Susan Morrison: Lizard love tales . . Fringe is off to a flyer

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We see more feats every year than the Olympic marathon, and we just take it in our stride

The giant lizard approached me proffering a piece of paper with a photo of Nick Clegg on it. For a brief wild moment I thought David Icke was right. The aliens had landed, but they wanted to take me to their leader.

Of course, underneath the running face paint was someone’s

sibling, strong armed into handing out flyers. I suspect it was his big sister’s magnum opus. It was about the love between a giant lizard and a rising young Lib Dem parliamentary prospect. Ridiculous, of course, since there are no rising young Lib Dems anymore.

Fair dos, though, the theme of inter-species love affairs is opening a whole new can of worms. It’s the love that dare not speak its name, particularly if that name is Flossie.

It’s controversial, and given recent events, I wouldn’t want to be the one who rattles up to young Nicola Sturgeon and says, now you’ve sorted the equal marriage thing, we’ve got a situation here involving love between

lizards and Lib Dems.

Oh yes, they’re back. The flyer-bearing lizards, the American high school choirs, Hampstead’s pale performance artistes, who are coping with only mummy’s Amex Card between themselves and starvation, and, of course, the relentlessly cheerful Australian unicycling street performers who can perform unbelievable tricks – like being cheerful and breathing fire right through last year’s rain.

Same old song and dance

YOU have to smile at them London folks getting their running shorts in a twist about the Olympics. It’s only once every four years, and, as far as I can tell, there are no lizards, the Americans are non-singing and the cyclists all have two wheels.

Every year, this city plays host to an invasion of infinitely more craziness than anything they’ve got belting about London right now.

They go utterly bonkers if someone jumps really, really high over a bar. Tush, we say. Over here we have two Korean acrobats who can fold themselves into a crisp packet and over there we’ve got a reviewer who hasn’t slept for a week and can still say things like agit-prop, Brechtian and I’ll just have a large white wine.

To be fair, though, at least we don’t have Boris Johnson popping up. Although I suspect if someone gives the man a venue he’d be here like a shot.

No need to mug up in baby name game

FOR years now, whenever a young acquaintance has presented a new baby to me I have held my breath and quietly prayed that A: I have heard the name correctly, and B: I can pronounce it, having been confronted by a spate of collisions of vowels and consonants passing as first names.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, incidentally. About 21 years ago in the old Simpsons, a battle-hardened midwife told me a girl downstairs was calling her daughter “Timotei”. It’s a shampoo, for those who don’t know. God knows what the middle name was. Greasy, perhaps, or Normal.

And so it is with great pleasure that I have noticed the triumphant return of lovely old names that should never have been shouldered aside for Da’minta, Kobilt, or (this is true) Fairy Dusted.

Welcome back to Jack, Daisy, Penny and Amelia. At least you’ll get a mug in a National Trust gift shop with your name on it.

Culture fatigue

Finally, in what city in the world would a Bollywood musical number – dancers, singers, sequins, saris, the whole bang shoot – be politely ignored by an entire bus stop until, when they went away, a weary voice said: “We had one of those yesterday as well?”

Battle nearly over, war almost won

AROUND this city there’s a group of people walking with heads held higher and shoulders pulled straighter, people who know that the future is just a little brighter, just a little easier.

It’s the parents of this city. Oh yes, the sign in the window says “Back To School”, and back to school it means. Don’t get me wrong, spending time with your family is a good thing, I understand, which is why disgraced MPs do it all the time.

Anyway, for those of us who haven’t fiddled expense accounts or been caught doing something unspeakable with a lady of dubious reputation, the long weeks of summer can start to resemble a 1980s action movie, with those long, delicate negotiations with

a fiendish intellect and sudden furious face-offs with a small ninja warrior.

The talking bits usually revolve around dietary questions, such as pointing out that jelly babies are not suitable for breakfast, even if they are on toast. The explosive moments tend to detonate when a weary mum suddenly decides that her teenage son will either get in the shower or the entire internet gets booted into the Forth.

Ah yes, they say, but you’ll miss them when they go out the door. Depends what you throw at them, I say.