Josie Long

This article is from 2007.

Josie Long

Josie does Edinburgh

A week in, The List’s columnist is having a fabulous Fringe, despite witnessing brutal scenes of child cruelty at the local swimming baths

I have been enjoying playing the rapid-fire card shoot-out game Uno Attack, particularly with the comedians Greg Fleet and Harley Breen, because they are far inferior players to me and so it’s like playing with remedial children who don’t know the rules. And who cry like little girls when I wipe the floor with them. I also like trash talking and drinking Lady Grey tea and have been doing a lot of both this week.

I’m still operating at an unnatural level of excitement about the Festival. The city is swarming with comedians, so everywhere you bump into three or four friends and get to run through the same questions (to which my answers are: ‘It’s going okay, sort of, I hope’; ‘It’s probably not good enough, though, but hopefully it’ll get better’; ‘Pleasance upstairs at 7.15’; ‘13th and 20th? Oh no, that means we’ll never get to see each other’s shows’.

I have started out with the best of intentions and joined a gym in Edinburgh. Today I walked past the swimming pool and saw children navigating a kind of floating assault course there. And by the side of the pool there was a man with a powerful hose, whose job it was to try and hose the children off it. That was his actual job. So when people ask him what he does at dinner parties or whatever, he would have to say: ‘I hose children off of a floating assault course’, and people would say ‘why?’ and he would say ‘to upset them, I can only assume. I don’t make the rules. I don’t enjoy it’.

He did seem to be really enjoying it loads though. He kept going for a really tubby boy trying to climb up a floating slide. As a former obese child I was totally rooting for the kid, who was clinging on and looking around desperately. He looked like he had been let down by the adult world, like he was quickly coming to the conclusion that in life, whenever you were just about to have a lovely time on a slide or something, some arsehole in a polo shirt would come along with a hose.

Luckily his weight advantage meant the water just bruised him a bit and he wedged himself in until the hoser got bored, about ten minutes later. He couldn’t fit down the slide but I think he still won a kind of victory.


  • 1980
  • US
  • 1h 26min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Robert Greenwald
  • Cast: Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, Michael Beck

An 80s classic about wish fulfilment and roller skating.

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