There are many reasons Mandy and I became friends and subsequent sketch comedy partners. Most of these reasons have to do with alcohol, being perfectionists and no one else wanting to hang out with either of us. But upon making the formal decision to be friends and sketch partners, neither of us realized that getting into two Fringe Festivals would result in us having to spend every waking moment at each other’s houses, looking at each other’s faces, listening to each other’s high pitched voices as we wrote sketches and/or complained about our lives. Having made a pact last November to remain friends until at least August 1st, we have managed not to punch each other in the face yet. But that’s partially because we’re both aware jail time might ruin our Fringe show.
As things get more intense, and having just seen the Avengers movie in 3D, I become increasingly worried about us turning into Hulks and punching each other, or, more reasonably, Mandy punching me repeatedly. As a former Girl Guide I like to be prepared, so I have come up with a list of tricks Mandy and I can use in the next month to help us to continue to remain friends and keep our rehearsals punch-free:
- Each print off a life-sized portrait of someone the other Lady would never want to punch in the face and make it into a mask. For instance, Mandy could wear a mask of my Nana and I could wear a mask of Tony Luca from The Voice.
- Start every rehearsal by watching Saved by the Bell episode 3-22 “Rockumentary,” in which fame goes to Zack’s head and his bad attitude almost drives Zack Attack apart… until they sing “Friends Forever” and everything is fine.
- Call in sick to every rehearsal and just avoid any potential for conflict.
- Alienate all our other friends and family to a point that they have all written us out of their lives and we are each literally all the other Lady has. Even if we hate each other, we will have to cling to each other because we have nothing else. The only downfall to this is that no one will come to our Fringe show.
- Bake Mandy cookies every week so if she gets mad at me I can say, “but I baked you cookies!” Also there will be sedatives in these cookies that prevent her from getting angry.
- Say there is a prize for whoever can go the longest without getting upset. We are both so competitive we will take our bottled up anger to our graves.
- Get one of those lobotomy things that were all the rage in the 40s where they stab you in the brain so you’re never angry again. An unfortunate side effect is that you’re never happy again, either, and I think I read something about losing all passion for sketch comedy.
- If things start to get tense, create a diversion by talking about Lost (note to self: watch Lost).
- Intentionally break my legs and spine so I am in a full body cast. Mandy will pity me so much she won’t have the will to be angry. Mandy can keep her body intact; I already pity her.
- Put all the reasons we should remain friends into a cohesive, colour-coded spreadsheet and distribute via email.
As I said, these are simply backup plans in case things go awry, but for now Mandy and I remain the very best of friends and I cherish every precious moment I get to spend in her beautiful home, looking at her angelic face, listening to her smart-sounding voice (oh, yes – showering her in compliments is another tactic I’m trying).
If we do get to the point that we want to punch each other, it just may happen on stage in an Oasis-style blowup. So come see our Fringe show! Or we’ll punch you!