I am officially in love with Augie Fash, yo-yo master and incredibly good sport, who doesn’t use his powers for evil. He is the best at interviews. In honor of him, we should all go to the National Yo-yo Competition on Saturday, September 5th, in the downtown city plaza.
I was really disappointed to find out the yo-yo weapon thing was a myth. I had all sorts of questions about what you could or couldn’t kill with one, whether you carry them in holsters for self defense, if you’ve ever been in an after-hours yo-yo fight club, etc. Was that ever something people in the yo-yo world believed, or just us philistines? (Surely you’ve heard the thing I’m referring to; I believe it was posited on a Mountain Dew commercial.)
I think a lot of people in the yo-yo world believe(d) it. But how can you not? It’s kind of like believing in the possibility of winning the lotto. Even if it’s far-fetched, we want it to be true. Who wouldn’t want yo-yo’s history to involve badass tribesmen of eons past, hunting wild gorillas with yo-yos? Even if it’s too good to be true, I want it to be true.
That said, I’m pretty sure if you hit someone hard enough with it, it would hurt. So yes, maybe a weapon. Will have to experiment and get back to you on that.
Do you think it could become a thing now? Vigilante yo-yo justice league? Your calling card could be yelling YO! and then hitting people in the face when they turn to look.
I don’t know if justice in the future involves blindsiding people in the face with yo-yos, but if it does, I’m going into law enforcement pronto.
There’s even a Japanese movie called Yo-yo Girl Cop. This girl’s got chains on yo-yos, [with the] prototypical skimpy, demeaning super-heroine outfit on. Hitting bad guys right in the face with metal-spiked yo-yos.
So I feel like that could definitely happen. Since it’s apparently already happening in Japan, give us five years or so to catch up.
Whaaaat? Is that on netflix?
I hope not! It sounds cool, but I wouldn’t exactly call the film A-grade entertainment.
So how long have you been doing this?
I’ve been yo-yoing since fall ‘97/spring ‘98. So over 15 years. I’ve already been yo-yoing longer than some of the world champions have been alive. Crazy.
Wow! What is the national yo-yo competition like? Walk me through your preparation as a competitor.
Egg whites and chicken hearts. Jumping jacks and crunches.
If that’s what you need to build up the cardio to get the lung power you need so you don’t hyperventilate when you get nervous on stage, then sure. But I feel like that’d be more of a rural thing. Maybe Turkestanian players.
I almost said “Kazakhstanian,” but then I remembered I have a good yo-yo friend from Kazakhstan.
So in major competitions, there are two rounds to prepare for; both rounds are live in front of an audience and set to the background music of your choice—i.e., you hear a lot of crappy dubstep.
The first is one minute, and acts as a preliminary. Participants tend to go hyper-fast and cram as many tricks and points into their one-minute round as they can. Consistency rules all in this round, as a couple minor mistakes will quickly knock you out of the contest.
Second round is the final round and lasts for three minutes. This round tends to be more of a well-rounded performance. Technicality, variety, presentation, choreography, and cohesiveness are all things needed to win the final competition.
Are you competing this year or are you retired?
I’m sitting this year out, but I’m only semi-retired. The last time I competed in the National Contest was 2009. In 2010-2011, I was touring across China promoting yo-yos during the event, and last year I was a judge.
Damn! Do you get a lot of yo-yo groupie poon’? Do they snap back immediately for more when you toss them aside?
What’s poon? Is that something sexual?
Lol, poontang. It’s fun to say.
I’m a nice boy! I just want to hold hands and watch rom-coms. No poonany, lol. But really, it’s just like anything. Yo-yo is a good icebreaker for meeting people, but it’s not something I use to try to get other people into the buff.
It really deteriorates from here: Do you listen to a lot of Yo Yo Ma to get hyped? Do you get tired of yo-yo puns?
Yo Yo Ma is a true artist! But not one well-suited for getting pumped up. I listen to hip-hop because it helps me feel more confident, even if deep down I know I’m a chubby white kid from the suburbs.
I had a similar question about Yo Gabba Gabba, but it was only one yo, so I went with the cellist. I also have some questions that I wanted our writer Mike to ask Laidback Luke, but he wasn’t able to; can I ask you?
Have you ever laid back so far you hurt yourself?
Did you have to dress up like a robot to work on the Daft Punk remix album? How about a remix of a robot, like a cyborg?
I wasn’t required to dress up like a robot, but it did help me get in the right mood. Kind of how laying rose petals in a perfectly warm bath helps lead to… reading your favorite romantic novel while crying into your now-empty pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Could you beat a robot in a fight?
I’m confident I could beat a robot in a fight. If I had a weapons locker.
Who’s a better musician: you, or your (Laidback Luke’s) wife, Gina Turner?
More importantly, we make beautiful music, together. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
Could you beat her in a fight?
I’d win in a bar fight, but she’d win in a breakdance battle. Her hips don’t lie.
Ladies and Gentlemen—Augie Fash.