Monday, October 17, 2005

Sterilising Bobby

Inspired by Keith's account* of what seems like a rather bloody weekend in Glasgow, I thought I would jump on the 'What the Fuck?' bandwagon and express my mystification over the events of a similarly themed (though by no means so brutal) Saturday evening here in Edinburgh.

Despite my usual preference for juvenile behaviour, Saturday night started off in an incredibly civilised fashion. I wish I could say it made me break out in reactionary hives and then get utterly wellied to cure them, but actually, it was really nice: we went over to Megan's for dinner, and she cooked an excellent dinner, and we drank a lot of wine. And then the conversation slowly degraded, which made me feel better about having spent Friday night doing my work and Saturday night being respectable. We were bitchy about people, someone made a comment about pre-pubescent ass, and Megan was recounted a story about how a friend of hers had a rather disturbing experience involving ejaculate on a bus in which no one helped her out. Eventually, after another story about some dude peeing on Greyfriar's Bobby, we got onto the topic of why people ignore horrific stuff going on in public. We talked about pee, we talked about vomit, we talked about drugged-up folk passed out in doorways, we talked about the immense ability that some young men have to expose themselves to strangers. Its a rare talent, but a talent indeed.

And then it got late, and so Jeff and I decided to go home and let our nice hosts actually sleep. We had hoped to get a cab, so we headed toward the main road, passing first a massive pile of sick, and then Greyfriar's Bobby on the way. Bobby was covered with urine. (He was also wearing a child's sweatshirt, which I thought was quite cute, except for the pee underneath it.) There were no cabs, so we continued toward home. After very few minutes there was a guy passed out, partially in a doorway. He had pissed himself, and someone had taken his shoes (ironic, actually, as he was passed out in the doorway of one of those cheap shoe shops), though Jeff did notice that he had a whole shopping bag full of clean socks. Jeff woke him up, and asked if he was okay, at which point he was very annoyed and said, 'Yeah, I'm fine.' Right. All people who pass out on the street, piss themselves, and then get their shoes nicked are fine.

So, we headed back toward home. Not a hundred yards on a girl was doing her best impression of Linda Blair over a construction railing onto the sidewalk, which meant that there was a vomit splatter for a good six feet around her. We cautiously proceeded, and I was especially conscious of how many compliments I had gotten on my pretty new shoes (this is because I am shallow. I was not even slightly concerned for how hungover she would feel the next day). More drunk folk, lots of underage-looking girls wearing next to nothing, chavvy-looking fellows loitering, the usual. More sick by the school as we got closer to home, this time on a park bench.

I don't know if we were only conscious of the incredibly repulsive goings-on because we had spent a great deal of time talking about it, or because we were not ourselves at the usual level of drunkeness, or what, but it was gross. And that is all I have to say.

*For some reason I can't get the hyperlink to do its thing, so if you want to read about how people get their faces kicked in, go to
Then you can do a nice sociological comparison between Glasgow weekends: where cool indie kids dodge taxi-related brawls and try to help out guys who have just gotten their faces kicked in; and Edinburgh weekends: where dinner-party goers dodge vomit and try to help out wee-covered, shoeless homeless guys. Either way, its still gross, although I think they are slightly more likely to make Keith's weekend into a movie.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bad Santa

I know it has been a long time, but I will have to offer excuses later. This is just a post to reassure anyone who was concerned about the flagging standards of shopping centre Santas. According to the radio news report I just heard a committee of thirty of the top mall Santas in the UK are meeting today to stop the ruthless influx of cut-rate Santas that have been cropping up in enchanted grottoes everywhere. The new requirements for the big guy are 1) clean redsuit and beard; 2) good personal hygene; and 3) knowledge of all of the names of the reindeer. Christmas will be just a little merrier this year, I think.