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The Unacceptable Voice of Edinburgh

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The voice that has annoyed me most this year came through the crackly speaker in the back of a taxi. Most taxi drivers in the city are friendly, accommodating and interesting. I say that in case any read this blog though luckliy we don't have our pics up and I don't usually wear a top hat.

In an earlier musing, I mentioned that most residents of Edinburgh embrace the festival, enjoy it and attend shows. Unfortunately, my taxi driver acted as an everyman chorus for the small-minded malcontents. I don't deny their existence but luckily, they are fewer in number than is sometimes thought. Trust my luck to hail their spokesman-in-chief.

'The traffic is too busy and gets snarled up'. Yup, give him that one. 'Bloody festival!', he moaned - that would be the one that brings squillions into the local economy, a chunk of which lands in the fetching leather pouches favoured by taxi drivers. Bloody taxi driver.

'Too expensive'? Half a point. However, many events are free and if you look for offers in newspapers, and on websites, 1/2  Price Ticket Hut,etc, etc,  you can do better. Also, I judgmentally leap to the conclusion, that he is the type to balk at paying £10 for a ticket but happily spend that on beer in half an hour at the taxi drivers social club. Now, I sound like him.

'Nothing for the kids'  Obviously, he conveniently failed to notice the 12 pages of kids shows in the Fringe brochure or the efforts that venues like the Pleasance are putting nto creating a great environment for young theatre-goers. He could also walk them down the Royal Mile, where they could watch fire-eating, juggling, snging, tap-dancing mime artists - all for free.

He went on and on in a similar bile-filled vein. He didn't get a tip. Well he did. As I said to him as we reached our destination, - 'get off your lazy arse, look around you, get your facts straight and stop moaning!.' That part of the conversation took place in my head but it is the thought that counts!

- Keith Paterson

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