Monday, September 27, 2004


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 11

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary w/e 26th September 2004

‘One scoop of chocolate, two of fudge, one of mint choc chip, another two of peanut butter and fresh cream topping please …… oh and a flake ….. and a diet coke’ The spotty youth gave me a look that only teenagers can, then commenced digging for chocolate. He was on the fourth scoop when I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned to face a rather attractive brunette. She was smiling nervously and I must admit I thought - I’m in here! ‘Are you the real radio fugitive?’, ‘What?’ her smile immediately disappeared and she stomped off as quickly as she had arrived.

I stared at her vanishing back ‘What the fu-…’, ‘Seven pound fifty please sir’, ‘Hmmm?’, ‘Seven fifty for your bucket of ice cream’, ‘Oh yes, sorry …’ his sarcastic tone hadn’t escaped me and I felt compelled to respond. I gathered my change up deposited it in my pocket then theatrically slapped my head ‘Oh, I nearly forgot here’s your tip’ I tapped all my pockets in exaggerated fashion before pulling my hand from inside my jacket pocket and making what can safely be regarded as a universal gesture of displeasure. I further intimated that should he desire he might like to rotate on said digit.

Other than my ice cream mega bucket the shopping wasn’t going well, I was trying to find a wedding present but was lacking inspiration. What do you get the couple that have everything? ‘Nothing’ seemed to be the answer. I was studying a very ugly and hugely overpriced 18-piece tartan tea set when I received another tap on the shoulder. This time it was a Hispanic looking woman ‘scuse me are’a you thee Reeela Radio fugateeeeve’ (turns out she was Italian) ‘No I’m not what the ..’ she was gone.

This theme continued on my journey round the centre and by the fourteenth time I was getting rather fed up. I took refuge in Debenhams coffee shop, sitting down with a large cappuccino and an almond biscuit. It’s always the innocent that suffer they say, in this case the collateral damage was a man in his mid thirties who tapped me on the shoulder as I was about to take my first sip ‘Excuse me pal…ooomppff’ I got my retaliation in first. With the benefit of hindsight going for the ‘nuclear’ option straight away was possibly a tad premature (he only wanted me to pass the sugar)

My pre-emptive strike proved to be an even bigger disaster when the three previously hidden ‘gentlemen’ that had been sharing his booth stood up to see who had deigned to disturb them at their meal. It was at this point I decided that being a fugitive wasn’t such a bad idea after all ………

So no wedding present for the happy couple but I wasn’t going to let the small matter of no gift prevent me from attending the actual day, I’d think of some plausible excuse ………

The wedding was very nice (according to the girls that were there – I’m a man, so no point in asking me, I couldnay tell the difference between shite and shinola) There was one minor glitch for the godless people at the service (of which I am most certainly one) The lyrics to the two Hymns were printed on a separate piece of paper from the order of service. I was half way through the second verse before someone pointed out I was supposed to be singing the ‘other’ hymn …… ooops

Nice quick job though, in and oot in half an hour, it would have been nice to have a dramatic service, you know somebody shouting ‘STOP!’ when the padre says ‘does anyone here have just cause..’ but I was told I would be having my testicles on a platter if I so much as breathed at that point. She needn’t have worried, apparently being a closet ginger isn’t grounds to stop a wedding ……….

The reception was in a rather plush Hotel in Alloa, a secluded wee place in amongst some trees, very nice indeed. The Bride and Groom were greeting everyone as they arrived and I patiently waited my turn. I had the opportunity to survey the brides dress whilst waiting and it was indeed a beautiful ivory number with traditional sparkly bits silky veil and long train that the girlies seem to like.

You’ll be pleased to know I refrained from mentioning anything about the colour, like say ‘You’ve gorra cheek wearing white haven’t you’ as I felt this would be in poor taste so instead I plumped for ‘Jings Ginge yer chebs are looking sparkly luv..ooompff’ She’s got quite a right hook on her, I think the kicks to the kidneys were below the belt though and the stiletto heel in my lovespuds most definitely was.

Once they pulled her off me I stumbled off to the bar with ‘Baaaaastaaaaaarrrrd’ ringing in my ears, they do say weddings are stressful occasions so I can forgive her this once. Better put some antiseptic on I thought ‘Large whisky please’ I headed off to the toilets to dress my wounds as best I could. Cheap whisky and broken skin do not however ‘go’ together, it took three waiters and the night porter to peel me off the ceiling.

By this time the meal was being served. I have to say it was exceptional and my previous slip of the tongue appeared forgotten. I even managed to negotiate all the cutlery without incident (outside in – it’s easy really …. When you watch grown ups) The dessert was superb, a lemon terrine with raspberry syrup all served in a chocolate cup. A crisp chocolate cup, a hard, brittle, crispy chocolate cup … I like chocolate … My spoon dug into the thick chocolate base, I pressed a little harder … little more .. just a little more. I could feel the chocolate giving under the pressure … gently does it … gently … cachuuuung! It exploded like a chocolate hand grenade.

It all happened in slow motion, a second seemed to last an eternity. Chocolate shards flew past my eyes, raspberry sauce was launched skywards and lemon fragments spattered the table. When the explosion subsided I looked down at my shirt, not a single stain, not a mark, what a relief……’Christ that was a close one…’ I noticed that the hubbub in the room had died down and there was total silence, you could hear a pin drop. I looked up and everyone in the room was staring at me ‘What?’ their gazes turned to the top table. With mounting horror I turned round and surveyed my worst nightmare a ‘raspberry ripple’ bride …… ‘Oh fu…..’

The groom and best man were already rolling up their sleeves as I felt the strong hands of the ushers lift me from my chair…….. at least I don’t have to worry about getting a present now


Sunday, September 26, 2004


Customer Careless Announcement

Vegetables are bad for you - it's official!

I had a large number of fermented vegetable products last night and I feel absolutely awful. I consumed far more than the goverments recommended 'minimum' of five portions a day and am I any healthier? ..... No!

In fact I'd go as far as too say I'm now rather poorly and seem to be expelling gas and fluids from all orifices (you needed to know that didnt you)

Ok ok ok so I'm hungover to buggery ............. nae diary the day .... sorry ........


Monday, September 20, 2004


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 10

Hamish McShanks Secret Dairy w/e 19th September 2004

No thanks, no more for me, I’ve got to drive tomorrow’, ‘A quick one?’, ‘No no no ah’ve got to be sensible’, ‘Sure?’ …… ‘Aye absolutely’, ‘Not even a wee one?’, ‘Ok a half then’, ‘A HALF! I’m not getting a half’, ‘Ok make it a pint’ ……. So much for will power

The best laid plans of mice and men, five pints (max) and home by 10pm. It was now half past ten as I slurped at my sixth pint. The world was looking a lot nicer through the bottom of a beer glass though. I sat back and enjoyed the comforting amber hue ‘s’really good thish beer’, ‘your slurring your words’, ‘No no no’, ’yes ye are ye bleezer’, ‘no ah’m not no ah’m not … s’your earsh that’s shluu… shluuu… shlu….uuuucked’, ‘Away man yer steamin!’, ‘thatsh a scandeloush shluur’, ‘Yer doing it again!’ I leant over and beckoned my friend closer ‘ah’l let you into a shecret Steven hic ………..… I’m really Dutch’ ‘Oh aye sure ye are…jeeeeeeesuuus’ the silent beery fart that had slipped out as I leant over seemed to carry the argument.

I sensed the opportunity for a comfort break and headed for the toilets. This particular pub had elected to decorate the walls of the urinals with old maps and charts, which I must admit, provided a welcome distraction whilst recycling ones beer. Each urinal had a different country to study, in my case a splendid coloured map of the British Isles stretched up the wall and across the ceiling.

Things were going quite well as I headed up the M6, the torrential downpour eased briefly in the lake district but it was definitely a day of heavy showers as I continued through Kielder forest and into the borders. Despite the change to A-roads there was no let up in pace, my body seemed to have converted six pints into 400 litres and I was becoming rather concerned as I continued northwards into the Highlands…….

I was beginning to weep as I approached Thurso but I needn’t have worried as this was where the wall met the ceiling. Simple geometry meant I was now leaning back at a precarious angle and I toppled slowly backwards like a felled tree. The back of my head met the side of the porcelain sink ‘hello sink’, ‘goodnight head’ and the conversation was over. I’m not sure how long I was out for but I know exactly how long it took them to throw me out. You try explaining to a doorman that you were involved in a road traffic accident in the toilets ……..

One positive of being covered in dried blood and urine is you tend to get the first spot in the taxi queue. The drive home was also surprisingly quiet, it’s impossible to speak without breathing ‘in’ and as a result the normally chatty driver got no further than ‘Where to mate .. fuuuuukin’ell’ before thrusting his head out the window. He paid scant attention to speed limits, traffic lights or pedestrians as he sped along sucking in lungfuls of fresh air. ‘Cheers mate…oooaammmpff’ I didn’t realise Peugeot 405’s had ejector seats.

I woke the next morning with a healthy appetite. I do tend to have a large appetite at the best of times but when I’m hung over I am an eating machine. Generally speaking it’s not lettuce and tomatoes I crave, unless they are on top of a burger or a piece of fried chicken (cos you can throw them out) Driven by the desire for lard I jumped in the car and headed off to my nearest drive through (KFC)

I pulled up to the microphone and shouted my order ‘Five strips please’ a crackly reedy voice replied ‘A five strip meal, certainly sir’, ‘No, I don’t want fries or a drink I just want the chicken’, ‘What drink would you like?, ‘I don’t want a drink you simpleton..’, ’Coke, Pepsi, 7-up, Diet co....’, ‘No drink you Muppet’, ‘…ke, orange tango, apple tango..’, ‘Ok I’ll have horse piss please’, ‘Normal or supersize?’, ‘Hello? Anybody there?’, ‘And what dips would you like for your fries?’, ‘I didn’t order fries ye fud’, ‘BBQ, sour cream, spi….’, ‘no fecking dip!!’, ‘…cy, salsa or vegetable?’, ‘Does your cerebrum have a secret spicy coating cos your not getting this are you son?', ‘Four pounds eighty nine pick your order up at window number two’ …………

Chicken Rage noun [uncountable]
Anger or violence between fast food customer and cerebrally challenged staff, often caused by staff having more spots than brain cells.

Earlier today a man was arrested for inserting deep fried poultry into a stunned vendor in a chicken rage incident.

It’ll be in the dictionary soon, trust me on this ……………

I was forced to return home empty handed ‘So where’s the food’ enquired my brother ‘I had an ….. incident……’ Fraz just shook his head and went into the kitchen. I could hear him rummaging through the cupboards and fridge ‘So do you want a pasta dish then?’, ‘Aye why not I need to lie low for a few hours anyway’, ‘There’s not much in the fridge, it’ll have to be chicken, bacon and red wine’, ‘Nae chicken fer me, I’ve gone off it’ my brother leant round the corner of the door and gave me a quizzical look ‘fair enough ye weirdo, bacon and mushroom it is’, ‘is this wine in the green bottle ok?’, ‘Aye should be fine’ I replied wondering where he had managed to find a bottle of wine.

I settled down to read the Sunday papers as my bruvva rustled up the tea. I could hear the bacon sizzling away in the pan and I remembered that I hadn’t told Fraz that the cooker was a bit iffy. The rings are rather temperamental, basically they are either on at white-hot pan melting temperature or they are off! Selecting a number on the dial is just a bit of fun. ‘Oh by the way the cookers a bit WOOOOOSH! ….. unpredictable…

I only saw the edge of the mushroom cloud as the kitchen door took the full force of the blast, well the force that was left after my ‘human shield’. A rather ashen faced and eyebrowless brother staggered through to the lounge clutching a sooty red wine bottle ‘You …f…f..fff…..’, ‘Aye it’s nae the best that cooker’, ‘ You f.f.f.f.f.f.f..f.f.’, ‘I’m thinking of getting a microwave’, ‘B..b.b.b.aaaaa…ssss…t’ ‘Sounds like chips for tea the night then’ I mumbled as I flicked through the colour supplement. ‘Y..yoour … dd.dd.. dddeid p.p.p…pa….’ I didn’t quite catch the end of the sentence as he folded up on to the hearth rug.

So the moral of the story? Don’t let the label come off your bottle of cheap Greek brandy and never add strong spirits to hot pans if you want to keep your eyebrows. So two morals really, that’s value that is, two for one morals……..



Service Announcement

Morning valued customers. I'm afraid Hamish McShanks Diary will be delayed for 24hrs, please accept our sincerest apologies ..... no really.
Our 'production staff' have been charged with dereliction of duty and will be fined a weeks wages for sloping off to the pub to watch Europes Ryder Cup victory.

I did try to get a personal apology for you and one member of staff was quoted as saying 's.ffff.nnn great ya baaaas .....' before his donner kebab appeared for an encore .......

I'll have it done by close of play today or my names not Count Xavier the Third ........... which clearly it isnt ....


Sunday, September 12, 2004


Hamish McShanks Secret Dairy - Part 9

Hamish McShanks Secret Dairy – w/e/ 12th September 2004

Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps, hmmmm, try four pints of Indian Pale Ale, three pints of Guinness and two packets of plain crisps. Crisps regrettably, don’t soak up much alcohol. With the benefit of hindsight a proper meal would have been a far better idea. Of course at the time I was ‘fine’ absolutely ‘fine’, top banana in fact. That’s assuming top banana refers to dancing on tables and baring your @rse in front of several sets of grand parents. The only positive point was they weren’t my grand parents, a silver lining that escaped the bride and groom.

So yet another wedding for Hamish, ever the bridesmaid never the bride it would seem. Just the reception this time though, so we had ample opportunity to get half cut before arriving. Exactly what you need when you only know a handful of people at the event. I’m thinking of writing a book on social etiquette it’s called ‘Faux Pas for Dummies’ I’m on volume seven already …..

It had been a quiet week up until Saturday; I should have known I couldn’t go a whole week without offending someone. Surprisingly my physiotherapy went very well, no soiled underwear, no drama, no unwanted localised high blood pressure as my groin strain received a thorough massage from a very attractive young physiotherapist.

Ok so I was nearly blubbing cos it was so sore and I was a tad uncomfortable as I forgot a pair of shorts and was forced to wear a ‘borrowed’ pair from the practice (a fetching silk lilac number as a matter of fact). I did raise an eyebrow when she pulled this particular pair out of the holdall. ‘Eeer are you sure that’s all you’ve got?’, ‘Only pair left’ she said whilst kicking the overflowing holdall under the desk. ‘Aren’t these …. Eeeem ladies?’, ‘No no noooooooo these are boxing shorts’……….

Admittedly they were fairly long and I suppose they could have been for a boxer, if you were a boxer called Susan. She’d left to let me change in peace and my mind started to wander as I slipped them over my legs. The muffled giggling from next door faded as I pictured myself in the ring. I’m in the centre, on my toes, bobbing and weaving, ducking and diving, a right cross wham, a left uppercut wallop, a quick shuffle of the feet and bang bang bang …………….. and I’m picking up my teeth! Staggering back towards my corner, tears in my eyes screaming ‘I could have been a contender’, ‘I could have been a legend ahuuuhh huuhhh huhhh sniff sniff’ Possibly a legend but only as ‘Stonecold Susan’, ‘Minces like a butterfly and cries like a baby..

A knock at the door brought me back to the present, the physio peered round the corner of the door ‘Are you changed?’, ‘Yeah’, ‘So how are the shorts’, ‘Oh aye fine, fine, a bit tight round the hips’ she entered the room ‘Yes they really bbbb..ring out the cc.c.colour in your eyes…ahooo hooo’ she ran off covering her mouth and making strange choking sounds, I waited patiently until she came back. ‘Ok?’ I enquired when she eventually returned ‘Yes sorry about that, I just had a frog in my thro….a….gmmmff hoo hoo hoooo’ She was off again.

I don’t know what was wrong with the poor lassy but it must have been infectious, the rest of the staff seemed similarly distressed when they came in to help ………

My injury has meant I’ve had a bit more time on my hands, what with not doing sport twice a day every day! As a result I thought I’d try and set up some alternative method of distributing this drivel you are currently sending to your recycle bin. That way only the people that actually ‘want’ to read it will get it, rather than the reader digest distribution list I have now.

A friend had suggested I set up a ‘blog’ my blank expression probably told her that I didn’t have a smegging clue what a blog was. I’d heard of the ‘Baghdad blogger’ and was getting slightly concerned that it involved entering a war zone. Not something I’m particularly keen on, I don’t really want to be caught and tortured. Whilst a popular pastime amongst Tory MP’s having nipples attached to electrodes does not appeal. Lesley allayed my fears with several slaps round the face and a stirring ‘Get a grip of yersel ye fud’ speech.

Turns out anyone can start a blog and there is even a website that does all the hard work for ye (result). I bumbled through the login and set-up ‘wizard’ producing my first ‘blog’ in the space of 30 minutes. Some local market research suggested my first effort was ‘fucking depressing’ as a result I elected to change the funereal black background for a more formal blue, then a lively green and finally settled on a retinal damaging orange.

I have to admit I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, look at me and my mastery of technology I thought. My good humour evaporated when I tried to access the blog I had just created and it was blocked by the e-mail Gestapo. A very large automated red warning message flashed up on my screen informing me that I shouldn’t waste ‘work time and resources’ accessing these sites and my staff number had been noted. ‘Ooooooh I’m in the book’, ‘Oh I’m on a yellow card am I?’, ‘Whassa fecking point of letting me create the fecking blog and then stopping me looking at it?’, ‘Eeeeeh eeeeh eeeeh’ my monitor refused to be drawn into a discussion on the matter.

I didn’t let the small point of a one sided conversation stop me (or the fact I was trying to converse with an inanimate object) oh no, not me. ‘And anyway it’s my lunch hour ya baaaaaastard!’, ‘Oh oh oh nothing to say for yourself now have ye!’, ‘HAVE YE!!!’ I grabbed either side of the monitor and started shaking it ‘Don’t you ignore me’, ‘Oooo do you fink yoo are’, ‘Yoo ffnsnooty piece of junk’ Ferociously jabbing the equipment only succeeded in fuelling my rage as glass screens are quite hard and impervious to prodding whereas fingers are quite soft and very susceptible to staving.

I’m going to sue for assault’ I screamed as two members of my team dragged me away while I clutched my staved fingers. I did get a number of odd looks for the rest of the afternoon, one of the down sides of working in an open plan office I suppose…

Anyway if anyone wants to access my blog (out with work obviously) then this literary excrement can be located at .....well here!

Hamish McShanks will accept no responsibility for any staved fingers!


Thursday, September 09, 2004


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 8

Ssssssffffffttt…ping ‘Ooooyaabaaas’…. ‘Jaaasuuus’ sssfffftt .. ping ‘ffkin’ell’ …. Ssssffffttt … (wait for it) . ping! ‘Ooooyaaaahff..’, ‘Sore?’, ‘Gnummff’,! I couldn’t answer as I was already in full ‘whimper mode’. The solitary tear running down my cheek should have been a hint though. My torturer surveyed her work with a critical eye, idly flicking a couple of needles with her index finger and watching my agonised grimace with mild satisfaction. ‘Ok ok ok yoo jus rela….’ I didn’t catch the rest of the sentence as I was enveloped in a wave of nausea and then fortunately, darkness.

They say that acupuncture doesn’t hurt, oh really, and that ‘they say’ that you can’t feel the needles, is that a fact? Well I don’t know who ‘they’ are but I’m guessing ‘they’ are the same people that say you can make ‘hundreds of pounds’ working from home, buy a villa in Spain for thruppance ha’penny! I’m sure ‘they’ cant feel the needles, that’s because ‘they’ aren’t the ones being turned into hedgehogs. These kind of people would sell you the hole from a polo if they thought they could wangle it.

I believe ‘Thai kick gardening’ is the next big fad, colonic irrigation was ‘in’ for a few months until everyone realised it was just a hosepipe up yer jacksee (something they desperately need themselves, any fuller and it would be spraying out their ears)

When you think about it, it’s not rocket science it’s actually very simple, needle vs. flesh. A needle, thin, sharp and of course metal. Whereas skin is soft, fleshy and replete with pain receptors. Key word here is ‘soft’ oh and did I mention the pain receptors? Lots of them ….. thousands apparently ……
I have to admit to being a tad apprehensive before my treatment. Luckily I was immediately put at ease by the fact the ‘Doctor’ couldn’t speak any English. Mercifully the receptionist translated for me, it was all very confusing at the time but with the benefit of hindsight I think the conversation went something like this………

Hello Doctor’, ‘My god he’s ugly’, ‘It’s the adductor muscle in my leg’, ‘Another lardy jock looking for a miracle cure then?’, ‘Yes it is quite tight’, ‘You don’t need acupuncture, you want to ease up on the pies fatty’, ‘Yes the left leg’, ‘Let’s see how much we can make you squeal pie boy’, ‘Oh excellent’, ‘What do you think Wang Lee can he take twenty needles?’ ‘Uhuu and how long will that take?’, ‘no chance he’ll be blubbing by eleven’, ‘Lovely lets get started then’, ‘Yeah eleven tops, it’s always the big lads that scream the most’, ‘thank you very much’ ‘what a complete fud’, ‘No no thank you’, ‘…..Jeeeeesus’

I didn’t even make double figures before my scheduled colonic irrigation was no longer required. I did derive a small degree of satisfaction that the cleaning bill would almost certainly exceed the price of the treatment……

The weekend had started off with so much promise. I’d been up in the North East of Scotland celebrating the 25th anniversary of Isla Volleyball Club. Over seventy former players and partners had made it for a packed Saturday of volleyball. I was particularly pleased that I hadn’t lost my touch (as I thumped the ball into the net for the fourteenth time) still the same cack handed duffer I’d always been, or as I prefer to think ‘consistent’.

There was a formal dinner in the evening, it would have been nice if someone had told me it was formal as I arrived in my flip flops, Hawaiian shirt and raggedy denim shorts. I have to say it was very much ‘saloon doors flapping’ and piano player stopping as I entered. My older brother quickly dragged me off to one side as everyone stared slack jawed ‘didn’t you read the invite’ he hissed ‘Aye … shorts and shades it said on mine!’, ‘what the bloody hell are you talking about, it clearly said formal dress’ I was just about to explode in indignant anger when I caught sight of Kenny out of the corner of my eye, he was resplendent in full highland regalia, a large pheasant feather jutting proudly from his Glengarry. He simply raised his glass, nodded at me and smiled ………… ‘you fff..n..baaaas....

There was no option but to front it out as I was repeatedly quizzed over my odd appearance. Initially I went for the old ‘mixed up invites’ story, then it was the dry cleaners fault, I even blamed an infestation of mice. However in the space of two hours I’d settled on an ostrich breaking into my car and running off with my sporran as the ghost of Elvis spirited away my kilt and brogues ….. I never said it was a good excuse ……..

The night wore on and I found myself sitting alone nursing a large whisky. I stared stony faced as Kenny danced the night away ‘Baaaastard’, ‘Look at im finks ees Bonnie Prince Charlie … hic’. By this point I was getting rather drunk and more than a little fed up. As a result my normal good manners disappeared. Another guest glanced across at the empty seats on my table ‘Whatchoo looking at … hic … mmmm .. whasyoorffnproblem?’, ‘Nothing, I just wondered if I could borrow a seat’, ‘Oh oh oh ah’m nufing am I .. mmmmm?… nufing yoo say’,’No you misunderstand’, ‘Oh oh oh I’m thick as well ah’m I? Yooo fnnn’snobby baaasss

The individual bearing the brunt of my anger backed away gingerly. Things might have got out of hand had I not caught a flip-flop as I went to kick him in the kilt. The flip-flop remained stubbornly wedged on the foot of the table whilst my leg continued to power forwards. The laws of physics ensured that all I succeeded in doing was pulling myself towards the floor at great speed. Head butting pine floorboards inevitably leads to a loss of consciousness and the tablecloth that I had grabbed to prevent my fall now covered my lifeless body quite nicely.

So all in all a very successful weekend, I managed to pull a muscle in my leg and concuss myself whilst trying to assault a perfect stranger. I offended 99% of Isla volleyball club within the space of two hours. And I’ll probably never be able to return to the village of Keith again after being arrested by the police whilst attempting to defecate in the boot of their patrol car.

I had a head injury ……………. Your honour …… well I definetly did ‘after’ I took a dump amongst their riot gear ………..


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