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Only two days in Edinburgh and already I am at my wit's end. There are so many of us here at the moment that it is almost impossible to rush distractedly from one rave production to the next piece of turgid prose without crashing through bus loads of Italian and Japanese people queueing for the Tattoo. Not to mention having to brush aside whole casts ofthespians desperate to thrust their propaganda into your hands and loony buskers who make up for their lack of musical talent by dressing up as used condoms.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Festival. I love the Fringe. I love the feel of this wonderful city throbbing with the heat of art. but unless you can solve my transport problems. I don't think that I will survive for twenty more days. Why don‘t you promote your excellent magazine (can I have the bottle of booze?) and help us poor tourists at the same time.

My idea is to combine the work of that enigmatic sculptor George Wyllie with a novel form of the cow-catcher. used to such good effect in the Wild West. What you do is to get George to design a folding paper tourist-catcher (surely not a problem after his boat on the Clyde) which you duplicate and give away free with every copy of your next issue. Then the frantic theatregoer could tie it on at times of need. so as to harmlessly sweep out from their path all those who have time to spare mooching around looking at the architecture. It would also conveniently fold away to List size during the performance.

Diane Andrews Emery Street Cambridge




L -

95 The List 16— 32 August I99]

Scandalised by second-rate soccer? Disgusted by dirt on the Fringe? Nodding offduring NB? Then vent your spleen in The List. The best letter next issue will win a bottle ofJose Cuervo Tequila. Write to The List at 179 Buchanan Street. Glasgow or 14 High Street. Edinburgh.


Doon yer troosers

What a miserable geek that Phil Astley is(The List letters 15-1). I am sure that Andrea Morrison does not

need him to spring to her defence. so

if he was repulsed by my language. I hope he chokes on his cornflakes. Now. about this ‘meat is murder‘ business. I hope Phil does not wear leather and if his reason for not eating meat is because ofthe ‘miserable existence‘ which animals lead before being served up on our plates. then I hope he thinks about the awful time the little bah-lambs have in Australia before being shorn for the wool in his no doubt trendv pullover. ' Towser and I eat meat because we like it. Ferrets and humans are designed to eat meat. If we did not eat rabbits. they would eat more of your greens. I believe. as I said before. that ifsomeonc is prepared to kill an animal. they are entitled to eat it. Otherwise it would go to waste. So. Phil ‘on a high horse' Astley. be thankful I am not a cannibal. Kevin Sinclair West Granton View Edinburgh

Great expectorations While leafing my way through issue number 154 of your (nudge) very trendy magazine. I could not but help noticing that certain articles seemed to be beset by (excuse me) expectoration. Perhaps I am not making myselfclear. It is the use of

. ‘ahem‘ to which I refer. First by

'I'revor ‘I was all but ravaged by Cynthia I’ayne‘ Johnston (I bet she

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says that to all the journos. Trev). in his piece on Blmtde Hst. Then by Liam Rudden in his examination of life in drag.

A brief look at this new phenomenon is called for (cough). "The slowburning (ahem) beauty of

her pale befreckled skin' quoth Trev.

Now does he mean that she is not really beautiful'.’ ()r is he in love with

the woman. but cannot bring himself

to declare it'.’ ()r is he quite simply ashamed of the use of the word slowburning'.’ I would be. I.iam Rudden writes ‘troops would turn into. ahem. troupes’. I Iere the word has a (wink) simple meaning: the pun is so weak that I.iam is afraid that no one will notice it and know how clever be is.

So there you have it (nod). The (guffaw) use of the ‘ahem‘ is no more than a way for (spit) certain contributors to excuse poor. weak. or downright bad writing. You simply cannot make awful prose any better by gobbing all over it. just as tasteless food is not rendered edible byexpellinga big fart. lfthe writing stinks. edit it out.

Simon Bishop 'I’horncliffe (iardens (ilasgow


- BUERVfl ..


Ike/f. tl IIm/ is as good as u n‘IIt/x‘ In Its a! The List. Simon. Hut'eu hull/en) .luse (’uerm lie/Ureymt turn into a

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Selling sex Articles like the one by Trevor Johnston about Cynthia Payne (The List 154) make me sick. ()K. it was all very witty and clever clever. bill in the end it was nothing more than another romaniticisation of prostitution: the ‘hooker with the heart of gold‘ syndrome again. Whether prostitution is immoral or not is immaterial. it is not funny. It is degrading. dangerous and unclean for the women who sell their bodies. Women. and men for that matter. become prostitutes because they are

_ in poverty. They don't do it because ' it is ‘fun’ or entertaining. It is

Jewish Mexican wedding. they‘d sing

j Brighton Street Edinburgh.

i keep taking the tablets. . .

irresponsible to publish an article about prostitution which seerth to be saying 'hey. what a jolly time it was being a whore. all those wacky men with their saucy hang-ups'. Would you let a stranger run their hands over the back of your neck. let alone ptit their penis inside you‘.’

I also find the statement made by Cynthia Payne that she ‘saved a few

marriages' pretty suspect. I might be 1

a little out of step with popular ideas. but I really do not believe that men need sex more than women do. Perhaps something about our culture makes them think that they do and makes them more sexually aggressive. I enjoy sex. but if I can't get it. I don‘t have to go out and buy 't. This does not mean that women are better at controlling their sexual desires than men. it just means that men are not expected to keep their willies under control.

I am sure that Cynthia Payne's play will be entertaining: she sounds like a good storyteller. but to discuss it in the totally uncritical way that you did is simple titillation. and best left out of your otherwise pretty reasonable magazine.

Sarah Leven ('aird Drive (ilasgow

Fan club

For (iod's sake give (iary Nelson the

tequila! Why'.’ I ) lIe's blatant. 2) He’s funny. 3) He‘s not I)..\l. Bennie.

Ruth ()‘I.eary

Wilton Drive


.Vt) .


I went to see that Henry: Portrait ofa Bottle of'I'equila the other day. and on the way home. I said to my wife Margarita (I call her that because she always has salt round the rims of her glasses). I wonder if we went to a

'IIava'I‘equila. . . Ilava"?

Do I win or what'.’ (iary Nelson

The answer is still in the negative, but

“Printed s;‘§c.mi.i¥€5;;;{; Press. Shams1.3mmEm. Boniiyrigg. Midlothian. Tel: 031 663 2404.