Life Lesson #47 – Second Time Lucky

Today, I saw a woman dressed as Tom Jones’ long lost brother take her clothes off. Including the ‘tache.It all started a year ago, when I missed two flights and three shows in one day (if you’re feeling low on schadenfreude you can read the full story here). Those shows were in Edinburgh, at the famous annual Fringe Festival. And today I’m making up for it by going back.

You can’t miss the fringe on the Royal Mile
I know of many wonderful acts that first ‘made it’ here at the fringe, including Tim Minchin. And last year Margaret Cho was here. So I’ve got high hopes.

The only trouble is that I’ve miscalculated a little. I didn’t actually realise the Fringe was opening this weekend until after I’d booked my train tickets up. And we’re leaving on the Skye High trip with HAGGiS Adventures first thing tomorrow. So tonight is our only chance to catch anything, and I sure don’t want to miss out two years in a row!

It’s midnight when we arrive in Edinburgh, and we’re tired after a full day at work. But the vibe on the Royal Mile is fantastic, it’s really pumping. I’m determined not to miss the fringe for a second year in a row, so we check the festival guide to find out what’s playing tonight, the night before opening, after midnight. Slim pickings.

We settle on a little comedy show featuring a straight-laced comedian and his crazy girlfriend. (Or at least, I think she was his girlfriend?)

When she walks into the room, there are four of us in the audience. Two quiet Asian girls, plus Paul and I. She has rosy cheeks, a blonde wig with pigtails, a cowgirl outfit (including boots), and is attempting to hold a true blue Texan accent.

She sings an angry country song about her ex-husband, directing every scathing word at Paul. At one point, she asks him angrily who he’s in love with, the Asian girl to his right, or me. It’s clearly meant to be insulting. He points at me. She looks horrified!

At the time I wasn’t quite sure why she looked so horrified… but it became clear moments later when she started taking her clothes off. For an audience of four with zero interested persons.

I’m not quite sure when stripping became comedy? Actually it still hasn’t. The show just wasn’t funny. We felt sorry for them most of the time. But they didn’t actually do any stand-up. Although he did climb through a tennis racket, and she demonstrated a Grace Jones’ flair for hula hooping.

The lowest point, by far, was when she came out dressed as a man. In a thick Welsh accent, she explained she was Tom Jones’ brother Tim. Then she stripped down until she just had little hearts covering her special bits. It’s the sort of moment tumbleweed was invented for.

There was a swallowed sword and a fake argument. But nothing could raise this dismal failure, particularly not the presenters begging the audience to drop enough in the hat for a kebab.

We spent the whole time wishing it would be funny, but just left confused. Though I was slightly less gutted about missing the Fringe last year!