5 PM Tuesday 28 August 2012 Nunhead Heights

The Edinburgh Festival 2012 is over.

The stress of having to place the faces and remember the names of thousands of people I rarely see – fans, comics, industry people – is over. And I mean thousands of people because I am Lewis Schaffer! again.

Meeting people you know is a test, whether in America or Britain. We’re expected to tell you YOUR name. And you’re expected to remember OUR names, and use them.

You probably know your name. I may not remember your name. Or I may not know where I know you from. And YOU may not remember my name or where you know me from.

I’m at intersection of memory loss, brain freeze, acquaintance overload and not caring. Everyone is. We know too many people.

Should I feel like a heel because I forgot who you are or can’t remember your name? We may have gigged together five years ago or you’re just one of my 4718 facebook friends or maybe you’re my oldest son.

Would it kill you to announce. “Fiona and Tristan. We went to your gig in Solihull.”? So I can place you?

I ruined a show at the festival with nervousness because I couldn’t remember the names of they lovely couple in the front row. They ran a gig in southeast London. Yes, I know, southeast Londoner are allowed to leave.

Another time I was chatting with a comic in the lobby of The Hive, one of my two Edinburgh venues. I run into him once every three or so years. We gigged together about twelve years ago when I still had a future in Britain. That evening left a mark on him.

Kate Copstick of The Scotsman, the Queen of Festival reviewers, came through. She’s my friend. Well, I think of her as my friend mostly because she’s given me Fours Stars. A friend is someone who likes me. That is how needy I am.

I wanted to introduce the comic to Copstick because I’m nice. I couldn’t because I had a brain freeze and lost his name. He might think I was being a jerk but he lost the chance to get noticed by Copstick.

That kind of mind blank happened dozens of times a day in Edinburgh and to everyone, everywhere, all the time.

That is why I say Lewis Schaffer! to people who most likely know my name. It is out of courtesy. You may have forgotten it.

It may seem pretentious, or mental, but I’ve decided to seem like an idiot so you don’t have to.

Let’s all start announcing our names when we meet people we know.

Say YOUR name!

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