NIGEL & COCOA
(this version from the show I did at Surf Reality Feb 7-9, 2002)
Jungle/adventure music fades out as the lights fade up.
Nigel emerges from behind the curtain, wearing goggles and leading an invisible creature. He has an Australian accent. Gee, I’ll bet no one else has ever done a parody of an Australian wildlife dude…
C’mon girl, c’mon Cocoa! Yeah, that’s a good girl. Good girl! That’s right, c’mon out and say hi to the nice people. Yeah. Good girl. Hup, up on the stool, Cocoa! Up! Good girl. Good girl.
Nigel leads Cocoa up onto a stool and gives her a treat – he gets nipped on the hand. He pulls his goggles up onto his forehead and addresses the audience.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m wildlife expert Nigel Whitewater. Some of you may have seen one of my many Discovery Channel specials, such as “When Animals Attack Me”, “Get This Alligator Off My Ass”, “Waiter, There’s A Catfish In My Penis”, and “Backyard Safari Part Three: The Whimsical World of Chipmunks…When They Attack.”
Tonight, I’m here with my good friend Cocoa, the invisible, performing baboon. Let’s give her a big hand. Thank you. As you know, invisible baboons are a rare and endangered species, and there are only a few left in the wild. I rescued Cocoa from an invisible Circus three years ago. Since then, we have traveled together promoting invisible baboon conservation, and during that time, countless audiences the world over have taken me at my word that she has performed brilliantly for them! Tonight, it’s your turn! Thank you.
Before we begin, there are just a few basic groundrules to cover:
Firstly, no flash photography. The flashes disorient both myself and Cocoa, and besides, what’s the point anyway?
Secondly, no sudden movements. Cocoa is a trained performer, but she is also a wild animal. Any sudden movements could result in her fleeing, or much, much worse.
Thirdly and most importantly, do not make eye contact with Cocoa. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “but I can’t see Cocoa’s eyes.” Well, that’s irrelevant, because she can see yours. If you make eye contact with Cocoa, even for a second, she will interpret it as a challenge to territorial combat, and she will attack swiftly and viciously.
Okay, enough of these very, very important rules. Cocoa will now astound you with some amazing tricks! You have my word on it!
With my infrared goggles on, I can see and direct Cocoa’s every move.
Nigel puts the goggles back on.
We are going to begin with a very basic trick, the cartwheel. We are all familiar with the cartwheel, except for those of us who were too portly to attempt it as a child, myself included.
And, follow the treat! C’mon! C’mon! And, back again! Good! Cocoa!
This is illustrated with arm movements. Nigel takes Cocoa in a circle and back to the stool, making swirling motions with his arms. He feeds her a treat. Gets nipped.
Beautiful! Thank you! Trust me, ladies and gentlemen, that was a sight to behold!
Nigel grabs a Frisbee.
Now, I will throw this Frisbee to Cocoa, and she will catch it in her mouth and then release it with such agility and speed so as to not change it’s trajectory whatsoever!
He moves to one end of the room, and throws the frisbee. When it goes over the stool, he directs Cocoa.
Catch, release! Yes! So nimble, no change in the trajectory of the Frisbee whatsoever! Cocoa!
He goes over to stool, gives her a treat, gets nipped worse.
For our next trick, I have devised something a little more complicated. Up in the rafters at the back of the auditorium, I have placed a small metal canister containing a single serving of zebra meat. The container is sealed right now, but when I give the command to my American wife Kiki, she will open the canister, and then go conveniently unmentioned for the rest of this bit. When the canister opens, the scent of zebra flesh will waft down to Cocoa’s nostrils, and she will leap up into the rafters to consume the meat. Once she is there, we are going to coax her to jump down, directly onto this stool! You won’t believe my eyes!
Calling to the back of the room.
Okay Kiki, open the cannister! Any second now, Cocoa will smell the zebra meat. As we are waiting for the scent of zebra meat to waft down to Cocoa’s nostrils, I’d just like to say what a pleasure it is to be living here in New York City. New York is like a giant Thomas’ English Muffin, so full of nooks and crannies. And we, the people of New York, are like hot butter, melting and dripping down into all the nooks and crannies, and then cooling, and becoming trapped there. Barely able to pay the rent on our nook or cranny, but too scared to – ah! Cocoa has smelled the zebra meat! Cocoa is flaring her nostrils. “What’s that I smell?” she’s thinking. “Oh I know what it is, it’s a dead zebra!” And she leaps! And she is up in the rafters! A beautiful sight! Truly a marvel to behold. Now, she is eating the meat, and we can all breath a bit easier. For now. Now, we are going to get Cocoa to leap down from the rafters onto this stool, onto which I shall now place an invisible whoopee cushion.
Nigel places the imaginary whoopee cushion on the stool.
There. The whoopee cushion is in place. Now, Cocoa is trained to respond to one specific vocal command, which we are all going to say together. It goes like this. In the voice of a PBS nature documentary, we are all going to say “In times of drought, only the strongest baboons may use the watering hole”. Just like that. Okay, she’s done eating. Now, on the count of three, we’re going to say, “in times of drought, only the strongest baboons may use the watering hole.” One, two, three – “in times of drought, only the strongest baboons may use the watering hole.” She’s jumping! Here she comes!
Nigel follows her jump with his gaze. When he stares at the stool, a loud FART is heard.
Wow! Beautiful! If any of you have ever thought about purchasing a pair of infrared goggles, it’s sights like this that make it really worth the expense! A big hand for Cocoa. Now, for our next trick…
There is an ominous pause as Nigel stands stone still, staring at Cocoa.
Aw, crikey. Ladies and blokes, do not be alarmed. I seem to have made eye-contact with Cocoa. Don’t worry, I have safely dealt with this situation several of the many times it has occurred. Right now I cannot make any sudden movements, and I certainly cannot break eye contact with Cocoa. If I break eye contact, she will take it as a clear sign that I wish to engage in territorial combat, and she will attack suddenly and viciously. My best chance in this situation is to simply reach for my tazer…ladies and gentlemen, it seems that I have neglected to bring my tazer with me. This poses a problem, for I see that Cocoa is tensing her haunches and preparing to pounce. There is another way. If we can distract her, and make her break eye contact first, I may have a chance. If you would be so kind as to make the following noise, which is the sound of a dying water buffalo calf. “Bleargh!” Got it? Ready, one, two three…”blearh!” I appreciate your efforts, but that was not really close at all. Like this “bleargh”. Ready, one, two, three – “BLEARGH!” Still miles away from the sound I need you to make. One more try, like this – “bleargh” from the abdomen. Ready, one two three “BLEARGH!” That’s not the FUCKING SOUND. I don’t want to die, I don’t want to – right. Let’s try it one more time. One last try! One, two, three…”bleargh!” Yes, that’s it! It seems to be working! Keep doing it! Keep doing! STOP! She is no longer staring at me! Oh, crikey. She is now staring at YOU, sir. Don’t make any sound or movements, or she will think you are inviting her to engage in territorial combat! There is one way you can avoid being attacked. Cocoa has been known to calm down considerably at the sight of someone handing me their wallet. Slowly, hand me your wallet, sir. Slowly. Brilliant, you’re moving so slowly as to be barely perceptible to the human eye. No? There is another way. Cocoa has been known to calm down considerably when she is showered with the bras and panties of appreciative female audience members. I am noticing a distinct lack of bras and panties landing on the stage, which means that either none of you are throwing your bras and panties, or you are throwing them, and they are merely being intercepted by some sort of incredibly stealthy species of bird or bat. That likes to eat bras. And panties. Right, I can only think of one more thing we can do. How about we all breath a sigh of relief, because Cocoa and I were only acting! Right!?! Ladies and gentlemen, that was just a vignette we do to illustrate the majesty and power of the invisible baboon. Thank you! Now, while I make some minor costume changes, Cocoa will entertain you by repeatedly jumping up and down on the invisible whoopee cushion. Enjoy. Take it away, Cocoa!
Nigel watches Cocoa jump up and down a few times, each time his gaze comes down to the stool, we hear a FART. The paces starts slow and then gets much faster. Then, after three or four, Nigel walks offstage and the FARTing continues. Even after the lights dim, the farting still continues.
NOTE – the whole catfish/penis joke is a reference to the helium bit I posted way earlier in this blog, and it was also a line from the puppetshow “Piranha & Barfbag” which has yet to play outside of that one run of shows at Surf.