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Deconstructing the Combine (standard:other, 12027 words)
Author: MagentaAdded: Aug 08 2010Views/Reads: 1565/1806Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The Combine used to be the kings of comedy then they just fell off the radar. A reporter goes looking for answers.
 



Deconstructing the Combine. 

I pause before I knock the door and look down at my feet. They are
killing me, why did I wear these shoes? Who am I trying to impress? 
Yes, it's going to be my beautiful, impractical, over-priced shoes that 
secure this interview. The notion of removing my shoes occurs to me, 
being barefoot might be seen as quirky and this may appeal to my 
subject. I reject the idea and take a deep breath. Why am I so nervous? 
He is just a person after all and besides he is supposed to be the 
affable one. The other one may be a lost cause; I haven't been able to 
track him down, no replies to any of my emails or phone messages. Hell, 
I don't even know where he is. “Alright?” There he is; Rich Pepper, red 
skinny jeans, out of shape black t-shirt with the neck ripped, cowboy 
boots and a mop of black hair root boosted within an inch of its life. 
He smiles, wide and genuine as he places a hand on my shoulder 
welcoming me into his home. “Mr Pepper, thanks for seeing me, I know 
you're very busy...” “Rich...” “Ok! Rich, I appreciate your time. “ We 
are now in his living room, which is awash with light emanating from a 
large bay window. There is a chaotic but lived-in feeling to the place, 
a mix match of objects and trinkets jostling for position in the over 
crowded room. Controlled chaos. It is overcrowded but not over-bearing. 
There is a painting sitting on the fireplace, a myriad of colours, 
textures and shapes. There is crude child-like lettering in the corner; 
I squint, trying to decipher the words. “Do you like it?” “It's 
beautiful” I feel my hand gravitate towards it, then I realising what I 
am about to do, I pull it back. “Your hands clean?” he laughs. “Go 
ahead.” He nods towards the painting. “The colours...who is this? It is 
so beautiful.” Rich blushes and looks at the painting; 
modesty....unexpected...but what did I expect? 
“Thanks....I...It's.....”, He puts his hands into his jeans pockets and 
sways slightly forward onto his toes, biting his lip; when he is not 
smiling he looks weary, older. “Would you like something to drink?” 
“Mmmmm?” “Drink?” He makes a drinking motion with his hand. “Coffee 
would be great...Thanks.” I have to get it together, c'mon focus. Rich 
motions towards the kitchen. “Let's go into the kitchen....maybe we 
will get a seat in there!” I follow him in the kitchen, which in 
contrast to the Living room is very clean and organised, everything in 
its place. “So, this article you're working on, what's it about?” “Mr 
Pepp...” He gives me a pointed look...“Rich....it's about you...” “Me?” 
“Well The Combine...you and Mr Garrett.” Rich frowns. He catches my eye 
and the smile returns. “What about me and....what about us?” He looks 
over my shoulder out the window. “The huge influence you've had on the 
shaping of comedy in the last 15 years.” “Wow......all the interviews 
we've given over the years about where our influences.....and now 
you're telling me we've inspired other people....that's amazing.” His 
gaze returns to the window, his face radiating pride and wonderment, 
lost in the realisation of being an inspiration.  Bless! “Yeah, I have 
interviewed quite a few up and coming comedians, as well as some 
established ones, who have said “The Combine” had a huge effect on 
them.” “Like who?” “Here, you can have a look.” I open my bag and 
rummage around, removing half the contents, before I can extract my 
folder. Rich is examining my belongings with great interest, which 
include a tin opener, a calculator, a dog leash and a plug. I blush and 
a sound, supposedly a laugh, springs from my lips. I really need to 
clean out my bag. Rich opens the folder and sits down at the table. He 
bites his thumb nail as he reads. “My God, I can't believe these guys 
are Combine fans; its genius.” “There is still a lot of Combinelove out 
there, Rich!” He looks at me his eyes like glowing sapphires, his smile 
widening. “The film was released over a year ago and then you...The 
Combine just stopped.....” “Stopped?” His voice is so low it is almost 
inaudible. “After the film....The Combine just fell off the 
radar...there was talk of another tour and maybe another series.” “Yeah 
I know.” He gets up and lifts the kettle and begins to fill it with 
water. With his back to me, I can study him undetected. He is taller 
than I expected and very slim, yet muscular.  His body has a nice 
shape, clothes seem to hang well on him; he could be a model. “Have you 
spoken to Ols...to Oliver?” He asks this so low, I almost didn't hear 
it. I notice that his elbow has frozen mid movement awaiting my 
response. “No!” The click of the lid of the kettle and Rich continues 
with his task. “Oliver is very hard to get hold of; I think he has 
moved out of London, but I'm working...” “Cornwall.” “Sorry?” “He lives 
in Cornwall.” “Cornwall?” “Yeah, he always wanted to live in 
Cornwall.....the countryside...you know....spending his days chopping 
wood, building stuff, tending his grounds, that sort of thing.....Lady 
Chatterley's lover, eh?” We laugh. “Heathcliff!” I offer. “You know 


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