Chapter 12: Venue
Friendly Confusion had initially been a food show. Every week, a chef would come and cook a few dishes. A few celebrities would also be invited to taste these dishes and engage in discussion about the entertainment industry. Later on, the variety show became one where celebrities were invited to play games and talk about work while cooking. Even till today, the cooking aspect still remained.
“Chen-ge, its been a while since I last saw you,” Chu Qin greeted Mu Chen on stage and let him stand between him and Lin Xiaoxiao. “What have you been busy with recently?”
This question was to give him a chance to promote his new work. Mu Chen was very familiar with these sorts of things and answered quickly, “I’ve been busy filming. The movie <Exploring Detective> will be released soon on the first of August, I’ll be able to take a breather and come here to have a meal then.”
“Oh, it’ll be released on the first of August,” Lin Xiaoxiao stressed it again.
“Wait a minute,” Chu Qin raised his hand, stopping them from continuing to chat. When everyone turned their gazes to him, he frowned and said, “What do you mean by coming here to have a meal? This is a serious variety show okay?”
“Hahahaha…” A burst of laughter could be heard below stage.
Mu Chen held a fist against his lips to cover up his laughter. Chu Qin glared at him severely and made an exaggerated expression, “This is Shengshi’s first variety show, not first canteen OK? Coming here to eat! I haven’t been a chef for many years already alright?”
The audience laughed so hard they leaned forward. The entire country’s citizens knew that Chu Qin used to study food processing and often called himself a chef. Zhong Yibin stared so hard at this scene that his eyes shone. He could not see such a lively Chu Qin at home, making him feel like this situation was very fresh.
“Alright, stop joking around,” Chu Qin raised the main topic again when everyone had enough of laughing. “As Mu Chen’s movie <Exploring Detective> is about to be realized, we have the fortune of inviting the film emperor to our program to cook.” At this moment, the two words “to cook” became an echo and the words that echoed back was the phrase “not first canteen OK?”
Mu Chen side-eyed him and the audience roared in laughter.
“Would the other actors from the <Exploring Detective> cast come up!” After this announcement, the three other lead actors from the cast went on stage. The actor and two actresses had a small amount of fame but had not reached the level of celebrities with immense popularity.
Chu Qin diligently introduced every cast member before starting the first segment, called “A pot of slow-stewed confusion”. A chef would be invited to demonstrate the process of making the dish, after which the guests would separately complete a part of the process. The eventual dish would then be given to the host to taste.
During the interval when the props were being brought up, Lin Xiaoxiao dragged Chu Qin to a corner. The camera chased both of them, “Qin-ge, just now you said we were Shengshi’s first variety show. Will you be beaten for saying that?”
Chu Qin raised his microphone and innocently pointed to the door, “It was always like that! It’s written on it…”
The camera faced the outside of the recording studio. The door was labelled – first variety recording hall. This shot was projected onto the venue’s large screen.
“Hahahaha…” The audience began to break out into laughter again. The first recording hall could be compared to the title “Year 3 class 1”, it did not have that meaning at all.
However, the truth was that everyone was aware that Friendly Confusion was really Shengshi’s first variety show, whether in terms of ratings of influence. So, even if Chu Qin didn’t explain this statement, the audience didn’t feel like anything was wrong.
The news that Chu Qin was filming while injured had long spread around the broadcasting station and many people waited to watch Chu Qin’s jokes. At a corner the audience couldn’t see, Chen Jiming and two program hosts stood together. The news of Chu Qin being injured had been kept from the audience, the reason for which was estimated to be an unspeakable one. This kind of program had many running and jumping activities, so they were very curious about how Chu Qin would handle it.
As the guests were in the middle of cooking, Chu Qin sat on a high chair and chatted with everyone, “I’ll inform everyone first. The state of my body isn’t very convenient, I can’t do any strenuous exercise, so…” He took the initiative to speak about his body’s condition, surprising many colleagues who had come to see the excitement.
Zhu Chang, who was in a corner, said faintly, “Not convenient, is it that?”
Chu Qin was holding onto a carrot in preparation to cook the dish. Hearing these words, his eyes widened, “What’s that, big pig intestine, make yourself clear!” He handed the carrot to Lin Xiaoxiao and rushed over to that corner with a raised chin. The posture in which Lin Xiaoxiao held the vegetable knife while flinging the carrot was extremely imposing, shocking Zhu Chang to the point where he erupted into loud wails. After being whacked by the carrot, he even let loose a blood-curdling shriek, throwing the stage into chaos.
A few young actors couldn’t help glancing at the three of them messing around, a consequence of which was neglecting some of the chef’s details. As a result, the dish made would stand out and be unpalatable. The unfortunate consequence of which was that the guests themselves would need to finish the dish they cooked.
Mu Chen elegantly polished off a disgusting-looking rib and then indicated for the others to go ahead.
“Chen-ge, I want to know, just how did you force it down?” Chu Qin looked at him with a grin.
“This is much better than the food props I ate during filming!” Mu Chen swallowed the meat.
A costume movie appeared on the big screen. The hero played by Mu Chen and the demon lord concealing his identity were drinking. The two of them drank in a carefree and unrestrained manner, only eating from the plate of peanuts when they chatted.
“Such a big table of dishes, why do you only eat peanuts?” Lin Xiaoxiao pointed to the two heroes on the screen who ate peanuts with matchless confidence and pretended to swing her sleeve, “Still eating with so much style…”
“We filmed for two days during summer. Except for the fried peanuts, all the other dishes turned sour!” Mu Chen made a face as if pained. The screen even showed some after-effects of a group of flies flying around the plates on the table.
Lin Xiaoxiao clicked her tongue twice, “You invited the demon lord to a meal with sour dishes, no wonder he became mortal enemies with you in the end.”
The first section went by very smoothly. During intermission, the host could drink a mouth of water and the audience could freely move around, whether it was going to the toilet or chatting.
Zhong Yibin wanted to go backstage to check on Chu Qin’s rib but was stopped by the young girl seated beside him, “Handsome, are you a fan of Qin-ge too? You never took your eyes off my Qin-ge!”
“Of course,” Zhong Yibin let her look at his phone’s lock screen. It was a private shot of Chu Qin.
“Yi? When was this taken, why don’t I have it?” The little fan curiously stretched forward to look, but the phone was quickly retrieved by Zhong Yibin, preventing her from seeing. This shot was taken by him personally yesterday, of course it would not be available on the internet.
“Hey, it really is our people,” A few classmates rushed up from behind the little girl to greet them. Immediately, someone passed a LED board over, eventually landing in Zhong Yibin’s hands. The board had the two words “Qin-ge” printed on it. There were even sparkling hearts drawn on it.
“Your location is good, you carry it. Later when the camera captures it, it’ll be really impressive!” Several girls were extremely excited. They had discovered a male fan of Qin-ge and it even turned out to be a handsome guy. Such a feat was really not easy.
Zhong Yibin was muddleheaded and continued to hold on to the board. Without waiting for his rejection, the second segment started.
There was always a pattern to the way Confusion operated. If a movie or TV series was being promoted, the second segment would be “It’s dark, please close your eyes.” This was a role-playing game in which the guest and host would carry out a role-play and interpret one of the plots.
<Exploring Detective> was an investigative movie set in China. The movie revolved around a murder case. The truth was revealed bit by bit only to discover in the end that it was a conspiracy engineered by their home country. The movie had elements like deciphering of clues and spying. Its overall style was cool yet hilarious, a commercial film.
The screen first showed a small clip of the movie. When Mu Chen, wearing a long trench coat and black top hat appeared, the fans below the stage started screaming. His expression cold, he followed a police officer to check the corpse. The beautiful female police chief hugged her shoulder, her chin slightly raised, distrustful of this detective who appeared out of nowhere. The detective checked the corpse, donning white gloves to pry open the mouth and eyes. The forensic doctor was at a corner jabbering on and on while the detective’s assistant was vomiting at a corner. There was even a fool in the morgue watching over the road in the middle.
There were too many characters. For entertainment purposes, except for the lead actors, the other actors could not play their own characters.
The responsibility of hosting and directing was delegated to an actress. Originally, of the two actors, one had been the forensic doctor and the other had been the assistant. Chu Qin carefully observed the two of them and said, “The two of you can’t act as your characters. Li Ting, come act as the assistant, Mo Shaoyang can act as…”
In the film, Mo Shaoyan played a small police officer who led the way. Although he didn’t have many parts, he could still be considered the second male lead. Moreover, his appearance was both handsome and sunny. That being said, he was still new to the industry. This time, the program outline had stated to let him act as the forensic doctor. Although there was nothing wrong with this, it did not stand out.
Chu Qin paused for a moment and smiled, “Oh, the program outline said to let him act as the forensic doctor, but I personally feel that he is more suitable to act as the police chief.”
“Hahahaha…” Everyone laughed in unison. The police chief was a beauty. Letting the young and handsome Mo Shaoyang cross-dress as a woman would make things more fun.
Mo Shaoyang’s face turned red and Lin Xiaoxiao, who had been standing at the side, immediately helped him, “Yes, I want to act as the forensic doctor. So it’s decided, Shaoyang you’ll play the police chief.” Saying this, she swapped her character hat with his without any chance for him to protest.
“I’ll act as the assistant!” Another actress raised her hand.
“I’ll act as the fool!” Zhu Chang appeared from the back, vigorously waving the fool’s prop broom around.
“You’re so happy to be playing the fool?” Chu Qin mocked him with eyes full of incredulity, but suddenly gave a laugh, “Wait a moment, all of you snatched all the characters, then I…”
On the screen, all the characters in the original film were circled. After someone mimed an action, the green circles all turned red, leaving a terribly conspicuous circle around the corpse on the bed.
“Hahahahaha…” Seeing Chu Qin’s face of disbelief, everyone reacted and let out peals of laughter.
Chu Qin sullenly curled his mouth, “Then I must play a dead corpse?”
The entire venue burst into laughter and the camera turned towards the audience to capture the reactions of Chu Qin’s fans. The little girls were laughing and cheering for Qin-ge, fervently waving the items in their hands. Only one person seemed especially awkward. He was sitting in the center of the first row. The handsome guy wearing sunglasses, raising an LED board and sporting a head of inch-length hair.
“Pff—” In the recording studio, Teacher Liang sprayed a mouthful of tea all over the screen.
The author has something to say:
Small theater: <Er Bing wants to be a god among the fans>
Fan A: I have Qin-ge’s artistic photos
Fan B: I have Qin-ge’s daily photos
Er Bing: I have Qin-Qin’s nude photos
Fan A and B: …..
Fan A: I have Qin-ge’s figurine merchandise
Fan B: I have Qin-ge’s doll merchandise
Er Bing: I have Qin-Qin’s inflatable doll merchandise
Fan A and B: ….. We admit defeat
 猪大肠:There’s a play on words here, the ‘Zhu’ in Zhu Chang’s name is a homophone for pig and the ‘Chang’ in his name is also a homophone for intestine
 咦: expression of suprise
 Chu Qin called him Shaoyang instead of Shaoyan because ‘Yang’ is sun is Chinese, which matches his sunny appearance
Translator’s corner: This chapter really tested how many ways I could describe people laughing..