Friday, October 17, 2008

How I came home with a bloodsucker

Ok, what happened was this:

My sister-in-law Emily asked me to go to a show with her called The Casket of Passing Fancy which is going on this month at the Blue Genie theater. It's been getting some positive local press via The Chronicle and Austinist, plus Emily knows two people who are part of the show, so we thought it would be fun to go.

It's a little hard to explain if you haven't been, so there's this description of the show from the theater company's website:

"Those who dare to sit in the Duchess' parlour will be given the chance to claim one of 500 strange experiences. ... You may find yourself exploring an unconscionable taboo or reveling in the beauty of the mundane. Your experience may last 5 minutes or 50 years. Your choice may bring pain or pleasure, sickness or health, sweetness or sour. All that's certain is that some will win and some will lose, but no one will emerge unchanged."

So basically what happens is, you sign a waiver when you walk in the door that you will not hold them responsible for any limbs you might lose within and then you go to sit in "the parlor". The Duchess comes out and has this wooden box. In the box are cards and written on the cards are "offers." They tell you up front that at the start of the run of the show, there were 500 offers. Each offer only gets read once, so for each show, there are less and less offers. For our show, which was something like the third or fourth, there were 383 at the beginning. As an audience member, you can choose which offer you want. Now, you don't have to choose anything (but what's the fun in that??). Once you choose something, you leave to go to another part of the theater to experience your offer (there's a team of actors who either perform for you or well, WITH you) and then you go home--you only get one offer. Once an offer is read and no one takes it, it's not offered again. If two people want the same offer, the Duchess just arbitrarily chooses who gets it. Thing is, you have no idea what the offer really means. It might be literal and then again, it might not. For example, some of the offers were things like, "Who wants to learn how to pick locks?" or "Who wants to walk on the moon?" And when you pick one, you might get taken to the other part of the theater and someone will actually show you how to pick a lock. Or you might get taken to another room where you will walk across someone's naked ass.**(These were real examples from our show, but since they only get read once, I don't think I'm spoiling it).

I gotta tell ya--the staging was a little creepy and you're a little, um, nervous at first, but after a while, you really find yourself getting into it and wondering whether you should jump at the next offer, but wait! what if it sucks?? What if there's a better one around the bend?? And then, on top of this, for those who haven't taken any offers yet and are still sitting in the audience, there are...parlor games. And those I'm not going to tell you because that really will spoil it.

So, what did we choose? Emily chose "Who wants to look into someone's hope chest?". and Me?? "Who wants to take home a new pet??" Now wait, wait, I know, ok? I KNOW. But in my defense, I knew they weren't going to be giving out puppies or kittens or anything. I thought there might be Sea Monkeys involved. Or worms. I was close.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Dashiell. He's a freshwater leech.

I'm very proud of myself because despite his non-dog status, he's actually kinda growing on me. I've stopped gagging and obsessively washing my hands every 3 minutes, at least. Maybe I'll get him a nice fuzzy sweater.

So anyway, go see The Casket of Passing Fancy if you're around town the next couple of weeks. It's beyond creative and hey, the leech has already been spoken for, so you're probably safe.


Mel Francis said...

Um. Really? You had to answer the pet question? With all those other questions available?

Status Quo. LOL

Stinkydog said...

I swear to you it was like an automatic response. I heard the question and my hand was up and I don't remember moving it.