The thing you forget about the Fringe, when you’ve missed it for a year, is the ability of any room – of any size – to attain a temperature higher than that experienced by the fruit chunks in the centre of a McDonalds apple pie.
A temperature hotter, even, than the jam in a conceptually sound but practically flawed toasted sandwich I once made at University. I spent most of the third year with no skin on my lips. And a new-found appreciation for the passion and emphasis you can put into the word “fuck!” before all speech is taken from you and only sobbing is left.
A temperature so high that the surface of the sun wishes it could be a Fringe venue.
A heat capable of melting the actual Milky Bar kid so that he is nothing but a Milky Bar puddle.
A text adventure I used to play, called Savage Island, had a puzzle where you had to distract a bear with salt you obtained from evaporating sea water on the side of a volcano. If ever I need to distract a bear in Edinburgh, in August, and I have sea water in my inventory I shall do the same in a Fringe venue (I do appreciate that is a very specific set of circumstances but it pays to be prepared).
They are warm rooms, is what I am saying.
Like, sweaty warm rooms.
We have seen grown men – strong burly looking men – wafting themselves with dainty fans you’d expect to find in the hands of foot-bound Japanese girls.
You can go into a room needed a wee and reabsorb the entire thing back into your body to stay alive over the course of an hour.
The rooms defy all known laws of physics – it can be cold and rainy, and the rooms are still warm. But also steamy. Like you’ve found yourself in a sauna with a diverse selection of strangers. Entropy and enthalpy go out of the window (which, if it exists, is definitely painted shut). The laws of thermodynamics are bent out of shape, warped by the presence of a specific number of human-sized bodies in all their exothermic glory.
I cannot stress enough how warm the Fringe is.
And yet, the is one constant. A rule that cannot, will not and should not be broken. If there are a group (collective term: envelOAP) of pensioners in the room – together or in little clusters – one will keep their coat on throughout the entire performance.
Like I said, these things defy conventional physics.
Even Brian Cox, in his best pointing and smiling mood, would be disheartened by this one.