Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Characters >> Sheriff

Howdy Sheref! G'day Shezza, How's ut Cher-reef?

Any talk of our tour along the Nile through the cities of Aswan, Luxor, the valley of the Kings/ Queens and everything in betweens would be completely useless if it didn't mention the comedic genius of our tour, Sheriff.

With two degrees behind him, one in Egyptology and another in something else ''ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, we started to realise, starting at that toime, we started to see that ... yeah, yeah.........urgh...yeah''.

I highly suspect that the man could carry on a complete conversation in English with you and you could finish it swearing that he grew up in the suburbs of Sydney. With an ex-wife from New Zealand and a 3 year old daughter living in Kiwi land, he actually has racked up the hours in Australia. Some of his great stories involve his numerous interactions with Australian Customs and Quarantine. One involving him eating 5 Mars bars in one go and another ending in him demanding to know if Australia had wood and why it would be a problem for him to bring in a little more? Another incident involved him seeing a lizard's tail and thinking it was a crocodile. His defence was that if it moves in Egypt, you kill it, so he had actually never seen a lizard, according to his claim anyway, there were none left.

But when the man tells a story, or explains about the ancient treasures of Egypt, essentially lost to its current inhabitants, he has an Egyptian accented Australian accent and ''ladies and gentlemen'' loves what he is talking about.

As we were still trying to figure the guy out and learn what we could expect from our tour, Sheriff was standing up the front yelling into the microphone ''ladies and gentlemen, get ready, get excited, it's the time you've been waiting for all your lives, we are arriving, ladies and gentlemen, at the PYRAMIDS OF GIZA!'' On the last syllable his eyes would go slightly cross-eyed his voice would rise up and he would let out a little giggle.

As we progressed through the tour, we started to just learm the truly magnificent number of things we hadn't even realised we had been waiting for. ''Get ready, get excited, it's the time you've been waiting for all your lives, we're arriving at our hotel in Aswan!''

Or ''Get ready, get excited, it's the time you've been waiting for all your lives, we're arriving at the place where we'll get on the felucca!'' And then [in a small voice] ''but it looks like it's not here yet.''

Or funnier, ''Get ready, get excited, it's the time you've been waiting for all your lives, we're arriving at the TOILET!''

His penchant for repeating certain phrases or methods of speaking didn't stop there however as he described ''the art of mummi-fi?-CA-tion''

On the third syllable he would pause and his voice would rise. Then he would repeat it until we all joined in. ''mummi-fi?-CA-tion''. In this way, he manageed to get us to start remembering the things he told us.

Sheriff: at that time, we started to see ladies and gentlemen that they used the art of mummi-fi?
Chorus: CA-tion!
Sheriff: that's right! At that time we also started to see that the god Hor?-us...Hor?
Chorus: -us!
Sheriff: Horus, was starting...to be carved on the temple of Kar?-nak...kar?-
Chorus: nak!
Sheriff: don't swear! 'ak' is a very naughty word in Egyptian language! [giggle] ladies and gentlemen we started to see that yeah...yeah...um yeah.

The yeah yeah's started to happen when he realised that he had been speaking for a little too long. By the third 'yeah' he would already be walking off to his next spot.

The only other thing to mention would be how he would seemlessly start talking about the aliens, their spaceships and the aliens and their spaceships when someone not in our group started eavesdropping. Flawlessly cutting from Osiris and Horus and Queen Hatchepsut (aka Hot Chicken Soup) to the aliens and the crop circles they left behind; it was great to watch and see how long it took them to realise that he was talking rubbish.

No tour would be complete without a character like Sheriff on board.

Sent from my glorious e71 which is most definitely not an iPhone!

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