Fringe 2011 comedy blogs - Lloyd Langford
The comic writes on the danger of fancy baths
This article is from 2011.
It’s that time of year when I, and thousands of other performers, take over and squat in the Scottish capital for a month. August every year, comedians flock to the city in the hope of getting something big out of the Fringe. Stand ups in Edinburgh are essentially remoras with dick jokes. And similarly suspect diets.
Edinburgh defeats most of us by the end of the month. Last year I was only there for a couple of weeks. I ended up a broken man. It had nothing to do with the shows. It was all down to a malevolent hot tub.
I was living in Edinburgh with Dan Atkinson. We got quite excited that our flat had a jet whirlpool bath. This is a bath that rapidly fires water at you from a variety of nozzles. It’s supposed to be therapeutic. On first arriving at the flat, Dan and I tentatively sniffed and circled round it, like a pair of dogs that had just urinated on an electric fence and for the next two minutes weren’t taking any chances. One of us would soon crack and end up back here again but we weren’t sure who it would be and when.
A few days later and I was the first to crack. I was hungover. Perhaps putting too much stock in the claims of its makers, I decided the whirlpool bath would be the cure of all my ills. I sat in it. I turned on the taps and the bath began to slowly fill. It was taking a while. Growing restless, I pressed the button to commence the jets. A mistake. The water level needs to be above the highest nozzle when you press the jet button. Otherwise, the nozzle next to your feet repeatedly fires a high-pressure stream of water directly into your face, like a young Raoul Moat with a super soaker. Incapacitated by this unexpected burst of H20 I couldn’t locate the off button to stop it. This was it. The end. I was going to be drowned by a never-ending plume of my own bath water. My crowning achievement would be a feature spot on Britain’s Funniest Slapstick Deaths on BBC 3.
I eventually managed to switch it off. I wearily filled up the bath. I pressed the button again. The jets re-started. The feeling was less therapeutic, more like an all over body assault by a team of disgruntled Oompah Loompahs. I turned it off and staggered into the living room, ashen faced, shaking and sweating profusely.
“How was it?” asked Dan.
I promptly passed out on the sofa.
This year, I’ll be using the shower.