So I went to a London photoshoot arranged by Bob Slayer to publicise the two venues he is running at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.
Both come under the banner of his Heroes Of Fringe outfit so he asked people to come dressed as superheroes. We all had to wear Bawbags’ Scottish underpants over our clothing. They are sponsors.
My So It Goes chat show at the Fringe is in Bob’s Bookshop.
I had been given a Superman teeshirt a few months ago – but it was a rather distressed and faded one so I thought, given my age and the fact I could not be bothered to shave, I should perhaps take along a walking stick (my dead grandfather’s) and wear a piece of green Kryptonite round my neck (a USB memory stick given away as a freebie by the Gilded Balloon venue a few Fringes ago).
I reasoned this might turn the fact that I looked older than the other people in the photoshoot from a negative ageist thing into a semi-ironic humorous thing and perhaps give it a slight whiff of The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen.
The strange thing is I do not drink and do not take drugs.
The actual effect of the outfit was, of course, that it just made me look old.
Comic Lewis Schaffer did not turn up for the photoshoot because, he said, he was performing a benefit gig for dogs. When I suggested the dogs should, perhaps, be performing a benefit gig for him, I got no reply.
Dangerous Chris Dangerfield DID turn up, told me about the benefits of Bitcoins and of the parallel, dark internet and then left on a black bicycle saying there were too many other people. (There were twelve).
While I was coming back from the photoshoot, Frank Sanazi got in touch with me.
He said he had been booked to perform at Cornbury Music Festival in Oxfordshire at the weekend.
But it was belatedly thought by the organisers that his act might offend the festival goers of Middle England who had come to see Squeeze, Van Morrison, The Proclaimers, Alan Davies, Julie Burchill, Malcolm Hardee Award winner Stuart Goldsmith et al.
Frank Sanazi performs looking like Adolf Hitler but singing in Frank Sinatra’s voice. He was billed in the festival programme as headlining the ‘Tew Drop Inn’ Cabaret tent on Saturday night.
He told me he thought his sudden ban might be something to do with the fact the festival takes place in Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency and the great man (Cameron, not Sanazi) was there last year and was rumoured to be there this year. The management appeared to have booked his act without wondering why he was called Frank Sanazi – a clue, surely, is in the name.
“When the organisers saw my YouTube footage,” he told me, “they decided to bar me. Having paid me already.”
So it was silver lining time for the Führer of Fun.
When I got home, I found an e-mail from the So It Goes blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent Anna Smith. It read:
“Have you ever seen Daniel Rovai? I first saw him balancing ladders on his chin in the circus tent at Glastonbury. He is now apparently living in a small plywood box somewhere in the Netherlands and he appears to be very happy and philosophic.
“I once travelled on tubes and buses and then a long way on foot though a deserted warehouse district, to see him do a performance at a club in the middle of nowhere – Woolwich or somewhere like that. It was very disappointing because it turned out that I was the only person in the whole of London to show up. He approached me, sitting alone in the small cheap theatre, and offered to drive me home.
“But aren’t you going to do the show? I asked.
“He said, I can’t do it just for you, and so he drove me home in an old Citroën.”
This morning, I got an update from Anna:
“I just googled Daniel Rovai,” she told me. “He appears to be living in a cheerful-looking caravan now, a step up from the plywood box.”
I also opened an e-mail from Alex Petty, organiser of the Laughing Horse Free Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe. Sent to Free Festival participants, it said:
A unique Fringe event run by Free Festival’s Peter Michael Marino during this year’s Fringe for your diaries on Thursday 15th August from 3pm-4pm on the Meadows.
Critics crushed your show? Did your lack of stars make you see stars? Want to get even? Join fellow performers, producers, venues, critics and press for the first-ever Critical Mass Tomato Toss!
Inspired by Spain’s annual Tomatina Festival, this special Edinburgh Fringe event is for anyone who’s ever dreamed of letting the critics know what they think of their nasty reviews.
You’ll get your chance to toss tomatoes at the faces of the critics who’ve taken the piss, slammed your show, tarnished your name and lowered your audience attendance. Of course, it’s all in good fun… isn’t it?
After reading that e-mail this morning I was sitting on the toilet, as one does, and saw a daddy long-legs in the bath.
I am not good with fast-moving winged insects, especially if they suddenly brush against my face. This one brushed against my face. Normally this is rapidly followed by the death of the insect.
But, a couple of days ago, seeing me try to kill a daddy long-legs with a quick clap of my hands, my eternally-un-named friend reminded me: “They only live for about three days. Let it live.”
So, this morning, I let it live.
Life is random.