The Best Friend and I have just made a pilgrimage to Edinburgh. Our idea of a good time is to spend three days sweating it out in a Scottish dungeon along with a hundred or so other people, all perspiring away in slightly damp pack-a-macs. We have the aroma or damp dogs in search of a good laugh.
If Best Friend were a damp dog, she would definitely opt to be a yellow Labrador. It’s so crowded at the #Edinburgh festival this year. We schlep from venue to venue on our well planned mission for humour; she a pace in front of me, me with my hand on her shoulder, weaving our way through the throngs of other people who have also taken on the aroma of wet dogs just for laughs. “Good dog” I say as she stops to narrate the sights.
Before we are in The Royal Mile looking for Winalot, I hear a voice I recognise. “Is that The Tech?” I put out there.
“Who’s that?” comes the reply from the man next to me. Then he recognises the voice. “OH. Hello,” he says. We stop for a chat and a catch up.
The sights may be wonderful in Edinburgh, but the sounds of the city offer their own delights.
As we make our way up the road I hear a voice say,” God, I thought this was supposed to be edgy. It’s just heavy.”
“Wow! That’s the voice of youth in the midst of an existential crisis.”
“No. That’s the torture of dragging a very large suitcase up a hill.”
This is the reason we only pack what we can carry on our backs, and some of that we plan to throw away. We are the only people I know who save up old clothes, at the end of their wearable life, for our holidays. This was my idea. She says it was hers.
We sit down for a tea and consider our options. A very tall man brandishing leaflets approaches us. “Are you ladies interested in classical music?” he asks.
“I’m sorry. We’re spoken for,” I say.
“He’s not talking to you,” mutters Best Friend under her breath. Too late. I have muscled my way into a conversation I didn’t want to have in the first place.
As we perspire our way through #Ahir Shah’s existential crisis of class, race and culture clash, Best Friend is overcome. She produces a fan from her bag and is occupied with vigorous flapping in an effort to create her own micro climate. She flaps herself into a standstill as she wonders if his existential angst may have inadvertently become my existential angst. Has he bet on a laugh that will be funny to everyone in the room but me?
Is it really alright to make people laugh about the lunacy of racism by setting it against the not so funny anomaly of albinism? Best Friend can breathe easy again. Context is everything. One is amused. Watch the show. I ‘m not going to explain it here.
We make our progression through musical drama, ventriloquy,, #Fern Brady, #Olga Koch, #Mums Great Comfort Food and walk and talk ourselves into a stupor. We didn’t even have a row.
As we pack up to leave, doubt creeps in. We hover, underwear in hand, over the bin, wondering if we should abandon old clothes in a rented room in Edinburgh or take them home again. What has come over us?
Three days hanging about in dunguns has undermine my reasoning. Why can’t I let go? What does it mean? I am having an existential crisis. It’s not about class or race or skin colour. It’s about my pants.