It was breakfast time on 2 August when sketch colleagues Casual Violence remembered they were doing the Edinburgh Fringe and really should get up there - as the Edinburgh Fringe this year had rather rudely started without them.
Due to ill planning and healthy spontaneity, they decided to head to the Fringe the only way they knew how: with a post-toast race to Scotland's capital.
Races usually make travel fun, as demonstrated in many classic texts from the headquarters' library: Crime and Punishment's climactic Tour de France chapter, The Great Gatsby's laugh-a-minute comedy balloon race sequence, and Jane Eyre's laugh-a-minute comedy balloon race sequence. Sadly, this didn't prove to be the case for Casual Violence on the 2nd of August.
It turns out there isn't much comedy to be dragged out of getting the train up to Edinburgh. The "wild card" element of a race to the finish was completely undermined by the fact that we were all on the same train - apart from Greg, who likes sleeping in and doesn't appreciate competitive travel. At the time of writing, he has yet to arrive at our Edinburgh flat. We've made a surrogate Greg out of styrofoam and regular foam, and we suspect he'll make a good stand-in for our first few shows until the real one turns up. If you saw us early in the run at this year's Fringe and didn't notice the difference, you should have been paying more attention. I mean, what's the point in spending six months adding layer after layer of nuance and detail to our show, honing every line, contorting every face, if you're not even going to notice that one of our colleagues is made out of styrofoam and foam? You're useless.
The rest of us spent the train journey playing multiplayer Frogger, masochistically drinking Train Coffee, and typing out factually accurate articles. Dave and Luke began a friendly game of 'Greg Polo' - which plays exactly like 'Marco Polo', except when they shout 'Greg!', Greg shouts back, 'Will you stop that!' - but Greg wasn't there and the game ended very quickly.
We reminisced fondly about our time in Edinburgh last year while wearing last year's promotional T-shirts just to be annoying, and really hoped we wouldn't fail. The pressure was already a bit much. Representatives from the Kevin Spacey Foundation and the Lowry Theatre - both of whom are betting on us this year - were sitting in the seats behind us, cracking their knuckles and intimidatingly peering through the gap in the seats. "Hope it's a good show this year", murmured Mr Lowry to Ms Kevin (they were very aptly named, given their narrative functions). "They've got such nice faces. Would be dreadful to see them all bloodied up with unused exit flyers and warranted criticism".
Alex only overheard the bit about "nice faces", and was comforted that their backers had such nice things to say about their faces. He then realised that 'face' and 'facet' probably had the same etymological root and sat for the rest of the journey with that horrid little smug grin on his face he gets when he thinks he's done, thought, or slept with something clever.
James hasn't been mentioned in this piece of writing yet.
We all finished our copies of Wuthering Heights - our copies of which ended with Heathcliffe and Cathy rather ineffectively racing to the bottom of the ocean with snorkels - and stared out of the window for the final two hours. Ms Kevin had a nap on Mr Lowry's shoulder. Dave and Luke pretended to be robots and invented "elbow boxing", which is the kind of sport they thought a robot would play. Alex played Travel Kerplunk by himself and dropped all the marbles.
We arrived the station just in time for lunch, and the race was won by everyone - apart from Greg, who texted us that evening simply with the words "I FOUND IT". We don't know what he's referring to yet, but it sounds nice.
Documented with precision by Alex Whyman & James Hamilton
Casual Violence are James Hamilton, Alex Whyman, Greg Cranness, Dave Newman and Luke Booys. Their new Edinburgh Fringe show, House of Nostril, is on at the Pleasance Courtyard at 15:45 every day - and their best-of show, Om Nom Nominous, is on the Free Fringe at 19:15 until the 17th August.Suggest a correction