...down in my pants. Down in my pants todaaaay!
Do you remember 2004
I do. Those were the days when I still used a million emoticons in a journal and the time when I first realised my dream of glimpsing a live Penn & Teller
that dream became a reality!
The awesome duo 'P&T' had finally made it to the UK and we all knew it was perhaps our only chance to see them.
The show was of course great. I'd seen their 'card trick with a drowned Teller on the side' a few times but it was great seeing it again, this time live. There were a few pieces that I'd never seen before such as a short perfomance piece 'Hancuffed' and the 'Video camera', the punchline to which made my jaw drop for the first time in literally decades.
'Handcuffed' which didn't have a big central trick, had Penn and Teller sit on a park bench whilst being handcuffed together. It's an unpleasant surprise to Penn, who plays the part of a casual by-stander who happens to sit down next to a quieter man. He speaks loudly and obnoxiously, later apologising that he's loud when he first meets people, desperate for their affection. When he finds himself handcuffed to a stranger, a subtle power struggle ensues, where the former pulls at the cuffs, complainging of the pain, before using that 'metal meets flesh equals pain' (which is how bullets work) to raise his captor off the seat in order to drag him to the nearest phone for help. A brief struggle ensues and both end up embraced, but free of the cuffs. The two silently part ways, before Teller sits back down on the bench and readies the cuffs for the next victim.
The piece had a lot of emotional impact on me and I enjoyed it as a metaphor about people, the seeking of affection and the need to have someone even if the other has to be trapped and conned into a friendship. Wholesome food for thought.
Throughout the show, Penn spoke of things that struck a chord with me intellectually... such as 'not accepting a mystery'. He said that those who don't accept a mystery aren't the skeptics, but those are the people who dismiss it and instantly stamp their own explanation for it, and thereby halting any continuing thought process about the issue. Thereas those who do accept the mystery will seek to explain it, to seek evidence, to think and to ruminate till it's a mystery no more. Their show was full of subtleties, comments on the world, without being obviously so.
I'd read all those years ago that it is customary for them to be hanging around after the show, ready for any fans. And...as I'd hoped, both dashed off outside at the conclusion of the show to sign autographs. Well, I damn well didn't need an invitation. I'd set this personal challenge six years ago and I sure as hell wasn't going to pass up an opportunity. Afterall, they haven't brought a show over to the UK for sixteen bloody years!
Teller was first. He spoke really quietly and was tinier than I thought he'd be. He'd said that he only appears like a midget next to the towering Penn, but no... he's pretty diminutive. I brought over my ten year-old (ha-har fangirl) copy of 'How to play in traffic', which was a pain to find to begin with. Even by late nineties it was out of print and we got our copy on eBay. Whilst he signed it for me, I thanked him for returning after so many years... failing to think of anything clever to say. To my great surprise, my usually unemotional, stoic dad displayed his fanboyishness by blurting out that Teller was great in the show and that he enjoyed it! Wow, now I know.
Then we went for Penn. I'll admit I was very nervous. He's always the louder and more direct of the two so I was a touch afraid that it'd be really scary. However, on the contrary, he was much quieter that I'd imagined he'd be. He spoke softly, politely and in a very friendly and humble manner. All the fans got called 'boss' ('thank you, boss' 'yes, boss') and did his best to answer and thank all people for their comments. When my turn came, I thanked him for their show 'Bullshit', something that has made an immense impact in my life, in the way I think, in the way I analyze the world around, and the personal philosophy with which I move forward in life. I could have said more, but I'm sure there are many more people that show has helped.
A great show, great people and a great experience!