Ca’ me Demian.
Ah’ve drank well oan this story o`er the years.
The tellin’ is an organic process. Ah wid say it wurks like this, ye know, yer in a bar somewherr and some punter wants tae gab. Someone tae temporarily take them away fae whitever swamp o keech they are drooning in. And there ye urr, between the pulls on thon amber pint at the bar, ye go through the necessary friendly formalities, smile, ask them about themsels and discuss the current shite that the loonies runnin the world are up tae. Ye establish rapport. Ye listen tae him, nod, sigh, smile and look doon, appropriately.
“Aye, ye’ve certainly hud an interestin life.”
Noo, by this time they will either hud the grace tae ask ye about yerrsel, or ye need tae use plan B fur the narcissists:
“Hiv ye ever met anywan unusual?” Maist wid say naw, the occasional nutter, but niver hid tae deal wi them. Then you flick oot the baited line.
“Hiv ye ever met a pirate?” Inevitably, naw.
“Hiv ye ever met an air pirate?” Also naw.
So ye push oot yer chest, arms akimbo and smile bigtime. Once ye`ve clocked them goaggling, ye look at yer watch and say nice tae meet ye, etc and say ye goat tae be up the road. They stare at ye as if ye’ve just grabbed an et their pie in wan.
“Naw, ye cannae leave noo- ye got tae finish the story.” They plead like wains. “Haw Jim – a drink fur ma freen here please.”
Ye mak yer protestation, but dinnae refuse the pint... and a wee hauf, ye say, wid go wi it nice, if that’s okaydokey.
Then,ye gie them the story.
“It was on a trip hame fae Canada – hadnae bin back in awhile. Wiz gaunae see the folks and femily, mates, freens. The hale jimbang, ye know. They had poured me ontae the aerieplane in Toronto. Even the staff laughed at ma trauchles wi pittin my jaicket oan at security, but that wiz the days afore 9/11.
“Onywey, it wiz a guid flight, goat in therr at the fronta the aerie, jist efter the cockpit and lavvy. Ya dancer! The folks ah wis seated wi wur lucky enough tae sleep – ah kinnae sleep on thae rid eyes. Ah read aw the peppers – still wisnae sleepy. But they kept coming roon wi the bevy – free of course. Well, yiv paied fur it oan yer ticket. Besides, being next tae the lavvy gied us a wee bit mer, ye know, sense o adventure. So why naw? So ah hud a beezer oan the cheeky watter.
“Next thing we wur skyting o’er the Campsies, Glesga a big grey jumble tae the left. The seat belt sign went oan. I needed a gish and stood up. The cabin staff goat all crabbit, telling me tae sit doon ... ah telt thim ah wiz burstin. Ah rebelled and stood ma grun – the lavvy wiz only four feet in front o us. Ah looked aroon, aw thae punters an cabin staff gien us growlers. But if ye got tae go... Dry troosers wiz wurth mair than therr scunner. Ah fired intae that wee daft lavvy. Some jobsworth wiz hammerin oan the door tellin us tae cam oot. Well, whit kin ye dae when yer in fu stream? Then, fillet o’ fish done, relief.
“When ah cam back, they had moved ma neebors frae the front seating. Och well, but mair elbow room. I wiz almost nodding aff when the wheels hit the tarmac and bounced me awake. Dozed again. Next thing, three cops breenged oan like the SAS. Shouty, pointy, an a Mrs Wummen thit seemed less emotionally aff the jetty, thin the ither twa. Jeez - anywan wid hae thought thit there wiz a terrorist oan board. Ah mean ah wiz puggled, but no maroc.
I wiz equally pissed aff.
“Haud the bus, am urnae leaving withoot ma gear.” And comically, the SAS operation stoapped while Ah ransacked the lockers to retrieve my gear. Funnily enough, when they clocked that I had goat my bags, the shouty nonsense started agin.
We went doon the stairs tae the tarmac. They made a show of hauling me tae the doorway, but efter that, hauns were aff. Pointy indicating where we were going. He shot the craw, leeing me wi Shouty – who hud breath like a burst lavvy, and the doll cop. We sped alang glass corridors overlooking the runway. Jeez, we wer away like a toly doon the china telephone tae Goad.
We goat tae the main bit and Shouty talked oan his radio tae a high heid yin. Ah stood wi the bonnie wummen. I tried the patter.
“So how has your shift been fur ye? Goat plans fur the rest of the day?” Rejection. She wiz nice, but wis geein’ uz the boady swerve.
I was keeping an eye on Shouty and he seemed to sag against the counter, despite the rising tone in his voice. He cam back. Ah wiz like Captain Willard in “Apocalypse the Noo.”
“Whit are the charges?”
He looked as mean as he probably could and said
“Air piracy – yer jokin! Whit was Ah supposed to dae – pish my pants?”
The doll cop cracked up, giggling. Shouty goat humpty dumpty but seemed sooked oot, in the face o her laughter – it wiz ma first hint eh optimism. Shouty took anither call oan his radio. He wiz beelin, but ah wiz telt tae get offski. Nae charges.
At the luggage carousel, ma suitcase wiz aff the plane an in ma hauns before the rest of the punters even goat aff. Ah stoatered aff intae the grey Paisley mornin.
So therr ye go ma China, ye kin tell everyin, yuv met an air pirate.