Booze and the Comedy Fringe
Hey everyone! I've got lots of stuff coming up in the next few days including some mad photos, and another celebrity sighting. Actually, I'll give that to you now. Seth Green was running around the Underbelly at Bristo Square, wearing a mad hat. I think he thought it was a pork pie, but I thought it was more of the ooom-pah German band variety.
If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm at @AdamandtheKants. I will do my best to see some of the recommendations I have had from some really lovely CDAN readers!
But on to the drinking…
The best way of conveying the drinking experience in Edinburgh is to break down the categories of drinkers I see here every year. These are the main ones (if I have missed any, please feel free to add in the comments):
The students- They’ve saved up all year to afford a trip in which 17 of them share a studio flat for 4 days. They take up vast amounts of space (usually in front of the whole length of the bar) in a circle passing one pint around amongst all 17 of them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are sober though. They all downed 4 litres of 99pence White Lightening Super-Strength alcoholic cider (11.4% alcohol). Each. They are the ones whose vomit you will slip on later tonight.
The cultured continentals- these immaculately-dressed Europeans sit drinking expensive wine in beautiful little cafes. And they stop after a glass or two, because they drink to enjoy the taste, not to get drunk. Don’t ask me how they do this, I’m just as confused as you.
The first-time Americans- Now hold your horses, ‘Muricans. I am not saying that you can’t hold your drink. Many of you can. I am talking about the first timers who don’t understand how much stronger the beer can be over here. There’s an old joke that explains this: ‘American beer is like sex in a canoe…fucking close to water.’ Your Schlitz malt liquor is a lite beer over here. Most of these people will end up having at least 5-6 pints a night (even through the shows). You do the math. These people will be the ones making the unintelligible heckles and spilling their pints down your back when they trip over the speaker and lighting wires that are all over the place at the venues.
The whisky drinkers- Couldn’t tell you, because every time I seen them out (when I am drinking whisky) I don’t remember a thing.
The performing comedians- They are the most interesting lot. They all love a good drink. As the festival month progresses, they get more and more knackered, ill, pale (or yellow-tinged, depending on the fortitude of their livers). Yet they keep drinking. And drinking. The cumulative toll the drinking takes on them is most obvious in how they come out on the stage. On August 2nd, they bound out like Tigger on meth. By the 15th they walk out slowly carrying a bottle of water, slightly shaking their heads, silently reproving themselves for being so stupid by having ANOTHER night out till 3am but their hands were tied, because the rumor was Daniel Kitson was really going to show up at THIS party. By the 24th, they will be dragging themselves on stage, with the raw desperation and speed of a mother who’s just had a car accident in the middle of nowhere, paralysed herself, and still has to get up a hill to save her baby before the car explodes into flames.
The locals- Hard drinkin’ lovable bastards, the lot of them. For god’s sake, do not clog up their local pubs with your backpacks, your maps, and your complaining-about-the-smell-of-cigarette-smoke.
The rest of us- Drink too much Heineken/Staropramen on draft, and at the end of it, vow to never drink beer again. Till the train ride home, that is.