personal rebellion

Let's build a morgue

Roger Soames, former Cox Professor of Anatomy at Dundee University, used to sigh with exasperation and his shoulders would slump in resignation every time I burst into his office to announce with bounding enthusiasm: ‘I have just had a brilliant idea’. It is fair to say that most were utterly bonkers, a few had some latent usefulness and one or two even had merit. But you need to have at least 50 barmy flights-of-fancy before one genuine gold nugget is conceived. This is the story of one of those rare and successful ideas.

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St Patrick's Day

“You’re looking sharp, Graham.”

“You too, Alastair. Boomtown’s bouncing tonight.”

“G, I, double BB, Y. Stevie Wonder, rolling thunder.”

“I’ve booked the taxi, Graham. Half eleven. The Cav should be rocking. Get the Guinness in, two pots! Here’s a little number to get you out your seats. Jump around, jump up, jump up and get down.”

“Careful, you’re spilling the dark stuff, Graham. Less to go down our necks.”

“Hiya Karen – Yvonne, budge up.”

“Yeah, lads, squeeze in. How goes it?”

“Good, the night is young!”

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Against the Internet

I rebel against social network sites,
Credit cards,
Loan deals,
Mobile phones,
Computers – all handheld gadgets.
All are, to me, a ruin of mankind.
They steal our money, our social lives, our shops, our romance, our whole life.
And we cannot talk

As human beings we are slaves to machines,
That run our lives for us,
One day they story mankind for good,
A rebel,
They will not brainwash me.

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Those School Doctors

They said I had Heart murmurs. I asked them “How do you know?”
They told me. “Our stethoscope told us so” “Oh!” I replied, “Can they talk?”
They laughed and said, “No, but we know the sounds that heart murmurs make.
Therefore we want you to go to a Special School where people are trained to take
good care of children like you.

But, my present wee School was special to me
I shook my head and said. “It’s here I want to stay
It’s not far from my home, and I know the way
I even know the Policeman on Points Duty.”

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Rebel With a Tartan Cause

My own personal rebellion is currently ongoing. It started a couple of years ago when I first sussed there was a chance that the Scotland men’s football squad could rack up an unenviable total of ten qualifying failures in a row if they didn’t make it to the European Championship finals in 2016 or the World Cup in 2018.

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I will be rebellious, and I will guard fiercely what I believe
Some self-respect is all that is left
And there's no way I will let it lose
To your angry eyes and accusing hands
Burning into my space
I wait until you are done
And you can feel like the greater one.

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Twice Pierced

The first time I got my nose pierced I was seventeen and had just gone away to university. One – maybe two – weeks into the experience, I wanted to do something to mark my new found freedom: having sex and not worrying about getting caught, staying out as late as I wanted to, sleeping in as long as I wanted to, eating whatever I liked, drinking as much as I wanted. My mum was appalled and for some reason it caused an enormous rift between her and my two aunts that lasted the better part of a year. I still don’t know why.

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Would I? Should I? Could I?

Would I? Should I? Could I? Would I be a rebel? Should I be a rebel? Could I be a rebel? If I did, was it even rebellion?

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Em and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Surely there was more to life than doing what was expected? Fortunately, my girlfriend, Em, agreed. Standing in her bathroom doorway one morning, I asked her if she fancied riding a motorbike with me half way round the world. My resignation followed a year later.

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Cherry Blossom

‘You’re odd.’

God, you pick your moments. 

‘I can tell just by lookin’ at ye…’

I don’t mean it’s been a bad day. Quite the opposite. My work for the day done, I’d been congratulating myself, standing on the porch, winding down, the sun still warm upon my face.

‘The clothes you wear…’


You loom, casting shadows, banishing light: sucking the joy from the end of the day.

You’ve been waiting for this opportunity, haven’t you? The chance to have a go, to cut me down. Your time, your time to shine.

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