Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Clash of the Titans: Old Firm, and stories from Iraq

Watching the Old Firm Game from Inside the Glaswegian.


'A Fiery Old Firm Clash saw a red card, missed penalty, last gasp winner & ugly scenes at the End'.

This is the quote from Hotmail at 02.22am.

I think I was lucky just to lose my bike light and not my head when I decided I would get my pens and pencils out in a notorious Ranger's pub The Glaswegian. I came in after the kick off, which I'm sure wouldn't have endeered anyone to me. I quaffed 2 bottles of Magners (they didn't have any ginger beer or ale) and I didn't know any of the songs.
I wasn't the only one not singing, but by crikey, it was a much more heated affair than the last Old Firm match I drew in the Brazenhead (notorious Celtic pub). After being treated so nicely there during that weekend afternoon match, I felt like a traitor standing there tonight in that pub. And I don't even bloody support football in any shape or form. But I am Catholic. And that might have mattered...

I did get a load of curious glances and stares and I was just bloody nice and friendly back. There was me giving a nod and a smile when Rangers got their goal, and there was me still nodding and smiling after drawing lots of the tasteful phrases I was hearing and the 'jubilant' atmosphere, and there was me still f*****g nodding and smiling after I noticed somehow Rangers has got another goal; so it was 2-1 to Rangers ey? Shame. Guess Celtic didn't have their chance then.
What a bloody fool I am.

There was me curiously staring at all the drunken celtic supporters starting up songs under the Highland Man's umbrella (Argyll Street under Central Station), and crowds of strangers joining in from the other side of the road, with me thinking 'Aw, that's nice. Look how well the Celtic Supporters are taking it.'

Now I realise, perhaps, why some serious looking woman in a black bob, glasses and red top, at the end of the match, demanded what I was doing in the Glaswegian, and Where was I from?
Ah Jenny, with her wits about her, smiled gleefully and proclaimed 'Och I'm just an Art Student!'
'Oh that's alright then' she grunted and left me to it. I wish I'd been a fly on the wall as I haplessly pratted along with my picture mistakenly believing that everyone was exultant around me.

So then I rushed back to the Arches for a quick bladder relief call before zipping into the 'light relief' of Bluey, the autobiographical play by Phil Spencer and his monkey/Dad Alfred.
From the perspective of an imaginative young boy witnessing his Dad going to the war in Iraq, believing it all pointless and stupid, and reflecting on the stories they shared, interjected with angsty adolescent male music, strobe lighting, smoke machines and 'right in there' audience participation.
Sharp and well practiced. The comedic look at an individual's experience of a war going on the theatre, was still honey compared to the raw redness of what I experienced beforehand.
And is that your last Old Firm documenting session Miss Soep? Have you had your fill of adrenalin fuelled drawing experiences? Are you going to stop, or join a side?
It's 2.49 in the morning. I'm ready for my pit, and by the way, No Comment.

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