CSE Revue 2009

(that is, the "Computer Science and Engineering Revue", one of the three main annual student-produced sketch comedy shows at the University of New South Wales)

Here we go. I've been warming up at the Unibar all arvo, drinking $4 steins from some Tooheys New Oktoberfest promotion, and now I'm drunk and in a huge, rowdy group of engineers, we all have various hidden containers of alcohol, and I'm wearing one of the greatest t-shirts of all time. It has a light-up LED equalizer on the front that's sound-sensitive. What a talking point. But soft! The show is starting.

It's great, though not quite as good as this year's Law Revue was:

"OK on three, yell out what you think 'first base' means. Ready? One...Two...Three!"
"...what the fuck? You think first base means FISTING?!?"
"Uh, well, yeah! These days I'm straight into that, I'm like "what's your name?" and then ka-pow! pew pew pew!"
Yeah I guess you had to be there.

I have to lower my standards for these things they're full of crude ridiculous undergraduate humour, but damn it's a great night out. The plot revolves around a smart and pretty computer science student, learning about the trials of being a female surrounded by male geeks, and being pursued by a mysterious boy.

In the opening scene, she walks on stage pursued by a huge, fawning gaggle of nerdy-looking compsci students. There's jokes about video games and lack of sex. There's the traditional voice-overs during the scene changes:

Fridge's diary, Monday the 15th: Today the microwave refused to talk to me again, but I still think she's hot.
Fridge's diary, Wednesday the 17th: Today Perry opened me up and put milk in me.
Oh the double entendre. Everything's such a blatant in-joke, but that's the way we love it.

The cathartic moment occurs at a Unibar party, when the heroine asks her romantic interest "What's your big secret Trevor? Why is your name marked as 'Barbara' on the role?" and he replies "Well you see, I'm not actually studying computer science at UNSW...I'm doing a Law degree at USyd" and the entire theatre breaks out into a low "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH" and starts laughing, and then my mate yells out "He really goes to TAFE" and everyone cracks up again.

Other good jokes I remember were:

Girl: "Well how do you explain that time you tried to drug me?"
Boy: "I didn't try to drug you! You just can't take alcohol because you're an asian girl!"
The good ol' required jabs about UNSW's ethnic makeup. UNSW, a.k.a. the University for the Not So White, a.k.a. the University of New South Asia.

There was also a hilarious take-off of the Alien trailer, with Pokemon and Anime figures bursting out of peoples' chests, ending with "ASIAN: coming soon to a cinema near you". There was a jab about "Pokemon Christian Edition: available in Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh", where it is made clear that Pikacu does not 'evolve' into Riachu, but both were in fact intelligently designed. Haha.

The intermission. There's a pretty young girl talking to me. I met her at one of the music society gigs, she was in the choir. She's also doing engineering and is explaining how her boyfriend has just left on a year-long overseas trip. Fuck, why would you do that to yourself? I don't want to know. I don't want to get involved. I spent all of last year being messed around by girls in engineering. I don't envy them - this much of a gender imbalance is not conductive to healthy relationships. I tell her to give him a chance to remain faithful, just keep talking to him and being open. Oh the irony of me giving relationship advice. I stand on the edge of the mezzanine looking down at the swirls of people in the soft light, all us young, stupid screwed up students, and my simmering brain is swaying and I just start laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

The lights go down again and the band number comes up. My mates in the Revue band told me I'd love the song selection, but I'm too drunk to pick it. I promised I'd play bass for 'em when I come back for 4th year. Everyone plays well, solos are expressive, it's great music. Bass is inaudible from here, shame.

There was another fake advertisement-style video, where a bunch of people were sitting around a table making horrible food puns:

"This is egg-celent!"
"I think it's a bit corny"
"Well, the steaks are so high!"
"Guys the puns are getting to me, can't we please just have some peas? Oh, no..."
"Well, water you going to do about it?"
Then there's a cut to a splash scene from a panadol add, but it's been changed to "Punadol: fast, effective, temporary relief from puns". Someone has been reading to many Reddit threads.

And then after this and many more hearty laughs the show is over, and everyone comes out the front, all the cast and directors and people behind the scenes and we all cheer. So much applause. So much energy in this room.

Now we come to the ragged end of the evening. We filter outside, and the energy is leaking out with us. I say hi to my friends who were involved in the production, but people are leaving and I don't get to say goodbye to all of them and then the post-party blues begin to set in.

A couple of us begin to wander over to the Regent Hotel, and on the way someone flips the bird at a police car. What the hell man, there was no need for that! The copper was obviously alert because he comes screaming back around the corner and proceeds to give my mate a loooong lecture and a ticket. What a night. We filter into the Rege, it's packed. All these people are beautiful; but it's just like, just over at Uni all these guys pulled off the most amzing creative thing, it wasn't perfect, but it was fun and they put in so much effort and it was glorious, it was human! Don't you care? Fine, sing your crappy karaoke and flirt away and talk about celebrities and footy, I'm out of here. I wander the backstreets of Kensingtion with a dry throat, find my car and collapse into the black hole of the back seat.

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