Tuesday, May 02, 2006

There are five* letters in the word Blaine. Now, if you mix up the letters in the word Blaine, mix 'em around, eventually, you'll come up with Nebali

Nebali. The name of a planet in a galaxy way, way, way... way far away. -- UFO Expert, Waiting for Guffman

Before and after my stand-up show in midtown yesterday, I swung by David Blaine's latest spectacle, "Drowned Alive", in front of Lincoln Center.

Gothamist has good coverage of the event.

While waiting in line to see Blaine, the globe, and his six-pack up close, a man comes up to you and hands you some paper and a pen, encouraging you to write a message to David. Apparently he can read things from inside his little human snowglobe. My friend Jenny and I were hyper-hypos, dying laughing, and my brain, coked up on 48 cups of coffee, was scrambling for something clever to say before we made it up the ramp. I looked at this man, topless, surrounded by water and flashbulbs, wearing a complicated scuba mask and looking like something out of The Abyss 2. And I thought, what's the most absurd thing I could say to him right now? Something to put a smile on his face? And there was really only one thing that came to mind.

I scribbled it down, cracked up laughing, and braced myself. I've seen Blaine do two of his other stunts: Burying himself alive by the Trump Towers many years ago, and more recently encasing himself in a huge block of ice in Times Square. But this would be the first moment we would share, together, just me and him. I stepped up to the sphere, where he was politely waving at some other gawkers, and slammed my paper up against the surface. It said, simply:

"Do You Want To Make Out?"

See, it's funny, because he's in an underwater prison, is topless, and is wearing a complicated air mask... Get it?

Needless to say, he refused to make eye contact with me for the remainder of my 15 seconds of ramp-dom. I slinkered off, feeling the fool, and thought to myself: You've done it again, Collins. (Jazz hands waving in a room of complete and utter silence, while a movie of animals getting slaughtered is projected onto my face.)

I am such an idiot.

Bonus pic: "Murray! The Dog Who Refuses To Make Eye Contact With Me."

*Thanks to the 700 people who e-mailed me to let me know "Blaine" has six, not five, letters. My response is that this is a quote from an improvisational-style mockumentary from Christopher Guest, but I'm sure David Cross would love to hear from you.

Tiny but crisp pictures thanks to my Sprint/Samsung A920 phone.

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