Having survived, virtually unscathed, last weekend’s visit from our drinking buddies from Oxford – fortunately the attempt at a late-night Brian ‘n Bongos sesssion was thwarted by Shaun who would not tell me where the bongos in question were hidden [good thinking, Shaun: “Mum & Dad have gone out to a party with a free bar – better hide the bongos”]; and, obviously, we can’t use that same taxi company for a while – I felt strong enough the other day to take up Fat Mac on his offer of going to a few shows in the Fringe.
Of course, we didn’t get to a single show, but neither did we get, as Lindsey was half expecting, rat-arsed. Mac and I sat in St Andrew Square for an hour, drinking a coffee whilst amazing ourselves at how busy Edinburgh was this time of year and collecting flyers for potential shows from the student distributors, and then Mac announced that he was in extreme pain from his latest disease – sinusitis. I know from the experience of others how debilitating sinusitis can be, so it was with some sympathy that I accompanied Mac back to his flat where he proceeded to swallow a whole packet of painkillers and then squirt a £6 bottle of medicinal seawater up his nose.
After his pills kicked in, there was little difference in sitting there listening to Mac rant on and on about anticapitalistism, how Corbyn would be the saviour of the proletariat, and how the SNP will nationalise the Internet, except that when he does this after drinking 10 pints of Guinness he drools from the mouth whilst ranting, whereas on this occasion most of the bodily fluids were issuing from his nose. After two pots of tea and a failed attempt to watch, through Mac’s grimy kitchen window, the batsman playing on the adjacent Grange cricket pitch scoring a century, I made my excuses and left Mac with the remainder of his second box of kleenex.
The way to enjoy and remember any show in the various Edinburgh festivals is probably to not meet Fat Mac beforehand. This is what I did today, when I went to see Ferdinand Mount talk about ‘Epic History of the British in India’.
I wrote briefly about Mount’s recently published book in a post on this blog in May. Today, he was very entertaining and the event was a sellout.