A funny thing happened on the way to a galaxy far, far away . . . well it is Festival Fringe time - Susan Morrison

Funny who see from the top of a Lothian bus during Festival time in Edinburgh (Photo: Alex Shute)
Funny who see from the top of a Lothian bus during Festival time in Edinburgh (Photo: Alex Shute)

Some overcome this by just fuelling up on drink and Berocca, but I'm too old for that now, and anyway, I have an early start. Crack of noon, my first show. Dawn's early light in comedy terms.

I'm a commuter these days. 11.05(ish) on the Number 10. Last week two women boarded the bus, paid, and strode regally into the lower deck. The first lady looked about with an air of utter disdain. A French aristocrat on a tumbril to the guillotine could hardly have managed a more curling lip.

She turned to her friend and said crisply, "No. I don't think this is really us" and they both stalked off.

I felt weirdly rejected, but can't say why.

Day number something else. Bus sailing past the Omni Centre. Spot Chewbacca and Darth Vader having an amicable chat by the giraffes, which I thought odd because I heard they didn't get on. Perhaps they're sharing a fringe venue. You have to get to know people then, and perhaps Darth and Chewie have found that they share things in common. Bet they get snarky about Han Solo when he’s not about.

A wee wumman in front of me suddenly said to her pal, "There's a pair a stormtroopers crossing the road”.

Her pal said, “They dinnae look very happy".

Sure enough, there stood a matched pair of imperial legionnaires, not actually in the middle of the road, but waiting patiently for the Green Man. I took a good look but I still really couldn't gauge their mood.

While we're on the buses, subject-wise, a word of praise for Lothians drivers, who take multi-tasking to a whole new level. Not only do they have to drive through roadworks so complex that even a Jedi would have a major freak-out, but they also must function as a tourist information service. No, this bus does not go up the Bridges. No, there are no buses that take you right into the castle. No, you can’t use American Express, no, not even the Platinum one. Jeezo, mate, you’re just paying a fare, not buying the bus.

They are unflaggingly patient and polite as they explain endlessly that yes, this stop is Princes Street and even yes, you can bring on a double bass. Lothian Buses should have a party for them after the Fringe.

Off the buses, the pavements are clogged with people taking pictures of Edinburgh Castle and youngsters frantically flyering, which is where the lanyard comes in handy.

A good flyerer will know there is little point in giving a flyer to a lanyard wearer. It means they have a show and so probably can’t come to theirs. Try it yourself. Bound to be a bit of string around your house. An old tie might do the trick. Sling it round your neck. Got an old Christmas card knocking about? Wrap it in Sellotape till it looks laminated. That’ll do. At a quick glance, you’ve got what looks like a venue ID.

You, my friend, will be able to glide along the streets unhampered by the doe-eyed gaze of the flyering teams and free of shiny bits of paper. You're welcome.