Today’s piece of interactive street theatre on my jaunt down to the venue was truly remarkable. A couple of middle-aged men more or less pushed in front of me on the pavement as I strode down the hill next to Greyfriar’s Bobby. They were wheeling behind them a small suitcase each - the sort of size you’d probably be able to take on to a flight as hand luggage. It seemed slightly odd to me that they were bothering to wheel these in a pedestrian-heavy part of Edinburgh - the hardest thing about crossing town on foot is negotiating the crowds, so carrying an item of luggage that small would definitely be the way to go. And from the way the bags were bumping along I don’t think they were full of gold bars or anything heavy. It seemed more like a dick move from two men who fancied themselves to assert that they were the alpha males on this pavement.
My guess was proven correct as coming up the hill was a party of school kids who I’d guess were from Europe, and if you forced me to guess further I’d say, why are you forcing me into this kind of judgement, but seeing you are, I think they’re Spanish. They were considerate enough to move into single file and walk right along the wall of the churchyard to let these bullies pass, but the men were not even prepared to move their suitcases to their right hands, so they’d be on the road side and just bouldered on without altering their course. The man at the back’s suitcase was hitting the kids and bouncing upwards (again suggesting it was practically empty). It was a hard case and as it caught up on probable Spanish limbs the man just pulled harder and stayed on the same line. The kids protested, but not too much, because I suppose they were worried that this needless act of aggression was a precursor to more and that anyone who dared challenge this 50 something man who was bullying children would get something much worse.
At one point the suitcase got entwined with a maybe Spanish (could have been Portuguese or Finnish, stop assuming people’s nations based on their skin and hair colour you racist) kid’s umbrella. And still the suitcase was yanked onwards without a backwards look of an apology.
I was so angry about this cuntish behaviour that I was considering being the one who rose to the bait and chastised this man. But I’d only seen him from behind and wanted to assess how hard his punches would be, if he was carrying a weapon (aside from the suitcase) or if I could out run him. Was he a Scottish gangster of some kind for whom the rules of polite society were an inconvenience.
In the end I got ahead of him and thought about trying to get his photo so I could put an angry post about him on social media from a distance. But I’d crossed the road now and there was a van in the way and he’d stopped hitting kids (though had noticeable made way for a burly looking Scottish guy who’d been approaching behind them) and so I left it.
Pretty impressive to be the most obnoxious person in Edinburgh in August and not be publicising a show. But maybe this was his show. It was quite entertaining to see kids being knocked about like skittles on their holiday.
Had a lovely time chatting to even more focused and driven comedy geniuses. This Fringe is really making me appreciate how fortunate I am to have got as far as I have and as OK as I am at this, how I am lacking in that extra sprinkle of something extraordinary that marks out the comedy greats. I’m cool with it.
Spencer Jones, Janey Godley and Ashley Storrie are all blessed with a divine madness and it was a delight to research them and to chat with them. The podcast should be on your feeds imminently if it isn’t already.
Tickets for Spencer Jones here
See his brilliant TV show here
Info for Janey Godley’s Fringe show here
Info for Ashley Storrie here
All Fringe and tour links for RHLSTP here
Buy Emergency Questions books and RHLSTP stickers and monthly badges here