Sometimes I wonder if other people can even see the subtitles I keep getting on conversations.

One of the recent eps of NMTB was hosted by Richard Ayoade, whom you might recognize from the Boosh stuffs and also The IT Crowd. He has a positively superhuman deadpan, resistant to almost anything thrown his way -- although if you watch the gag reels for The IT Crowd, on the rare occasion that he does crack, Ayoade can't quit laughing and usually wrecks a dozen takes in a row.

This episode is uniquely hilarious for the complete lack of jokes from the host. Even if you didn't know they'd worked together before, it's easy to tell that Fielding at least knows of Ayoade; he starts hiding behind his coffee mug and trying not to die laughing before anything's even really happened.

Given whatever brief context you've picked up here from my babbling, what might the following exchange lead you to guess about Ayoade? My observations below.




While it's obvious that 'music' and 'poetry' are both being suggested as Things Geri Haliwell Songs Are Not, there seems to be a bit more to it than that. Fielding is a permanent team captain on a pop music panel quiz and listens to about what he looks like he listens to (plus a lot of strangely perky things -- there's one of these where he protests, in all seriousness, that he liked Aqua); one presumes he complains about Ginger Spice as at least a recognized amateur authority on music-related thingamabobs. He's bitching he can't be expected to know that because whatever that is, it's not in his bailiwick.

The speed at which Ayoade responds, the cocked eyebrow, and the fact that he makes no effort to maintain the near-monotone with which he read the lyrics and the answer suggest that he personally rejects Fielding's attempt to lob him the hot potato, and is unceremoniously dropping it on the floor. If his first thought is to reject it in turn by protesting that it's not poetry either, that means that poetry is his bailiwick. Fielding doesn't give him any argument over that particular point; they have enough history together that presumably he'd know whether Ayoade was qualified to make any judgments on poetry or not. Ayoade must be a lit geek or a writer or both.

I frankly have no idea one way or the other, but that's what the exchange says to me. People do not always make sense by objective standards, but they usually make sense to themselves, and if the verbal ping-pong goes that smoothly it probably makes sense to both of them.

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