Tuesday, January 17, 2006

As I stood on stage, blindfolded, in front of 200 people: professors, students, friends and family, I grinned the grin of the irretrievably bemused, safe in the knowledge that life doesn't get much more bizarre. It was a game, I think. Chinese was being shouted at me from all sides as I attempted to get through an obstacle course constructed of human beings and string, with my eyes fully covered. It turns out that the obstacle course wasn't there, it had been removed when I put my blindfold on - ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, indeed, ha! This was just one part of the surreal afternoon which was the Spring festival party. Almost everyone from the department attended this carnival of the bizarre and it appeared that I was to play the role of the newbie foreigner. I have to say that I didn't mind doing this in the end and all in all its sheer bizarreness made for a relatively enjoyable afternoon.

We all arrived and collected our spring festival bonuses - Shampoo AND conditioner followed by our prizedraw tickets ready to win big.

Sitting in a semicircle about the stage surrounded by bananas, sweets and nuts the first act got underway. An impressive dance act by four guys, early twenties to some of the most racially abusive and sexually explicit gangsta rap I've ever heard. Children and grandparents clapped and cheered as I sat back aghast at what clearly I was the sole person to understand. Games of various varieties, singers, violin players, speeches by the eminent and established followed in the run-up to whatever it was that I took part in - Many people took photos so I may be able to piece together this puzzle. Following this I drew lots for the prizedraw, including, I later found out, myself, winning a fine saucepan.

Next, small toy dogs were given out to all those who were multiples of 12 years old (this year is the year of the dog), the 72 year olds seemed happiest of all.

Following a game where people from the audience who came from regions of China with different dialects had to read a passage to uproarious laughter came my official turn. Having made very sure that 'Ning nang nong' wasn't rude in any dialect of Chinese I gave almost certainly the first performance any of them had ever seen of Spike Milligan and Lewis Caroll. Deathly silence did not follow and tumbleweed did not tumble though I was perhaps saved by my parting with wishes of happy new year in Chinese which seemed to go down very well.

Following a game of musical chairs played by the professors and a version of 'Sailing' that will surely stay with me forever the party dispersed and we all went to a fine dinner of assorted Chinese goodies including beef lung and eel.

All in all the strangest afternoon I've had for some time - enjoyable nonetheless.

4 comments:

Pheidippides Legg said...

Good work Shock and congratulations on conquering your nerves. Once you get up there. it's never quite as bad as you anticipate it to be. Love the gangsta-rap dance story. Genius.

Nana Moon said...

I had been led to believe by a "friend" of yours that you are some sort of genius. This riled me somewhat as I like to think of myself as bordering on the brilliant and so it gives me great pleasure to confirm that you are, in fact, only a theoretical genius...
1. its sheer not shear
2. its sole not soul
3. its lewis carroll not carol
I thank you

Bubba two-step said...

A fine choice of poem too, Biscuitsan.
I have a lovely image in my head of you walking blindfold around a stage, like an absolute loser on your own, being laughed at by 200 people. Anyone take a video of it?

Jonathan Shock said...

Currently attempting to track down a video or at the very least photos. BT-S I think summed up the event pretty well.

Indeed, I know only too well that my spelling is atrocious. If it weren't for blogger spell checking it would be far worse I assure you.
(3. It's Charles Dodgson not Lewis Caroll ;).)

I'm still struggling with the word puzzle posed a couple of posts ago. Am thinking though!