With comedy there is an exact barometer of how well you are doing. If people aren't laughing, then clearly something is wrong.
Yesterday’s gig may be the exception to this rule.
The Butter Mouse and I scrambled up a pile of rocks assembled as a makeshift stage. The crowd rocked on lilos, hung from rubber rings, and clutched onto plastic orcas with handles on the fin. I certainly wasn’t worried about them heckling us. Quite the opposite.
This was due to our sleeping arrangements on Crotti. There are no hotels or bedrooms on this island. No need. One minute you are petting a cat that tastes of marshmallow, then you will jolt awake several hours later. The pace of life here flatlines, and the weather never darkens, so you won’t get in any trouble for your narcolepsy.
The lackadaisical temperament is perfect when for relaxation, but doesn’t help when you are trying to engage with an audience. There were already people dozing off when we started. Throughout the gig eyelids closed, and glasses slipped into the water with an wet explosion of orange and grenadine. We increased the volume of our patter to drown out snores.
But the octopi soon went to work. They are a constant feature of the waters around Crotti. With people dozing off anywhere and at any time, you need to make sure they don’t drown. You can’t relax if there is the constant fear of a snoozing death. So these eight limbed molluscs keep an eye on everyone.
When someone’s start to slide off their inflatable sea horse, they catch them with a tentacle and haul them back. Prevention is better than cure, and often their role entails suckering an arm or leg, or shaking a shoulder. They rolled and turned in the water, appearing above the surface to adjust an ankle, before vanishing into a rubbery shadow.
No calamari served round here.
I can’t decide whether what happened next was lucky or unlucky, but my eyelids drooped too. Trying to concentrate on our jokes was like trying to lift a sofa. Halfway through we squatted, our act interspersed with yawns. My puppet got heavier and heavier.
I awoke to laughter, and cold air on my wrist. The Butter Mouse hopped across the rocks. Her voice was petite, but contained the rhythm and timbre of pre-prepared material. The audience floated in a semi-circle, busy tailed and laughing. I don’t think they realised I was still there.
We are leaving tomorrow. Let’s face it, our departures were blog worthy back in March, but you are used to them now, so we’ll only cover it briefly. Next time, we are going to focus on the Butter Mouse.