Date: 9th October 2021
Donald Stewart’s second weekly SFSA blog of the week.
“Mr. Glass takes charge of the passports and the paperwork…”
“Mr. Glass and The Govan Avoiding Greek are off on their travels.
They are both in charge of a large minibus full of young Scouts who expect them to know what they are doing.
Stuck at the side of the road, these two Scout Masters are trying to work out if they have enough paperwork to get them into the Pleasure Beach at Blackpool…
They don’t agree. Indeed, since the transfer of the wee boy Brown from one troop to the other relations could be described as particularly frosty…
Picture the scene…
On the M6, just south of Southwaite, Mr. Glass is laying out the plans for the next 24 hours. The Govan Avoiding Greek, with his Australian accent is confused. To be fair, most people are confused by him so it seems only fair that he should suffer the same fate at times.
“I am confused,” he confirms.
Mr. Glass eyes him with suspicion. Often his confusion comes before a full scale assault and a torrent of criticism. He gets ready to receive such wisdom as the Govan Avoiding Greek says, “We have two minibuses full of kids who should have passports. You don’t need passports to get from Scotland to England, but you might need them to get into big venues. I don’t think they do in England, but I know they do in Scotland. The passports are not paper passports and they are not about the country you were born in but about the COVID thing?”
Mr. Glass responds with a curt nod of the head and say, “Aye.”
It does not clear up the confusion for the Govan Avoiding Greek. “So, what happened to the blue ones?”
Mr. Glass looks even more puzzled as he asks, “What blue ones?”
The Govan Avoiding Greek looks in credulous before saying, “The blue passports after BREXIT. Are they not supposed to sort everything out?”
At the side of the M6, next to his minibus, now empty of kids, who are sat at the side of the road in the October drizzle due to the puncture sustained a few short hours ago, Mr. Glass pounds the bonnet of the vehicle in frustration.
“We talked about this an hour ago. The blue passports have nothing to do with it. You are supposed to need a passport to get into big venues. It is not blue. It isn’t even red. It is on your phone. You need to have a phone which downloads the passport and shows people you have been double vaccinated.”
The Govan Avoiding Greek nods, “And are we all double vaccinated?” he asks reasonably.
Mr. Glass lifts his head and looks at him, “You were supposed to check.”
The Govan Avoiding Greek nods. He knew there was something he was supposed to do before they left but with all of the upset over what has been happening lately, people questioning whether he could run the troop and how his Saturday tactics were always going wrong, it had been a tough month. Then he remembered something.
“Wait a minute,” he says, “Are young people not vaccinated because they decided not to vaccinate them? I mean if they decided not to vaccinate them then we can’t have them vaccinated so they can’t have a passport, and it is not our fault. That they don’t have one”
Mr. Glass has a doubt rearing its head in his head. Some people think there is plenty of room in there!
If the Govan Avoiding Greek is right then last weekend when he got them all to attend a vaccination centre that had popped up in the wee village 20 miles away, with him spending an entire weekend picking up kids, forcing them to get jags and arguing with parents whilst he threatened them that their wee cherub would not be going to Blackpool unless it got done may have been for nothing.
He utters one word, “What?”
The Govan Avoiding Greek, sensing a loophole through which he could wriggle, continues as he starts to pace at the side of the road, “I mean, if they want something we cannot give then they cannot expect it. Can they? Especially if it is government policy to not do something they want to happen? I mean if we or I cannot get the vaccinations because it is not allowed, and they, the kids cannot get a passport, no matter what colour it is supposed to be, and then they, the people at Blackpool cannot stop us getting in – can they?”
In his mind Mr. Glass is now running through the heated arguments he had over last weekend with nurses, a practice manager and a health board official as he forced them to vaccinate all the kids he turned up with during the weekend. At one point he did overhear them talk about how they might just give them dummy vaccines. He had told them he didn’t care what type of vaccines it was, though he had had the Pfizer one and it made him woozy so could they avoid that one, and now he is beginning to understand.
He had then sent a strongly worded letter to all the parents demanding they get their kids to download the app to prove they had had the vaccine. The number of kids who showed him, that very morning, a screen with the app on it was 100%. He started though, to get suspicious as they were all the same and the name on every screen was the same. The kids had all claimed it was always happening with some uncle. As they were all from rural Aberdeenshire, he had put it down to a very overactive uncle…
The Govan Avoiding Greek was warming to his theme as he said, “Look, I shall go and read the rules again. That way we have them up to date. And if we have to turn back then it is not too far. Glasgow is a couple of hours away. Though you have another three before home so it’s a bit of a trek but hey, it’s been an adventure, right?”
Mr. Glass is not so reasonable. The Govan Avoiding Greek turns his back and Mr. Glass realises that one little shove into the road, in front of the next articulated lorry would solve the issue. The minibus sorted, the Govan Avoiding Greek gone, he could go all the way to Blackpool without this annoying voice in the bus.
Nobody would know.
He was foreign after all. He could claim that maybe he forgot what side of the road people drove on…
Right, he thinks, as he walks towards the back of the Govan Avoiding Greek, looking behind hoping for the biggest transport lorry you could imagine. Instead, he sees the flashing lights of an AA truck coming into view.
His opportunity is gone as the Govan Avoiding Greek turns, sees it himself and announces his happiness with, “Let’s ask them! They should know!” He turns to Mr. Glass and smiles. “All good, eh? I love this country.”
Mr. Glass, not for the first times, rues missed opportunities…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that either a Mr. Glass nor a Govan Avoiding Greek have every been Scout Masters, unless you know differently, therefore this is clearly a work of fiction.
During the week there has been quite a bit of confusion over whether there is a passport required to enter the fitba… Aberdeen, playing host to Celtic have made their feelings quite clear as they arenae gonnae border control ye… They released the following statement: –
“We fully appreciate the confusion this has now caused as well as the controversy surrounding the scheme. According to our recent survey, the majority of our fans are double-vaccinated. But there are others who are not and also those who feel strongly about having to show proof of vaccines. Equally, there are supporters very much in favour of showing proof of vaccine. The controversial scheme is costing the Club time and money to implement. Indeed, our staff have spent most of this week dealing solely with its implications and our ticket office continues to be inundated with calls from fans worried they will not get in because they cannot access the app. To accommodate more than 10,000 fans at Pittodrie, we will have to comply fully with the scheme when it is enforced. In the meantime, we will continue to collate feedback from fans on this and make representations to the Scottish Government as we work with them over the next few weeks. It is our understanding that the scheme will be reviewed by MSPs every three weeks. While the Club will have no choice in the matter once the scheme is enforced, our fans can choose to take the steps required to gain entry or not. If season ticket members are unwilling to comply with these steps, then they will still have access to their virtual season ticket.” For the avoidance of doubt, this correpsondant is doubly vaccinated, does not have his passport and does not like the colour blue…”
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