Disclaimer - I don't own Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy, The Mighty Boosh or any characters involved. Copyright to Noel Fielding/Julian Barratt.
Thanks to my friend Abi for the title~
And then it was over.
The final show of the tour was over and done with and it had been incredible. The fans had rushed the stage – we'd seen it all through our real selves' eyes. It's a strange experience, knowing you're not entirely real, but you're not entirely fictional either. And then there's knowing there are others. More characters behind that other you. All of us looking through the same eyes, getting one last taste of reality before we returned home.
And really, this kind of reality was alright. The kind of reality where people were just enjoying themselves, enjoying something together. But we wouldn't be staying for much longer. It was almost time to head back to Painted Hawaii.
The fans retreated out of the theatre and as our real selves walked offstage together, each of us separated from them. The Chief, Gordon the Triangle and Antonio Banderas stood in Tom's place, Hawkeye, Steph and Ravi in Mike's, and Fantasy Man, New York Cop and me in Noel's. We were left unseen, but when Noel cast one last look back at the stage, I could have sworn he saw us standing there, his creations. And me. His reflection. I gave a small wave goodbye and he smiled softly before turning away again and following the others backstage. Watching them go, I let my mind wander for a moment. The last few shows had seemed to go by in a blur, a sense of familiarity, of something lost, buzzing in the back of my head, but the rest of the characters didn't seem fazed at all. Was it only because I was connected to my real self? Were these his thoughts?
I blinked twice, clearing my mind again, and looked up at where the Moon (and his Dark Side) had hung, but the light was gone now. He must have already floated back to wherever it was he came from. I turned to the rest of the group.
"Well then. Looks like it's time we head home as well, yeah?"
They all gathered around me at centre stage, Fantasy Man instantly perking up.
"Splendid!" he looked at me, "Shall we do the honours?"
I glanced back at Joey Ramone's door into the Plasticine World and shivered. No way was I gonna go back through there. I had enough emotional scars from that place, on top of Joey's obvious hatred of me. I didn't have the energy to deal with that again. Maybe not ever. I simply nodded and he got to work forcing everyone to hold hands and assigning them to either his or Big Chief's "teams".
"Ready Big Chief?"
Oh, Christ, this was bad enough the first time. I squeezed my eyes shut and pressed the heels of my palms against them. My head was aching.
"Let us enter the Fantasy Zone!"
The rest of the team reluctantly joined in as Fantasy Man and the Chief danced around on the spot and waved their hands, firmly clasped around each other's', as well as Gordon's and Steph's, who were looking less than pleased.
Well, those two won't be hanging about much longer.
Once Antonio had disappeared into one of the action fantasy worlds, and Gordon and Steph had decided to take a holiday in Wonderland (good riddance), there were enough Arnolds to transport the rest of us across the Fantasy Zone to the portal to Painted Hawaii with Hawkeye and Ravi sharing Arnold 1. While Fantasy Man, Big Chief and New York Cop chatted about the tour, and Hawkeye and Ravi played Squares, I rode on in silence. I still couldn't shake that weird feeling of nostalgia and I still didn't even know what I was feeling nostalgic for. There must have been something to set this off. But what had happened in that last week or so of the tour that was different? Something had happened, but the memory wasn't all there, like my real self had taken it with him, like he'd wanted to keep it completely to himself. It can't be easy to do that when there's another you in a fantasy world. Of course some of that's gonna come through to my side.
Arnold 3 suddenly came to a stop and I looked up to find we'd reached the portal and the others were dismounting their own Arnolds. The Chief was leading New York Cop, Hawkeye and Ravi through while Fantasy Man stood watching me. Before I could follow the others through the portal, he stopped me, giving me a concerned look.
"Is there something the matter, my good friend?"
I looked back at him for a moment, hesitating.
"What d'you mean?"
"You were rather quiet on the journey. In fact, you have been more than a little withdrawn for this past week. Is something perhaps troubling you?"
"It's nothing. Just headaches. I think the tour's just worn me out a bit, that's all. Nothing to worry about."
I brushed off the questions casually and went to move past him but he grabbed my arm, turning me back around to face him again. His expression turned serious and his voice was hushed and cautious.
"If my suspicions are correct, I believe I have been having the same strange feelings that you have been experiencing. There is something weighing on your mind, is there not?"
"Look, I really don't think it's anything to worry about. If you've been getting the same feelings, you're probably just tired as well. I'll see you later."
I pulled my arm away and ducked into the portal, seeing the Chief coming back from escorting the others and giving him a short nod without stopping. I didn't need to stop.
I didn't need to talk to Fantasy Man.
I was perfectly fine.