it! Isn’t it! I mean what fuck is going on!
Hey look, look at that! A parade of inflatable animals! Down there! No, down there! Hey, we’re up here! Up here! We’re up here! The real party is up here! Yeah, the real party is up here!
(He climbs down from the ladder.)
“Love you baby. Hate you baby. Love you baby.”
John-Paul Hussey © 2008