Monday, 8 February 2016

Say It Ain't So, Noel


I found myself (not that I had actually lost myself, it's hard to lose one self unless you're really invested in whatever you are doing) seated on a hard, wooden chair. Before me (before me was the rest of my family, but let's leave them out of this for the moment) sat a grey metal desk, upon which stacks of paper rose like industrial chimneys, choking the air with their bureaucracy.
Behind the desk, diligently focused on one particular piece of parchment, sat a man with closely cropped black hair. The hair was on his head. It wasn't sitting beside him or anything of that sort. It wasn't draped across his lap while he stroked it idly. He had short, black hair. His suit of inoffensive blue (the latest colour from Farrow & Ball) screamed 'Conservative'. It was quite loud. I had to cover my ears. His beady brown eyes finished their final lap of the paper he had been scrutinizing and he smoothed it out on the desk in front of him. He fixed me with a stony glare. (At least it felt like he had neutered me, what with that icy stare and all.)
"Too great a risk," he stated. "We cannot insure you."
It was then that I happened to notice the name plate perched in front of the gleaming white blotter on his desk. I could scarcely believe my eyes. The plaque read (well, it didn't actually read, it was just a piece of wood and metal and therefore was incapable of reading) 'Noel Fielding - Actuary'.
"Just a three-horned minute," I stammered. "Is that name plate correct?"
"Yes," he answered without a hint of a smile.
"You're Noel Fielding?" I asked.
"Yes," he replied. "I am."
"But, I..."
"Don't call me butt eye," he said without a trace of humour in his voice. "Although I have been called worse. Just because we cannot insure you does not mean you should insult me."
"You're Noel Fielding," I repeated.
"Yes," he assured me again. "I am Noel Fielding. I am an actuary and staunch supporter of the Conservative party."
I managed to regain some of my composure. It wasn't easy. I had to use two paper bags to scoop it up. "You're having me on. Is this a hidden camera show?"
"It is not," he said, stone-faced.
"Noel Fielding? The Mighty Boosh? Luxury Comedy?"
"I recognize my name, but I haven't the foggiest about the other things you mentioned."
"Luxury Comedy! Fantasy Man," I blurted at him.
"It sounds like nonsense to me," he stated. "Fantasy and comedy have no place in my world. Complete and utter wastes of time."
In a tank in the corner of the room, a school of fish, resplendent in thick fur coats, some wearing bowler hats while others donned pill boxes (those were the ones with the bright red lipstick) issued forth mournful dirges of lamentation.
The man who claimed to be Noel Fielding got up from his seat, walked over to the fish tank, pulled a gun out of his suit jacket and proceeded to shoot each of the fish with tiny bullets.
He returned to his chair and said, "Now, if you have finished wasting my time, please leave."
"Wait," I said. "Your eyes. What happened to them?"
"Nothing," he responded. "My eyes have always been like this."
"No they haven't," I informed him. "Your eyes are brown now. They used to be blue."
"No they didn't."
"Yes, they did. Sparkly blue lit up like they could fire sapphire beams of imagination."
"Imagination is overrated," he stated. "What anyone needs is two feet firmly on the ground. Nose to the grindstone. Shoulder to the wheel."
"Ever tried working in that position?"
"A hard day's work and a regular routine with no frivolities. That's what makes this a great life."
It was then I realised to my dread that Noel Fielding had lost his imagination.
I woke up in a cold sweat. Okay, it wasn't really cold. It was more of a lukewarm sweat, but you get the idea.
My cat was walking by, smoking a cigarillo. Her red kerchief and Stetson glowed as she puffed. She stopped. "What?" She asked.
"Watching Cat Ballou again?"
"What of it?"
"Nothing," I said. "You enjoy. But stay out of the whiskey this time."
"Yeah, yeah," she said, over her shoulder as she sauntered away.
"Oh," I called after her.
"What now?"
"I had this terrible nightmare," I said.
"I've never heard of a wonderful nightmare," she replied. "What was so terrible about it?"
"I dreamt that Noel Fielding had lost his imagination. He was a conservative actuary and his brilliant blue, smiley eyes had faded into brown, lifeless orbs."
"Are you sure it wasn't Richard Ayoade having you on?"
I paused to consider that possibility and drifted back to a (thankfully) dreamless sleep.

It's a dream come true. Noel Fielding is coming to Toronto! (And other places in North America.) http://noelfielding.co.uk/tour/



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