Junkie, drunks and Swans…
On Tuesday I went out with a film crew to do the short film that will be presented to the assembled guests at the finals of ‘Scottish Woman of the Year’ dinner.
It really is just a small clip of me walking around with a voice over, giving the people there a taste for who I am.
The other five women had theirs done and the crew were lovely and knew that I was a comedian and had decided to make it a wee bit funnier.
So we took a walk down to the Glasgow Green and beside the River Clyde, I saw a big bunch of swans strutting around so I decided it would be funny if I pretended they were a comedy crowd and I addressed them as if I was doing comedy and the birds all honked and flapped at me.
“Come on swans, give me smile, tip your waitress, I will be here all week” I giggled.
Then a wee Glaswegian drunk wandered over in to camera shot. He was wearing a dirty tee shirt, had no teeth and stank.
“Why do you think that big swan isn’t joining all of those birds?” He said.
He was right the big bird stood a distance away from the other swans.
I looked at the big haughty swan and said to camera “This wee Glasgow man who is locally known as Doctor Doolittle has posed a very sombre question”
The wee drunk closed his eyes in a professional manner threw up one arm and shouted loudly and proudly “That’s because they are geese and that is a swan, if you are going to talk to them at least get there breed correct, Geese hate being called swans that’s why they honk at you” The wee drunk man smiled smugly to the camera.
He was right they were bloody geese! I hadn’t even noticed…how much of a city kid am I?
I went back to look at the swan with the wee drunk stumbling man behind me, still with the camera running, and as I approached the snooty tall white beast- two big fat long rats came scrambling under the swans legs and scurried towards me.
“Arrrggghhh fucking big smelly rats!” I squealed as the wee drunk laughed aloud.
“It’s ok they are water rats, they don’t bite!” He said running behind the rats that were running after me……the camera still shooting the whole thing.
We couldn’t have arranged this if we tried.
The wee drunk man refused to leave me alone to get the shot done “give me money” he demanded.
“I don’t have money wee man” I said (and I didn’t)
“Well I want money for being in your film” He stood his ground.
“I think you will find we never had you in the film, we never asked for you to be in this wee film and we are actually trying to position the camera to get you out of our wee film” I snapped back.
“Well I told you about the geese” he replied smugly.
“And you want payment for pointing out a swan isn’t a goose?” I asked him sarcastically.
“Aye I do” He shot back at me.
“Well, no is the answer to that, I recognised the rats and I am not getting paid for pointing them out am I?” I laughed and then he laughed and finally wandered off, but still managed to shout at me in the background.
After escaping the rats and drunks, we walked towards the suspension bridge that sits over the River Clyde for a shot of me walking across.
Just as I started walking, I saw a man drag himself out of the water at the bank side, he clambered up through the muddy clearing, ran in front of the camera and came up to me.
He was filthy, dripping and I thought I may be dreaming, how surreal can my day get?
“Listen if you want to film me you can, I will tell you my story for cash, I was chased into the river by gangsters, now film me” he shouted, wet arms outstretched and bawling like a mad man.
“We don’t want to film you actually” I replied. The camera woman kept the film going; my wistful walk amongst the red rustic autumnal leaves was going in an entirely different direction.
We then cut the shot and tried to ignore him. He ran around everyone and came back at me as I lit up a quick fag and gripped my take away coffee carton for smoke break and possibly a looney break,
“Give me a fag you bitch” he hissed at me.
I looked at him and smiled “No”.
“You fucking middle class bastards come here with your camera’s filming shite and here is me with a real gangster story, I just came out of the Clyde…now give me a fag” he aggressively spat at me.
I watched as the three women production crew fiddled with equipment and made a concerted effort to ignore him, I stepped forward and shoved my face right into his and said through gritted teeth.
“Listen you fuckwit, I am from here, I lived here in the Calton for years, I am not fucking interested in your fucked up junkie tale of woe, don’t stand there thinking I am some mumsy middle class arse that you can scare or intimidate, you ever speak to me like that again, I will fucking throw you back into the river, if you want anything from me, I will be glad to help but you have to respect me first or you can fuck right off and go drink your methadone elsewhere”
He looked at me, raised one eyebrow and said “Well if you are from here you know how shite it is, I have problems” he put his head down and stuffed his wet swollen fingers into damp pockets.
I answered him “Yeah…fucking big problems and if you treat people like that and try to intimidate women like that then no fucking one will help you, I don’t let anyone speak to me like that”
“Can I have a cigarette please?” he asked politely.
“Yes” I said and handed him one and gave him the coffee.
“Do you know Shorty from the Calton? I asked him as he lit the fag.
“Aye, I know Shorty well, you know him?” He replied blinking through the smoke.
“I told you, I lived here, I used to own the Weavers Inn up on London road” I answered.
“Fucksake you should’ve said that” He smiled gripped the cigarette with his teeth and thrust out one hand to shake mine.
“You must be a Storrie” his broad smile spilt his face.
“Yes I am a Storrie….well by marriage but I have changed my name since, what’s yours?” I asked him.
“I am not telling you, I will get battered for fucking you about” he laughed loudly and he walked off with my cigarette and my hot coffee “Cheers Storrie” he shouted from a distance as he held up the paper cup and made off between the big trees that lined the river.
We did manage to finish off that short two minute film of me walking about and talking about my charity work. I don’t think the lovely film crew even imagined they would be staring through a camera at a nominee of Scotswoman of the Year as she argued with geese, had an animal lecture from a wee drunk and threatened to throw a drug addict into a freezing river, but then again stuff happens to me.
Oh and by the way, must of the charity work I do is with people who have drink and drug problems….ironic?_