Power of Laughter

Power of Laughter
How to Cheer Yourself Up

Colin Rowsell | 29 Apr 2008 12:04
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I know damn near every inch of Space Quest 3. Every bad joke, cheesy puzzle and 16-color pixel blob. Playing through it again is like re-reading Enid Blyton: The familiarity is a warm blanket, one that smells of farts and childhood. It doesn't so much cheer me up as regresses me about 20 years. I laugh at every joke, just like at the Ronnies on DVD. Is anything more pleasant than getting away from all the novelty, all the new stuff, the vast torrent of banal originality that the world now has to offer?

Then I actually remember my childhood. Nap's over.

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Blow Stuff Up
A beach near the Wellington shoreline. A liquid petroleum gas tank. A projectile weapon that I'm not going to discuss in print.

Damn thing went up so loudly the penguins in Antarctica would've ducked and covered. But I wasn't watching properly; it's hard to take in something like that on the first go. Looking back, some part of my mind was thinking, "No problem, there's always the saved game film."

There's always another go round.

So I missed it. And the beach was cold and the sand was sludgy. Once you've had pixels and playback and respawns, real world explosions just aren't as much fun anymore.

Take Refuge in Patriotism
In my case, by listening to the Flight of the Conchords.

Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement came out of Wellington six years ago with a two-man comedy act. They hit the Edinburgh Fringe festival, then BBC Radio, HBO and Letterman. In 2008 they won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album. They are thus the first New Zealanders to be recognized as funny since Sir Edmund Hillary did a set with Dean Martin at the Copa.

A few days after the Grammy thing, the Conchords came back to Wellington for a show at Aro Video. Aro Video's up the road from me, near a good fish and chips shop. It's the size of your living room, if your living room is very small and manky. Everyone in Wellington rents their art house films from them, and the guys behind the counter have that nervous twitch in their eye that says they watch French cinema. They'll let you have Combien tu M'aimes for an extra day if you agree with them about Monica Bellucci.

So it's Wednesday morning, Brett and Jemaine are all set up in one corner, there's room for about six other people in the actual store, and they've put speakers out in the street so the rest of Aro can hear them. Some German band sings a thank-you song amid the cheering and backslapping.

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