The Impossibility of Believing Reality

Last week I went to a comedy club and a woman fell asleep in the third row.

Even when the compere started joking about it, she stayed asleep. Because she was deaf.

“What sort of person brings a deaf friend to a comedy club?” the compere asked, not unreasonably.

Her friend had no answer. She just laughed.

In 1982, I saw a blind Japanese woman being led to a row of one-armed bandits in a casino in Las Vegas. She sat down and pushed coins in the slot and pulled the handle of her machine like an automaton, staring straight ahead. What possible excitement could a blind person get from not seeing the fruit on the wheels spin round on a one-armed bandit in Las Vegas? The sound perhaps?

Life. You couldn’t make it up.

When comedians seem to be telling a true story, it’s often made up. When they seem to be making up a story, it’s often basically true.

Who knows what tales will be told at (and of) the Edinburgh Fringe next month? Who knows which will be true?

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