No days left.
I head directly to the airport after my final gig in Perth.
I can’t remember how it went, but they gave me my money and that’s all that matters.
I stumble into the airport drunk and stoned, walking past a bunch of police officers standing near the entrance. They eye me suspiciously. Luckily they realise I’m flying out and let me pass.
‘I’m going, I’m going.’ I slur at them.
I get on the plane. As the plane takes off i look down onto the shrinking lights of Perth.
I miss it already.



2 days left. I’m backstage at a gig lying on a couch in foetal position. One of the other acts enters the room. He suffers from severe cerebral palsy and is near quadraplegic. To compound this, he suffers from hayfever so has a wad of tissue permanently jammed up his nose to stop the mucus that would otherwise constantly run down his face. He has to breathe through his mouth, but because of his severe condition, he has to half gulp air like a goldfish in a conscious effort to not suffocate to death.
‘How(gulp) have you (gulp) been?’ He asks me. I think about the bad things that have happened to me on this trip and then watch him gulp for breath.
‘No complaints.’ I say.
I look at the poor guy confined to his chair. I see the will to live outshine the constant suffering in his eyes.
‘Fan-fucking-tastic actually.’ I add. Thank god for the existence of people worse off than you to put your pointless whining into perspective. That’s why they are there right?
My complaints shrink down the petty debris that they are. You just can’t complain about anything around this guy that he wouldn’t be able to just instantly trump just by being there.
‘I got banned from these gigs.’ I’d say.
‘Oh yeah, I can’t do those gigs, cause they dont have disability access.’ he’d reply.
‘I had a glass thrown at me.’
‘Well at least you would have the option of dodging it.’ he’d reply.
‘My back hurts from couch surfing too much.’
‘At least you can feel your back.’
‘People are threatening me on facebook.’
‘Well at least you don’t have to go to bed every night in the fear of choking on your own saliva.’
Fuck this guy. It’s not fair.
‘What have you (gulp) been up to?’ he asks.
All i can think of to say are things that he is not capable of doing and giving the response, ‘A lot of things that you aren’t capable of doing’ is not a good answer to give. But on the other hand, i feel bad telling him all the things i have been able to do, like i’m rubbing his face in his condition. What am i supposed to say?
‘Oh you know dancing at a rap concert, snorkelling, swimming, walking, standing, whacking off in a beach toilet…’
In the end I just tell him,
‘Nothing much. Just a lot of sitting around really.’

After the gig i have late night Chinese with a couple of other comedians. One of the comedians starts complaining about having to support a family,
‘You have no idea what it’s like having two young kids to support. I got no money, no time… Coming to do gigs in Perth is like a holiday for me.’ He says.
‘Oh yeah??’ Says the other comic,
‘I’m 40 grand in debt man. I gotta sell my house to get out of debt now, and property prices are going down… Plus i broke my foot playing basketball and it didn’t heal properly. You know how fucked it is travelling around like this?’ he says, pointing at his foot in a plaster cast.
He’d won.
Fuck these guys I think.

‘You guys should really stop complaining about stuff. Life is precious. You gotta hold onto it.’ I say.

I pay for dinner.

Just before we leave the restaurant, i go to the bathroom and spot some graffiti that seems to convey a very profound and significant message relevent to my particular situation:



I wake up feeling hungover and evil. I go get the breakfast buffet. I love buffets because they remind me that i have severe self-control issues. I have problems stopping. Because everything is so expensive here, I start trying to eat to stave off future hunger, as if being hungry once in a while is terrible thing. I eat too many eggs and too much bacon and sausages until I feel the grease weep from the pores on my face right there at the table. I get up to get another plate.
‘Are you okay?’ One of the other comics ask.
‘I don’t know. Probably not.’ I reply.
‘You seem to have some kind discoloured, oily fluid condensing on your face.’
‘It’s just panjuices. Make a good gravy.’
I walk through the main public area of the island. Everyone i look at i immediately think has been at last night’s gig. I can’t tell if there is true malevolence in their eyes or if my paranoia is getting the better of me.
‘I can’t deal with being on land. It’s not for me.’ I tell another comedian. He suggests going snorkelling. We hire snorkels and head off to one of the reefs. It’s fucking awesome. I lose track of time, following beautiful reef grottos with luminescent coral and schools of fishes of all different sizes. I see blue devils, silver drummer, moorish idols, sweep, lobsters, wrasse. I spend hours in the water.


I am of the firm belief that I was not born to be on the land. Maybe i was a whale in a past life or maybe I’m just fat but everytime i surface and stare at the shore i feel nothing but revulsion. i don’t want to go back to land. It’s overrated. It’s heavy and full of people.


But i have to go back to the land eventually. I have tickets to see Cypress hill that night.
I swim to the mainland.

A few hours later, I’m in a room full of moshing people yelling in unison the chorus to ‘How i could just kill a man.’ which is the line ‘KILL A MAN’ repeated about 20 times. After the 15th repetition, I both want to go kill a man and do whatever else someone with the confidence to name themself ‘B-real’ tells me to do. ‘WHO SHOULD I KILL MR REAL?’ I shout. He doesn’t hear me. The song ends and B-real then tells us how much he loves us and out of all the crowds in the world, the crowds in Australia are the best. Then he plugs his web TV series, new album and marijuana paraphenalia business. For dudes who made a name for themselves about how much they like to get high, they sure are highly motivated high achievers. I stare at this once criminal, now millionaire, who made his fortune on a platform of funky beats and lyrics about gang violence and weed and realise anything is possible.


B-real bein real…

PERTH ‘TOUR’ DIARY – 05/12/14

I’m heading to Rottnest Island to do a gig. Rottnest Island was used in the past as an aboriginal prison island. Kind of like Alcatraz for people who hadn’t committed any crimes other than being on a piece of land other people who weren’t them wanted. What was once a place of incarceration for indigenous people is now a very popular holiday destination. But say what you say about the tragic history of brutality, genocide and murder, the snorkelling there is great and they have a Subway sandwich shop and everything.
The place is literally a mass grave. In fact there are signs right next to the children’s playground that point this out. ‘367 Aboriginal males were executed and buried here in this spot.’ the sign there reads. Almost one for every day of the year. I’m feel sick inside but then i turn my head and watch some kids play on the see-saw next to this mass grave and cheer up a bit.
Our hotel rooms are two aboriginal prison cells with the dividing wall knocked down. They are very comfortable. I don’t know what those imprisoned aboriginal prisoners were complaining about. The showers are hot and strong, the mattress is very soft and they had an electric kettle with all the tea, coffee and milk, you could drink. It seems like a nice place to stay to me.
Also the island is infested with these tiny marsupial wallaby type creatures called quokkas. They are cute as fuck.
‘Fuck the Quokkas mate. I fucken hate them.’ a local tells me.
‘Why?’ I ask.
‘Cause they just get into your backyard and your front yard and shit everywhere.’
‘Well you did build a house where they live.’
‘Yeah but they come in and shit everywhere.’
‘But they were there first.’ I almost say but then I remember what happened to the other things who were here first in Australia. They were imprisoned on this island to die. I keep my mouth shut.
I’m hanging with one of the other comics. The subject of my negative views on Perth and the gig bans come up.
‘Perhaps because you expect that kind of reaction, and you kind of subconciously manifest it.’ he says.
‘Perhaps you’re right.’ I say. Perhaps its true. Perhaps i got some kind of weird reverse secret thing happening. I pledge to myself that i will do my best to be likable and accessible to the crowd that night.
I even write on my hand before the show two words: ‘LOVE THEM.’

The gig that night is horrendous. It’s a nightmare crowd. The front three rows are drunk and disruptive. The heckles come thick, fast and way too drunkenly slurred to effectively respond to. Someone called Sarah has turned 22 that day. I know this because a group of drunk 20 something girls repeatedly scream this at us a number of times during everyones set. The first two acts struggle. The MC does okay, he’s a very experienced act with wide appeal. I wish i was him. The MC brings me on and the its touch and go from the get go. I’m getting some laughs here and there but it’s hard to gauge as you can’t hear the laughter clearly over the ambient drunken screams. I compensate by shouting loudly and talking quickly over the top of them. There is a middle aged woman up front shaking her head and saying ‘NO, NO, NO.’ After everything i say. What she’s saying no to is questionable. At first i think maybe it’s my material but then i conclude that it’s probably just my general existence.
‘SARAH’S 22! SARAH TURNED 22 TODAY! SARAH’S 22!’ the group of young drunk girls scream at me. They look exactly like the tinder girls here in Perth.
‘Yes, yes, we know. You keep screaming that in the middle of all our jokes like we give a shit.’ I say. They boo.
‘SHE’S 22!! SARAH’S 22!’ They scream again.
‘So what? Sarah’s one year closer to death who gives a shit? 22 years and 9 months ago your parent’s fucked, it’s not that special.’ they boo me more.
‘You ever wonder what kind of sex your parents had to make you Sarah? Were you the product of a shit lay? or a hatefuck perhaps?’ I don’t know why hatefucks prefigure so highly in my act here in Perth, but then it occurs to me that that is exactly what Perth is to me at that point, a hatefuck. Our relationship had run it’s course. It was time to break up with Perth. It had started out well all those years ago. We didn’t have much in common back then but we had always got along, but then something happened.
‘Maybe it will help if i talk like youse guys.’ I say in a pisstake of a broad aussie accent.
‘Oi youse guys settle down, let’s have a bit of silence for old mate Hughsie.’ i made the mistake of saying. Hughsie of course was the 25 yr old cricketer Phil Hughes who’d died recently of a cricket ball to the head. For the first time the entire night everyone is silent and attentive.
‘Don’t you fucken dare mate.’ I hear a voice snarl. I’m not sure what to do. I didn’t mean to talk about Hughsie but i feel i have to assert my dwindling authority and do a joke about Hughsie despite the awkwardness. I tell an insensitive joke i threw around on my facebook feed when i was depressed earlier that week about how the Australian Cricket team were saying they will have trouble replacing him. My suggestion was to get the bowler Sean Abbott who’d killed him as his replacement. The punchline was, ‘He can’t spin like Warnie, but he can kill a man with a ball, and that’s a valuable asset to have on any kind of team, sporting or otherwise.’ But instead of saying ‘kill a man’ i said, ‘Kill cunts.’ The joke gets nothing except some uncomfortable laughter up the back. The middle-aged woman doesn’t even say ‘NO.’ Suddenly i hear a whistling noise and an empty glass flies through the air about two feet to my left. Perhaps it was a warning shot, or perhaps it was just a shit throw. It was definitely not a throw good enough to kill a man like the high bouncer Sean Abbott had thrown, but it’s enough to throw me off my already thrown off game. The middle aged lady then gets up and turns around to face the thrower.
‘NO, NO, NO! NO!’ she says, picking the glass up off the stage and sitting back down.
I decide to pull back a bit and start doing some inoffensive material about birds.
‘So what’s with birds?’ I say.
‘NO NO NO.’ The middle aged lady goes back to saying. Maybe that’s all she can say i wonder. My classic birds bit bit gets predictably nothing. Maybe it was because the segueway between getting glass almost in the face and the classic birds bit was clunky at best.
‘I’m sorry, it’s really hard for me to tell jokes while i keep an eye out for flying chunks of glass that might shatter in my face and cut my eyes.’ I say.
I wish i could say that i turned the gig around, but some gigs you just have to cut your losses. I manage to get a couple laughs out of the situation, but for the most part i’m just counting down my time. Literally. The last two minutes i start counting down from 120. It’s another classic bit of mine, but about twenty seconds in, the heckles begin and i keep losing count. Eventually i give up around 96. I end the gig by telling them that they are the worst crowd i’ve ever played to and that i hope they get hit in the head with a cricket ball and die.
I sit in the corner with the other comics with my back against the wall and drink warily, keeping an eye out for more flying glasses.
I am trapped on this island for the next 15 hours.
After several more pints, i stumble back to my hotel room and drift off to sleep, wondering how many aboriginals have died in the room I am in.


I wake up. It’s ok to be alive again I guess. I check my emails. There’s an email from the booker who told me that he wasn’t telling me what to do when he told me what not to do. I am informed that i’ve been cancelled from the show that night and that I’m banned from all future gigs of his. This is unfortunate because he runs the main paying gigs in town. Damn. He explains that i said the word ‘cunt’ too much in one the bits i did at the last gig i did for him. I’d been concentrating so hard on not making people cry in the crowd that i had neglected to even think about saying ‘cunt’ too much. I realise the bit that had gotten me banned was the previously discussed anecdote about the racist woman/man who called me a cunt repeatedly, whom I fictionally hatefuck in a ditch. How ironic. Banned for quoting what a Perth heckler had said to me during a gig the last time i was here. It doesn’t seem fair, but I’m too bored to care and too tired to hate. I send a reply back reminding him i did really well at the gig he is banning me for. He informs that it’s nothing personal and that i will still be paid for the gig that night. This is the second night in a row that i have been paid to not do my act. It is starting to seem more and more like the bookers here are paying me good money to not do my act to people. I feel like they are blackmailing me into blackmailing them with my act to not perform for money. I catch myself dreaming of one day becoming rich and famous from being the guy club bookers pay to not do his act to people all over the world. I close my eyes and wonder why this keeps happening to me. Some words appear in a text box behind my eyelids:
Of course. It’s not me, it’s this conservative backwater hole that I’m stranded in. It was never me and it never is me. It’s always where I am. And no matter where i am I am there, making it suck, ruining it by being there, a black mark across various landscape paintings.

I feel dirty so I decide to go for a swim at the beach to cleanse myself. I know the dirt will never be washed from me, but i can at least clean the dirt itself. Make the dirt sparkle. When i get to the beach however, i realise that i’ve forgotten my swimmers. I get in the water in my boxers anyway. I immediately get dumped by a broken wave and when i surface, disoriented, a parasailer nearly drives the tip of his surfboard into my face.
‘WATCH IT MATE!’ he yells.
‘I’m a mirage, I’m not real.’ I reply. Then I get dumped by a very real wave and when i break the surface, i notice there is now a very real rip in the back of my boxers that widens to stretch down my entire very real right buttock. What to do. I look around. The rip is strong and I’ve been swept downstream into the windsurfing and parasailing area. All these men just moving endlessly around the horizon being pulled by the wind in circles. I wonder where they are going. If they care that they don’t seem to have a destination. I become jealous. Then I realise that their destination is the same as mine: Anywhere except wherever they were last. Scooting around in endless circles, avoiding themselves by tracing infinite symbols on the water in the light of the descending sun. I move out of their section to float and relax but the pull is strong and i keep getting dragged down the beach, towards the other bathers. Some of these bathers are children. I’m already on thin ice here in this city and the last thing i need to do is expose my buttocks to multiple caucasian toddlers. This would not bode well. I attempt claw my way back up the beach on all fours, only to be pulled back down the beach by the rip, back towards the soon-to-be screaming children.
I give up. I want to get out, but i can’t because there is a hole in my pants and a people who dont want to see my buttocks still on the beach. There are a lot of them there. All of them. I stand in the water, facing the current and expending a lot of energy to just remain stationary while i wait for them to leave. Wave after wave smashes into my face and I wait. I watch the birds. I watch the parasailers. I watch the windsurfers. I turn to watch the sun slowly descend over the horizon. I watch for dorsal fins that might liberate me from my flesh suit with all the finesse of an epileptic butcher under strobe lights.
No luck.


I am informed via email that my headline spot has been cancelled from the gig that night. Apparently I was there earlier in the year and based on that performance, the venue made a last minute personal request to cancel me. I try to remember what gig it was and what had happened but my memory is hazy. My memory of all past gigs tends to blur into one long standing ovation, so it’s hard to delineate specific victories. I reach the conclusion that i had probably just done too well and by comparison, made the other comedians on that night look like the rank amateurs that they were.
What i did remember was that the gig itself had a reputation for being a difficult affair for any comic who played it. High ceilings, bad layout, overpriced and a crowd that was mostly middle-aged to elderly British expats eating their dinner.
Yep, whatever did happen, it was undoubtedly not my fault.
With age comes wisdom, with wisdom comes blame.
I call the booker up. He apologises for the cancellation and assures me that i will be paid anyway. But that’s not the point. I’m in Perth. I just need something to do here. Gigging in Perth was my purpose for being here and without that, I feel like im trapped somewhere between a forced holiday and a failed concentration camp.
I call around to see if there are any other gigs on that night. I’m growing frantic. What is a comedian without a gig? A highly unnecessary individual with no purpose other than to be food for more useful people when the apocalypse hits. I find the only other gig on that night and call them up. They’re full and can’t put me on. The small pin holding an otherwise shapeless existence is no longer there. I wander the streets aimlessly until my legs get sore. I head back to my room. I get on facebook and start posting too much. Horrible posts. Offensive posts. Posts i immediately regret that give away too much of my damaged mental state. I get on twitter and start tweeting too much. I get on tinder and send abusive messages at spambots, followed by apologies and declarations of love in the hope they might meet up with me once i work a way to get inside the internet. I feel dirty. Stained. I go on youtube but I can’t think of anything to look up. I just stare at the empty search box and it seems like a metaphor for something i don’t want to face. I watch the flashing cursor till all time diminishes. My mind grinds to a halt. Eventually I google ‘What should i youtube?’. ‘Youtube.’ Google answers. I type ‘youtube’ into youtube. It begins to load. I am salivating in anticipation at what i will see. Maybe it will be three bodybuilders in drag being executed by a monkey with an uzi. Maybe it will be an octopus emerging out of someone’s great-great grandmother’s prolapsed uterus. Maybe she will turn around to face me and i will recognise her as my own.
I see nothing except a black screen. I look closer, detecting a faint swirling in the blackness. It is slow and woozy but soon begins to pick up speed. Watching it makes my brain ache. Misshapen, rotating lips emerge from the vortex and engulf my head and body, swallowing me whole like a jungle snake. I try to scream but I cannot move let alone make a sound. Multiple pseudopods of black… is it liquid, solid or gas? Is it even physical? I can’t tell. It feels like a kind of immaterial gel as it enters my eyes and penetrates every cell within my body. Turbulence in and around me. I’m slowly being pulled in multiple directions at once and I begin to dissolve.

I come to conscious awareness but I don’t seem to be breathing. No, I cannot feel my body anywhere. I cannot feel my mouth or my ears. I can’t hear anything. But it’s not like I’m deaf, it’s more like there was never any sound to begin with. I try to talk but i can’t. Well it’s not like i can’t, it’s more like i don’t have a mouth. The only thing i can do is see, but not with my eyes. I don’t know where my eyes are. There is just this detached field of vision that i seem privy to. In this field of vision is a black, two dimensional, rectangular box outlined in white with a flashing cursor inside of it. I can’t work out if this box is outside of me or within me. Perhaps it’s both. ‘What is this?’ I think. Immediately these same words appear as text in the box. ‘WHAT IS THIS?’ It reads. Suddenly i realise what i am. I am a status update text box. Waiting to be filled with something. Anything. I receive, but do not feel, a poke from my right. My field of vision shifts in that direction. There is another status update text box next to me. Inside it are the words, ‘THE AFTERLIFE.’
I recieve another poke from my left. It’s another status update text box. Inside it are the words, ‘HA HA HA.’ I recieve a poke from above. My field of vision shifts upwards. Another status update text box. Inside it are the words, ‘LOOK AROUND.’ I look around. I am surrounded by an endless number of status update text boxes stretching in every single direction. Some overlap, like molecules suspended in a liquid. Most are filled with pointless updates as to what is happening to them right at that moment. Nothing is happening to them at that moment. I receive a poke from below. ‘U CAN MOVE AROUND IF U WANT.’ the text box says. ‘WHAT IS THIS PLACE?’ i think and the words appear in the box. I recieve a poke from my top right. ‘THIS IS WHERE THE DEAD INFORMATION GOES. WE ARE DEAD INFORMATION. U ARE DEAD INFORMATION.’
I think my way up with all the force i can muster. I shoot upwards through the sea of dead information, past the many text boxes all around me. I keep going, gathering speed, but there is no end. Endless, mundane status updates zip past me. Dead information about dead information on display to other dead information. ‘VERY BORED.’ one reads. ‘NO EXIT.’ says another. i notice little flashing thumbs up below these comments. Both have many likes. I keep heading upwards for what feels like hours. But it could of been minutes, there’s no real way to tell. There seems to be no end. All around me, the status updates suddenly seem tinged with desperation and malaise. Not a good feeling. ‘CAN’T GET OUT.’ I read in one. Many likes next to that. ‘NO HOPE.’ says another one. I keep moving upwards but i have lost my sense of direction. I have no idea if i am moving upwards or downwards or sideways. I am disoriented and stop moving, exhausted. ‘I HATE THIS PLACE.’ I think type. Immediately a small glowing pixellated thumb icon appears below me with the number 1 next to it. The number keeps growing until it’s in triple digits.
I POST THERE4 I AM.’ I think type. Some likes but not as many.
‘I POST THERE4 I AM DEAD.’ I think type. A few more likes this time.
‘YODO.’ I think type. A few likes, but not many.
‘WISH U COULD DIE IN THE AFTERLIFE.’ I think type. Likes begin to accumulate, stabilising in the 5 figures.
‘I’M TRENDING, YET STILL FEEL NOTHING.’ I think type. This comment gets even more likes.
I’ve run out of things to post. I begin to panic.
‘ANYONE GOT ANY PORNO?’ I suddenly think type.
The number next to the flashing thumb below me climbs, quickening in pace until the figures begin to blur. My field of vision begins to strobe. A flash of bright white light. Then another. Then another. This time it stays white. The brightest, cleanest whiteness I’d ever seen.
Against this background, in black block text the words ‘ERROR 404′ flash several times and then are gone.

From the distance I see a small expanding black speck in the unchanging whiteness. Another vortex? I wonder. But no, it’s not a vortex, it’s an object approaching me with slow deliberation. It emits a rapid, asymmetrical sequence of high-pitched whistles, squeaks and bleeps as it sidles up alongside of my status update box.
My heart leaps. It’s her. The spambot of my dreams. Responding to all those tinder messages i sent her. She’s come to save me. I think-stroke her not-quite solid ova form. Her skin is made of interlocking nets of indecipherable computer code. She emits an enthusiastic vibrato purr. Junkmail spews continuously out of her dorsal exhaust orifice, which resembles a kind of blowhole. One piece of junkmail catches my eye. It’s addressed to me. It reads,
‘MAYBE’ I think type.
She hovers over me and my field of vision shifts upwards. A gap in her computer code belly skin opens up and widens. Inside i see spinning bejewelled roses and computer solitaire victory patterns. She lowers herself down onto me. I feel warmth and security beat me into submission with a dull aching throb of pleasure as she undoes me and absorbs my form.
I am saved.
I am in love.

I come to, feeling like a fish who has been pulled out of the water and shown land
for the first time.
I am no longer in the afterlife.
I am now in the after-afterlife.
It’s ok i guess.
I peel my face off the keyboard and look up at my last status update.
‘hn gvbg yj nku jjgvy’ it reads. It must be some kind of coded message in computer language. Perhaps it will hold the key to something important. I type ‘hn gvbg yj nku jjgvy’ into the search engine and right-click.

This was the webpage that came up:

(Click to verify)


In the morning we checkout and head back to our respective much-less-glamorous places of residence.
I check my emails.
The B and B owner has emailed us an online comment card to fill out. I give them 5 stars, mainly for leaving us alone and not questioning us on our activities. I almost comment on the badly cooked bacon in the breakfast buffet but decide against it. I didn’t want to be one of those people I hate. Like the English couple who were complaining about it downstairs. Ugh. There’s something about hearing someone whine about fairly insignificant shit in an English accent that annoys me. Sometimes life doesn’t measure up to the expectations in your head. So what. Boohoo. You are going be dead one day you ant, so get over it. Sometimes you do a poorly thought out tour to a place you dislike for too long for not enough money. Sometimes you make someone cry during your comedy set. Sometimes the one woman who will save you from yourself already has a boyfriend. Sometimes you chokedown four feet of mescaline cactus for not enough of a buzz and watch bad television while thinking the hotel staff are thinking you are committing gay sex acts in their room. Sometimes your bacon isn’t crispy. Sometimes we should all just shut the fuck up.
We should have comment cards for life in general. Just write in complaints about anything and everything. There’s an office where you hand these complaints in. After a few weeks, your complaint gets processed and a group of people dressed exactly like you are sent to your place of residence in the middle of the night to deliver the decided punishment upon you. They abduct you and tie you blindfolded in a basement at an unknown location. They beat you with soft toys filled with razor blades while shouting, ‘HERE’S SOMETHING REAL YOU CAN COMPLAIN ABOUT YOU WHINING PUSSY!’ and then afterwards you can fill out a complaint card about the way they beat you so they can improve their service the next time around.

At the bottom of the online comment card is a stupid question that I cannot help but give a stupid answer to:


(Ed: I was later informed my review got accepted onto the website, but when i went on to check, it was without this comment)

I shut down my laptop and lie on the mattress, staring at the ceiling. Seven hours to the next gig. The only ephemeral anchor in an otherwise aimless drift of an existence. What to do? Perhaps I should try and get my life together I think, but instead i continue to lie on the mattress, stare at the ceiling and think about other things i should probably do that i won’t. Eventually my mind goes into screensaver mode. Suddenly i notice the ceiling begin to pulsate and darken to black. The edges give way and the middle sinks both inwardly and upwardly.
There is a swirling black vortex above me.
I go on tinder. I need someone to shield me from this thing above me. I swipe right for every girl who shows up. I want to see what kind of people are into me here in this city.
Eventually, i reach the bottom of the tinder pile.
No one is into me.
The tinder women here in Perth are all the same kind of pretty. Not the unique, exotic beauty of my soul mirage, but same generic brand of pretty like they’ve been mass produced at the same factory, complete the same fashion accessories, make up, poses, facial expressions.
Boy i wish one would fuck me right now.
We’d have terrible sex while I stared at the vortex above me and when we reached our respective anti-climaxes I would push her up into the hole while screaming, ‘Take her! Not me!’
I begin to recognise the 8 basic types of Tinder girl:
1. Party girl – Making some kind of hand insignia and a pouty lip face.
2. Travel girl- Photo taken in an exotic locale.
3. Group girl- With three or four other girls. Usually one has to assume they are the generically least attractive one OR the generically most attractive one, who’s attractiveness is increased by surrounding herself with her less attractive friends.
4. Animal girl- With a dog or cat.
4a. Baby girl- With a baby/young child or two in the photo almost like a warning. I never understand why they would put that on Tinder. No guy goes on tinder specifically to find a single mother and child to complete a family with.
5. Rebel girl- Tatoos, black leather, brightly dyed hair. These are the ‘different’ girls, but they actually all look as similar to each other as the generic pretty girls. they just make up a smaller percentage, approx 10%.
6. Asian girl.
7. Older woman with time running out.
8. Fat/unattractive love-starved girl- This brutal description is by the standards of consensus society, not my own personal standards (obviously there is some overlap at times). In fact, I swiped right for all of them and they didn’t swipe right for me at all so to hell with them too.

I become depressed at the lack of variation. We were brought up in a individualistic culture that encouraged you to be yourself, but the sad fact is that a lot of people’s public display selves are just generic clones of clones.

I stare at the black hole in the ceiling but it’s no longer a hole. It’s a mouth. Globs of black goo fall from a pair of scarred lips that pout and pooch open, and in a low grumbling ullulation, it mouths the words:
I’m going to eat you.


I have a day off. I don’t know what to do. Free time is not free, it costs you your sanity. The thought snake has eaten it’s tail and shat itself inside-out many times over already and i’ve haven’t even gotten out of bed/my friend’s couch. What to do? I go out for some air and spot a San Pedro mescaline cactus in the communal garden of my friend’s apartment block where i’m staying. ‘Maybe I’ll do that.’ I think. I head back upstairs and make some inquiries. Turns out the cactus belongs to a neighbour who has since moved out. ‘It’s a sign from the universe telling me to eat psychedelic cactus.’ I think. Whenever i want to do something which involves me taking something that isn’t mine, the universe always seems very supportive of my actions. Just like me, it seems the universe is a selfish kleptomaniac.
I head back down and chop about four feet down.

I skin and despine it,

freeze it, thaw it then juice it. After many hours and a lot of effort I’m left with 2 litres of godawful green goop.

That liquid ain’t flowing by the way, that shit is like hanging like glue.

I haven’t eaten mescaline cactus for 7 years because it takes that long for you to forget how bad it fucking tastes. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I call up another comic and ask him if he wants to join me. He agrees. I go on last and find a discounted beach side b and b. Hundreds buck each for the night. Fuck it. We check in. I have my backstory ready to tell the guy at the desk, like he would care. I wonder if he thinks we are an interracial gay couple. I wonder why i wonder that and what it matters. The room is fucking awesome. Jacuzzi, beach views, huge couch, huge TV… It’s gonna be great. We get to work choking it down. It’s fucking disgusting. The taste is a cross between the apple, cucumber, dishwashing detergent and pool cleaning chemicals. The texture is of cold chunky snot. It takes us to two hours to gag it all down, amid loud dry wretching. I wonder what the staff think. All they would of heard was two solid hours of sporadic dry-wretching puntuated by the recurring comment, ‘Oh god this is so digusting.’ and ‘I feel sick.’. I wonder what they think we are doing. I wonder if they think we are choking on each other’s dicks in shame like some kind of inter-racial brokeback mountain romance, only with comedians instead of cowboys. I wonder why i wonder that this is the first thing i think they think. I guess this is what Perth makes you do, drink 5 glasses of Shrek cum in a hotel room while getting paranoid that the staff think that you are chowing down on some man pole so hard it triggers your gag reflex.
I watch the brokeback comedians movie unfold in my mind further: Two comedians meeting in various regional towns over the course of their careers, exploring their forbidden sexuality in cheap motel rooms only to go onstage every night to do their aggressively homophobic acts to appreciative rural audiences.
Soon the cactus will take over and i won’t have to think things like this.
We lie down, belly bloated with foetid cactus goop and wait for it to kick in. One hour nothing. 2 hours something. 3 hours still something. After four hours we get a mild buzz, level +2 trip. Mild visuals. Mild euphoria. Very mild. Too mild.
This wasn’t worth the effort.

But we are in a kickass hotel room and we make the most of it.


Didn’t mean to make it a bubble bath. I put three squirts of shower gel into the water, turned on the jacuzzi and all these bubbles happened. Wheeee!


I found it immensely relaxing to lie foetal while the bath drained.
If only i had a large tit to suck kahlua and milk from.


Gotta utilise every space in the hotel room.


After a long day, finally to bed I go.

Perth ain’t that bad.


I wake up at around 11am to my housemate knocking on my door.
‘There’s some kind of terror attack happening in Martin Place!’ She says. I detect a hint of glee in her tone. I don’t judge her. There is a certain glee to be had in delivering bad news that has happened to people you don’t personally know that i can identify with. Knowing that something terrible and out of the ordinary is happening in your local area puts a certain sheen on one’s day, makes everything new again, delivers you from the boring day-to-day mundane activities that afflict the majority of your life, and if you are the one to bring feeling to someone, you may as well put on a santa claus hat and shove half a pill up their asshole.
I turn on the news.
I quickly turn it off.
Sometimes when i watch western media i feel compelled to become a terrorist, not for Allah, but just out of spite. As they say, my enemy’s enemy is my friend. I think that’s my main problem with Islam. It’s very cliquey. Why do i have to believe in Allah to go on a Jihad? Why can’t i go on a secular jihad just because I want to? To me that’s a form of discrimination and an issue i will need to take up with my local ombudsman, whatever an ombudsman is.
I go on facebook. It’s even worse. Comments commenting about comments in the information supervoid. I am about to add to this void, but it feels futile and I quickly close facebook. If facebook was an actual book, i would burn it.
I close my eyes and sigh as tears roll down my cheeks.
First Hughsie, now this.
I turn on the TV.
‘We don’t really know what’s happening.’ says the newsman.
They cross over to another reporter.
‘Yep, we still don’t really know what’s happening.’ says another reporter.
All they know is basically four details:
1) Shit’s going down in a chocolate shop.
2) There’s a guy making the shit go down.
3) There are hostages.
4) Theres a black flag with squiggly writing on it hanging in the window.

‘Sydneysiders are advised to avoid the city.’ the reporter says.
Suddenly i feel something. I stand up, and stagger woozily as the full extent of the situation hits me.
‘Damn, i gotta go through the city today to get to a gig tonight. This is highly inconvenient for me.’ I think, annoyed. Just my luck. Then i realise with all this stuff going on, there’s a good chance there won’t be any ticket inspectors on public transport. Maybe potential terrorist situations have their upside. I go on the trip planner website and look up how to get to my gig. It says there are only minor delays and i won’t have to leave any earlier than normal. Phew. I will still have time for an afternoon nap.

I get ready to go to the gig and walk to the station. Secretly thanking the suspect, I don’t bother buying a ticket. I have to head to circular quay by train to catch a ferry across the harbour. This means i will be passing right underneath where all the action is happening. This means i will be passing right through an area where there might be bombs. But i will not be cowed by one man’s actions. The thought of cancelling the gig never crossed my mind once. I’m no hero, but like all heros, I’m just a man, and like me, all heros are just men. Men like me. If the suspect is a terrorist, I will not give in to the terror he hopes to spread. If i do that, they will of won. There is a room full of people across the harbour who want -nay need – me. I must do it. For the money. I really need the money. No as-of-yet unconfirmed terrorist attack will stand between me and that sweet $100.

I’m on the train, listening to music, enjoying the tunes when suddenly i remember I’m meant to be feeling terror. But there aren’t any ticket inspectors on the trains today so it’s difficult. It just seems like a regular day and no one else seems to really give a shit. We approach the dangerzone. Still no terror. Damn it. If only i could feel the fear that controls the laymen, then maybe then i could become more effective at selling them things they don’t need for maximum profit. Suddenly i feel something. I feel cold and start to shiver. Is this the terror they speak of? I put on my jumper and stop shivering. False alarm. I was just cold. Suddenly i spot a man with brown skin and i wonder ‘Am i a racist to look at him longer then i normally would?’ I don’t have an answer. I wonder if he is a terrorist and what i would do if he did suddenly stand up and detonate himself. The answer seems very clear. I would die. That’s what i would do. Suddenly i realise there are quite a few brown skinned people in my carriage. They are everywhere. What are we living in a multicultural city now? What the fuck. I wouldn’t say that i feel terror. It’s more like low-level-momentary-anxiety-quickly-dispelled-by-reason, but i feel that would not make for a very catchy job description for any would-be politically motivated miscreants. ‘Oh no! It’s an extremist low-level-momentary-anxiety-quickly-dispelled-by-reasonists.’ It just doesn’t work.
As i stare at the other brown skinned people in the carriage I suddenly realise how error prone racial profiling is. I mean once you get to certain shade of brown, who the fuck knows where you’re from? You could be any number of races. Mexican, Nepalese, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Fake tan. But whatever race these people in my carriage are, I pray to Allah one of them is a terrorist, just to at least justify my growing racism. There is one in particular who definitely could be a candidate. He’s got everything you need to be a convincing terrorist suspect: brown skin, beard, that’s about it really. But it’s enough. I wonder what is going through his sick jihad infected head as we speak. I wonder what kind of sick plans of terror he is concocting to strike fear into regular people like me next. He blows his whistle to signal to the train driver to close the doors and gets back into the guard compartment. It’s the perfect cover. I stare at him and wonder why he has to be so different from me, why he had to choose to be that way. It seems unreasonable and alien why anyone would choose to be born as a different person other than me. This thought hangs in my head and multiplies to the point where i want to cut this terrorist’s head off with a plastic souvenir sword.

We pass under the danger zone. Nothing happens.

I get off the train at Circular Quay to catch the ferry. For once it’s less crowded and easy to navigate. ‘Praise Allah!’ I exclaim loudly, glad that for once the foot traffic is free and easy. I see a few heads turn. All the train guards are definitely on heightened watch. I see them look me over in detail. To them, i could possibly be a suspect. But to me they could all be suspects. About four or five of these train guards have brown skin. That would be the perfect cover for some would-be terrorists. It’s always the least suspicious looking people who are the suspects right? I look around. No one really seems to give a shit. Everyone’s pretty lowkey and relaxed. Suddenly i realise that the only reason why they would be so relaxed would be if they were terrorists. I am surrounded on all sides by terrorists, there’s no doubt about it. I see a five year old kid. Definitely a terrorist. I see a guy walking a dog. Definitely a terrorist. I see the Schnauzer he is walking. It has a beard. Definitely a terrorist. It looks a bit like Osama Bin laden. Maybe he is alive and well and pretending to be a Schnauzer. I wouldn’t be shocked.
‘I KNOW YOU’RE NOT DEAD OSAMA!!!” i scream at it. It barks at me defensively.
Nice method acting Osama, but you don’t fool me.
The jihadist dogwalker pulls Osama Bin laden away from me.

I go into a convenience store to buy a drink. There’s some really great un-reality TV show on the convenience store TV. It looks like it’s being filmed right here in Sydney. Something about a survivor style gameshow in a chocolate shop. It looks very low-budget. I quickly get bored of it’s constant unwavering pitch of hysteria. Some pundit comes on the screen.
‘The goal of these people is to bring horror into everyday life.’ he says. I don’t need terrorists for that. That happens without any help from any outside source. All i need is this head i was born with and a state of constant horror will be generated in any given place at any given time with or without some deranged teetoller with a hardon for Mohammed waving a gun in people’s faces. I stare at the news anchor and i note the same glee in his face as i saw in my housemate. I am filled with horror. The news cuts to an adbreak and a commercial for Z factor comes on. An ad for a lifestyle TV show follows. The horror increases exponentially. I look at the front page of the Daily telegraph on the shelf. The horror is bottomless. I go on my facebook feed. Someone has posted video of their kid playing with a garden hose.
It all seems so clear. The terrorists had won. They had won long before the game had begun.

I get on the ferry and depart, watching the sun set over a city in chaos, consumed with fear and terror. Back on land, terrorists are taking over every square micro metre of physical space. The whole city is just a giant terror bomb chockas full of jihads about to explode. Pandemonium. The end is near. Then i realise just cause i’m on a ferry, doesnt mean I’m safe. There are people with brown skin on this boat too. It’s more to do with their tans then their race, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a terrorist and that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bomb on this boat. I contemplate on throwing myself overboard into the sea, but then realise that there is no escape in the sea either. There could be bombs in the ocean. There could be some Islamic extremist fish down there who want to blow me up and convert me to an Islamic fish in the underwater afterlife. I don’t want to live underwater up in the clouds. It would be confusing and there was probably no internet connection. Suddenly, I catch sight of my reflection in the ferry window. Am i terrorist? I wonder. I have a beard and my skin is kind of brown after spending a lot of time in the sun. It all becomes very clear. Yes, I am a terrorist. I have hijacked myself and been a terrorist all along without knowing it. It’s a classic example of misdirection. The terrorist was right in front of me, inside of me all along. How could i of betrayed myself like this? How could i of let Allah into my heart without noticing it? I resolve to place a fatwa on myself as penance.
Heroically, I do nothing. But nothing is not enough. I jut my chin forward in defiance and stay where i am on the prow of the boat. Where’s Leonardo Dicaprio to hold my waist when i need him? I courageously journey on towards the gig. I need that money. I need that money to buy secondhand self-help books, because if i don’t do that, then the terrorists will have won.


A city in chaos, consumed with fear and terror


Terrorists blowing up the sun


I’m about to go onstage at the other gig run by the booker who told me that he wasn’t telling me what to do by telling me what not do. The gig is at a upmarket craft beer brewery. $40 a ticket. I’m staring at the audience through the slim gap in the curtains. All I see is an insurmountable gulf between us. Who the fuck are these people? I wonder. They look like they have financial security, keep regular hours and pay taxes. They look like they work out at the gym, are adept at making small talk and have private medical cover. They look like they contribute to society. They look like the kind of people I would never hang out with, but now I’m being paid not enough money to make them like me and laugh at me.
What kind of life is this?
The exact opposite of theirs.
They must be hiding something. No one is ever as normal as they look. There’s no such thing as normal people, only closet freaks too afraid to experiment. Maybe they suffocate black market dolphins in Chinatown for sexual pleasure. Maybe they worship the dark gods in groves full of trees fertilised with children’s blood. Maybe they dress up as giant rats in SS uniforms and run around mazes they’ve constructed in their basements for fun. Maybe they spend hours arguing with their reflection in the toilet bowl over who is more handsome. I have to stop doing that. It’s unhealthy. Unhealthy as how much dirt these freaks are hiding from the world. I narrow my gaze and uncross my eyes to facilitate spirit vision. The thin skin masks slowly drop away and the layer beneath the world of appearances reveals itself. I find myself staring at a room full of gigantic, human-sized germs, infected with themselves. They have no idea they are sick and there is no nice way to tell them this. There is no nice way to inform the malady that they are the malady and that the malady is the cure and the cure, the malady. There is no nice way to tell them that to be cured would mean total annihilation.
‘Man, i’m busting for a turd.’ The act before me says as he comes offstage and makes a direct beeline for the toilet.
I’m on next. I stare at my setlist. Is this all i have to show for myself after 11 years of comedy? Really? Is this all I got? A small worm eaten bag of cheap masturbation jokes and white hate. God, i thought i would of been better than i am by now, but i guess sometimes life doesnt work out the way you think it will when you are 18 and on ecstasy. The booker sidles up to me from out of nowhere like a pervert in the night. I look into his eyes and see dollar signs and when he looks back at me, i see these dollar signs crossed out.
‘Don’t forget…’ He tells me.
‘Right. Don’t make people cry.’ I say.
He nods. I look at my setlist of shitty jokes I’m bored of saying and shake my head. I cross them all out one-by-one, and beneath I write just one thing:

The gig goes great. I get a couple of applause breaks and everything. And no one cries. Even better. Even better than that, the gig is at a brewery and we get free booze. For once i can afford to leave myself in Perth.