Saturday, 11 April 2009


The Land of NO (Edinburgh) hasn't disappointed so far on this trip. Pretty much anything I wanted in my 16 hours of being here has been denied. The coke machine at the airport took my money but kept my coke (Mark Thomas must be laughing in his grave), the bus going in to the centre of Edinburgh doesn't drop people off in, get this, the centre of Edinburgh, the WiFi in my hotel room is not available in my hotel room, the newsagents right by the hotel closed early just the very second that I arrived at their door.

My favourite NO of yesterday was the hotel room itself. Is there room to swing a very, very small cat in here? NO. I went down to reception to see if I could be moved from my cabin and in to an actual room. The lady at reception said "You'd like a free upgrade? Of course". I was delighted and shocked that I'd got a YES in Edinburgh. Good on you, Thistle Hotel. "Oh, no. We can't do that". There we go. That's the Edinburgh I know.

It actually becomes a game in Edinburgh. I like it when they say NO. It's like they want to keep all the lovely Edinburgh things to themselves and refuse to give any of it away. It's actually slightly disappointing when they say YES. It means you're denied their wonderful of excuse of why they can't provide you with what you want. Years ago during the festival, I tried to persuade Muki to try an Irn-Bru so we went to a newsagents in Nicholson Street. They had every soft drink that's ever existed and some that only appear in dreams but no Irn-Bru. When I asked where their Irn-Bru was the shopkeeper said "We used to sell it but there was never a call for it". Never a call for Irn-Bru in Scotland. Try as they might, that Guinness thing just refuses to take off in Ireland.

The gig was a bit of a NO itself. Well, the first half was anyway. Even before the show started we were warned that one of the Hen Parties had started a fight. When I walked on stage I was pretty much immediately heckled with "Yido" which is both utterly offence and incorrect. Just before bringing on the first act, a man walked right past the stage. This meant him actually having to move tables to get in between the front row and the stage. The aisle in the middle of the room just wasn't for him. I asked him if he was OK but he only replied with staring at me and not talking. He wasn't giving me a hard-man stare, he just forgot how to talk. I think he had drink taken. During the interval there was a cake fight and three parties were thrown out. Bizarrely, the second half was actually pretty good. It totally turned around when most of the cunts had been removed. There might be something in that.

Still, I got a bit drunk afterwards. That was nice. Edinburgh is a great drinking town. Pretty much the one thing they always say YES to is booze. Lovely. Because my mind has gone, I'm now off to City Cafe to sit for hours waiting to be served. It's traditional.

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