Sunday, August 14, 2005


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 55

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary w/e 14th August 2005

‘Sunday Bloody Sunday, Sunday Bloody Sunday Ooooh la la laa’ I hummed away to the radio as I flipped the last four rashers of bacon onto my sandwich. It’s always been a quest of mine to find a frying pan that can take a regulation eight rasher packet of bacon, but alas I have yet to find such a beast. As a result my bacon sarnee is a two-stage affair, a small price to pay for a proper bacon butty tough and anticipation is hal;f the pleasure. The bread (white obviously) had already been buttered and I arranged my eight crispy rashers in a precise overlapping fashion. This is essential to prevent any rogue rasher slipping out the side. All that was required was a drop of good old HP sauce. I continued crooning away as I slapped the base of the HP bottle in time to the strains of U2.

The sauce steadfastly refused to budge. This is always the case with any bottled condiment. As a result you will invariably give it one last extra-hard slap and the bottle will immediately vomit half it’s contents over your sandwich. It’s the fifth law of thermodynamics, also known as ‘Sods Law’. Luckily I’m not one for moderation and quite enjoy a lake of HP sauce upon my mountain of bacon. I carefully placed the second slice of bread on top of the puddle of sauce before gripping the monster with both hands. A quick squeeze to gauge overall thickness and calculate the optimum jaw apperture. Then savour the smell before drawing the beast towards your open mouth ‘Come to papa’

I’m not one for ‘savouring’ either and less than thirty seconds later my breakfast was finished. I dabbed at my mouth with a napkin before belching loudly, lifting my left cheek for a complimentary chuff and then strolling out into the garden.

Sunday for godless souls like myself is not a day of rest and contemplation, unless I’m hung over and I’m contemplating killing myself as a merciful release from my self inflicted agonies. Sunday is my gardening day, and I probably need a bit of exercise after a two thousand calorie bacon butty. Unfortunately for my garden, I’d been neglecting my chores for the past few weeks. In my defence I had been incarcerated in a decorating boot camp in the North East of Scotland. My parole was finally granted this month but the weeks of neglect had left my front garden in a fairly sorry state. It needed some work. Lets not mince words it needed a lot of work.

You see the main problem is I don’t know what’s actually in the border of my front garden. No I don’t have Alzheimer’s, I moved into my house in February and the front garden had already been planted. I’m guessing the previous owner found some great ‘bargains’ doon the garden centre because a plethora of foliage has been sprouting forth ever since the first frost lifted, and I cannay keep up!

To be honest I wouldn’t be bothering my backside this weekend if it hadn’t been for the fact the postie has stopped delivering mail. You can’t actually get to my front door without hacking your way through a jungle of large green ‘rushes’. At least I think that’s what they are, my botany is a bit sketchy. They seem to have sprouted large orange flowers at the top so I’m thinking they might be triffids. Either way they were going to have to go.

I surveyed the front garden with a full belly and a critical eye. The small amount of ‘grass’ in the centre was plagued with a mixture of dandelions and thick damp moss. The floral borders had gone wild, steadily encroaching, progressively and inexorably enveloping the turf. ‘Och would ye look at that, ye can hardly see any grass’ a feeling of horror swept over me. Suddenly it was obvious. They were trying to annex the lawn and assimilate it into a new shrub dominated world. A land where the herbaceous perennial would rule as King and mere grasses have to bow down low. Forced to grovel at the feet of their flowery masters, pleading for a little light, begging to photosynthesise. An abused and forgotten underclass slave to the Poppy and the Delphinium. Even the diminutive Candy Hearts able to slap them about and extort their remaining chlorophyll. Oh why do such injustices happen again and again? Does history teach us nothing!

My bottom lip quivered as childhood memories flooded over me. The boisterous happy chatter of children playing on the lawn. The screams of laughter as water bombs explode around you. The feeling of grass poking between your toes as you run hot foot to hide behind the shed. The delicious smell of burning sausages and undercooked chicken wafting tantalisingly in the breeze as you laze on your back. Soft grasses tickling your skin, the sun toasting you pink. Farewell to all this? Farewell to the clatter of cheap plastic on even cheaper tennis ball? Dear god the days of swingball would be over!

A tear rolled down my cheek and roused me from my reverie. I glared at a nearby shrub and rolled up my sleeves ‘Right ye baaaas wur no having that’. My neighbours looked on in bemusement as their large baldy neighbour proceeded to hack his front garden to pieces with a set of garden shears. They chased their own children inside as I ranted and screamed ‘Yer no gonnay win, ye can take oor blades but ye’ll never take oor FREEEEDOOOM!’

After three or four rather frenzied minutes it was done. I looked down at my bent and buckled shears. One blade had broken in two when I’d attempted to butcher a particularly hardy Hosta. In my fervour I’d failed to notice it’s close proximity to the cast iron fence enclosing my garden. Unperturbed I’d pulled the plant out with my bare hands and proceeded to strangle it whilst shouting ‘I’ll give ye loose well drained soil and a shady spot in the garden ye fecker’. I think that was when they called the police. To be fair if I saw someone trying to throttle a Hosta I’d do the same, now if it were a Lavandula that would be a different matter.

I have to hand it to the boys in blue though, the bastards were there before you could say ‘Why don’t you fight some real crime’ which in hindsight wasn’t the cleverest opening gambit I’ve ever used. I’m quietly confident that the Hosta wont testify though. I managed to whisper ‘I’ve got round-up in the shed’ before the constabulary carted me off for some police brutality and ice cream. Alas I only received the brutality, the officers had the ice cream. It’s hot work kicking seven colours of shit out of people, especially as I appeared to only have three.

Credit where credits due though, they tried for four.


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