Yesterday morning started when I bought a copy of The Scotsman and found a two-page feature on Lewis Schaffer under the headline I WAS BORN TO BE A FAILURE wherein Lewis Schaffer claimed I was his “personal blogger” apparently on the basis he thought I would hate it.
One of the witnesses called in her defence was Lewis Schaffer and, later in the day, she told me this:
“He came towards me on stage and I thought How lovely. I’ve always been a fan of Lewis. Always will be. And I thought, you know, Peck on the cheek. And then I thought Oh, he’s going to pretend to snog me. And then there he was, in with the tongue and my kidneys were being ravished from the top down by this massive tongue. It felt like someone had put an enormous, slimy rug into my mouth. And he didn’t stop.
“I kept thinking He’s going to come up for air. But no. No. And then he went away but came back for more and grabbed my arse. I was severely Lewis-handled. I don’t know whether he’s looking for that elusive extra star in a review.
“When I close my eyes now, I’m still back there with the slimy rug in my mouth. Massive. It felt like it was the size of a bathroom rug.
“My mother and stepmum were in the audience, though I don’t know if they got that particularly good a view. Mind you, I think my dad would be happy if someone just took a bit of an interest in me.”
The day had begun for me when I had midday tea with comedian Sarah Hendrickx who had only very minor additions to the apparent avalanche of accidents which have happened to performers this year.
“I cut my finger while putting staples in a staple gun and got shat on by a seagull,” she told me.
“I think that’s par for the course,” I said.
Sarah Hendrickx: Time Traveller is her first solo show and she says she veers between elation at being here and wanting to go home. Almost from minute-to-minute.
“What I have found, though, because I am in the autistic spectrum,” Sarah told me, “is that I’m not very good recognising people’s faces. Maybe autistic people make less eye-contact, so don’t look at faces so much. I don’t know, but it’s a classic characteristic. So I keep flyering the same people more than once. When I go to the Pleasance Courtyard, I go round the tables and forget who has been flyered. I genuinely end up approaching the same people who just look at me in a slightly confused way.”
After tea with Sarah in Grassmarket, I headed along Cowgate to the aforementioned Trial of Kate Copstick only to be overtaken by Copstick herself, being chauffeured there by Tanyalee Davis on her Batmobile/ Tanyabile/ whatever it is.
Going up the heavily cobbled steep hill that is Niddry Street at some speed, Copstick was heard to say: “That’s the best sex I’ve had in months…”
She had not yet encountered Lewis Schaffer’s tongue.
Copstick was facing the comedy trial for becoming the doyenne of Fringe comedy reviewers “because she was a failed performer”.
I was sitting next to Copstick’s father and step-mum in the audience and had threatened to ask her father (for this blog) about Copstick’s potty training, but Copstick pre-empted this by telling me:
“According to my dad I was so chronically constipated as a child that my parents tried everything to get me to poo. Finally I got given some sort of cellulose stuff that just pushes everything out in front of it. One day, on my potty, with the entire extended family looking on, my baby botty just exploded with shite – and everyone burst into applause !!”
So, clearly she did not start her life as a failed performer.
But she was found Guilty despite being (or perhaps because she was) defended by Bob Slayer, who was physically attached to comedian Patrick Monahan throughout, because they were in the middle of a 25 hour attempt to break the world hugging record.
One of the witnesses called for the defence was Lewis Schaffer, who strode on stage and (as I thought) pretended to give Copstick a massive snog. You know the rest.
Afterward, unaware of the actual ravishing of Copstick onstage, I encountered Bob Slayer and Patrick Monahan intertwined in the foyer of The Hive venue.
“Are you getting sticky yet?” I asked.
“Oddly, this is the cleanest I’ve been all Fringe,” Bob replied. “We turned up for an interview this morning. I can’t remember what time. Times are irrelevant now. They had four bags of wet wipes and two young girls. The two young girls wiped us down. Well, admittedly, they did wipe Patrick down more than me and I had to get the bearded, hairy man to wipe me down. But this is the sweetest-smelling I’ve ever been.”
After seeing Adam Larter’s show – the audience loved it; I had no idea what was going on – I tried to buy a copy of the new Secret Edinburgh book at the Underbelly (I contributed a definitely non-funny piece to it), but it had not yet arrived, I presumed still stuck at Customs on the Turkish/Bulgarian border.
Then I bumped into New York comedian and flame-haired temptress Laura Levites. She had been present during part of The Copstick Trial, but had had to leave to perform her own show Laura Levites: Selfhelpless.
“Copstick got found guilty,” I told her.
“That’s a pity; she’s my new best friend,” replied Laura.
“Your knees are scuffed,” I said.
“I got hit by a taxi in New York,” she said. “It’s in my show.”
“When did it happen?” I asked.
“In April,” she replied.
“Jesus,” I said. “They look like new injuries. Everyone is getting injured at the Fringe this year.”
“I was hospitalised,” said Laura. “I had a black eye and scrapes and bruises and sprains and a slipped disc in my neck or a slipped something – I know I have something wrong in my neck at the top of the spine and I was in a neck brace. Oh yeah! Life’s good!”
“Is your neck sorted out yet?” I asked.
“No,” said Laura.
“Are you on medicinal drugs?”
“I mean for the accident.”
“Oh, I had drugs for that,” said Laura, “but my psychiatrist took them away.”
“Your psychiatrist?” I asked.
“I have to have scheduled Skype therapy with my doctors,” explained Laura. “Both of them. I have to have a session with one once a week and with the other once every two weeks. One’s a therapist and one’s a psychiatrist.”
“What’s the difference?” I asked.
“The therapist can’t prescribe medication and the psychiatrist can.”
“Are you stocked-up for medication for the month you’re over here?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Laura said. “I have to get a vacation waiver from my insurance company and one of the medications I take is a controlled substance and it’s not sold in this country. I have a prescription for it and it’s monitored: you can only get a certain amount of it in a 30-day period. So that took a lot of work to get for here. I have to have a two-month supply.”
“Customs must have been thrown by that,” I said.
“No, they have no problem with it, but I do have a really big bag of pills. I do have an extra suitcase for my pills and my vitamins. My excess baggage is pills. The bag is really heavy, but they have to let me take it.”
“Did British Customs ask to open it up?”
“No,” laughed Laura, “I’m a white girl and I smile and I play the part and I look OK.”
After that, I ended up at Bob’s Bookshop watching Tommy Holgate’s show Good Spirits. Tommy used to be comedy columnist for the Sun newspaper but now seems to have turned into a spiritual advisor for touring rock bands: an interesting career move.
At his show, I was sitting next to Andrew Mickel of the Such Small Portions website, which has published the new Secret Edinburgh book.
“Where is it?” I asked.
“The books are now all held up at Dover Customs,” he told me. “They should arrive in Edinburgh tomorrow.”
At midnight, I sat in Bob’s Bookshop and watched as Bob Slayer and Patrick Monahan were un-coupled by Kate Copstick. They had successfully hugged for 25 hours and 25 minutes.
Bob then told a story about being given a heavy dose of a drugs just before he and Patrick started their hug-in.
The drug was Viagra.
There was possibly too much information in his story.
I videoed the 14 minutes surrounding their un-coupling.
It is HERE on YouTube.