DWJ in Edinburgh

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Wed Sep 10 10:04:22 EDT 2003

Snipped from the latest Ansible:

DIANA WYNNE JONES reports fundamental flaws at the Edinburgh Book
Festival: `Not only did they seem to have little but Gaelic poetry in the
bookshop tent, but they also had an insane arrangement whereby the
author's loo (a specially provided Portaloo) was kept permanently locked.
If you needed to go, you were supposed to go to a stone faced lady in
boots and ask for the key. Then, provided you could PROVE you were an
author, she grudgingly dispensed the key, with strict orders to bring it
straight back afterwards. And -- here was the cunning bit -- there was
_no way of finding this out_. I ran into this difficulty after having
done two sessions and two signings and got -- as one does -- quite
anxious for a loo. Having rattled unavailingly at the door of the thing,
I was wondering if I could make it back to the hotel and risk an accident
on the way, when a tiny Scottish lady -- she had waist length white hair
and was wrapped in a black crochet shawl -- seemed to sense my problem.
She stood opposite the nearest tent and screamed repeatedly into it,
"This wumman needs the toilet!" And when, finally, a bored man grudgingly
emerged, she positively shrieked, pointing wildly in my direction, "THAT
WUMMAN THERE!" A small crowd gathered as the bored man came up to me and
explained the arrangement. When I looked round for the tiny lady, she had
vanished. Hm. Yes, I did get to the loo in the end. But I don't think I
want to take part in this event again.'


"Run mad as often as you chuse, but do not faint!"
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