Saturday, 29 October 2011

Brad C Nesbitt...

Introduction (mainly for my overseas readership).

Rab C Nesbitt is the name of a Scottish sitcom based in Govan, Glasgow. The Rab of the title is an unemployed alcoholic delinquent, married to the long suffering 'Mary-doll', and father to two sons, Burnie (deceased) and Gash. It's a comic look at the Glaswegian underclass, and is one of the most popular shows ever produced by BBC Scotland.

When I was out with my friend Mark the other night, I happened to mention that I'd been in Glasgow during the filming of Brad Pitt's movie, and mentioned my confusion as to how it was more economically viable to turn Glasgow into a reproduction of Philadelphia. We came to the conclusion that Glasgow was picked so Angelina could go shopping for a Weegie (vaguely derogatory term for Glaswegian) orphan. That took root in my warped little mind – Brangelina adopt what they are told is an unwanted Weegie baby, only for a 20-something year old ned (Non Educated Delinquent) to turn up, Angelina not having read the adoption pack properly, because it was written in broad Scots, and she couldn't understand it.

Hilarity ensues.

Then, whilst waiting for Mark to return from the bar, the idea struck me that it could be a funny sitcom or comic strip. So, me being me, I had a quick bash at something... I'm not sure the best way to do it properly, part of me thinks a comic strip is the way to go, maybe once I've fleshed out the idea I will...

In the meantime... read on...


Brad and Angelina are recumbent in their luxurious Beverly Hills mansion, but somewhat bored. Brad is reading through a check list, when Angelina asks “what are you doing?”

Brad looks up and says “Oh, I'm just doing an inventory and also thinking about what I'm going to do next, I have some scripts to read through, there's one I like, it's a zombie thing, but it's set in Philadelphia, and we can't get a permit, and we can't go back to Vancouver, you know, after you tired to adopt what you thought was an inuit kid, turned out to be the mayor's mistresses daughter or whatever.” Angelina looks coldly at him “it was an easy mistake to make! Anyway, what are you inventorying?”. Brad goes back to his list “I'm just ticking off the kids – we have a black one, a couple of Asian ones, and a bunch of white ones, I think we have a decent selection. A latino one would be nice, but we can't go back to Mexico because of the time you....” Angelina jumped in, getting angry, “That could have happened to anyone!! How the hell was I supposed to know that midget wresting was all the rage there!” She looked over at the pictures of the kids. “All our white kids are a bit bland... They are all blonde, we need something else, something to match the drapes. Ooooooooh, I know, I watched The Simpsons the other night, they have a Scotch guy on their, Groundskeeper Cocky I think his name was, he had red hair, the drapes are maroon, we need a Scotch kid! They must all be red haired. I know all about Scotchland, they have wild haggises, and all the guys wear skirt things, you know, like you tried once, but somehow they still look like guys, and they fry everything, even their pepsi, I heard that. There's a place called Edinburg, which I think is like Pittsburgh, so it stands to reason that if that's like Pitts, then the other city... ummm... I think it's called Glass Cow, something like that anyway, that's gotta be like Philly. Call your agent”.

Brad looked up, ready to challenge her, before recognising the look in her eyes. There was no point. If he wanted sex again this side of the rapture (which, he thought at times like these, couldn't come quick enough) then he had no choice. “Ok” he sighed, “Get number 4 to get me the phone”. “Brad! They have names you know!!”. Brad looked over. “Ok, tell me the name of kid number 4?”. Angelina thought for a second. “Ok, you win this time! FOUR!!!! GET DADDY THE PHONE, we're going to Scotchland!”

Several Months Later

Glasgow is in turmoil. When the city council got a letter from a fancy Hollywood studio asking if they could essentially shut down the city centre of the biggest city in Scotland, the only question they asked was “how long fir, and how much are ye givin us, cash wise?”. Once that was sorted out, which was done in record time, it was all systems go.

With Brad safely ensconced in his trailer, Angelina went shopping. Her first, and as it would turn out, only stop was “Honest Jim's Emporium of Second Hand Children”, which was purported to be “the best place tae get yer new and used bairns”, if only by 'Honest' Jim himself. He couldn't believe his luck when Angelina Jolie turned up one day to ask for a look at the catalogue. This surprised Jim, mostly because he didn't have a catalogue, but, in the fashion of the Glaswegian wide-o that he was, he wasn't long in making up a tale to tell. “Ach, hen, I'd love tae gie you a swatch, sorry, a gander, sorry hen, ah dinnae get many Septics in here, eh, sorry, you'll no ken 'the patter', it's a bit like the pish they spout in London, the auld cockney slang and that, only oors is hunners better. So, a septic tank, is a yank, see”. Jolie was confused, but thought to herself, well, this guy is as Scotchish as I'm going to get, so I must be on to a winner” By this time, Jim's weasel mind had started to work overtime. “Aye, see what it wiz, have jist been able tae get that many bairns shifted, ye ken whit it's like, ye shift a bairn on tae some cun... erm.. couple, they are that made up, they tell their pals, so they want yin tae, then they tell aw their pals, before ye ken, yer firin' oot bairns left right and centre”. Angelina looked crestfallen. “Does that mean you don't have anything up for adoption just now? I've got my heart set on a poor Scotchish red haired orphan”. Jim scratched his chin. “Ah'll see whit ah can dae for ye. Come back here the morra and I'll sort ye somethin oot.”

The Next Day

Right on cue, Angelina wandered into Honest Jims. “Ah, Ms Jolie hen, it's your lucky day, Honest Jim has pulled oot aw the stops and ah've got ye a red haired orphan. It's a boy, he'll be ready by the end of the day, aw a need ye tae dae is hae a gander at the contract, sign yer name, hand over the dosh, and the lucky young fella is yours tae tak hame wi ye the night!”

Jolie's eyes lit up. “Can I have a look at him?”. Honest Jim looked her right in the eye and said “See, if it wiz up tae me hen, absolutely, but see, it's the Scottish parliament, they hiv this thing aboot discrimination, you might have seen something aboot it in the paper”. Angelina actually did, “Oh yeah, I read this morning that there's some kind of problem with the Rangers and the Celtics, although I thought one was a hockey team and the other a basketball team, so I don't know what that is all about”. “Aye hen, that's the hing, there's a lot of that going aboot, so the government, see, they are trying to make it hard on honest traders like my good self, I'd be all for letting you have a gander at the young fella, but then I'd be breaking the law see, at the same time they said we couldnae hae a fag in the boozer, all of a sudden we couldnae let guid folks like yersel see the bainr before hand, cause see, you might be a Rangers wumman, and the bairn might come fae a Celtic family, so then you'd be all “och, ahm no havin' a Celtic bairn”, and then cause I let you see it, then I'd get the jail for putting you in that tricky position, so ye see hen, it's aw doon tae the government”.

“Ok” said Angelina, “I kinda see where you are coming from, but hey, you advertise yourself as honest, and you are certainly Scotchish, so yeah, let me read the contract and if that's all good, I'll sign”.

Honest Jim smiled his best, gap-toothed smile. “Nae bother doll. Gie me two shakes of the old tallywhacker, I'll be right back...”


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream...

Dreams are strange things. At least mine are. To call them abstract would be doing them a disservice. For the vast majority of the time I can't remember my dreams, I keep meaning to leave a notepad and pen at the side of my bed, but every now and again, I have a dream of such bizarre majesty that it remains imprinted upon my psyche long enough for me to remember at least the key points.

Take last night, for example. I had one of my more strange dreams. I don't remember many of the details, but unusually I do remember some. The summary would be thus:

I was in a band, and we were playing with Slayer. We had got to the end of the set, and we started playing Reign in Blood (I remember a set of stepladders being involved for some odd reason) and we were playing with such ferocity and intensity, that we essentially destroyed the planet. All was not lost, however, as we were given the chance to terraform the planet again. The next thing I remember was wandering around the planet (which was now the size of a large field), trying to find the incorporeal beings who were busy rebuilding the planet (at an enhanced pace). These beings were busy knocking together some pyramids, but were open to my ideas. Before I knew it, the planet was covered in grass and some trees were starting to sprout, and I was in negotiations with the planet next door, trying to get them to flood a field so I could use it to irrigate my planet. I don't remember much else, other than there was a giant toad which was evolving into something else, someone (I think it may have been Tom Araya from Slayer) tried to catch it, and it evolved in mid-hop, so all that was left in the other guy's hand was one giant toad leg.

I've had other strange dreams which I still remember fleeting glimpses of, such as the dream where I shaved a gorilla (a big gorilla at that!), the dream where I was elected Pope, despite telling everyone that I wasn't religious, let alone catholic, but they wouldn't listen, and then, as I was preparing for the Urbi et Orbi speech so favoured by new popes, the devil tried to break into my office at the Vatican, and I remember standing there with my papal staff, wearing the big hat and all the vestments, banging my staff on the floor as the devil tried to break the doors down, and giving it my best Gandalf-like “By the power vested in me, you shall not enter!”. I don't remember anything after that, but I'm going to assume that I defeated the devil and went on to become a great and respected pope. Can you imagine me as pope... It really doesn't bear thinking about.

The other dream I remember is probably the most interesting and thought provoking dream I can remember having. A few months ago, I woke up having had the most vivid dream I could ever recall, and the memory was in a level of detail I don't normally have. The dream started with my death, which in itself is not as unusual as people think, people often have dreams which involve the shedding of their mortal coil, psychologists and dreamologists (a word I would like to think I've just made up, but I'm sure there are people, somewhere, who refers to themselves as dreamologists) say that it refers to a desire for change, self discovery, some kind of transformation, and who knows, they may even be right. Anyway, I died, and then found myself, still recognisibly me, in a graveyard which was filled with glowing balls of light, which at first frightened me, and I tried to run away from them but was then given the knowledge (I know not how) that the lights weren't to be feared, but embraced, so I stopped running and turned around to start walking through the graveyard (which was the graveyard at Dunfermline Abbey). As I walked through, the lights moved away to let me pass, until I came to one particular light which didn't move, and I somehow knew that I was to walk into the light, which I duly did. I clearly remember the light enveloping me, and I then (in the dream) closed my eyes for what somehow felt like just a second, and an eternity at the same time. When I opened my eyes again I was in 'spirit' form and was looking at a 6 month old baby in a supermarket, the baby's dad was standing behind the pram, as it's mother was bagging groceries at the checkout. I then remember, with staggering clarity, instinctively knowing that my spirit or soul (call it what you will) was there to inhabit the body of the baby so that the circle of life could start again. I also knew instinctively that the reason I was about to merge with a 6 month old baby, was that it took 6 months after birth for the baby's neural pathways to mature to a point where they could handle having a soul. I clearly remember my incorporeal form dissolving and melting into the baby I was looking at. The baby closed it's eyes as I disappeared into it's head, and then when it opened them again, it was me looking through them, looking up at my new parents, knowing that I would never consciously remember my previous existence, but that somewhere, somehow, the me that is here at the moment, would always be there, along with all the souls which formed part of the current me.

I'm not, as I have already stated, religious, nor am I any kind of spiritual, but I remember waking up at the end of that dream with a sense of unusual calm and peace. It was the most bizarre sensation.

It certainly was different from dreams of gorilla shaving!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Unwritten Rules

It is accepted that to live in an ordered and civilised society, we need rules and regulations, laws by which we live. After all, to quote the great mage Al Murray, where would we be if we lived somewhere with no laws? That's right, France.  Not all of these rules, however, are written down, some are passed through the generations by words and deeds, some are just inherent. I shall describe some for you now.

1. Thou Shalt Not Nail Thy Best Friend's Ex or Sister

This is one of the inherent ones. It's just a no-no.  There is one, and only one exception - you may, with clear conscience sleep with your best friend's sister, if you were already sleeping with her before you became best friends, in other words, if you were introduced to your best friend by his sister, whom you were already making the beast with two backs with, that's fine. In all other circumstances, absolutely not.  There is never any instance where it is permissible to bang your best friend's ex, regardless of how long ago they were together (please note, by 'ex' I mean someone he's gone out with for a period of time, if it's just a former FANTA (one of life's great acronyms, meaning 'F**k And Never Touch Again'), then still best avoided, but permissable.

2.   Thou Shalt Not Cry at Chick Flicks

For a start, I'm going to assume that you are watching a chick flick with your other half, and even then only on the understanding that there will be a suitable naughty reward at the end of it. Anyway, yeah, don't cry.  Don't get caught into the trap of thinking "it will show her how sensitive I am", your GF doesn't want that, for sensitivity she will have her female friends, or gay male friends, no, if you cry at a chick flick (yes, even Marley and Me, which I'm lead to believe was sad, not having seen it) then you are one step away from blubbing during Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, or News at Ten. No one wants a man who cries at random TV shows.

3.  Toilet Etiquette At Work

Few people realise just how complex toilet etiquette at work really is.  There are so many rules, guidelines, things you must do, things you must never do, it would probably take an entire blog on it's own to list them all, so I will stick with the main ones.

* Location, Location, Location

Where possible, you must always leave a cubicle between you, and any other occupant. Same for urinals. If you are first in, then you must take a cubicle/urinal at the end of the row, maximising the opportunities for gap-leaving should someone else come in, for example:

|  X  |       |  Y  |       |  Z  |

If you are first in, you take position X.  If you are second in, you take position Z, and if you are 3rd, then the only permissible position left for you is Y.  Experienced toilet goes who come in to find positions X, Y and Z already filled are adept at finding ingenious ways of passing time until one of the positions becomes vacant, the true experts can make it look like the whole reason for their trip to the toilet was to check their tie was straight, pluck an imaginary stray hair from their nostrils, wash their hands, making it look like having a slash/dump, was a mere afterthought.  It is acknowledged that desperate times call for desperate measures, so, if the call of nature is more of a scream, then you may assume one of the normally prohibited positions.

* Consider Others

If you are making a sizeable deposit, or if it is a particularly vicious ring-stinger, then it is the custom to employ the technique known as a 'courtesy flush' after the first 10 minutes, thus ensuring that the noxious vapours don't disturb other patrons too much.

* No Small Talk

One of the biggest faux pas one can make in a communal lavatory is to try and engage in small talk. At no point is it acceptable to conduct a conversation within the confines of the lav.  If you are at the sink, washing your hands a cursory nod and monosyllabic grunt of acknowledgement will suffice.  It can't be stated enough that, unless it is for reason of dire emergency, invoking any kind of communication whilst in a cubicle or even worse, standing at the urinal, is one of the most cardinal of sins.

There are only 2 exceptions to this rule. If your trip to the cubicle has been particularly virulent, and you failed to undertake your pre-dump checks and are only noticing now that you are out of paper, then it is permissible to request some, however, this must be in the form of a general request, and not explicitly directed to the adjacent cubicle.  An example of what is permitted:

"Och, there's nae f**kin paper in here, someone fling me a roll ower the door, eh" (if the particular establishment you are visiting doesn't provide rolls, rather individual sheets, then you can say "... gawny goan shove some sheets under the door").

And, forbidden would be:

[knock on the cubicle wall] "Haw pal, you goat ony paper in there you can geez a shot of".

If the adjacent cubicle has an occupant (in line with the occupancy rules identified above) and he is addressed directly, if he is one who adheres to the laws of the loo, he will ignore your direct request.  However, any man who is in the bog and hears a general request for paper, is obliged to reply. After all, one day, it could be you.

* Eyes Front and Centre

If you are standing at a urinal and the one next to you happens to become occupied, then you must not make anything even vaguely like eye contact with the occupant - after all, he won't want to be right beside you any more than you want him to be where he is. Find a spot on the wall, at eye level and immediately in front of you and focus upon it with a stare of such intensity that there is a risk the tiles may fracture out of sheer awkwardness.

There is never, and will never be, any excuse for casting your eyes upon any part of the physiology of your unfortunate neighbour.  Even when you have finished that task in hand (so to speak!), you must shake and return the python to it's lair without casting as much as a glance anywhere other than the point on the wall which has been your focus of attention throughout. Then, when all is done, you may leave the locale of the urinal, you must turn away from your neighbour, and head straight for the sink, having picked one out and focussed upon it for the duration of the journey.

If you are stuck in the middle, and you finish first, then basically, you are screwed, it would serve you right for not adjusting the flow to do all in your power to ensure that one of your co-urinators finishes first.

* More Than 2 Shakes...

One must ensure that when shaking the old tallywhacker at the end of a shift, that one doesn't go overboard. Ideally, you want a maximum of amplitude, with a minimum of wavelength, in other words, short but vigorous! A couple of shakes should prove to be sufficient, you must be wary of being one of those who stands there for 30 seconds or more, furiously thrashing his member back and forth like he was trying to use it as a helicopter rotor.  The male rule of thumb is thus - Anything more than 2 shakes, is a w*nk!

There are rules a plenty still to come, so check back for the next instalment!