28 days later
Dateline Monday 31st August 2015
The last day of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In previous years I haven’t bothered going through on the Monday and today I saw why, the place was dead!
As mentioned previously I did a turn at The Old Men in Black show, it was fairly well attended and a good show except for one couple who seemed to really have an issue with the change in tone from Les and Rod to Me.
Les and Rod do comedy in a very gentle fashion whereas I just go onstage and “kick your back door in” and this couple were horrified, everyone else seemed to enjoy it, but these two looked very uncomfortable indeed.
After the show I offered flyers to each audience member as they departed and all of them took a flyer saying they enjoyed the show, etc, except these two, who looked at me as if I had actually “kicked their back door in! The guy was absolutely livid, I thought he was going to punch me!
But he didn’t, he just glared at me, grabbed his wife by the arm and fucked off!
I shouted after them saying “visit my website, it’s for people just like you”
I don’t think they heard me they were halfway out the door.
Me and the Old Guys, Les and Rod and a pal of theirs, Ron, who is a retired customs and excise officer (I am keeping some really bad company this weather) went downstairs and had a beer and it was great fun!
We sat and chatted and told stories. I regaled them with tales from my travels and the people I have met and the stories they told me.
The following story I heard from the wonderful actor that is; Robin Laing (aka DI Donald in River City) a couple of years ago and it’s well worth repeating here:
The story concerned Frankie Howerd
Frankie Howerd really needs no introduction however, for the benefit of younger readers; Frankie was one of Britain’s most famous and well-loved comedians back in the day. What was not widely known, however, probably because it was illegal back then, is that Frankie was a rampant carousing homosexual – he quite literally would “kick your back door in”! Oooer Missus.
Anyway sometime in the 1960’s, or something like that, Frankie was doing a summer season at an English seaside town and whilst there he stayed in a guest house or what we now refer to as a B&B.
Early on in his stay Frankie came back to the B&B after the show with a young man and they both went upstairs to Frankie’s room, after a few minutes the land-lady burst in, to find both men in bed, and went totally tonto!
“Mr Howerd, what the devil is going on here? I will not allow this in my establishment”
She dragged the young stranger out of bed and threw him out in the street half-dressed.
She then addressed a very embarrassed and apologetic Frankie;
“Mr Howard, that is disgusting! I will not have that sort of thing here in my guest house! This is a respectable establishment. It takes years to build a good reputation in my business and I will not under any circumstances allow you to destroy that reputation do you understand Me, Mr Howerd?”
Frankie was defensive and apologetic but also shitting himself because in the 1960’s, if the Police were called, he was in serious trouble.
The land-lady continued:
“Do not try to sneak any more young men in here again Mr Howerd because I will know what you are up to. I have lived downstairs in this house for thirty years and I know every creak and foot fall on those stairs, so if you come in here with someone else I will hear the footsteps and you will both be out on your ear, do I make myself clear, Mr Howerd?”
Frankie held his hands up and stuttered “Phew, Yes Missus, I apologize, tsk, I don’t know what I was thinking, I’m under a lot of stress you see, I assure you, it won’t happen again”
And that was that, until the next night.
Frankie came home after the show with another young man and they went into the B&B together as quietly as they could, they tip-toed along the hallway then came to the bottom of the stairs.
Frankie, remembering what the land-lady had said about footsteps on the stairs, gestured for the young man to get up onto his back so that only one set of footsteps would be heard going up the stairs, the young man got onto Frankie’s back and Frankie started to climb the stairs.
As Frankie got half way up, the landlady opened the door to her quarters, which was at the foot of the stairs and came out into the hallway.
She looked up the stairs and just as Frankie turned around with the young man on his back the landlady stood, slowly shaking her head in disbelief, then said in a shocked voice:
“Mr Howerd, No! Oh Please No! Not Cripples!”
That’s it for another year
Anyway I did my show in front of a nice audience tonight and that’s that!
I picked up my bucket and my CD player and made my way, for one last ride on the tram, back to Ingliston.
As I was walking toward the tram stop at around 9pm, I was going away from the castle, everyone else was going toward the castle for the Fireworks.
I didn’t see the fireworks but I heard them from the Park and Ride as I walked toward my car.
I got in my car, turned the key and headed back west thinking 2015 has been a great Fringe!
See you all in 2016.