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Na het na garra noh rett arra tegge ne ferr!

  Thu 30th June 2011

To Glasgow, to meet Arty. Kim texted "Glasgow? That's a long way to go for a bit of skirt. Or have all the local women got injunctions against you?" The 0650 to Glasgow was full of men strapped into ties doing the sort of metacrap that passes for work nowadays. Someone was reading a section entitled "Things to Consider When Using Coaching as a Strategy".

I found my way to where I was staying through an underpass, a field in which some Sikhs were playing cricket seriously, and some enormous, almost unreal tower blocks that seemed to float about the deserted streets.

Arty from Glasgow had eventually replied, at 8pm the previous night. We met in The Horseshoe Bar and clicked immediately; I was falling over myself with things to say. She was very interesting about the sectarianism in Glasgow, about how people use apparently banal conversation about football to position you. Nonetheless, when she went to the loo I texted Kim saying "Date going well but don't think I'm going to get any action". I could feel the deathly hand of friendship being sexlessly extended.

It ended with a little cheek kiss. I texted Kim again. "Wish there was a way of saying, the conversation was fine and you're fit enough. Shall we go somewhere?"

Arty replied "Yes, I picked up on that." Oops. I'd sent it to Arty instead of Kim.

"I'm terribly sorry Arty that wasn't meant for you. So sorry, misdirected text strikes again. I was just telling someone else about tonight, which I enjoyed."

"I'm laughing my head off, my cat is amused. I am glad you think I fit enough [sic]. You are FUN if a little inept at texting." By now, I was a bit pissed and was feeling a bit frisky. The Daily Mail-reading couple at the next table didn't look promising, her in a white trouser suit, blonde hair erect like a toilet brush. I wrote a rather filthy postcard to Frances, which, thank God, I didn't post.

The following morning my host and I sat round. He made himself some coffee. We chatted for an hour or so and I realised that nothing approaching breakfast was forthcoming, so I set off into Glasgow and found a little Italian cafe where I had a fried egg, potato scone and black pudding roll. In a charity shop I found an old cord jacket which makes me look like a Theology lecturer in a minor Welsh university. I was curious about the perfumes in House of Fraser. "What do you wear at the moment?" the assistant asked. It had never occurred to me that one "wears" a perfume. "You'll laugh," I said, and told him about the bottle of Chanel that I'd found on the train a while ago, which I like a great deal and use sparingly, when I'm meeting women I like. He was tactfully eloquent about the way that perfumes for women often suit men too. He gave me some Fahrenheit to try but it wore off after a few hours.

Thus expensively fragranced and dressed in a way which suggested I was more than capable of dealing with the doubts over Manichean eschatalogy that crop up in a typical afternoon in the backstreet boozers of Glasgow, I set to the real business of the day, which was to get pissed. In The Scotia, we watched Andy Murray in the tennis until the landlady thought that watching Scotland's greatest living sportsman playing in the world's finest tennis tournament would be best done with the TV volume off, in favour of canned music. The conversation became collective; I understood about as much of it as I understand groups of French people, but followed the cues and laughed in the right places and three of them shook my hand as I left.


Ye Return of Ye Bloggers of Yore section: one or two long term readers might be as pleased as I was to see Smacked Face back in business, her impeccable musical taste untarnished by her exile at "the arse end of the world", at Puttingoutfire. Her friend The Opinionated Diner is also well worth a look.

2 comments

Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

I’ve read the title of this post out to myself several times (a little like you rehearsing your pretend-academic reasons for your trip to the West of Scotland) but still it isn’t revealing its meaning to me. Perhaps I need to do some more drinking and come back to it in a couple of hours, yes that sounds like a good plan, just leave it with me.

I also very much like the term ‘metacrap’ which will come immediately to mind I am sure whenever I enter longdistance carriages from now on. On a similar note I spent a very agreeable half hour on the way home from a conference recently experiencing as a specator sport the efforts of a boy in a suit attempting maladroitly to draft the first sentence of an email to his boss. I wish I had committed the various iterations to memory as put together without any extraneous comment I suspect they would have achieved a certain poeticness.

Damn it’s a good job I’m saying this stuff over the internet and not, say, in the bar of Wetherspoons Lancaster over a teatime pint, in which case I suspect we’d both be getting our heads kicked in…

Fri 1st July 2011 @ 23:15
Comment from: [Member]

No, I couldn’t make any sense of it either. It’s a rough rendition of something that a painter and decorator said to me when we were both in the toilet. Practice it well Jonathan because apparently it’s a very funny remark.

Oh to have seen that email. There’s a delicious form of Schadenfruede watching people struggle with words.

Sat 2nd July 2011 @ 05:08


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The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
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