Mind my bass while I park the van

Share
Related Topics
I HAVE been up in Edinburgh on the Fringe for a week, and someone said to me the other day: 'A friend of mine here at the Fringe dreads audience participation when he goes to a show. You see, he has an artificial leg and has to sit in the front row to get enough leg-room, but that's where the comedians pick their victims from, so he gets more than his fair share.'

Apart from being a poignant and poetic statement, it is one that you are unlikely to hear anywhere else but Edinburgh, and this has solved a problem for me. I have been wondering how to try to convey the atmosphere of this strange and wonderful festival and I now see that the best way to do it is simply to transmit to you some of the things I have overheard in the last week or so. So here goes.

Man in street, thrusting leaflet at me: 'How would you like to see the first staging of any Martin Amis novel?'

Edinburgh tour guide: 'The average thickness of some Edinburgh walls is more than three feet. The outer foot of that is, usually, composed of compacted Fringe posters.'

Man in street, handing out leaflets: 'Sex and Violence] Sex and Violence] . . . God, isn't anyone interested in sex any more?'

Two friends from Bradford- on-Avon: 'We went to see a Spanish puppet group today, doing Don Quixote in Spanish. Unfortunately, we don't understand Spanish and neither of us knew the story of Don Quixote. But we're sure it was very good.'

Edinburgh tour guide: 'I've brought you here because this is where most of the public beheadings took place, and they were a public entertainment in their day - the Fringe of their time, if you like.'

Japanese tourist, standing in Royal Mile: 'Excuse me, please, you tell me where is Royal Mile?'

Musician, getting double bass out of vehicle: 'Mate, could you just look after this bass while I park the van? Ta.'

Lady in coffee bar: 'There's a French mime group at the Pleasance called Les Macloma, who do things with a piano I have never seen done before.'

Woman, when I answer the telephone at my digs: 'Is Hugh there? Oh. I just wanted to ask him if he could recommend a good basic book on Celtic jewellery . . . I don't suppose you can point me towards one, can you?'

Man in shop, with leaflet: 'Hi - do you want to go out and boogie till 4am? Come to our Fringe club - it's got mellow jazz downstairs and a real feel- the-bass sound upstairs]'

Well-known musician/singer in Cafe Royal bar at about 8pm: 'I finished my show at lunch- time and was so relieved that I have been celebrating ever since. I am now well in my cups.'

Woman with child: 'Some of the children's shows we've been to are a talentless rip-off. I think I'll form a children's theatre group next year and come back with it.'

Overheard in bar: 'I saw him last night at the Gilded Balloon. He wasn't very good. I think I'll go and see him again tonight.'

Man in bar: 'I promised this fabulous Australian girl I met that I would go and see the show she's in. And I did, and it turned out to be a Buddhist adaptation of Peer Gynt, which serves me right, I think.'

Fringe performer: 'We had to turn people away from the show tonight] Unfortunately, it was only because they'd come with tickets for the wrong night.'

Man coming out of the polemical medical show, Struck Off And Die: 'I am now fully determined to cancel my subscription to Bupa.'

Girl in bar: 'Actually, I'm up here doing the light and sound for a jazz revue, but normally I'm a psychiatric nurse at a Northampton hospital.'

Poster for the Edinburgh Highland Games: 'See kilted heavies clash in Scotland's traditional events] Tossing the caber, throwing heavy weights for height . . .'

Woman in bar: 'Our landlord asked us if everything was all right. I didn't like to say that it was a grotty flat and that we were being grossly overcharged, so I contented myself with saying that I couldn't find the teapot. He asked if we were from down south, and I said yes, and he said, well, that would explain it - they didn't have teapots in Scotland, they were quite happy with teabags.'

Sign outside church in London Road: 'We are Open] You are Welcome to Come Inside and Rest, Or Pray.'

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Clean energy should be our mission to the moon

Martin Rees
Angela Merkel and David Cameron say goodbye in the Bundeskanzleramt after their meeting in Berlin, Germany, 29 May 2015  

The complacency of Europhiles could lose them the referendum

Steve Richards
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral