The lost interview with Finchy

Doctor Who, ChapStick and voodoo dolls

For anyone unfamiliar with the show, IGN produces a historical drama series called Prepare To Try. The show, which airs on YouTube as well as IGN’s own site, is the brainchild of three self identified slug-people in the IGN UK office — Daniel Krupa, Gav Murphy and Rory Powers. Premiering in March 2016, Prepare To Try is currently on its third season, with episode five set to release tomorrow. Prior to the start of the current season, I managed to arrange for a friend of mine to sit down with Finchy, the protagonist of season two, which documented the star’s treacherous journey through the Kingdom of Lothric. This was to be his first contribution to my blog, but mysteriously he never returned. It was a hard time. This week, however, I received something strange in the post. It was my friend’s notebook, containing his notes from the Finchy interview. It was certainly a difficult read for me, although as you will see, it does go some way in explaining what happened to him. I have done my best to piece together the story of his meeting with Finchy, complete with transcribed interview. Bold text signifies the interviewer’s questions, with Finchy’s answers shown by an F and his caregiver, Sarah’s responses denoted by S.

I arrive at the Showcase Cinema around ten minutes before I’m due to meet with Finchy. He had chosen the location and I wasn’t convinced it would be suitable, but he had insisted it must be this cinema. We agreed to meet (that is to say, Finchy insisted we meet) on a Wednesday evening, so the multiplex is in full Meerkat Movies mode. The large foyer is very busy with people chatting and there are long queues both at the box office and the refreshments counter. I was concerned that Finchy and I wouldn’t be able to spot each other amidst all the hubbub, but I needn’t have worried. Toward the far end of the room, by the Pick ’n’ Mix stand, I catch sight of a bright light. I work my way through the crowd and gradually I can see more and more of these glowing lights, each as bright as the last, in a multitude of colours. The Pick ’n’ Mix is located in the far corner of the cinema and is mostly quiet, I suspect due to the inordinate prices of Pick ’n’ Mix. Once I’m clear of the crowd, I see him clearly. Finchy is sitting cross-legged on the floor, in the centre of a circle comprised of what I can now see are prism stones. A short way ahead of him is another ring of prism stones. A foul stench fills the air. As I approach, Finchy looks up at me. I am taken aback at just how blue he is. His face, considerably wider than it is tall, is framed by a bob of dark hair and an extremely thin moustache runs along his top lip. His large, bulbous eyes appear to be staring directly through me. He looks from me to the empty ring of prism stones and back again. I realise he is indicating that this is my seat. Before I can sit down, however, I feel a hand on my shoulder. Completely transfixed by the creature before me, I had failed to notice there was another person there. I turned to see the owner of this hand and was greeted by a woman in her middle-age. She has shoulder length blonde hair and kind eyes, but more than anything, this woman looks tired. She introduces herself as Sarah and explains she looks after Finchy. She also says she will serve as an interpreter of sorts because Finchy sometimes struggles to put things into words. “Oh, and I apologise for the smell,” she adds. “It’s those clothes.” Finchy is wearing what I recognise from the show to be the Armour of the Sun, a set of chain-mail armour topped by a white coat featuring the iconic Warriors of Sunlight crest. “He found them in Lothric and has refused to take them off ever since. He even sleeps in them — I just can’t get at them to give them a wash,” Sarah explains. I thank her and sit down opposite Finchy. I introduce myself and offer my hand, but Finchy doesn’t take it. Instead he holds his hands out in front of him and invites me to touch them to see how tacky they are. I oblige and tell him they are very tacky indeed and this seems to please him. Sarah tells me this means he likes me and I am now free to start the interview.

Finchy, thank you for meeting with me. This is certainly an unusual place to conduct an interview. Does this cinema hold some sentimental value for you?

F: What is cinema?

S: Finchy likes to come here and look at the Pick ’n’ Mix sweets. He doesn’t actually know it’s a cinema. We’ve been asked to leave several times because he doesn’t buy sweets. He fills the sweet boxes with prism stones. Usually the staff are alright, but after a few hours they ask him to buy something or leave.

I can immediately see why an interpreter is required. Finchy seems to think that this concludes the interview as he starts getting up. Sarah explains to him that interviews usually consist of more than one question. Somewhat reluctantly, Finchy sits back down.

There is some ambiguity over the accuracy of Prepare To Try. How much of what goes on in the show actually happened and how much, if any, is embellished?

F: My face hurts.

S: He says that the show is mostly accurate to real life. The biggest change is that on his quest, Finchy used a lot more prism stones than is presented in the show. Often, it would take it far longer than necessary to reach his destination because he would be placing a trail of prism stones behind him all the time.

Is that so you could find your way back should you need to?

F: Every moment I live is agony.

S: He doesn’t understand the question. He says that prism stones are bright and colourful and delicious and, at only 10 souls each, a real bargain.

Finchy reaches into his pocket and pulls out a fistful of prism stones. He takes one between his fingers and licks it. His tongue looks strangely dry and rough. After licking the prism stone, he puts it back in his pocket. He proceeds to do this with every stone he has. The process takes around ten minutes.

Fans of the show have really grown attached to you. Did you ever expect this kind of fame and how would you say it’s changed you?

F: Do you want to be in my movie?

S: He doesn’t understand the question. He says that prism stones are bright and colourful and delicious and, at only 10 souls each, a real bargain.

There has been some speculation of late that perhaps the Finchy we saw in season one of Prepare of Try is actually your cousin. This of course dispels the theory that you regenerate like The Doctor. Can you confirm if this is true?

F: Doctor who?

Yes, that’s right.

F: I am Finchy. Who is Doctor Yes That’s Right?

No, Doctor Who.

F: My doctor is called Dr Lollipop.

S: No, Finchy, your doctor is Dr Wheeler. She gives you a lollipop when you see her, doesn’t she?

So, Finchy is your cousin?

F: Cousin Finchy isn’t a doctor.

I’ll take that as a yes. Perhaps you could tell me more about your friend Sarah?

F: I’m not supposed to eat the old mashed potato from the bins.

S: I used to work as a dinner lady where Finchy went to school. He didn’t have too many friends at school. He mostly spent break times near the dumpsters at the back of the kitchen. He would try and find any mashed potato that had been thrown out and he would eat it from the bins. I found him doing it and told him not to and after that, he just wanted to spend break times and lunch times with me. I think his parents struggled with him a bit so when it came time for him to leave school, they brought me on full time. I’m a live-in caregiver now. Kind of like a full time nanny, but obviously it’s a bit different given that Finchy is an adult now. He doesn’t actually need a caregiver, but he gets upset if I’m not there.

As she tells me the story of how she joined the Finchy family, I can see the tiredness behind her eyes. Clearly this task has taken its toll on Sarah.

As I understand, the upcoming season of Prepare To Try will focus on your father’s adventures through the old city of Yarnham. Are you excited to see the stories you’ve no doubt heard countless times come to life?

F: Have you got any ChapStick?

Expecting a translation, I look to Sarah.

S: He wants to know if you’ve got any ChapStick.

Oh. Of course, yeah here you go.

Finchy immediately unwinds the ChapStick to its full length and starts applying it to his teeth.

S: Finchy, stop putting it on your teeth.

F: Is this butterscotch?

S: Stop eating it. I’ve told you, it doesn’t taste what it smells like.

F: Hmm, it might. Hair fudge does.

S: Stop eating it!

It’s no use. Finchy, his teeth now coated in ChapStick, has eaten the entire stick.

F: What’s your favourite flavour? Mine’s maximum hold.

Sarah is clearly embarrassed. She apologises and I let her know it’s fine. I just want to get back to the interview.

How do you find working with Daniel, Gav and Rory? Do you get on well with the three of them?

At the sound of these names, Finchy recoils and hides behind his tacky blue hands.

S: I wouldn’t mention those three to him, he gets frightened. I’ve met the three of them and they seem alright, but Finchy is convinced they have a voodoo doll of him that they are planning to use to kill him. It’s a bit of a sore point.

Clearly the interview is a disaster. I try to get back to the question about the new season.

So are you excited for the new season? I’m sure your father has told you all about his adventures in Yarnham.

F: Father!

Finchy shouts this as though beckoning his father to him. He takes a small bell from his pocket and begins to ring it. I try to ask the question again but Finchy isn’t responding. He is just ringing his little bell. After a short while, there is a strange sound and looking around, I see tall man in long black coat and a woman’s bonnet. He wears a monocle and has bright yellow mutton-chops. This, clearly, is Finchy’s father, Finchy Sr. Where Finchy Jr’s skin is tacky, Finchy Sr’s appears to be covered in a thick layer of grease. As he strolls past me, I can see my reflection in his shiny face. He reaches his son, whereupon Finchy Jr runs his finger along his father’s cheek and uses the grease found there to apply to his dry, chapped lips. A few steps behind Finchy Sr is a doll, wearing an identical bonnet. Finchy Sr spots me.

F Sr: You there! Are you troubling my boy?

No, sir. In fact, I was just asking if he was excited to see your —

I am unable to finish. Finchy Sr has stepped toward me and grabbed me by the face. I can feel the grease on his fingers. He struggles to maintain a proper grip as his fingers simply slide right off of my face. Eventually he gets a good hold and he stares directly into my eyes. I am unsure how much time is passing. I hear Sarah crying out, but it as as if I am hearing this from the end of a long tunnel, or perhaps from the other side of a dream. My surroundings begin to blur and run together and soon all I can see with any clarity is the monocled eye of Finchy Sr. I feel changes within my body that I do not understand. My bones begin to feel rubbery and my palms are sweating profusely. Gradually the sweat on my palms thickens. I rub my hands together to try and get rid of this tar like substance that seems to be coating them but I cannot get it off. It is sticky. My palms stick together. I bring my fingers to other parts of my body and it is the same all over, although nowhere as extreme as my palms. There is a tackiness to them. My tongue feels as if it’s turning to stone. My face feels wet. Except for my lips. My lips are exceptionally dry. I can feel my cheeks stretching…

My face hurts…

Every moment I live is agony…

Have you got any ChapStick?

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