Date: 2nd September 2020
The latest blog by SFSA writer Donald Stewart:
Mr Spence Declares Class War
There is a bobbing ginger head in Dundee…
Picture the scene…
For it is he.
He is not a happy chappy. Oh he is not! He is on the phone to someone and venting. Mr Spence vents a lot. It is not unlike fuming, but nobody fumes better than Mr Goodwin of Paisley and Mr Spence cannot quite match those levels, so he is venting.
In fact, he is venting loudly. From the city that once had Jam, Jute, and Journalism he has couried intae the other person on the other line as his head bobs quicker than a pigeon fighting for a tasty morsel on the banks of the Dee with a seagull.
“it’s an absolute disgrace I am telling you,” he fumes in his non partisan Tangerine tinted brogue.
We are unable to hear what else is being said as he leaves little gaps in the conversation for anyone to respond.
“It’s a boutique sport so it is… Whit are ye haverin oan aboot noo? Naw, no a dress shoap! Dear God gie me some strength…”
At this point a shadowy figure is seen at the bottom of the long street trying to dodge along from doorway to doorway…
Mr Spence appears unaware…
But he has the lightening reflexes of … a man of his age and experience…
“Let me tell you this, and it’s no cos ahm frae Govan, but you need tae listen tae me! I am no kidding and I hae just hud a wee taste o arguing oan the twitter there wi a numpty called Mchaggis!! Whit? Am ah kidding oan, ahm no kidding oan..”
A party of children at this point are hurried past by a concerned teacher and her assistant. They have seen this phenomenon before, in fact one of them has a grandfather who claims to have seen Mr Spence in the Bobby Cox stand once. He is currently held under the Mental Health Act after his family made a plea to the courts.
“Ahm about scunnered wi aw this. Fitba is the national sport. It is been treated disgracefully by the Scottish Government. Don’t gie me it has nothing tae dae wi you. We aw ken that you hae the power and you hae the chances and you hae the cash tae dae something aboot it aw…”
The noise made by Mr Spence has made the local constabulary return back from whence they came as they entered the street, noticed the haze of ginger dementing the skies, and turned back towards the relative safe haven of Linlathen and Midcraigie.
“I have tellt ye’s … What? Where did ah hear aboot it? Ah wrote it! Between the COVID chicken factory exodus, the Arbroath murder charge and then… what? Naw! Ah don’t know who was murdered in Arbroath! Sorry? What funny sketch? Are you listening tae me?”
The shadowy figure moves again and finds that he is now somewhat exposed in the street and there may be nothing left for it but to make on dash to the front door that he is after. He can see the commotion caused by Mr Spence as people are opening windows to shout at what is going on and shutting them just as quickly. This is quite impressive as there are people four streets away opening windows as it is so loud. The shadowy figure knows that people will be distracted by it. He tries not to be distracted by it. But he also knows that if he is seen by the ginger nut, he is busted… He is headed in the wrong direction and across the road from where he ought to be heading…
“Right see the rugger hen. It’s no fur the likes o me. It’s no fur the likes o people like me. Ye have tae have wan o they pan loafy voices tae play it and ye can hear ah huvenae. But tae let folk intae Murrayfield tae watch it whilst the fitba folk canae get intae see their team – even in a kiddy oany, let’s if we can kinda fashion when they rugger buggers are in tae see their thing is just no fair. It’s no fair!”
At this point Mr Spence has hit a crescendo. The door to the Tangerine Dream House opens and out comes a small figure: a child of around 8 or 9, be decked in scarf and filled with thoughts of the next game on the TV he has been in and caught a glimpse of Shankland in a socially distanced manner on his way to the socially distanced treatment room. He is in awe. He is now in the street. With a ginger figure of fury.
Let us quickly recap…
At this point we have Mr Spence, a shadowy figure and a child in a deserted street, somewhere in Dundee that all may recognise.
Mr Spence is tense.
The shadowy figure is tense.
The wee guy doesnae yet know how tae be tense but he is feeling something in the air.
Someone somewhere thinks, “Where is Phil Collins when ye need him.” The rest of the people think they could do without him, but Mr Spence is running out of thinking…
“What’s your name? Whit dae ye mean yer no telling me? I want to know who you are so I can quote you! We are approaching a position in this society where anonymity has tae be challenged. Ye hearing me? You can’t be taken seriously running about with names like inner fury and McHaggis, and expect folk to take your deranged, ranting havers with anything but hilarity. It is havers hen!”
At this he thrusts his phone into what he thinks is his pocket. It drops to the floor. He storms down the way, passing the shadowy figure heading for the Tangerine Dream entrance and says in passing, “All right Charlie?”
Spooked, the shadowy figure thinks his cover has been blown – it has – he turns 180 degrees and enters into the blue door… remembering that he genuinely supported this teams a child. A voice somewhere in the gloom says, “aye, they aw say thon…”
About the same time the wee kid with the big scarf finds Mr Spence’s phone and places it on his ear to hear the woman on the other end say.,” I am sorry Mr Spence but you cannot renegotiate your Sky subscription based on what the Scottish Government policy is on individual sports. Now, is there anything else I can help you with today?”
“Aye, there is,” says the wee kid with the big scarf, and as he walks towards the end of the street, in the opposite direction from the scowling Mr Spence, asks a series of apposite and quite searching questions as to why Game of Thrones is not continuing, why anyone ever commissioned Outlander and if Tellytubbies will ever make a comeback. Kids today eh?
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as there is little or no evidence that Mr Jim Spence has ever called a woman hen, as far as he is aware, this is clearly fictional and never actual happened, though some of the comments were written in an article for the Dundee Courier and on Twitter.
The fact is that during the week in an article for the Dundee Courier Jim Spence, rightly railed against the decision by the Scottish Government to allow the rugger crowds folk to try bring crowds into Murrayfield to watch them whilst denying the opportunity of football crowds the same privilege. He called it class war and so it is. Not allowing working class people the opportunity to go into see middle class professionals in a football shirt run about playing the working man’s game when it costs an arm, a leg and several kidneys to support your child through the ranks of youth football and then have to pay a fortune for a season book to keep following them is a denial of the working class right to be exploited by the likes of rich people. Although Jim Spence is always right. To an extent.
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