Fringe Day 19: Sticking It To ‘Em

Every year everyone finds their own special fringe moment that makes them fondly remember the oddities of the year for one reason or another. Tom’s one this year was seeing a man cry by himself,on a waltzer, which I still can’t stop smirking at whenever I think of it. I saw Celia Paquola today who told of seeing a man on the Royal Mile last year punch a flyer by accident when trying to put his coat on. Brilliant. These sort of moments and the extent to which they make you smile or laugh are often an indication that the festival is nearly over and your brain needs to seek some sort of solace in the banal. My moment happened yesterday. Walking through the Meadows with Tom we passed two small boys selling stick insects. They could not have been more than nine or ten years old, and yet holding a small hand drawn sign and three jars full of stick insects they were attracting more attention than any of the musicians or performance artists. Standing there shouting phrases like ‘ Only three left, they’re very easy to look after’ with a level of confidence that would have sold ice creams to Eskimos. I’m fairly sure Eskimos, or Inuits to be correct, do eat ice creams, but a better analogy is lost on me right now. Its like I’ve got less analogies than er….hmm…oh. What I’m trying to say is that their entrepreneurial skills were to be admired. When I returned to the Meadows only 45 minutes later, they were gone, so I assume all the stick insects had been sold. I couldn’t see them giving up and leaving. They were clearly the most determined people at the Fringe yesterday and I hope they return next year. Perhaps, it will catch on and several children will start selling things like homemade lemonade and old toys until the Fringe is transformed into a street from a 1950’s comedy.

Yes, that story doesn’t really have an end. No, nothing in particular happened. But I liked it. This could well be an indicator of my mind set at the moment. Having passed through week one in sheer excitement and enjoyment, then week two of mind numbing wall hitting despair, I am now in week three. The final week. This week is for not caring. We are on the final stretch as of today and I am just going to do what I want for the week, see shows, go out every night and generally not care one iota. I’m still not sure what an iota is, but I really don’t care about them. I assume its a state in the US. I have figured out all the things I don’t like about the fringe and there is little I can do about them ie the heat in my venue etc etc (everyone complains about this every year and yet still it appears to be totally overlooked. I can only assume the venue managers are cannibals and want everyone to be slightly steam boiled for self feeding purposes). I’m honestly not sure what I’ll get out of this fringe and any possibilities of it leading to anything are slowly being drained from my mind set, so therefore, apathetic Tiernan has been created as a combat to such things. I like to think its a bit like those supervillian stories whereby some incident transforms them to become a metal faced wearing megalomaniac. Well this year, the fringe has generally made me care less about most things. I will rapidly transform into Apathy Boy, the most useless of all super powered beings. ‘Help me Apathy Boy, my dog’s trapped in a well or something’ will be responded to with ‘Give a care’ and then a series of sighs before I flick through all the television channels several times over and fall asleep sitting up. My costume will consist of a mask that’s only half coloured in and only has one eye cut out, a cape made from a towel and whatever pants I’m wearing at the time. My arch enemy will be anyone who actually can be arsed to do anything. I might draw this today. Joy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still having hella fun. This is merely stage three of fringe mind set. Psychologists would have a field day up here. Then after they’ve stopped mucking about in the fields they’d probably get some good research done. By September we’ll all be back to normal, trudging the roads to gig to all sorts, missing the fringe and wondering how to throw away £8-10k next year. But as for now, this week, the T shall just very much do what he wants to do. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll start selling stick insects in the Meadows. Or perhaps I should try and branch out? Branch? Eh? Eh? Geddit? Sigh. Stupid fringe.

End note – I went to a nightclub last night. For ten minutes. Then I left. Despite paying an entrance fee. I am clearly old.

Oh and Tim Fitzhigham’s show is brilliant. FACT.