I’m up with the larks for the 6 a.m. mass at Bearsden convent. The kids are literally climbing the walls of our suite at The Premier Inn. José is trying to fit his twin brother Mosè into the trouser press. They are driving me potty; which reminds me to check on Doo Doo at training after I rinse their pink receptacles in the toilet. The baby, Henrik, whom I called after my hoops hero, has not stopped crying since his baptism. I realise that The Lisbon Lions Mobiles are becoming a bit stale but chin up young prince called after the King of Kings.
“Henrik Larsson, Henrik Larsson, Henrik Larsson is the King of Kings.”
As I am dressing in the dark I mistakenly pull on my Celtic replica shirt. I don’t realise it until I turn up at training. Shop steward Lee Wallace is the first to clear his throat. I check to see if my Spanish Fly is undone. All present and correct, or as my English tutor has suggested: spectacles, testicles, wallet. The club are desperate for me to stop blessing myself and would prefer that I revert to this aide-memoire.
I thought of sending one of the kids, young Billy Gimour, round to the Glasgow Airport Shop to pick up a 32 Teds shirt, but I was told that it had closed down as Dave King was pilfering stock left, right, and centre. Young Billy has apparently been sold but if truth be told I cannot tell one Billy from the next. Is everyone in Glasgow called Billy? Where is their sense of imagination? Their running with the bulls spirit? Which reminds me that I must get my haemorrhoids attended to after a touching cloth incident at Pamplona.
Training is becoming a bilingual nightmare. The Scottish lads are having difficulty mastering:
“Arrumar o fuckwit do parque” which translates to hoof it up the park fuckwit. And here was me naively trying to introduce a passing game. John Brown came by to wish us good luck. With his thinning red hair and buffed brown brogues he reminded of the time young José discovered the Swan Vestas and presented young Mosè with a potty of poo with a match stuck firmly in the mire.
As he caught site of my Celtic top I could hear him mutter ‘fucking taig’ under his breath which I am assured is effectively a term of affection compared to some of the more robust rhetoric in the Brown lexicon. I must remember not to bless myself when Brown is galvanising the troops: Spectacles, testicles, wallet
I must admit my surprise that Campbell Ogilvie did not manage to squeeze out a few more UEFA coefficient points to spare our blushes. The People, as in WATP, (Nós somos as pessoas) will not be pleased to discover that UEFA consider us to be a new club formed from a confection of assets. There goes our history of bribes, blackmail, tax evasion, dual contracts and unparalleled domestic success. I have a mind to call the ASA for a continuation fix.
After a hard day at Auchenhowie and an evening Novena at St. Aloysius, I used my Iphone app to summon a black cab, which promptly arrived emblazoned with ‘Uber Hail Hail’ livery. It must be a Glasgow thing. The Spanish Butcher was rocking. I ordered a Cervejas and quickly chased it down with a Super Bock. I noticed that The Bellshill Bounder, Craig Whyte, was holding court with some suits. I overheard talk of a floating charge being given paramountcy. If I were not mistaken he sounded as if he knew what he was talking about. Could another Exocet be heading to Ibrox?
Note to self. Cancel the call to the ASA. Being a new club has its privileges. Time to get back to The Trouble & Strife for some I should Coco. I’m really getting the hang of the lingo. If only my wife knew a different way of dancing when we are getting jiggy jiggy. I’m pretty sure the Samba was not what the Catholic Chutch had in mind when they introduced the rhythm method. If we have any more kids we might have to live in a shoe, preferably a brown brogue.
Nós somos as pessoas!