The two rather dishevelled men walked up the street. They weren’t very big, they weren’t very handsome. They certainly weren’t very clever. Normally fate would decide that due to these short-comings they would have been given very interesting characters or gracious manners. But no! Not these two, they were both arseholes.
They once wore their colours with pride but due to recent events they only wore their colours. It wasn’t even anything to do with fashion, it was more tradition. This was a tradition that anyone from any other country couldn’t understand. This was the tradition of their insane sanity, repulsion and sticking it right up the other side. It didn’t matter who you were it only mattered what you were. It didn’t matter if you earned a million pounds it only mattered if you were a Billy or a Tim!
One of the men pulled his blue anorak even tighter round his body. He tied his scarf around his neck and contemplated strangling himself with it. It was a very dank drizzly, freezing cold, fucking pish, November night. The other man, who wore the same uniform, was slightly more philosophical about their predicament.
Come on Boaby! It’s no that bad!!”
His friend whirled round at him. His eyes flared and as he spoke the November rain was spat from his mouth.
Fuck off!! Fuck right off!!! It is that bad! It’s terrible! It’s as the Begees sang once… It’s a Fucking tragedy!!”
He tried to wipe the water off of his glasses with the end of his scarf but it only smudged them more. He responded to this problem in the usual manner.
Bastard!!! I bet you the fucking rain is one of them!!”
His pal gave him a playful slap.
Look, we didnae even get beat… It was a draw… Besides; it was only a second eleven, reserve, reserve game.”
He gave up with his glasses, put them into his pocket and peered into the rain as he walked.
Aye and that’s all we will ever see cause of them league above us, tarrier, fenian, bastards”.
Boaby kicked over a bucket. He tried not to miss a stride but he nearly fell over.
His pal hid his smile, “What did you do that for?”
Because Rab, It’s Fucking green and it’s the only fucking green thing that took a beatin’ today…I’m away hame!!”
For fuck sake Boaby! Look at the run we’ve been having! What does it matter that The Tic have just beaten us! It was a diddie game! The season hasn’t even started.”
That’s the problem Rab! A diddie game! That is the only chance that we get to beat them and we still can’t do it!”
“Boaby turned up the alleyway from the main street.
Are you going to the lodge tonight Boaby?”
Ah don’t think so, I think I’ll hang myself with my bedroom curtains!! Besides the last time we were there they served pea soup! I don’t like where that is going Rab!!”
Rab shook his head and shouted after him.
Don’t go spoiling those curtains! Your landlady wouldn’t be able to get the blood out of them. What would red and orange make?”
Boaby’s eyes flashed as he spun around at his friend, “Fucking brown! Like shite!! Like what we watched tonight!!!”
Rab smiled as he watched his pal rant and rave and kick things all the way up the alleyway.
I’ll buy him a pint the night! I’ll get him as foo’ as the Popes bawz. Might even get him a whisky and a green ginger chaser, just to piss him off!!”
Bastards, fucking useless orange Bastards! How can I go to my work on Monday morning with all those left footed Tim Bastards and have them call me a useless Orange Bastard!?”
Boaby was in charge of packaging in a mobile phone shop. Well, he made sure that the boxes didn’t get mixed up. He hated his job. He really didn’t want to work but unfortunately the dole wouldn’t stretch to buying his season ticket for him so he had managed to get himself the most soul-destroying dead-end job ever. He was on his feet all day and went through shoes like fuck. Each morning before work he used to say ‘Today is the day where everything will change drastically for the better!’ After six months of nothing good happening he changed his morning chant to ‘Today is the day that I couldn’t be fucked with yesterday!!”
Boaby didn’t mind six or so of the boys who worked there. Sure they all ripped the pish but that was more to do with the job as their affiliations were similar. There were four left footers however and he knew that his life wouldn’t be worth living. He made a mental note to leave his phone off as he knew that they would already be texting him.
He booted an old beer crate and felt his toe break.
Oh! You Fuck!! Jesus Fucking Fuck!!! I heard it crack! That’s like craic!! Is everything mocking me?”
Boaby felt quite dizzy. He sat down on the offending crate and began to sob.
Fuck them! Fuck them all! I’d be as well joining them! Become a turncoat… Maybe that’s just what I’ll do!”
He got up slowly and hobbled back down the alley onto the Main Street. He crossed the road and went into the little junk shop that sat on the corner. It didn’t take him long to find what he was looking for.
Here you go old champion! Wrap these up well for me!!”
The old man sniggered as he did what he was asked. Boaby stared at him indignantly.
The old boy looked up from wrapping.
I take it that you were at the game?”
Boaby felt his teeth clench. He looked the old man up and down. He was the usual Glasgow trader, brown cardigan, Crimplene trousers and a belt that was wrapped twice around his waist. His white trainers off set the look.
Yes! And I thought that I’d celebrate by buying a picture of our glorious leader.
The old boy laughed.
I think that you’ve got the wrong leader!”
He pointed to the scarf that Boaby was wearing.
He began to feel his face change colour yet again, a little heat to pink, more heat, now red and eventually to purple.
Fuck!! Fuck you!! So what if I’m a turn coat bastard! Have you got a problem with that?”
No me son. I’m a Thistle supporter, so I don’t give a fuck what either of you bigoted Bastards do!”
Bigoted! What the fuck do you mean bigoted?” Boaby screamed.
What I say son. Do you know that the only thing worse than an orange bastard is a papish bastard! And the only thing worse than a papish bastard is an orange bastard!!”
Boaby scowled. His head hurt as he tried to concentrate.
So, what are you saying? And more to the point, what foot do you kick with?”
The old man howled with laughter.
You don’t get it, do you? Be a person first and foremost! If you do that, we all become the same!”
Boaby threw down the money and picked up his purchases. He marched to the door and then turned to face him.
That’s not our way! That’ll never happen!! And do you know your problem, by the way!! You’re a fucking communist!!”
He heard the old man roar with laughter again. Boaby took to his heels and sprinted as much as he could with a sore toe. He hobbled across the road and back into the alleyway.
You don’t know about those wrinkles! They can be right vicious bastards if they get a grip of you! The smell of barley sugars and Raljex alone could knock you out! Fucking Mr Ben prick!!”
He stopped and tried to stretch out his toe.
Oh ya’ bastard! I’ll be glad to get home!”
It took him twenty minutes to reach his bedsit. He sort of skipped, limped and swore all the way home. He paused for a second as he studied his building. It was a shit-hole. The house was a four in a block which was painted a sort of battle-ship grey. The door was a deep blue council paint job. The down-pipe was a brick-red and the windows were the old metal type. He sighed as he noticed more shit in the garden from the neighbour’s dog. Boaby opened the shooglie gate and walked up the few yards to the front door. He struggled to get his key out of his pocket but he finally managed.
It’s me Mrs McNally. I don’t feel like any tea tonight, I’m going straight to bed.”
He heard his landlady shout something back but he chose to ignore her. Boaby trudged upstairs, went into his room and locked the door. A tear began to trickle down his face as he looked around his room. All his posters and memorabilia stared back at him. This room was his life. It was history. It showed the rise of his beloved football club from Glasgow Green to greatness. It showed with photographs and autographs the exodus of English and European stars. It documented every success from trophies and medals, player of the year awards to the Sanitation Cup for best pies and urinals in a Scottish club. But now this.
He began to wail.
Not any more!! It’s all going to be different! Fuck!! Just because it is different doesn’t mean it will get any better!!”
He looked up to where the heavens would have been if he had a skylight.
What have you made me do? I’ve become lower than a soggy toilet roll shagger! I’m a turncoat Bastard!!”
His wailing became uncontrollable as he first tore down his football pictures, then his other bits and pieces. His granddad’s first apron. His membership card for the orange club and the six by four-foot photograph of him mooning beside the Vatican. He tore them all down!
There was only one picture left as the tears streamed down Boaby’s face. He opened up the items from the antique shop. The crucifix stared up at him. He was sure that it was trying to burn him as he gripped it. He looked at the picture of the Pope smiling and he gazed at his last hanging picture. This was the epitome of all that he had stood for! In all his glory there was King Billy; magnificent, proud, noble and of course, on his big white horse.
Boaby hesitated one last time and then slowly, very slowly, he hung the picture of the Pope over the same nail. King Billy’s horse’s tail seemed to be growing out of the Pope’s ear.
What have I done?” He wailed.
What have I become?” He cried.
Why me? Why do I hurt so much!? The pain! The pressure!! The shame!!! The indecisiveness!!”
He fell to his knees amongst his torn pictures. He looked at them. He stared at the picture of the Pope. He tried to cross himself but got a little confused and ended up with his finger up his nose and that was after he had poked his eye.
Oh God! What should I do? Why do you torture me this way? I’ve nothing really against Catholics. So what if I think that the Pope is the anti-Christ, who doesn’t! Surely I could become one! Think of all the things that I’d be able to do? I could light a candle for a start! That’s one thing that you can’t take away from those Tarrier Bastards, if there’s a candle to be lit, they’re the very men! And I’ve always wanted a large family. If I ever manage to get a wife, she’ll want to shag me all the time so we can have hunners of weans!! Fuck me! I’d make a fortune on the child benefit alone!!”
He shuffled towards the picture of the Pope with his arms ready to embrace the wall. He felt a very acute stabbing pain in his knee.
He looked down to see one of his Ian Paisley darts sticking into him.
Boaby pulled the dart out and threw it at the wall. It caught the Pope in the eye.
Fuck you all!!”
He stood up and with tears in his eyes, a hole in his knee and a broken toe. He limped, sniffed and crawled over to the picture. He studied the image. Was he dreaming? He began to rub his eyes to clear this vision that he was seeing. He rubbed again. It became clear to him that this was no vision. It was a…Well, to be truthful; he didn’t know what the fuck it was. Boaby felt strange, the only thing that he could do was to accept what was happening. From where the dart had pierced, there fell a tear of blood from the Pope’s eye. Boaby pulled back the picture to see where the dart had pierced King Billy. He couldn’t see behind the picture so he had to pull the Pope’s picture from the wall. He held it above King William’s picture. The blood began to flow rapidly down onto King Billy’s horse which had also started to bleed right out of its…Well, Boaby tried to remember the biological term for it, but he just couldn’t get there so he watched amazed as the Pope’s blood mingled with blood from the horse’s arsehole.
He realised that he’d stopped crying, limping and crawling. He felt a strange power in him, something new. He remembered seeing a film about it once. It wasn’t exactly what was happening to him but it was close enough.
Fuck me!” He thought. Did I pay good money to go and watch a documentary!!?”
Boaby was trying to remember the gist of the film. He’d been a bit pissed and had just spilt all his Maltesers when the scene that he’d wanted to remember had happened. It eventually came back to him. He squared himself up to his full five foot seven in height. He cupped his hands under the blood flow and decided that he should say a few words.
Ladies and gentlemen!”
He felt stupid. It was obvious that he was the only one there.
Fuck it, I’ll start again,” he took a deep breath.
I repel, revoke, rebuke …”
He wasn’t sure which word he meant, so he decided the safest thing would be to use them all.
… All things Catholic and all things Protestant! I am my own standing! I will live for the blood, let the blood be my life! Who will I scourge? Catholic? Protestant? But wait, that would mean asking for Birth certificates or looking at men’s knobs… Fuck that! I shall scourge everyone! I damn mankind into not a very nice place that I’ll be the dugs bawz of! I drink this blood as a sign of my impending slaughter of ‘Aw youse bastards!!’”
Boaby laughed a hellish laugh as he put his cupped hands to his lips and drank copious amounts of the flowing blood.
Tastes a bit like Irn Bru!”
He couldn’t move. He felt as bloated as buffet night at his local Indian restaurant. Even through his fullness he recognised that he’d changed. He was no longer Boaby Bell, scourge of the nightclubs and a true humanitarian. He was something more sinister, more powerful, more intelligent and intellectual. He now knew what the clitoris was, where it was? That was still a fucking mystery. He knew that if he could be bothered, he could fly, walk up the walls, that sort of thing.
Goes with the territory,” he reasoned. He’d seen vampire films before so he knew how to act. Although he was different from all those other vampires, he was a Scottish vampire. He would kill with a sarcastic remark. He would be sceptical and cynical. He would do anything to keep his national identity a part of him. He would still enjoy a bloody good ‘swallie’. He would be a sophisticated and patriotic killer. He rifted loudly followed by a horrendous vibrating fart.
As I’ve said, just like Irn Bru!”
He had one last thing to do before he could venture into the unsuspecting world. He had to smoke copious amounts of fags. The dirt of his homeland wasn’t soil; it was the ash from Embassy Regal…
His transformation was now complete.