The tickets were free, ok. And it’s not like I had anything better to do. I went to see a hypnotist perform, oh it was choice.
We got there too early and had a whole hour to kill before the show started. Other people had arrived early too, but it wasn’t due to bad planning. “We came here early to get good seats,” explained Michelle from Papatoetoe to the doorman. “I’m sorry, but the doors don’t open until half-past.”
Finally the doors opened and we sat down at a table (table = chipboard circle on a stick with an unhemmed square of red nylon acting as a table cloth). The venue was non-smoking, but as it’s usually a rock concert venue, the place had a perma-smoke aroma to it.
Gradually the theatre filled up with paying customers. Some people had obviously made an effort and dressed up, wearing their very best polar fleece vests. One lady sitting nearby was a vision in those special pants that could only be described as dress jeans, and a black sequinned top.
The bar did a roaring trade in Vodka Cruisers, the alcoholic beverage of choice for people who don’t want the yucky flavour of alcohol to get in the way of them getting pissed.
Sitting near me was a couple in their late 40s. They both looked bored shitless waiting for the show to start. (“D’ya wanna go to that hypnotist bloke?” “Yeah, all right.”)
A Nathan Haines CD played while the audience waited for the action to begin. People sat around trying to feel cool, hip and urban, but given that everyone there was lame, unhip and very suburban, that wasn’t happening.
A recorded announcement came on warning us that “hilarious hypnotism” would start in three minutes, and sure enough, it did.
By this stage I hated everything. I hated the venue, the audience, the hypnotist and myself for being there. I was really seriously considering going home. But I didn’t. I had this little niggling feeling that maybe I would actually like it and it wouldn’t be too bad.
It was pretty standard hypno-show. Get extroverts up on stage, get them to con-cen-trate, then get them to do wacky zany stuff. Ha ha ha, see that lady over there. Her name’s Barb, but she thinks she’s actually Robert Muldoon! And look, they think that cigarette being passed around is marijuana!
So like a good audience member I laughed at all the hilarious hyno-antics. I was about to conclude that I really was having a good time after all, and that the audience and I had a lot in common. But then a wonderful thing happened.
I suddenly realised that I wasn’t laughing with the audience, I was laughing at them! I was enjoying the hypno show in the way that I enjoy reading the readers letters in the TV Guide (the writers of which were probably in that audience). I was being an urban hipster!
Having realised that my punk-arse alterno-cred was intact, I happily left and rode around on a scooter, drank organic soy milk lattes and listened to acid jazz.