WITHIN my first hour on the Royal Mile, while pitching my show to a pair of attractive twentysomethings, one of your giant Scottish seagulls keeched all over my head.
Now everyone will tell you that it means “Good Luck”, and as young Canadian boy making my Edinburgh debut, I’m not going to argue with them. I’ll take all the luck I can get regardless of how I come by it. But standing on the Royal Mile surrounded by thousands of strangers, in a city I had not gotten to know yet, wearing a massive jobbie on my head, I certainly did not feel like luck was on my side.
But then I remembered that the SpaceCabaret, where my show goes up every night, is basically right on the Mile (and it is one of the only places I can find without getting lost). So I snuck backstage and washed my hair out. I was a little humiliated, but super excited that I would have something interesting to start my pitches off with: “I just got kakked on by a giant bird. Please come to my show.”
Later that day, I took my newfound luck to Mail Boxes Etc. Aside from my late night shawarma patronage, this is the one other Edinburgh business I have visited with regularity since I got here. But instead of printing one copy of my 20-page script, I inadvertently printed out 60. They ended up only charging me £1.50p. I can’t imagine what the charge would have been had that bird not defecated on my head.
In the end, that bird might have actually given me its blessing. We had a terrific audience, and as we walked back to our flat, the Tattoo fireworks lit up the sky in front of us. It was a truly magical ending to our first day at the Fringe. Here’s to many more! And to all the birds out there that want to wish me luck over the next three weeks, you can just say “Merde”. You don’t have to actually do it on my head.
• Mickey and Judy is at SpaceCabaret @ 54, 8:05pm, until 25 August.