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Looting takes the waiting out of wanting!


I’ve got a worm in my ear. Not the grub. Not the parasite. A song I can’t stop.

If it was Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere or Schubert’s trio in E-flat (from The Hunger) that’s grand. Repetition can be meditative. The same reason nippers-and-scrapers LUV the same tale over-and-over or I listen to Jon Krakauer talking about people losing nose and toes to frostbite on Everest before I go to sleep. Unfortunately my ear worm is My Lovely Horse from Father Ted’s A Song for Europe, FFS (look it up).

With apologies to Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon (who I’m certain wrote it in five minutes over a pie/pint) I don’t even have the whole lyric down. Barely a verse, maybe half a chorus, scarcely enough to warrant a party piece or avoid drowning. (Apparently that’s the way to stay afloat – sing your head off, maybe attract local shipping or at least go under DJing seagulls). Binge viewing Ted can do that for you. So, if you’re as keen to avoid anything called news as I am then reaching for the laugh is as needed as much as…(insert suitable metaphor here).

I’ve been overworking in my glamorous life telling sixty-five-year-olds not to put toast in the CD drive. Bed at three and up at six isn’t recommended to keep grey hairs either at bay or avoid the expense of Poundland’s premier gent’s vanity aid: Man Plus Grey-be-Gone. Hello paranoia how are you?

One bottle of white and a “Is that all you want this time?” at Scotmid, might seem a reasonable question but are staff suggesting I’m drinking too much, or not enough? Also, the fatigue is making me strangely attentive to the actions of shoplifters.

Now I’m not innocent in this regard so I’d never grass anyone up but if I’m operating on three hours of sleep. And a teenage hoodie behind me in the queue is pocketing Curly Wurlys, then it’s not subtle, is it? Naturally I remonstrated with them … but as always in-my-mind hoping psychic notes penetrate:

“Surely young citizen, if I know you’re on the Robert … and my head isn’t even looking at your boat … then are you best suited to considering a career as a bandit?”

Have I missed my vocation as store detective? Are masks making it more likely civilians are engaging in shop naughtiness? Questions only the desirous can answer (segue warning).

Talking of longing, have you heard of ? The unofficial route citizens choose to tread despite authority’s pointed counter to such. Rules writ large in steel, nuts, bolts, fences seem implacable, unless countered with vandal spirit and spanners. I pride myself still capable of leaping until such times as I crack an ankle, fall on my arse, or look like a big bra.

Those exiting Victoria Park onto Craighall Road near Trinity Academy are in a low-level war of attrition (with council, school, local middle-class parents, and swillers at the Dreadnought Bar.), fighting to avoid ten extra seconds of foot passage by demolishing barriers to free movement. Bolts on, bolts off, who’ll win?

More a rhetorical query than an entreaty to get in touch - I loathe the public - but if you’ve worked for a fencing company, you realise that to become self-employed, was both correct, yet doesn’t insulate from remembering. Tempered steel, anti-vandal, pre-sheered struts, are probably taking up remembering space better suited to novelty song lyrics.

Lyrics are in songs, yes? And you can see songs played by live bands I’m told.

I went to the Hidden Doors Festival in June, and for once they didn’t block book 2021’s Edinburgh music production graduates, electronic acts who might as well phone it in. Call me Shirley but surely a good gig is about having a laugh, getting pissed, dancing, and if the band are really good maybe crying a bit, for reasons other than, catching your girlfriend snogging Tall Terry the bassist from her band.

2022 opened with Saint Etienne - I love them, my Dad hasn’t heard of them -but they haven’t heard of him either so he can do one. Me and my present wife are bang on for day one three months in advance but it wasn’t easy, viz.

Procedure: Pick a day; but you can’t book the day until the programme comes out. You get a ‘quick response’ code - not a ticket; take your ID with you to prevent ticket touts, or pre-record a video of you saying “My name is Crawford, Finlay and I are not a ticket tout!”, or scan a passport and email it to us and you won’t have to queue.

What could be simpler?

Well not doing this, it doesn’t work.

Welcome to Citizen Ticket. ■

Mark Young

P.S. Did you realise Chas & Dave’s There Ain’t No Pleasing You has the only perfect syllable count in lyric history?

That’s the way to stay afloat – singing your head off. Or at least go under serenading seagulls



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