This was the view from my window today. An unending cavalcade of motorbikes, some inventively adorned—one had Crazy Frog riding pillion—and mostly making a bloody noise, streaming past the window for a good ten or fifteen minutes. There were a lot of them. I watched them for a while, then went to get the camera, took some photos, then got dressed and left the flat. They were still going.
Since I look like a tour guide, people often ask me stuff. In this case, unsurprisingly, a huge bloke waiting at the crossing with me asked me in very careful English:
this motorcycle rally is for what? I didn't know, but I provide the best customer service in Edinburgh and this sort of thing switches me instantly into Customer Service Mode, so reflexively I had to find out.
Once the bikes had passed, I asked the nice policeman who'd been directing traffic at the crossing.
Yr. corresp.: What was all that in aid of?
Nice clean-shaven policeman in a uniform and everything: Move along.
Fuck you, too.
Undeterred, and still in Customer Service Mode, I asked the biggest, hairiest, tattooed-est, motorcycle-leather-wearing-est I could find.
Yr. corresp.: You look like you might know. What was all that about?
Giant hairy tattooed biker: It's a charity run, in aid of a biker who's died. We're going down the Royal Mile later.
In summary, then—smart policeman who I pay for: rude fuckface. Scary Hells-Angel type: polite, friendly, helpful, and charitable.
I got the impression, walking away, that this anecdote was the singular of data. The exchange was symbolic of something. If only I could put my finger on what.
 Little-known driving fact: it's legal to run Crazy Frog into the hard shoulder and set him on fire, but you have to make sure you get the real Crazy Frog, or it doesn't count. Fact.