So, if it sounds sarcastic, don’t take it seriously. If it sounds dangerous, Do not try this at home or at all, And if it offends you, just don’t listen to it.

The Disclaimer is a really brill track from The Offspring and I’ll explain why it’s there later. Plus I’ve an exclusive as to why I once did something Fred Goodwin could only dream of….but first, what a day of near misses. Aaaaargh!

The romantic bet on the National didn’t quite work. This time last year I was about to start sandblasting (aka radiotherapy), the blog was just a twinkle in the eyes of me, the blogmeister and my gd frnd Clr, and the notion of following a football team all the way to Perth was one of the last things on my mind. 

Last year’s horse was Comply or Die, its jockey a recovering alcoholic. It was such an obvious choice. It won.

This year it came second but my very large bet was on it to win. Aaaargh! Son Brian was, however, really clever with his bets. He phoned me from the airport and told me how much to put on and on what. It’s a no-lose situation for him, isn’t it? But there’s always next year.

Indeed it’s cos the sandblasting worked, ‘there’s always next year’, so, many thanks for the irrational reason that pointed me in that direction, altho’ it will always be a strange story in the telling. Gulp but it’s always your call.

And then the football. I thought I’d just be popping along every second Saturday to Firhill. Little did I realise I’d end up travelling by train in the company of an incredibly svelte and sophisticated bunch of guys who would be quaffing calvados, black beer and red beer and that was just the guy sitting opposite me.  

Can I also say a big thanks to the lovely bar staff of the incredibly small Greyfriars Bar in Perth, the drivers of the local taxi company (our motto – “We’ll drive you to drink”) and the very patient passengers of the train back from Perth, cos no matter how carefully we put ladies’ bags up and down on the luggage rack and put away our rubbish, you can always feel the sober looks, and that’s just amongst ourselves.

And this is why I’ve played The Disclaimer cos I think I’ve offended some people and I don’t know why. I’m not bothered about those people who, when I first came out of the drinks cabinet (as opposed to the closet) two years ago, described alcoholics as ‘scum’, or said that sooner or later I’d revert to the bottle…so far so good, but maybe some others more important to me and I’m crap at seeing these things cos I don’t take that much offence these days and I’m really crap at bridge re-building. Maybe it’s something I’ve said, or written in the blog.

I owe too much to so many people to want to lose any, c’est tout.

(There is one reconstruction outstanding, which, whilst it will never be the Kingston,… even the Bell’s or the Squinty would still be good).

So if I have offended, albeit unwittingly, tell me. You have my numbers and addresses. Please use them.

One group of people is using them and whilst it’s not producing much income I’m still working with academics and former academics, helping where asked, cos I never give an opinion unless asked cos WTF do I know about anything, let alone bridge building? Can I say that if you do give out my details to other folk in the hopes that I can help (and I have no real objection as long as it’s sensible – it’s a freelance thing) can they at least introduce themselves properly?

My favourite was the student, sorry, academic who wanted my views on binge drinking…then or now, I wondered. 

But all that’s too heavy. Let’s get back to nonsense.

I was told this week I’m putting weight back on and you know they might be right. I remember eating twice this week, unusual, I know and it was during the second of these eatings, that I was told a number of things about Fred the Shred. The second of these I’ve now put in the hands of a journalist specialising in that sort of tittle tattle, but the first goes back to his student days. In the late seventies I was elected unopposed to the position of Libraries Convenor at Glasgow University Union. Three years later Fred stood for the same position and was humiliated. He was gubbed.

It may not seem a lot just now but it might help if you’re an RBS shareholder.

And didn’t Marianne Faithful look good on TV last week, almost as if chocolate wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

Younger listeners, if you want to embarrass older male members, ask them to correct that statement, and, also, if your parents come from the North East of Scotland, ask them where they got their basic sex education from, cos Gerry Davis who narrated Living and Growing, the best sex prog ever (are you listening Jacquie Smith’s husband?) died recently.

And whilst we’re on an artistic bent, Fangs launch their new single SICKO this coming week, Scottish Ballet’s Spring Season launches with some amazing new works commissioned by the amazing Ashley Page (No. No reason and No. I have never written a sentence like that in my life) and Mark Radcliffe has a new book out this week as well. That’s one index I will be checking but we were both young at the time.

And also, architecturally, I couldn’t help but notice a photo of Cumbernauld, home to the amazing Missie K, my gd frnd Clr and The Dykeenies. Is that really a Video Drive-In, slap bang in the middle of a pedestrian walkway beside a shop called Dee’s Rolls

Guitar hero on a mobile phone? Whatever next?….maybe even that strange pedestrian bridge by the SECC would be good. Ho hum.

Sportingly, I was down at the city centre hotel used by the Iceland team before the game during the week (My taxi driver, Caitlin wanted to drop me at the side entrance and not the front door. It must have been what I was wearing!) and whilst sitting amongst them, I couldn’t help but notice they were drinking tea, coffee and soft drinks…and they lost!!!! However, I think even George Burley would have noticed that his goalie had had an overnight hair cut.

And finally, on my own cancer front? The cancer man is happy with progress and has passed me over completely into the hands of the Good Doctor Fiona, who tells me her plans are to ‘normalise’ me. Dear listeners, believe me, I look forward to keeping you posted. Indeed, I do. And it’s maybe something in this area that has put me in a strange mood.

I recently heard one woman saying that her husband had been diagnosed last year with prostate cancer and he’s ‘only 57’; five years older than me then, and nine years older than Frank Zappa. It will always irk, but there again, it gives me more years to ‘keep it fun’. I intend to…’No offence, know what I mean? Here let me put that up on the rack for you.’

I know a guy who fell asleep in a luggage rack once.  


Johnt850 with the Factor Thirty in use this week, C, but I feel the need for a dongle. It’s going to be a long hot summer from now on (TRB)


2 Responses to “So, if it sounds sarcastic, don’t take it seriously. If it sounds dangerous, Do not try this at home or at all, And if it offends you, just don’t listen to it.”

  1. Dennis Kelly Says:

    Got to you off that website – nice to see you putting yourself about a bit. I can’t believe though that you made Libraries and Fred didn’t – we were on the board at the same time – remember and I hadn’t even heard of Fred Goodwin. I would just like to say that despite you winning and him losing, you have maintained the moral high ground my good friend, while he has played his part in allowing his personal greed to bring a great financial institution to it’s kness and to aid the almost bankruptcy of a nation. Well done you!

  2. johnt850 Says:

    What? That website? ?

    I try not to mention that website too often……I leave it to the graduate trainee to do that!

    But thanks for kind wishes. I wonder how many failed attempts to be a board member fell on bad times like Fred’s done!

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