— Boil those stones!
That was Alison’s advice to me yesterday morning. I’ve a bit in my new show that involves me filling my mouth with stones, so I got up this morning and collected some from the park across the road. I got a selection of sizes, but as it turns out, my mouth is smaller than I imagined. I taught Alison the Hemlich Manourve, and gave her express permission to break my ribs if she deems it necessary. I made some rock soup and stuck them in a sock for safe keeping.
When we were flyering I met some scouts and showed them my belt [a scout belt] and they were really excited. Scouts is like a secret society except everyone knows about it and we get rained on more than other SS’s. Another troop walked by and I flashed my belt at them too, but I don’t think they understood and must’ve thought I was just showing them my belly. They jettisoned our flyer to the breeze a few seconds later, which was very un-scoutlike of them. That wasn’t courteous, or kind. It wasn’t even thrifty!
Also I saw a info-giving guy who had maps stuffed down the back of his trousers, presumably to hand to tourists. He looked some some kind of cartographic bird of paradise.
I didn’t do the rocks-in-the-mouth routine today, because my phone wouldn’t read my SD card so I couldn’t play the track that goes over it. Since my phone was set up to play the pre-show music, the only thing I could play was a theme tune for a sitcom Giles wrote about substitute teachers. Bobby from No Monster Club wrote the song, and I’d obviously downloaded it to my phone’s internal memory. It was only a minute long, so I had to play it like five times. It was that, or play a crummy recording of one of my old gigs, which probably would’ve ruined the show a little bit.
Alison’s grandfather came up to see the show today, and was trying to find a cheap sandwich. His best price was 50p, which I think may have been a tad optimistic. Because he was at the show today, Alison kept saying ‘BJ’ instead of ‘blowjob’, insisting quite optimistically that he didn’t know what that meant.
We met Sarah ‘Griff’ Griffin and Ceri ‘Nye Bevan’ Bevan after the show. We had tea in the flat and talked about phonies. Damn phonies!!! I made egg fried rice for myself and Peter, which I absolutely would’ve burnt had it not been for the new non-stick pan that came with the flat. Non-stick pans are amazing, but only for a while. Then they become terrible. It’s not like in the old days when pans were just medicore forever. Better times, if you ask me! [Did you?]
Peter and I took the bus to Glasgow, to do Red Raw at The Stand. I bought a pack of my beloved one blade orange Bic razors and some discounted parmasan. Peter met his friend Peter [no relation] and went to drop stuff at his flat, while I set about wandering around Glasgow, in theory towards the Stand. I think I might have missed all the good bits, I seemed to mainly be on a motorway. Glasgow seems nice though, I wandered through the university and saw a double decker bike stand! Very cool, if you like cycling and storage.
I thought Glasgow was supposed to be grittier than Edinburgh, and it wasn’t living up to that reputation, until a found a literal grit dispenser on the side of the road. A big gritty box full of grit with GRIT written on the front. I take it back Glasgow, you gritty beaut.
I decided to have a go of the subway since the walk wasn’t so inspiring. It was really fun! it’s just one loop with trains going in either direction; inner line and outer line. Very cool. Props to the subway for having a nice typeface too, looked like something Erik Speikermann might have designed. Not like that imperial Johnston in the London Underground. The trains are all hexagonal too, like giant allan keys. 10/10.
I arrived at the Stand and noticed the sign for the entrance to the building beside the Stand uses the same typeface the Stand uses, Kabel. I wonder is that where they got the inspiration for their logotype. Hmm.
Then I wandered downstairs and marvelled at the massive crowd!
I popped into the jaxx and had a quick shave [because I respect my audiences] and then headed backstage. I’m glad I shaved too, because with the exception of the headline act, all of us were thin white men with dark hair and some level of facial hair [except me, legend.]. There was one point during the show when one of the acts came out and I honestly thought it was one of the guys from earlier coming back.
It was a super fun show. I had an amazing time, I’m really hoping they have me back there soon. The crowd were unbelieveable, I loved it. Peter had a great set, which I taped, and you should watch:
The headliner, Gabriel Ebulue was awesome, if you’re in Edinburgh you should go check him out.
After the show we hung out with my geologist buddy Cathal Reilly and his geology colleague Tim. You’ll have noticed I run into Irish people over here every two hours or so. That doesn’t slow down, promise. We went for a pint, and I showed the lads the stones I’d collected earlier in the day. Apparently they’re mainly igneous and basalt. Tim made an app for identifing rocks, which is pretty cool, although I was given the impression it’s basically just a digital ‘what rock is this?’ flow chart quiz thing, like they used to have in teen magazines [and may still have in teen magazines, I have cancelled all my teen magazine subscriptions].
I went back to Cathal’s, lost a game of chess, ate all his biscuits, and slept on his couch. This morning I fill a receipt with some of Cathal’s maldon salt, which wasn’t worth buying here for a weeks’ use, and then we headed out into the lashing of rain. It was real, proper rain. The outer subway line was broken down, so we had to go the wrong way around the loop to get to Bungannan. It took about twenty minutes.
There was a poster on the train commemorating a battle that happened here in 1263. I said to Cathal
— They had a thing like that for the Battle of Clontarf, up where I live last year. It was for the thousanth anniversary … or was it the eight hundreth …
Then the man sitting beside Cathal said:
— It was the thousanth. I’m from Clontarf* too!
Irish people! We’re everywhere!
Currently listening to: Big Monster Love Game Over
*It later transpired he was from Fairview, which isn’t exactly Clontarf, but it’s pretty damn close. He was over for an education conference. I hope he was a history teacher and not a geography one!
Conor O’Toole & Alison Spittle’s show runs every day until August 24 at 2pm in the Frankenstien Pub on George IV Bridge.
Conor O’Toole: A Retrospective 1995-2015 will be on September 14-20 in the Tiger Dublin Fringe