Date: 11th November 2022
This week’s not-so-serious blog from our Donald.
Mr. Deliveroo never gives up…
There is a whole load of guys in spandex standing next to bikes outside a well-known Perth take away.
Deep in conversation they started discussing the new guy.
“He is 7 foot tall I tell you, speaks with a strange accent and can deliver anywhere within twenty minutes.”
“I heard he was so quick in Edinburgh, he got tickets for speeding.”
The legendary tales continued for a good four or five minutes as the new guy picked up his insulated delivery bag, wheeled his bike round to the assembled crowd and came upon them as they hushed into silence desperate to know if everything, they had heard about Mr. McGowan was true. He knew it wasn’t, but he was not going to confirm, or deny any of it.
An itinerant traveller from one part of the gig economy to another, Mr. McGowan was now a Deliveroo deliverer with his bike. He was getting on a bit, and he was feeling his age most mornings, but he was back doing what he did best – Deliveroo ing…
Picture the scene…
It is a typical Friday night in a typical Scottish industrial estate where there were hungry mouths to feed across the city and this motley crew of the young, unfit and gym shark junkies were ready to serve. The testosterone was in overdrive.
In walked Mr. McGowan. The hush had already descended and now it was about to explode into a barrage of questions before someone’s phone had the familiar ping of an order. They had to go. Reduced by one the questioning was about to intensify.
“All right?” one hails Mr. McGowan.
“Yeah fine,” responds the Australian drawl. “How about you?”
“Yeah good, I was just telling the guys here that, back in the day, you were some kind of legend in Edinburgh.”
Mr. McGowan smiled inwardly; this was going to be fun.
He responded with, “just back in the day?”
His inquisitor, realising he needed a quick sidestep, took it.
“Well back in the day until now, I suppose. Are you going to use your wizardry here, we are all wondering?”
Challenge accepted, thought Mr. McGowan.
“What wizardry was that?” he asked.
Then one of the others piped up, “I heard that you were top in some international thing that was run a few years back.”
“Nah,” responded Mr. McGowan. “I was a little like a Steven Bradbury.”
His questioner frowned; he had never heard of him before. Mr. McGowan saw his and the others confusion – that was, after all the point of raising it. And so, he got to explain.
“There’s a guy called Steven Bradbury. He was a speedster. He went to the Delivery Olympics in 2002 and he made the final. It was the last delivery and everybody else failed – all fell off their bikes. He just slides around and wins. That was my story in 2014! Everyone got injured, I was the last one standing and I ended up playing my part.”
Lovely story though it was, nobody quite believed it.
The first guy, who fancied himself as a quiz master and shop steward decided to probe further.
“So, how did that work out for you then? That was 8 years ago, mate, I, mean did you get to the same thing and the same thing happened – everyone dropped out or what? I don’t get it.”
He was waiting for this, and he knew he would have to explain and so he did. “It was more of a team game by this time, and I was picked as a kind of reserve. I was not going to be used at all and then things began to happen.”
“Like what?” Came a shout from the back of the diminishing crowd – people were getting pinged all over the shop and having to go and collect their deliveries. Mr. McGowan knew this would add to the legend as the retelling would never be as accurate as the truth.
“As I said,” he continued.
“I was borderline to make the squad in the first place but once I was in the 23, I knew that if people were fit, I wasn’t going to be getting on. First contest the guy in my slot pulled his hammy at the start of the first race. So, I went on. Then before the second race Mark Milligan, who used to run for my opposition in Edinburgh, was moved to my slot. I can remember thinking ‘well, I’ve got on, which was more than I thought, that’ll be it’. He pulled his hammy as well!”
His interrogator, realising that the whole episode was slipping from his grasp, that he had built Mr. McGowan up to being something he probably was not, was feeling people doubt him, began to try and find an out with…
“Actually, you are a lot smaller than I thought you would be.”
At that, Mr. McGowan’s phone beeped, and his shift was about to really begin. Now there was Mr. McGowan, the initial teammate with the questions and a couple of young lads left from the initial crowd.
Mr. McGowan focussed on the young fellas and said, “look guys. Things happen. That’s always been my mindset – as long as I’m fit, healthy and able to do this, you just never know. For my shift there won’t be any ‘what ifs’ or excuses. I give everything and if I don’t
make the squad, so be it, I’ll wish them all the best and support the boys. I’ll have given it my best shot and so should you.”
And with that he disappeared into the shop to get his delivery and ride off into the sunset, his legendary status growing as a team player and not as a prima donna Deliveroo…
Whilst the author, asserts his right to this as an original piece of work there is no evidence that Socceroo Ryan McGowan has ever been a Deliveroo driver, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a piece of fiction, though we have used some words spoken by Mr. McGowan in the pursuit of some authenticity, from an article in which he was interviewed in the Dundee Courier.
The fact is that during the week, Ryan McGowan was asked about his future as a Socceroo and the upcoming World Cup, given he had been to the 2014 World Cup. He responded with the following:-
“I’ll give you a bit of Australian history,” said McGowan. “This is a good story!
“There’s a guy called Steven Bradbury.
“He was a speed skater, he went to the Winter Olympics (in 2002) and he made the (1,000 metres) final.
“It was the last lap and everybody else falls over.
“He just slides around and wins the gold.
“That was my story in 2014!
“Everyone got injured, I was the last one standing and I ended up playing.
“I was borderline to make the squad in the first place but once I was in the 23 I knew that if players were fit I wasn’t going to be getting on.
“First game (Chile) the right-back pulled his hammy at the start of the second half.
“So I went on.
“Then before the second game (Netherlands) Mark Milligan, who used to play for Hibs, was moved to right-back in training.
“I can remember thinking ‘well, I’ve got on, which was more than I thought, that’ll be it’.
“He pulled his hammy as well!
“Ange (Postecoglou) was probably thinking ‘I suppose I’m going to have to play him then!’
“From a position of not thinking I’d be involved, I played in all three games (Spain was the last one) and started two of them.
“That’s always been my mindset – as long as I’m fit, healthy and playing well, you just never know.
“There won’t be any ‘what ifs’ or excuses.
“I’ve given everything and if I don’t make the squad, so be it, I’ll wish them all the best and support the boys. I’ll have given it my best shot.”
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