(SCENE: Somewhere in the Pentlands.)
Tychy: … pass me some more of that delicious cold piglet.
Olaf: This bit of intestine is rather tough.
Tychy: I think that it’s something’s tail. And can I trouble you for another slice of rabbit…?
Olaf: And what’s the meat in this pie?
James: The butcher told me that it was kestrel.
Tychy:… I have room for a touch more liver salad…
Olaf: So why are we picnicking in the Pentlands instead of drinking in Edinburgh?
James: Well, they’re still holding that fucking festival…
Tychy: Such a philistine! You are impossible!
James: It’s not me who is philistine, it’s that dreadful festival. And it’s the city which becomes impossible during August. There are posters everywhere which feature the either-wacky-or-ironic faces of piss-poor comedians. Brazil is deforested anew to produce millions of fliers for their shows which are only looked at once and then forgotten and thrown on the floor…
Tychy: They usually get students to hand them out, and you should surely be allowed to delete this human spam with couple of punches to the face. I anticipate that in the future, however, the Pleasance will establish its own air force – with jets left over from Vietnam – and they will simply carpet bomb the city with their fliers.
James: I’m more incensed by the performers. London’s theatrical and artistic bourgeoisie decamps to Edinburgh during the Festival, but most of them are just people who have the self-confidence to present exhibitionism and being annoying as theatre. The only thing which is remarkable about some of these characters is their sheer nerve.
Olaf: They are very loud.
James: The audiences, the performers, and the media are all from London, so why don’t they hold their fucking festival down there?
Tychy: There are a number of suitable venues…
James: Hyde Park?
Olaf: Maybe the Wembley Stadium?
Tychy: Enough! This festival is half of Edinburgh’s economy…
James: All sorts of unnecessary things benefit the economy: aromatherapy, selling missiles to Saudi Arabia, J. K. Rowling’s novels. People can do better. Attending the Edinburgh Festival is like turning up at a January sale in British Home Stores – one in which the handful of designer jeans and tee-shirts were snapped up in the first hour – and everything which remains is ill-fitting tat which in no other circumstances would be sold. The Edinburgh Festival subsidises theatre which is so bad that the market would otherwise be allowed to weed it out. The Edinburgh Festival encourages people who have no aptitude for comedy or theatre, or even anything, to persevere in the misconception that they can make a meaningful contribution to contemporary culture. The Edinburgh Festival is basically a mass exercise in self-delusion.
Tychy: That’s too much. You’re just too lazy to explore the Edinburgh Festival. I’m sure that if you did some work, then you’d soon encounter something which met your aesthetic standards.
Olaf: The sky seems to have fallen half a mile lower.
Tychy: I can see the rain over there. It’s just coming over that hill…
Olaf: It’s coming this way!
James: Maybe we ought to finish our picnic.
Tychy: But first let us raise a glass to the Edinburgh Festival.