DeAnne Smith

Comedian. Writer. Trouble-maker.

Day One, Cairns: "Poontang is the Shit"

Greetings from tropical fa’ no’th Queensland!

I’ve decided, internet friends, that this year while on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Road Show, I will blog daily. “Daily?!” you say. “But we are so used to your sporadic and haphazard tri-monthly blogging schedule. A daily blog will blow our tiny minds!” Well, then, unzip your skulls and lean back in sweet anticipation, readers, because your tiny minds are about to be blown.*

In an effort to be unburdened and carefree, I didn’t take my camera into the Cairns CBD (a well-intentioned mistake I will not make twice, much like shaking hands with homeless people), so in lieu** of Cairns photos, here is a grainy picture of me, solemnly swearing to blog daily.

Daily, I say!

So, Cairns. We got in around 5, not that I would totally know, since I seem to have lost my watch this morning. I have some hope that I’ve absent-mindedly stashed it away or that it’s fallen into a bag somewhere, as its disappearance defies logic. Check this out: last night, I was inside my home with my watch on. This morning, my watch was nowhere to be found. I’m afraid I can neither quickly nor succinctly explain to you how disturbing I find this. But I will try my darnedest, which is what this daily blog is all about. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching in the hours since the lost watch incident, and I think these equations most accurately convey my feelings:

my watch = small attempt at appearing fashionable + sense of control + accomplishment

(I have wrists small enough to warrant unsolicited comments from strangers, so finding a time piece that does not make them and therefore my entire self look ridiculous is no small feat.)

lost watch = reversion to former stark and unadorned nerdiness + chaos x general sadness at growing realization of own mortality

I will say, however, that watching Invictus on the plane helped put the lost watch into perspective. At the end of the day, it is just a lost watch, not, say, 27 years of wrongful imprisonment.

Back to Cairns. First, we ventured into the Night Markets. If you find yourself in Cairns between 4:30 and 11 p.m., and you have a hankering for any of the following:

-novelty t-shirts
-macadamia “sensations”
-opal jewelry
-fried, MSG-laden seafood dishes of indiscriminate origin
-$15 massage
-anything made from kangaroo scrotum

then the Night Markets are for you!

My favorite*** stand in the Night Markets is the “Healthy Gourmet Grill,” which proudly serves large tubs of chips (that’s french fries to you North Americans), various meats in sauces, battered mystery chunks, corn, and peas. When I asked the girl working if there was any MSG in the food, she replied, “Emesgee? No, sorry. We don’t have emesgee.” A quick check with the man behind the counter confirmed that there was MSG in everything, including the vegetables. The vegetables! Mmm mmm. Because you know what goes great with corn? Heart palpitations and swollen extremities!

Then, after a quick stop back at the hotel– actually, no. I’m going to have to take a minute to tell you about the infestation in my room. My room (308, if you wanna stop by with some Raid) is overrun with the smallest ants in existence. Tiny, tiny, tiny ants that are at this very moment crawling in and out of my bag of Goji berries.**** Teeny, eensy weensy ants that I accidentally ingested while eating a handful of Goji berries earlier. Miniscule, nearly microscopic ants that I then ingested out of spite once I realized they were also on the gluten-free coconut raspberry cupcake I brought all the way from Sydney. You may have ruined my Goji berries, impossibly infinitesimal ants, but you will not ruin my cupcake! And guess what? I don’t regret one delicious bite. If ever again I am faced with a choice between not eating a cupcake or eating ants, my decision is crystal clear. I almost enjoyed the extra protein. I almost wish I had to make that choice every day. Hear that, you little jerks? Bring it on!

And as long as I’m admitting unsavory character traits, here’s something: I watched ten minutes of an episode of iCarly in my room today. Sample dialogue:

Carly’s Plucky Blond Friend: Oh my god, he’s so hot I wanna bake cookies on him.
Carly: I would eat those cookies.
Canned Laughter: [Canned Laughs.]

But Cairns! We’re in Cairns! Okay, so after a quick stop back at the ol’ ant pit, we headed back out into the sultry, tropical night.

A member of the tour (who shall remain nameless. We’ll call him “Weed”) sauntered up to a group of youth (G.O.Y.) and in the fastest street deal I have ever witnessed, scored a certain substance (that shall remain nameless. We’ll call it “Dan”). Now, normally I would not consider this transaction particularly blog-worthy, if it weren’t for what happened next.

We continued on, and after crossing some sketchy railroad tracks and hacking our way through the bushy median in the road, we made it to our destination, The Green Ant. (Jesus, they’re everywhere!) And who was seated there, in the middle of a birthday toast and subsequent slurred rendition of the Happy Birthday song? The G.O.Y! How the G.O.Y. managed to beat us there without us noticing them along the way is as mysterious to me as my lost watch.

[moment of silence]

One of the G.O.Y., Pablo, was celebrating his nineteenth birthday, and insisted on proving this to us by flashing his driver’s license.***** He was visibly shocked and upset to learn that our group was “in our 30s.” I believe his response was: “WHOA!” So notable was this fact to young Pablo, that it became our introduction. “This is my friend Mike,” he said to us, when his friend joined the table. And to Mike, he said, “These guys are 30.” No names, just a general ballpark age. We smiled and waved.

Pablo then proceeded to hit us with the inside scoop on Cairns. We should go to a place called The Wool Shed. We should go to a place called Velvet. We should go on a Thursday, especially if we want to get some poontang. Then, Pablo leaned in and conspiratorially whispered, “Poontang is the shit.”

Poontang is the shit.

And with that bit of wisdom from a newly-turned-19-year-old, I will leave you for tonight.

Feel free to tingle with anticipation about tomorrow night’s installment, in which we will follow up with Pab “Poontang is the shit” lo. See, at some point during the evening, Sam Simmons invited Pablo to get up on stage with him tomorrow, and while some might consider this a half-hearted joking gesture, I think it’s going to happen. We’ll find out.

Oh, and also, Cairns has gigantic bats.

*This is/was an attempt at a dirty joke, i.e., having your mind “blown.” Get it? I’m not sure I do.

**I went through every possible combination of the last three letters of that word before finally settling on the correct one.

***Sometimes I pretend things are my favorite when they are, in fact, highly disappointing to me. It’s just a little game I play with myself, and the reason I keep watching Woody Allen movies.

****You can understand that anyone who travels with their own bag of Goji berries would be crushed (crushed!) to learn that a place called Healthy Gourmet Grill is, in fact, none of those things.

*****If anyone out there is interested in counterfeiting, you might want to start with Queensland licenses. They look really easy to fake. Just saying.

3 Comments

  1. Techno Peasant

    May 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    >Great stuff! Can't wait to find out where the Poontang is … personally, I prefer mine without shit.
    Good luck with the dailies. I look forward to reading them.

  2. >very very enjoyable

  3. Christophe Davidson

    May 12, 2010 at 2:24 am

    >Alright. You're on the Melbourne tour again! Sweeeeet! Love you and looking forward to hearing more about it. Will keep updating mine as much as I can.

Comments are closed.