Sep 22

Moment of the Fringe, 09

Tag: Journal,PhotosKal @ 7:57 pm

During my time on the bike I was lucky enough to fall in league with various circles, the police, the council wardens and the street performers all accepted me as one of their own, I was Kal, the paramedic on the bike.

The performers in particular adopted me, making jokes about me as I pedalled past their acts, nodding a greeting in passing. The fact that I patched a few of them up through the month probably helped as well.

Ringleader of the lot of them is Todd Various, a ginger bearded American with a wickedly friendly attitude to his audience. Whip-smart and one of the fastest improvisers I’ve ever met, I stopped to watch his show on at least a dozen times.

In the first week of September, once the Fringe had closed down and the streets were a little quieter, I was strolling up the Mile when I spotted Todd in suit and tie.

“You’re all dolled up today?”

“Oh man,” he began with trademark enthusiasm, “This guy wants to propose to his fiancee this morning and he’s asked me to hide the ring under one of the cups. It’s gonna be amazing.”


“Eleven o’clock.”

The news spread like SARS through the crowd and, by the time show time rolled around, every regular on the street: the performers, cops, wardens, stallholders and me knew what was going to happen.

We watched Todd flip balls in and out from under the cups until he lifted one.


A little green velvet box sat where, a second later, any spectator would swear we saw a tennis ball sitting.

“Does this belong to anyone?”

The proposer stepped forward, led his girl forward and knelt in front of a whooping, howling crowd.

(And she said yes!)

So was qualified my Moment of the Fringe.

19 Responses to “Moment of the Fringe, 09”

  1. Yorkie says:

    Genius :-)


  2. Ross says:

    That took balls. He would have had a red face if she said no.


  3. Jot says:

    That, using the vernacular, was soo cool!


  4. Cannonball Jones says:

    Aah, cheers – you’ve put me in big cheesy grin mode


  5. Deemus says:

    Awww, that’s lovely. I bet he was packing it! Kinda makes me feel warm and fuzzy :)


  6. David Waldock says:

    Awesome story *bijou mancry*


  7. Tom says:

    Well done Kal. My wife is a devotee of the site, and my frugal attempt at proposal now seems lame. However we’ve nearly managed 30 years, but I suspect she will now expect something special for the big 30.

    I was thinking of a kebab…


  8. Chris Norton says:

    I am afraid my proposal to my wife was nowhere near as good as that. I proposed in Madrid in an open air restaurant and one thing I do know is it takes some guts to ask the question. So I have to doff my cap to that guy.


  9. Fee says:

    That is sooo sweet. My other half maintains that if he’d gone down on one knee in public like that, I’d have said no just to see the look on his face! I swear I wouldn’t have, but there’s a sneaky, evil little bit of me that admits he may actually be right. I did once see a guy turned down very publicly – at the girl’s 21st. To his credit, when she said no, he stood up and asked the assembled watchers “So, I’ve got a nice ring here, I’m apparently single, I have a good job and my own flat. Any takers?” As we were all so busy staring at our feet no-one answered. The poor soul went away home – and she proposed the following year on 29th February! He said yes.


  10. PIper says:

    Think my hubbie needs romance lessons!!


  11. Shannon says:

    Hi Kal,

    I’m the editor of, the leading online news and resource site for first responders, paramedics, and emergency medicine professionals. To further engage our active and growing membership of 65,000, we are proud to announce that we have just launched our new EMS1 Blog Directory.

    Based on the subject matter of your posts and the dedication to your site, I would like to invite you to participate on the EMS1 page as a featured blog. By being featured, you would not only guarantee a dedicated and passionate audience, but a significantly increased readership as well.

    To reciprocate, we ask that you place an EMS1 widget on your page to promote interaction of the EMS community. The news and Twitter widgets provide the latest breaking headlines and tips in the EMS industry. They can be found in our Blog Directory or emailed to you if that is more convenient.

    Please let me know if you would like to participate and if you have any questions. I look forward to having you as part of our community.


    Shannon Eliot
    EMS1 Editor


  12. Sara says:

    Aw! That made me cry just a little. I’m such a sap. :)
    What a beautiful moment.


  13. Vetnurse says:

    I was asked over fish and chips with the follow up comment before l could answer was could l pass the tomato sauce ahh such a romantic l am married to.


  14. Joolz says:

    Couldn’t have done that in London or Glasgow. The “entertainer” would be legging it to the nearest pawn shop with the ring!!


  15. Beach Bum says:

    I think all this public proposing is a bit manipulative and coersive. There is an expectation that the person being proposed to won’t have the bad manners to say no in front of all those strangers. Call me unromantic, but if I ever propose to someone, it will be a very private event. Romantic? Hopefully. But not public. But then again, what with Facebook, and blogs, and twitter, and who knows what other nonsense in the pipeline, we can all live our lives in front of perfect strangers anyway. If a tree falls in a wood and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If a life is lived outside the notice of strangers, does it have less meaning?

    I enjoy reading your blog!


  16. robbie says:

    I was half expecting ” when suddenly she went into full arrest striking her head viciously on the cobbles”. I feel like I’ve watched an episode of Oprah reading that post, not that I ever watch Oprah…. *sneaks away*


  17. Rich says:

    Hiya, I can’ find your email address, so I’m leaving you a comment.

    I just put together a list of iphone/itouch apps for EMTs/Paramedics, could you share my post with your readers? If there’s a app you use often in the field, let me know in the comments and I can add it to the list. Did you know apps can be written off on taxes?:) Might even be able to write off a iphone too if you can show that you only use it for work (for the apps!).

    Here’s the post:




  18. Bobbi says:

    Aaaaw, that’s so sweet! It was a huge risk, I’m glad it came off.

    Just to let you know, me and my crowd might be coming to the Fringe next year, as we’ve decided going to Abersoch with the rest of Cheshire, and wearing the Jack Wills hoody & Abercrombie&Fitch trackies uniform is too samey-samey and boring, so we decided to go north to your country, where a couple of us have relatives (me included)and see something good!

    Warning! I am the most accident-prone person I know!

    But back to your post-that’s made my day, and what a memory for the soon-to-be newlyweds!


  19. Miss Waz says:

    Wow. How lovely, and original! I don’t want to get married, but would be tempted to say yes if he proposed like that! :o)


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