Adam Rozenbachs: Anti-hero
3am is not a good time to wake up. I don’t bake goods for a living, nor do I ever want to take to the water for a morning’s fishing. I’m a comedian; that time of the morning is reserved for hastily called conferences to find out which bars are still open. The reason I recently woke at this time was because my smoke alarm went off. For no apparent reason. I haven’t slept since. And it was January. I felt so wired it was like I’d spent the weekend with Tottie Goldsmith.
But the experience taught me plenty about myself. I have always thought I would make a great hero, like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky or anyone who sat through Sylvester Stallone in Rocky V. A take charge kind of guy. Turns out I was wrong.
For starters, when the alarm tore me from my slumber, I didn’t even look for a fire. No thought to ‘get down low and go, go, go’. I just jumped up and waved my arms around, desperately trying to stop the incessant beeping. Had there been an actual fire my charred body would have been discovered up a ladder with a battery in my hand.
I’d also like to know what set the smoke alarm off in the first place; I certainly wasn’t sleep-barbecuing. Plus, smoke alarms were the last alarms I trusted. Car alarms – no one pays attention to them. Same with house alarms; you walk by thinking, “hope they steal something of value.”
Even the fire drill at work causes no movement from the computer: “Let me know if it’s real, because I’m about to win an auction on eBay here…”
Knowing that “emergency” is probably not my ultimate state of being, I still take the emergency exit seat on a plane. But if the plane was actually going down, I’d be hopeless. The hostess would be running around yelling, “Open the doors!” and I’d be sitting there apologising, “Look… I am genuinely sorry. I’m really here for the legroom… I’ll be honest – I lied back at the check-in counter. I kind of heard what you said, but was thinking about whether or not to take my shoes off. I throw women and children on the fire right?’”
It’d be nice to know you’re the kind of person people can count on in an emergency. Like that guy from the movie 127 Hours – the one who got trapped between a rock and a canyon and hacked his own arm off. He impressed me. You’d call on him straight away as he’d be fantastic in an emergency. Unless of course that emergency required someone to clap. I liked that he had a calmness about him. I don’t have that; I’d panic and hack my own leg off if my shoelace got caught in the escalator stairs. People asking, “Why didn’t you take your shoe off?”; “Shut up and push the wheelchair."
But I’ve realised that you can’t count on me. Recently in Thailand my girlfriend and I were relaxing in the water, and a big wave came along. Naturally, if you’re wearing sunglasses, you jump up to avoid big waves. So I did just that. Unfortunately I used my girlfriend as leverage to get above the wave. Completely submerged her, like the lost City of Atlantis. Unsurprisingly, we broke up not long after that – she was probably living in fear of being pushed in front of a bus in case a moth flew near my face.