Sunday, 19 August 2018

How to Play With the Federast Mind at the Edinburgh Fringe


The federast mind is truly a joy to behold and then laugh at. The other day I was glugging a pint or three outside a pub on Edinburgh's Royal Mile when three couples arrived and began to look at the list of beers that were on a board by the door.

"I don't know what 80/- means," said one girl who made up for her lack of knowledge with large breasts.

"The forward slash is the symbol for shillings I told her," being the decent soul that I am.

"Why is it called that?"

"Well, 'cos that was the tax paid on a barrel of the stuff back in the day," I replied. "Although these days it costs more than 80 bob for a pint of it," I concluded, ever willing to be helpful.

"What exactly is a shilling?" 

"It's a twentieth of a pound, back when we had real money."

"Oh."

"Better start to get used to it, as after we leave the EU all that is coming back," I said. I think the Devil was inspiring me.

"Noooo! You cannot be serious! You're joking, aren't you?

"I'm dead serious, first we get Fahrenheit back, then imperial weights and measures and then pounds. shillings and pence," I said, with my best poker face. 

"I've never heard that," said one of the blokes, in that languid drawl that the English middle class has which makes the rest of us feel murderous.

"You can trust me, I said, pointing to my Brexit T-shirt. "I'm part of the Brexit team that's working on it."

I was expecting them to burst out laughing at this, congratulate me on being a fine wag and then buy me a pint, or at least join me at the table so I could continue getting an eyeful of the girl with the bouncers but they just started looking at one another before drifting away from both the pub and me.

So, if you read in the Guardian that the Brexiteers are planning to restore the old British currency, you will know that the tale started from wicked old Uncle Ken who made it up one day in Edinburgh during the Festival.

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