Monday, June 26, 2006


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 92

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary w/e 25th June 2006

‘Oooooh bravo!’, ‘first class, absolutely first class’ my hands stung I was clapping so hard ‘you just don’t see acting like that everyday’ I exclaimed whilst turning to face my brother and gesturing back at the action with my head. He just rolled his eyes. ‘Bravo bravo’ I shrieked. Occasionally I would whistle noisily as I thumped my hands together in appreciation ‘more, more’, ‘aye ok ye can gie it a rest now’, ‘more’, ’shut it’, ‘mor-gnnffmmp’ This seemed as good a point as any to ‘gie it a rest’ and I slumped on to my knees clutched at my bruised adams apple and wheezed for breath.

The sound of another tinny opening was followed by a long deep glugging noise and the smacking of lips ‘
Ah That’s better’ gingerly I climbed back on to the sofa and glared angrily at my brother ‘what was that for?’, ‘ye were laying it on a bit thick’. I stared ‘not like those big lassies’ I retorted hotly, my finger wagging indignantly at the television. He glanced at the telly ‘they’re professional footballers that’s their job’ he replied in his most polite talking to a child voice ‘you were quite convincing though’, ‘aye that’s cos this is a real fecking injury’ I screamed. He tossed a fresh can of beer at me ‘dry yer eyes and let’s see what Mr Hansen has to say aboot things

Now I know what you’re thinking. Old Ham just has it in for footballers; he’s a narrow minded bitter old egg chaser and just can’t appreciate the beautiful game. Not at all, I have to say I have enjoyed the world cup immensely so far. Apparently
England is in it too but you’d hardly know. My problem is not with football per say. It’s with the mincing primadonas in desperate need of an equity card who are masquerading as athletes and pretending to play professional sport.

Again, before I get inundated with dogs’ abuse about how hard a game football is. I fully appreciate how painful a crunching tackle can be and the physical nature of the game. Let’s not beat about the bush a set of studs raked down your shin will indeed nip a bit. But I cant abide all the play acting and feigning of injury. The only poor sod who has been genuinly injured is Owen and I would not wish an injury like that on anyone. However the game I saw last night took the biscuit for me and reminded me why I struggle to watch much footie other than the World Cup.

Imagine the scenario; a well known Portuguese footballer with quaffered hair and chiselled jaw is aggrieved in some way with the play of his Dutch opponent. He probably had the audacity to win the ball in a tackle or something. The Mediterranean player approaches our cheese munching friend, ostensibly to ‘put the growlers’ on him. He stands toe to toe and rests his oiled mane against the Dutchman’s forehead. Unfortunately at just that moment there is a catastrophic failure in his style and hold. The
Porto man slips forward a few millimetres and there is contact. What does our clog wearing hard man do? He steps back, thinks for a minute, then drops like a sack of baby bells. For extra effect, and in the hope of an Oscar or a red card, he writhes and screams like a wee lassy.

As if this fine piece of drama wasn’t enough for one game we get Act II a few minutes later. The crying Dutchman has been revived with the magic sponge and Figaro has had his greasy mane reinforced with some more lard. The extra weight seems to be slowing him down though and as he chases a ball towards the touchline he is completely skinned by a second cheeseman. Unfortunately ‘Vim’ leaves his arm trailing carelessly behind and a flake of elbow skin brushes across the face of our Portuguese chum…..

And he’s down folks! It’s clearly a complete dive, there’s no way the referee can fall for a piece of nonsense like that. Despite the fourteen barrel rolls damage to the hair has been carefully avoided. The referee is standing over him, it’s the most blatant piece of cheating you’ve seen in your life and it looks like he’s going to get his comeuppance. The man in black reaches into his pocket. He pulls out a yellow card and spins round to wave it in ‘Vims’ face. The crowd are gob smacked, they can’t believe it. What a shocker. That’s his second yellow card and he’s off. Figaro is bowing and waving to the crowd as he bends down to pick up flowers from his adoring fans. What a fine piece of theatre. Honestly if you didn’t know better you’d think he’d actually been hit!

I have to say I did quite enjoy the bit where another Portuguese player was sent off for holding on to the ball. Oh I did snigger. A free kick was awarded against him and rather than just back peddle ten yards to help his team out in defence he wrestled the ball from Van der Man and legged it down the pitch. I’m sure he would have run all the way home if the stewards hadn’t stopped him. But instead of being able to hide breathlessly under his bed coveting his stolen booty and giggling as his mother knocked loudly on the door. He was forced to trudge forlornly off the pitch looking like a complete twat for getting himself sent off!

Mind you in his defence the ref did seem to lose the plot a little bit in that game. Personally I think someone put superglue on his yellow card. Every time he took his hand out of his pocket there it was again. He carded his own linesman, two seagulls and a hot dog vendor which should have been a bit of a giveaway. It wasn’t long before the stands were full of Dutch and Portuguese players sharing a cigarette and bemoaning the referee. The World Cup is a five a side tournament isn’t it?

Psssst …. I opened my beer and took a couple of deep mouthfuls. Burping noisily I tuned back in to Mr Hansen and his usual tirade ‘He’s got everything that boy, power pace … movement poise …. Blah blah … awful defending though …. Shocking, absolutely shocking .. pace and power and poise .. blah blah’,

‘Just the usual keech then’ I muttered to no reply ‘I said just the usual-‘, ‘zzzzzzz’ my brother was fast asleep. Perfect time to pop a couple of chillis and some tabasco in his tinny. At least the afternoon wasn’t totally wasted …..


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 91

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary – w/e 18th June 2006

Ooooh Ooooh there’s another one!’, ‘Aw for fu-‘, ’c’mon nae greeting! Gerrit doon ye ya big lassy’ Gingerly I poured out another tumbler of our world cup cocktail (soon to be patented) A tasty little number comprising a ‘taste’ of all the nations competing in this years world cup. Grimacing and pinching my nose I chugged the glassful, desperately trying to suppress my gag reflex ‘Uuurrgghh’, ‘What’s wrong? Don’t ye like the bourbon? Or is it the Malibu?Surely it’s not the Tequila? That’s gold label that is!

I didn’t hear the rest of his question as I was sprinting towards the toilet, desperately trying to prevent handfuls of diced carrot from squeezing through my fingers and landing on the floor. Strange that they should ‘pop’ up because they were one of the few ingredients not actually in our cocktail. That’s one of life’s great mysteries I suppose. It doesn’t matter what ye eat or drink your body always seems to expel carrots? Anyway that’s probably more information than you really wanted so I’ll stop now.

Returning to the living room I sat down, dabbing my mouth with a wet cloth ‘Better?’ enquired my twin brother ‘Aye fine thanks’ I replied hoarsely ‘you do realise you’ll need to chug another cos ye didn’t keep that one down?’ Glaring fiercely at him I indicated via a hand gesture that this would not be the case ‘No it’s ok, one drink will be enough’, ‘Ha bloody ha’

To explain; we were watching one of the world cup games. Outer Jibrovia against the Republic of Kasfeckistan I think it was. As we had no vested interest in either side we were playing a drinking game. We had prepared our world cup cocktail with a little splash of every spirit we could imagine, including white spirit by the taste of it. The game didn’t involve England and wasn’t even in their group we were also carrying out a little experiment. If the commentators mentioned Wayne Rooney I had to neck a drink, if they mentioned 1966 my twin bruv had to skull a glass of the foul brew. There was no point in simply counting every time they mentioned England or we would have been steaming before the national anthems had even finished.

We had played scissors, paper, and stone to decide who got to chose their category. Sadly I lost and Fraz picked 1966. I was quite surprised until I realised all the talk was of the imminent return of the spud faced granny shagger and his probably not healed (but don’t tell Sir Alex) meta-smegging-tarsel. We were nine minutes into the game and I’d had thirteen drinks, my bruv was only on his fourth. If only Bobby ‘I’ve nae hair left for a combover’ Charlton had been watching the game I might have been in with a shout.

Now I don’t want you to jump to the conclusion that I’m a bitter jock and I’m only mocking the English because Scotland didn’t qualify for the world cup. Heavens no, nothing could be further from the truth. Footie isn’t even my game. Rugby is my bag and as England are current world champions the worst has already happened for me. I know that the sky won’t fall in and the earth won’t be plunged into a hundred years of darkness even if England actually does win the world cup! So I’m cool with it. If Becks and spudface lift the cup then they will have won it fair and square.

The fact that they are playing like a bunch of chimps that have never met before does make it less likely, but it could still happen. I’m sure the big nasty German defenders won’t try and trample ‘li’ll spuddie’ out of the game if they do meet in the next round.

It has been quite an entertaining World Cup though. I like how they always introduce a ‘new ball’ at the start of the tournament. This one has Mexican jumping beans inside it, or is radio controlled. Either way it’s not helping goalkeepers much. It’s nice that they have also allowed every team to have an invisible 12th player.

What do you mean? I have not lost the plot! They must have done! How else can you account for all those players tumbling to the ground when there’s nobody anywhere near them? ….. Whassat? Diving you say? …. I thought it was a football tournament? Where’s the high board then? ….. oh …… right …..

Despite it not being my game I do actually enjoy watching some football. Well up until I see the first blatant bit of cheating. That really gets my back up. Who do they think they are kidding? There are seventy thousand fans in the stadium and millions watching on TV and yet they are quite happy to drop at the merest hint of contact, or more often with no contact. Not content with being as resilient as custard they then proceed to barrel roll twenty five times while holding a completely different part of their anatomy from that which was allegedly caught in the ‘tackle’

I think it’s time for some changes. Instead of the physio coming on with a ‘magic sponge’ I think the referee should have a ‘magic cattle prod’. If the player doesn’t manage to get up after the referee has given him a couple of quick 200 volt jabs then chances are he’s probably genuinely injured and a foul can be awarded and the trainer allowed on.

Similarly I think to quash this irritating habit of players swamping referees and waving ‘cards’ after a perceived injustice then the cattle prod could come into play again.

Scenario 1: Player gets up in time after an alleged ‘foul’ to avoid the first prod but then mimes the giving of a yellow card to his perceived attacker. Action : Referee prods the miming player in the groin with the cattle prod and issues him a yellow card as he lies screaming on the ground. After all that’s what he requested.

Scenario 2 : Player remains prone after a couple of prods and is therefore genuinely injured. His team mates surround the referee whilst waving their hands as if to give a card. Action : Referee allows the trainer on and then proceeds to disperse the angry team mates with the electric prod shouting ‘Cards I’ll gie ye cards ye whinging nancy boys’ bzzzzz ‘gerrit up ye ya bunch of pooooooooofs’ bzzzzz bzzzzzzz

Ye can’t say it wouldn’t stop players questioning the referee so much ….


Ps C’mon Engerland! (its reverse psychology, Scotland always lose when I support them)

Monday, June 12, 2006


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 90

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary w/e 11th June 2006

You may remember I have been doing some gardening recently. I say gardening when ‘lumber jacking’ would be nearer the mark. Some poor deluded fool had planted a number of trees in my back garden. Not recently obviously, I’m not referring to a phantom tree planter or anything. I didn’t wake up one morning and find an avenue of Elm trees in my back garden. What I mean is a previous owner had clearly though that a few trees might brighten up the garden. He was wrong. They might have looked cute twenty years ago but the resulting dense forest was now cutting out all the light.

After several weeks of blood, sweat and tears I’d managed to hack down a number of the smaller trees with my Swiss army knife. But I have to say I was getting rather fed up and the saw blade was now practically smooth. It was only after a long moaning rant to a work colleague about the inefficiencies of tree felling using that thing that’s supposed to take stones out of horses’ hooves that he mentioned he owned an electric chainsaw. ‘Do you want to borrow it?’ he enquired as I stood with my mouth open ‘it’s really good, and awfully awfully fast’ I quickly suppressed the murderous look that flooded across my face and replaced it with my ‘I don’t really want to fillet you with my stone remover you complete bastard’ face. ‘That would be very kind, thank you’ I replied while forcing my knife hand back into my pocket.

Having procured said chainsaw I thought it might be prudent to have a butchers at the instructions before plugging it in ‘Okay Ham what’s the scores on the doors then’ First impressions were not good. Most of the opening pages were filled with graphic diagrams of how to chop your extremities off. As there were big red crosses across each one of these gory illustrations I assumed this was the kind of behaviour to avoid. I did wonder why diagrams were necessary rather than a simple written warning? I mean pictures are lovely if you’re learning ‘The Cat Sat on the Mat’. By all means have pictures of various felines on an assortment of rugs. But if you can’t read it’s probably a gimmie that you shouldn’t be operating a chainsaw! Or am I being too right wing?

Actually it’s probably a good thing; a picture does say a thousand words after all. In this case most of the words appeared to be ‘Aaaarrrgh sweet Jesus I’ve cut my leg off aaargh’ followed by a quick burbling death. It does stick in the mind though; it would be too easy to miss that if you were reading a checklist. ‘One ensure plug is properly wired, blah blah blah, Two top up chain oil every blah, Three don’t cut off limbs blah blah’. So I take it all back, I’ve talked myself round. Diagrams are a great idea, real pictures of actual victims would be even better. In fact photographs of the grieving next of kin gathered round the grave side would definitely drive the point home!

Aaaaanyway, other than adding a bit of oil and making sure the chain was tightened every ten minutes it seemed a case of ‘plug and play’. Bing bang bosh, the trees are history. Smiling broadly I tossed my penknife into the bucket, picked the chainsaw out of the box and strode purposely out into the garden.

I was whistling happily whilst I gradually unwound the extension cord setting it down at the nearest tree. It was all very quiet; the normal cacophony of forest noise was noticeable by its absence. Clearly the sight of the chainsaw had convinced all the furry and feathered woodland creatures to pick up sticks and mosey on out of town. The trees, sadly, did not have that option.

‘Alright boys? Nice night isn’t it?’ They seemed closer together, I didn’t think trees could huddle but they were certainly trying ‘Ooookay just put on my safety goggles’ I popped on my sunglasses ‘now my ear defenders’ Inserting a headphone in each ear I flicked on my MP3 player and ‘Born to be Wild’ blared directly into my head at 100 decibels ‘Oh yeah Booooorn to be wiiiieeeeeld!’

Flicking the safety catch off I fired up the chainsaw. Even the sound of Steppenwolf thrashing their guitars couldn’t drown out the buzz of electric chained death. Laughing manically I approached the first tree ‘Get your motor running’ I screamed as the first blow scythed through a low branch ‘head out ooooon the highway’ another bough bit the dust ‘looking for adventure’ bzzzz bzzzz thump! ‘and whatever comes our waaaaay’ bzzz bzzzz bzzzzz crash! ‘yeeeah darlin go make it happen, take the world in a love embrace’ bzzzz bzzzz BZZZZ! Fuelled by sixties rock and emboldened by the speed I was working my way through the forest I aimed at larger and larger branches.

‘I like smoke and lightening, heavy metal thuuuundaaaaa’ my MP3 was at maximum volume and the wax in my ears was turning runny, but I didn’t care. I was a whirling chained dervish. There was going to be nary a tree standing when I was finished ‘Like a true natures child, we were born, born to be wild!’, ‘we can climb so high, I never wanna diiiiiiiiiiiie! Born to be Wiiiiiiiiild!’

It’s a shame the safety diagrams didn’t have an image of a baldy man wearing an MP3 player along side an exaggerated representation of a clock. I was so engrossed in the music that twenty minutes had passed. I should have been on my second ‘chain tension’ check by now ‘BORN TO BE WIIIII… ooooaaaAAARGGGHHHOOOMMPFF!

The slack chain embedded itself into the tree. Not good I think you’ll agree. Worse still was the stored energy had to go somewhere? As the chain was now stationary the only thing left to move was the rest of the saw. That would be the bit I was holding on to. Rumour has it the professional wrestling term for what resulted is called ‘A Slingshot Catapult’.

The correct nomenclature was not high on my list of priorities as I slid down the tree trunk and into a mangled burbling heap. My fractured and twisted sunglasses lay by my side as I drifted into unconsciousness no longer wishing to ‘take the world in a love embrace’ preferring to wish instead for the sight of a paramedic and a neck brace.


Sunday, June 04, 2006


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 89

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary w/e 4th June 2006

Grimsby?’, ‘Aye’, ‘but that’s about-’ my face screwed up with concentration as I tried to total up the distance but rapidly ran out of fingers ‘that’s about a five hundred mile round trip!’ I exclaimed a few minutes later ‘more like six hundred I think you’ll find’, ‘but-‘, ‘cmon get in the car were wasting time’, ‘you never said it was in Grimsby!’ I protested ‘That’s in England’, ‘Bravo Hercule I’d have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch you out’, ‘it is pretty early in the fecking morning’ I replied through gritted teeth ‘six fecking forty fecking bloody five to be exact! I havnay even had my breakfast’, ‘och dry yer eyes and get that doon ye’ he replied tossing a sandwich in my direction and jumping in the car.

Earlier in the week when my twin bruv had asked whether ‘I was up to anything on Saturday?’ and ‘did I fancy going to look at a microlight?’ the bawbag failed to mention it required a fecking ten hour round trip in the car to get there. I had been slightly taken aback when he poked me in the eye at six thirty in the morning and tore the duvet off the bed shouting ‘rise and shine fatty’, ‘cmon ye baldy git, were burning daylight, chop chop’ That’s not the way I like to be woken in the morning and I made a mental note to change my locks when we got back.

I jumped in the passanger seat and we set off ‘lovely day isn’t it’, ‘mnngnfAye it’sh not mmff bad’ I mumbled through a mouthful of cheese and ham sandwich ‘looks like it’s going to be a scorcher’ I glanced at the clear blue sky and whispered ‘aye and I’ll be in a car all day, fecking great’, ‘what’s that?’, ‘oh I was just saying great sandwich’ I replied, waving my breakfast in his direction ‘there’s a flask of coffee in the blue bag along with plenty more sandwiches and snacks if ye want’. Snacks sounded more promising. I quite fancied a mars bar or snickers.

Rummaging eagerly in the bag I pulled out an item of confectionary and my face fell ‘oh a healthy oat and raisin bar, my favourite’ I replied glumly ‘aye much better for ye than chocolate aren’t they’. I closed my eyes in despair, ten hours in the car and no chocolate. Disappointingly a second glance revealed a number of small holes in the sides of the bag so suffocation was out of the question. I would have to hope I choked on a raisin.

The first couple of hours were ok but the outside temperature was rising steadily and rapidly turning the car into a greenhouse. I wound the window down a couple of inches to let some cool air in, or as it turned out, equally warm air. My frustration was building rapidly when I had a brainwave. Winding the window down a few more inches I leaned out and thrust my tongue into the breeze, my brother looked at me incredulously ‘What the bloody hell are you doing?’, ‘it wuurks or hogs’ I shouted through my open mouth ‘dogs don’t have sweat glands ye numpty, that’s why they let their tongues hang oot!’, ‘aaawt?’, ‘By the smell of things you’ve got plenty sweat glands so pull yer heid in ye eedjit’ I was about to retort that it was working quite well when I swallowed a blue bottle ‘arcchuuggakakakk’

Wish I’d taken the fecking dog’ mumbled my brother as I retched into the floorwell.

It wasn’t long before we pulled into a service station so I could take over the driving. My bruv filled up the motor with diesel while I nipped indoors and plunged my boiling head into the ice cream freezer. I managed to hold on to the sides for a good seven or eight minutes before security finally managed to eject me. Suitably chilled and now filled with several cornettos I returned to the car.

My bruv was punching some numbers into the satellite navigation system ‘Now I’ve programmed in our destination so just do whatever the satnav says and wake me up when we get there’, ‘right you are bruv, no probs bruv, you can reply on me bruv’ but he was already snoring so I set off down the slip road and on to the motorway.

The next hundred miles were uneventful other than several hundred insects comitting hari kiri on the windscreen of the car and the odd simple direction from my Germanic sounding co-driver ‘After three hundred yards bear right’, ‘okay dokey’, ‘this is a dawdle’. We were making good time until we hit what looked like a new section of motorway. The Satnav didn’t like this at all, neither did I.After 200 yards’ it started before pausing ‘ … recalculating route’ Glancing down at the unit I noticed it was flashing lots of different colours ‘Ooookay Ham, don’t panic, just do as it says’

After 100 yards turn left’ We were on a straight piece of road with no imminent exit ‘are you sure’ I queried ‘after 50 yards turn left’, ‘but I can’t see a-‘, ‘turn left’. The voice sounded very authorative so I stood on the breaks and spun the wheel round. Thump thump thumpity thump! We were careering down the embankment towards a large drainage ditch ‘after 100 yards turn right’ the waterway was approaching rapidly ‘cmon hurry up cmon cmon’ I squealed as I waited for the next command ‘COME ON!’ My eyes were out on stalks as the satnav barked ‘turn right’ in the nick of time.

Wrenching the wheel round we just missed the ditch, teetering precariously along the bank on two wheels before crashing noisily back on to all four. Unsurprisingly my little off road excursion woke my brother ‘what the fu-‘, ‘I’m just doing what it said’ I screamed hysterically ‘where the hell are we?’, ‘after 200 yards turn left’, ‘were on the road to Grimsby of course!’ I replied manically as the car bounced heavily along the rutted track ‘for Christ sake stop!’, ‘after 50 yards turn left’, ‘cant do that, must follow the stanav, you said!’, ‘well now I’m telling you to fecking ignore it!’, ‘turn left’, ‘too late’

We nearly made it you know. If only the bridge had been a little bit wider and an awful lot stronger…..

You would be amazed how tetchy some people can get when they get a face full of airbag. My defence of ‘I was only following orders guv’ did not hold much water, unlike my brothers car. He seemed reluctant to find the silver lining in this particular cloud, no matter how hard I tried ‘Well at least we are nice and cool nowooompppff!


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