Sometimes life just hands it to you on a plate. Today started well – Raph inspired me to set my alarm for nine AM, but by the time it went off, I’d written my blog, had breakfast, and jogged around the volcano. It’s an amazing bit of rock, the view changes all the time as you run around it, and one feels a connection with the ancient geology of Scotland. Or, maybe not that ancient.
I performed at Crunch The News in the Voodoo Rooms, a sort of news quiz cum chat show with a chance to do some stand up and plug my show. In the end, I plugged Thomas Hardie, as she was sitting in the audience. But I’m a huge fan, and believe in this sort of good karma stuff.
What I didn’t believe in, but got suckered into a conversation about, was the young earth creationism being peddled on the Royal Mile. I only stopped because I had my headphones in and thought the main speaker was Keith Chegwin. It wasn’t.
‘Paul’ (I don’t know if that’s his real name because he opened his conversation with me with the lie that he was ‘undecided’ about his beliefs) was one of the stragglers, and we ended up having a conversation that crystallised in my mind, if not in his, the vital importance of doubt. If we all have 100% conviction that our truth is the only truth then at one level we don’t have discussion. At another, we drive 747s into skyscrapers. Yes I know scientists do bad things. I deal with it n the show, m’K?
Discussing this with Raph who had some nice advice via his Rabbi in Atlanta on the way to the gig, a whole new shape fell into place, a theme for the show if you will, and as we had a full house on an evening we were promised would be a bit of a wash out (the big venues have started their 2 for 1 offers today) I put it into gleeful practice.
It’s a really nice way to do the show, because it sets out something approaching what might pass for my philosophy of life without browbeating (I hope) and encouraging thoughtfulness and there are laughs along the way. And there’s a very rude bit that such highbrow aspirations do something to reprieve. Can’t tell you more, you’ll just have to come along and see it. Suffice to say, Raph and I stayed up late with a new friend from the audience who was in the unhappy position of being from Melbourne where the bar prices make Edinburgh look like a bargain.
What I can tell you is that my parting words to Paul have become my new get-off-stage-quick-goodbye-mantra: I wish you peace, I wish you love, but above all I wish you enlightenment.
Everything Is Purple
5-25 August (not 14 or 21) at 22.10
Venue 63 – The Dragonfly, West Port
PBH free fringe