Tuesday, October 11, 2005

More Of Tomorrow's News Today

For reasons that are slightly complicated to explain, the newspaper column detailed below will, I’m told, appear in tomorrow’s Daily Record rather than today’s.

I’d love to tell you that the prose is so controversial and earth shattering that lawyers have been poring over the text all day to ascertain whether it constitutes a danger to the public well-being of the.. um.. public. But that would be a blatant lie so I won’t.

I’d also love to tell you that the prose is so funny that reading it could cause serious damage to your health but that too would be slightly off the mark so I won’t.

Instead, let me just say that the reason for the delayed publication is so innocuous that it’s not worth spending another sentence talking about so I won’t.

Incidentally, if you’re not Scottish or not living in Scotland as you read this, then the so-called humour (or should that be ‘humor’?) may be a bit too parochial so I’ve tried to supplement your understanding and enjoyment with a handy glossary of terms at the foot of the page. Enjoy, or as we say here in Scotland, laugh ya b@st@rd or I’ll gub ye!


It’s a long time since I’ve been to Hampden* to see Scotland play in a World Cup* qualifying match. I think the last occasion was during the 1980s* when the team was full of names I actually recognised and we routinely handed out drubbings to such footballing minnows as Spain and Sweden. At the time, Kenny Dalglish* was still scoring wonder goals and you could just about see the game from the back of the uncovered terracing* whilst dodging a constant stream of super lager* trickling down towards the pitch – at least I think it was super lager?

So after all the recent hype about how we’re on the brink of qualifying for the next year’s finals – as long as forty eight permutations of other results go our way – I thought it was about time I rejoined the ranks of the Tartan Army* and offered my support to the campaign. This conviction was cemented last week when my Dad called and offered me the chance of a free ticket for Saturday’s game against the mighty Belamoldovskia*. And they say I’m a part time supporter!

The autumn sun was splitting the sky as I strolled towards the ground amidst a sea of tartan and ill fitting, lycra* replica shirts. Business was brisk among the touts and flag sellers although I had my doubts about one chap’s ability to offload his wares.

“Get yer ‘see you Jimmy’* hats here,” he screeched above the bustle of the crowd. “Guaranteed to get female attention.”

I could well imagine the “attention” being along the lines of “Hey look at that d#ck in the ‘see you Jimmy’ hat” so I decided not to take up his offer. Besides, I was already wearing one.

As the minutes ticked down towards kick off, the deafening PA system cranked up a notch with every passing patriotic song. By the time Mel Gibson* took up the microphone to deliver his ‘freedom’ speech from Braveheart there was a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Before I could stop myself, the words were out. “Dad,” I gulped. “There’s real buzz about the place.”*

The game started with a flurry as the navy blue shirts swarmed forward and Kenny Whatsisname should have opened the scoring within ten seconds. Breathless, I sat back down in my seat knowing it was only a matter of time before the first goal arrived. Sure enough, a deafening silence announced the fact that the crafty Belamoldovskians had somehow breached the Scottish defence and stuck the ball away in the old onion bag*. When another of their shots crashed off the crossbar minutes later, we knew it was going to be a long first half.

Things picked up considerably at the interval though when the newly crowned Miss Scotland* took a break from her hectic schedule of securing world peace and tottered on to the pitch to present a set of new car keys to a lucky competition winner. Calls for her to replace Christian Thingmyjig in the crucial midfield holding role were only partly made in jest.

As the game resumed, the sun disappeared and dark, brooding clouds rolled over the stadium. Rain and hail* thundered down on to the pitch and the Scots, embracing the familiar conditions, managed to string together more than five passes during their best spell of the match. The optimism was short lived though as Lee McSomebody succeeded in blocking a teammate’s shot on the goal line and in doing so, ended our World Cup dream; for this year at least.

We’ll be back; better, stronger, faster than before. All we need is a proven goalscorer. Now whatever happened to Kenny Dalglish?

*Hampden – Scotland’s national sporting stadium situated on the south side of Glasgow where once upon a time, crowds of over 100,000 packed the terracing to roar their heroes on to inauspicious, nil-nil draws*.
*World Cup - This soccer tournament is the BIGGEST sporting event in the world bar none. Unlike the World Series, this event actually includes countries from all over the WORLD, i.e. Planet Earth.
*1980s – The greatest decade of them all. But you knew that already.
*Kenny Dalglish – The greatest footballer of them all.
*Terracing – Ancient architectural stadium design based on the culture of the Aztecs and Incas where people had to stand – on their own two legs – for around two hours to see a match.
*Super Lager – Like lager only ten times stronger, ergo, super.
*Tartan Army – Not a real army with guns and tanks and weapons of mass destruction, but something altogether more terrifying. The collective name for Scotland’s greatest export, their football fans.
*Belamoldovskia – Fake, Eastern European country that I made up for comic effect to underline my ignorance about who Scotland were playing. Funny, eh?
*Lycra – Material that should be banned from the physique of any Scottish football supporter over the age of 20. Not at all flattering.
*Mel Gibson – William Wallace
*“There’s a real buzz about the place” – Infamous catchphrase of former Celtic captain Paul McStay, the utterance of which inevitably sparked a catastrophic downturn of fortunes for his team.
*Old onion bag – Stereotypical television commentator euphemism for the goal net into which the ball is kicked for a goal. Obviously the conscious use of it in this article is entirely deliberate and therefore ironic and therefore even funnier. Right?
*Miss Scotland – Like Miss World but probably not as bonnie*.
*Rain and hail – One of the four seasons in each Scottish day.
*Draw – The outcome of a sporting event where nobody wins… and nobody loses. NOT popular in America.
*Bonnie – Pretty. Or “purdy” if you’re the President of the United States.
*‘See You Jimmy’ hat – National embarrassment, the background of which would be too painful and take too long to explain.

4 Comments:

At 10/10/05 10:54 pm, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Neil,
You´ve changed somewhat since I last seen yer pick-chewer, but wanted to say I got a great laugh out of you and yer See ye Jimmy hat story.
Oh, and according to Bill Bryson´s book Mother Tongue HUMOR is the correct spelling, although I still stick with the more intelligent HUMOUR, as do you I see...
And tis pretty wintery here too at only 23 degree...come see for yourself otherwise, only not the first week in December cos I willnae be there. Ciao now

 
At 11/10/05 9:02 pm, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Ps I love the photo of you threatening the baby that was on the scotsblog site...

 
At 12/10/05 2:47 pm, Blogger DC said...

Neil,
Tuesday

Got up , got of bed, dragged my weary self to Mo's to buy The Record. Came home , cup - o- tea- NO SOAPY'S COLUMN!!!!! He's been sacked, found out, "gone away"( again). Disappointed that there's no scandal - no Guest writer " Hi, I'm DC and for the next 3 week's I'll be splilling the beans about ....."

DC

 
At 15/10/05 6:25 am, Blogger carl said...

So freckin' funny I blew suds out me nose, now that is funny. My Grandfather lied to me once, telling me that the reason the folks "back home" spelt humour with a "u" was because of the sheep. Sad, sick man that fella was.

 

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