Today's Edinburgh weather forecast: Light drizzle from 9-10 a.m.,
then an hour of heavy rain, partly sunny heading into noon, a downpour,
then bright sun, then partly cloudy, sun again before the temperature
plummets and rain descends before dusk.

It's easy to spot the natives. They're the ones with no umbrellas,
dressed as if it really is summer. We Fringers look like the offspring of
Heidi and a pack mule. Layers of clothes are topped off with satchels,
backpacks and bags for the paraphernalia needed to do what we need to do to
get our shows noticed. Right now, in my bag, are a stapler, a huge roll of
tape, 20 posters, blue sticky stuff for postering, an extra pair of shoes
for when my sneakers are sodden, extra socks, printouts of flashers and
releases for reviewers, a hat (I'm sunburned in Edinburgh!), a phone, two
pads, several granola bars, an apple, giveaways (candy, backpacks), about
500 flyers and miscellaneous necessaries. I forgot the umbrella back at the
flat today.

This morning a healthy-looking young woman with vermilion hair shows up at
the half-price ticket pavillion with a stool and a sign: Ten-Minute
Massages! I gaze at her strong hands with longing. "How much?" You donate
what you want, she says with a sweet smile. I've rarely been so tempted.
But the line of ticket-buyers is stretching out of the courtyard, down the
walk toward the Scott's Monument (despite the rain). In the line people
thumb through Fringe catalogues, make notes, stare at the lighted list of
shows with slightly dazed expressions. I have to work it. "Would you like a
flyer for my show? It's a new play -- a world premiere!"


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