The story below is new, in as much it was started back in 1996 and finished tonight, (in rough draft and not proof read, or punctuated). Like other early stuff, it has only ever been aired before, in writing groups in Glasgow. I have dug out all my unfinished stuff, which, I honestly think, when I look at some of it, was crap, but bringing it to a conclusion seems, right now, somehow makes me feel…good or at least occupies my mind, which requires to be occupied right now. Self indulgence is the name of the game or some might say validating myself. I used to go along to the group every Wednesday, with something hastily written the night or at most two nights before, and read it out to the other budding writers. The other scribes were mostly ladies with poems about the beauty of a crocus or yarns of the Peace Camp at Faslane. In those days I would write-through the night, as that was when I got peace and quiet in the Beirut twin-town that I lived in at the time. I am trying to instill the atmosphere of the dedication to the art, hopefully triggering comparison with any one of the Great Gulag Martyrs.
As usual the story below has swearing, sex and violence.
Crowbar and Shrimp arrived in Blackpool on a Saturday morning. Both had been there on holiday before, but this time they were there to work . It was February and the seaside town was cold and bleak . They got off the bus and a Blackpool Gazette purchased in the bus station cafe. They sat down to their cup of tea and Bap and sought out digs, circling numbers, and taking turns to go phone.
“ The place is still full of fanny even if at this time o’ the year” stated Crowbar, whilst eyeing the passing girls on his return from the telephone kiosk.
“Aye, bit it’s no as if there oan hoaliday, I mean, they lassies are goin tae work, they’ll no be lookin furra shag ” replied Shrimp.
“ Well, maybe, later the night they will. It’s Saturday mind” mused Crowbar.
Shrimp and Crowbar were not close friends, although, they had known each other for several years. The fresh start that was now before them was as a result of a lager soaked conversation that took place in their local a fortnight earlier, that was when they had decided it was time to get out of the This fuckin Shithole once and for all.’ So here they were in windy wintry Blackpool.
Three years previous , Crowbar had his first holiday visit to the seaside resort and on the night before setting off to go, it was made clear to him by Old Sam “ that if a handsome young man like himself didny shag a nice wee lassie doon in Blackpool, then he must be fuckin’ gay”. Crowbar never and he agonised over this, frequently. He was delighted the next year, in 1979, when the dilemma was straightened out by a drunken Welsh lumber who demanded that he “ fuck off and shut the door when your going ”, just as after he had been whimpering ecstatically.
Shrimp had been to Blackpool more than Crowbar. He must have scored too? He couldn’t be a gully of nil, surely? Crowbar gazed at Shrimp as he came back to the table.
“Whit the fuck are you lookin’ at? “ Shrimp asked.
“Nothin’” was the quick retort.
“ Anyway, I’ve got us a place.”
“It’s in Coronation Street, fuckin Coronation Street, by the way and I’m no fuckin jokin.”
“Ya Beauty! “.
“Aye an we’ve tae go round in two hours.”
“Brillyanto ya cunt!”.
“So I suggest we go and get a load of messages fur the week, so we know what can spend in the boozer the night”
The pub was called the King George, a roomy inn, which could accommodate up to two or three hundred people.
“ Does this place get busy at the weekend?” Shrimp asked the barman.
“ Not at this time of year, flower” replied the barman, continuing, “ It’s quite busy tonight actually.”
About twenty people were scattered around the premises. Meanwhile Crowbar had started playing pool with another punter. Shrimp bought the two lagers over and informed him,
“That cunt behind thebar said this is busy as it gets.”
“Ma arse “, interrupted the pool opponent” it’ll be movin shortly.”
“This is Brian by the way”, said Crowbar, “ Brian this is Shrimp.”
“How yi doin?”
“ How were you lookin fur some fanny?” said Brian.
“I’m no bothered”, said Shrimp
“ Well I am “ stated Crowbar.
By eleven o’clock the numbers had increased by five. Shrimp had went home for an early night and Crowbar was getting to know Brian. Brian had lived in Blackpool for sixteen months, and had shacked up with his girlfriend Marie. She was expected in later and Crowbar hoped to meet her as she w.ould be bringing a friend according Brian. The more he listened to Brian the more Crowbar became convinced he was a nut.
“ Whit ye doin’ the morra?” enquired Brian
“ I wis gonni go to the pictures.”
“ Whit tae see?”
“Saturday Night Fever”.
“That’s been out fur fuckin ages, has it no?”
“ Aye but I’ve no seen it yet”
“ See me, I’m barred oot all the picturehouses in Glasgow.”
Crowbar was reluctant to ask why, but he couldn’t help himself.
“ What for?”
“ See when I go tae the movies I like peace and quiet tae hear the fuckin thing, but thirs always some cunt openin’ a Mars bar or a bag a crisps, I used tae crack up, know whit I mean?”
“ Aye right enough”
“ Aw there she is “
Marie was wearing a mini skirt, with a plunging neckline . She had on a jerkin type leather top and high heels.
“ Some bit of gear” thought Crowbar
“ Where’s Jackie?” enquired Brian
“We had an argument”
“ Yous two are always fallin oot “
Brian introduced Crowbar to Marie. Crowbar went to the bar to get her a Blue Lagoon and on his return the couple were effin and blinding at one another.
“ Fuck this c’mon, Crowbar we’re goin doon the North pier thirs a night club open till two”
“Ur we? “
“ Aye, I’m no listnin tae this cunt”
“ Wait an I’ll jist get fags then”, said Crowbar taking himself away from the situation while Brian put his jacket on, as the couple continued with slanging match. Crowbar looked back at Marie as they were leaving and seen her being asked to play pool by one of the five who had come in earlier. Marie gave Crowbar a wink.
“ Fuck her, c’mon .“ said Brian
Crowbar wished he could
The next morning Shrimp asked Crowbar how his night ended up. He told him of the argument, and about the disco at the North Pier
“ Any women?”
“ Fuck all, It was crap. Whit did you dae, go tae bed?”
“Naw, when I came in the wee landlady asked if a wanted tae watch the telly”
“I thought ye weren’t allowed tae go in tae their livin room”
“Aye, she says it was awright because the old yin was away tae bed”
“ Whit happened, did ye end up shaggin her?”
“That’ll be fuckin right, naw I started watchin telly an she started yappin on aboot her big handsome son, an then asked if I wanted tae see some photies of him. I said awright, jist tae keep her happy but wishin I hadn’t went in tae their fuckin livin room”
“ Whit does her son dae fur a livin then ?”
“Fuck all, he’s deid, it was photies of him lying in a coffin”
“ Whit did she want tae show ye that for?”
“ I don’t fuckin know, they are aff thir fuckin heids.”
Shrimp was a painter to trade. Crowbar a bricklayer . The room they shared contained a double bed and two small sets of drawers on either side with a bedside lamp on each . A picture hung on the wall of two little kittens . Shrimp yawned, still tired due to the fact that he kept waking during the night to check that his backside hadn’t came into contact with Crowbar’s
“ Ye goin oot the night?”
“Aye, I was gonni go and see that Saturday Night Fever – Fancy it?”
“ May as well”
The two made their way down to the kitchen which they could use between seven and eight am only. Each had their alloted cupboard space. Shrimp had his area full of groceries, but Crowbars was empty.
“ I’ll jist get a roll an bacon on the road tae work” said Crowbar .
” You can take some o ma muesli if you want?”
“ Naw thanks. I’m away, I’ll see you later”
Evening came and the two set out for their night at the pictures. They left the digs early so they could have a couple of lagers before the film. A pub yards from the cinema fulfilled their requirements.
“We are missin The Goodies the night” said Crowbar opening up with the topic of TV
“It’s shite anyway” replied Shrimp
“ I think it’s no bad “
“ I suppose it can be awright”
“It’s a send up of the film we are goin tae see the night, funnily enough” continued Crowbar.
“ Aye, it’s been on afore”
“Not this one, it’s a new series”
“Its been on afore I’m tellin ye”
“Thats the one they go aboot with a big dod of Brylcreem on thir heids”
“Naw that wisny the Goodies, anyhow it says in the paper it’s a new series”
“Whit are yi readin the telly page for, it’s not as if your allowed to watch it”
“ I’ll read whit I fuckin want tae”
“ Disnae seem much point if you ask me”
“ Exactly, there disnae seem much point, just the same as there is no much point of going tae the movies with you, ya moanin face bastard, ya cunt you go on like a wee sweetie wife, yir face trippin yi, no wonder that wummin wanted tae show ye photies of her deid son, you probably reminded her of him when yi wir sittin oan the couch”
“ At least am no wanting tae pal about with a bampot from Castlemilk whose heids up his arse, showing aff his prickteasin wife”
“ See you, away home an pour yirsel a plate a thon Musly. I’m goin tae the pictures, but I’m fuckin sure am not going, wi you ya cunt”
Crowbar swallowed the remains of his lager and was just about to leave when three men from Shrimps work came in. One of them nodded to him giving him the reason to depart from the table before Crowbar did.
“ Aye, on ye go” said Crowbar, “away an spoil their night ya bastard!”
He made his way to the cinema, standing stood outside, deliberately in the view of the foyer attendant who would see him looking at his watch now and again as to create the impression he was waiting for someone. On purchasing two tickets he said to the attendant,
“Wis supposed to meet her fifteen minutes ago ——–“
“Can you tell Her I’m away in . I’m sure it was tonight I wis tae meet her”
“ Certainly sir” the attendant replied.
Crowbar took his seat and thought, “ Her in the foyer was a bit of alright, might jist ask her oot after”.
When the film finished Crowbar looked out for the kiosk girl. No sign of her. It didn’t matter. Unlucky for her, he thought as the butterflies in his stomach eased.
He looked down at his feet walking, imagining himself on the screen at the same time quietly singing the only words he picked up from the film.
“ Night Fever, Night Fever you don’t have to do it”
It was approaching ten o’clock and he wasn’t going go home this early. After all he had been inspired with the disco dancing, and a new cool stride. There was no way he was going to share this experience with his strange bedfellow. He decided to go to Mama and Papa Jenks Discotheque.
After standing at the bar for twenty minutes, feebly requesting a lager, through fear his Scottishness would be noticed, he was delighted to spot faces he knew at a table in the corner.
It was Brian and Marie who were with a girl, a brunette, very tall and very attractive. The record playing was a track Saturday Night Fever, so walking over to them, Crowbar tried out his new style . As he was crossing the dance floor, which had differently coloured flashing illuminated squares, his foot got caught in a handbag causing him to trip in mid stride resulting him lying in the middle of the floor, his trousers showing a wet patch between his legs due to the spilt lager. Brian ran over to him and helped him up.
“ Get up for fucks sake, they’ll put yi oot for bein drunk” shouted Brian over the disco music.
“ I’m no drunk, I’ve not even had one yet” replied Crowbar, shouting too.
Back at the table, the girls giggles were tailing off.
“Sit doon, I’ll go an get you another drink”
Crowbar sat down and was introduced to the other female by Marie. He liked her, but he felt awkward after what had just happened.
“C’mon lets dance Crowbar” requested Marie.
“Aye sure” answered Crowbar, taking the opportunity to re-impress with his new found dancing skills.
“Jackie likes you, you know Crowbar”
“Does she. How dae you know that?”
“She told me when I pointed you out at the bar”
“But she’s no spoke to me yet”
“Take it from me she likes you . Get her up to dance the next time”
The music they were dancing to finished. Brian was back with the drinks. Crowbar kept looking at Jackie, but could not keep his gaze due to his shyness, he drank his lager hurriedly to give him more courage .
“Are ye getting up, hen?”
“Disco Inferno” was the music to dance to . All the punters on the floor started dancing step for step the routine taken from the film. The best Crowbar could do was join in the chorus “ Burn, baby burn”, that was all he knew, Jackie paired off with another girl dancing perfect time while Crowbar tried to fit in with the other disco kings and queens. The music carried on without a break. Crowbar had to sit down. He realised he was no Travolta. I’ve blew it now he thought and immediately started thinking of justifiable reasons why he could not like Jackie.
“You’re a good dancer Crowbar” said Marie
“Seriously, you were really good. Do you go to dancing classes?”
Crowbar believed she was genuine in her questions.
“Ah, naw I just picked it up”
As the night continued and with the more booze consumed, Crowbar was having a great time. The last dance was announced and Crowbar and Jackie got up for it. Crowbar placed his arms around Jackies’ waist and she her arms around his neck
“Thanks for a wonderful night , Mr Travolta” she said, smiling
“Thank you Jackie”
They kissed passionately
Can I see you home the night?” asked Crowbar
“I’ve been wanting tae get you up fur a smoochy all night “
She looked puzzled.
”A slow dance “ he explained.
“Me too” she replied
Before leaving the disco Marie and Jackie informed the men that they were going to the ladies room.
“You’ve knocked it off there Big Man” said Brian
Crowbar grinned with pride. The two girls returned from the washroom. Jackie looked angry.
“Somethin wrong hen?” asked Crowbar
“Never mind!” she said cutting him off.
“They’ve been arguing again” said Brian
“You shut up “ said Marie.
Once outside Crowbar tried to get Jackie on ahead to himself but the argument was not over. Jackie went back to Marie and was shouting.
“Why do we have to play the game your way. Surely somebody else can make the rules just for once. As for that spineless bastard that you call your husband. Thanks, but no thanks”.
She looked at Crowbar who was standing bewildered.
“ Are you still walking me home?”
“ Aye, sure thing”
Marie then took off one of her high heels which she threw at Jackie. It missed and crashed through a parked car windscreen . The owner of the car came out.
He ran back inside. By now the two girls were wrestling on the ground, the men trying to separate them.
A police car arrived on the scene
“ Right you lot break it up. Bloody Hell, not you three gain, right, get into the car”
They had all quietened down except for the crying of Jackie. The policeman pointed recklessly and said to Crowbar.
“ You boy, on you go, you’re out of your league here. Go home son”
Crowbar was going to protest, but declined.
The three sat in the rear seat of the police vehicle while a second policeman took particulars from the hotel residents.
Jackie looked out and waved delicately with her fingers.
Crowbar copied the gesture still confused.
The car drove off.
On entering the bedroom of the digs Crowbar awoke Shrimp
“Awright?” he said to Shrimp
“Not bad , how was the film?”
“Go anywhere else?”
“Here and there, nothin startlin. Whit aboot you ?”
“They guys a met ended up takin me to a party. I got a lumber”
“Oh aye. Howd it go, did ye shag her/”
“I went back tae her digs and we sat and told jokes all night”
Crowbar looked at him in disbelief.
“Nothin, as long as ye enjoyed yourself”
“As a matter a fact I did, I’m seen her again tomorrow night”
Crowbar got into bed.
The two discreetly manoeuvred their backsides so that their bums were well apart.