It’s nae easy starin at a mob who are aw on their day off an expectin tae enjoy thersels. An here’s me in a yella jaiket wi Roakstiddy on the back. The rains pissin doon an the haar’s comin in off the North Sea. It’s no lang efter fower an the floodlights are on.
Ye dinnae make many pals in this line o work. But it’s nae my job tae be aw pally anywey. I get oot o the rain for a while tae go an sort oot some laddie A see swiggin oot o a plastic bottle. Diabetic, he says. It’s amazin the tricks they get up tae tho. Could be vodka for aw A ken. Some of them can hardly stan up. It’s amazin hoo they get in.
“A’m nae worried whit ye are,” A says. “There’s nae bottles allowed in the grun. Ye ken fine ye shudnae hae taken it in.”
Predictably his pal jines in.
“He’s diabetic fir fuck’s sake! Davie, get yer caird oot.”
The laddie’s takin oot his wallet noo. But A tell him nae tae bother. A’m nae interested in seein fake identity cairds. A cannae tell him that but ye widnae believe the lengths some o them go tae so they can get hammered durin the game.
A pull the bottle oaf the kant and make my wey back doon the steps. He might be a diabetic for aw A ken. Then again he might no be. It’s nae ma job tae make a diagnosis. A’m here tae ensure regulations arenae breached. But judgin by the abuse A get headin back doon the steps, A’d be surprised if there wiz anythin much wrong wi him that a cup o black coffee widnae sort oot. If he wiz really diabetic it’s nae gonnae dae his blood pressure much guid shoutin an swearin an cairryin on like a bairn that’s lost its sweeties.
There’s nae ower much aggro the day. The usual stuff in the bogs at half time wi abody smokin. Whit a reek. Mair visibility ootside an whit a day it is. They get a bit radge in there owin tae security in numbers but maist nip the fags oot pretty fast when ye mention fines. Any wisecrackers an A can ayewis call the control room fir reinforcements.
It’s the flags that start mair bother than anythin else. Union Jacks an Tricolours are the worst. Red hans or stuff wi the IRA on it are a no go. But there’s nae ower much o that stuff the day at a Hibiz an Arabs game.
The Hibiz in the North Stan hiv draped a giant flag ower the top tier. Problem is ye cannae see the advertisin an businesses pey a whack for that kinna thing. So A ask them nicely tae take it doon. They arenae too happy like, but they slowly start tae undae the strings whilst haein a wee mump an a moan aboot it.
It’s nae a guid time tae be up there hooevir. A can tell by the bad vibes aroond me that the Arabs hiv scored doon below. The Hibiz wi the flag stop whit they’re daen an yell at their goalie who’s made a right erse o things. A cannae wait any longer. A’ve ither work tae dae so A undae the last o the strings masel an the flag faws tae the flair. Mair dug’s abuse as a head back doon tae grun level.
Five minutes tae go noo an the Hibiz go ballistic. Yin o the players runs towards the North Stan wi his shirt off and the fans aw dive on top o him. A get right in amongst them. Ye nivir ken when there might be a heidcase assaultin a player or whit have ye. A fish a wee yin oot bi the collar. When A pit him doon a see he’s just a bairn, six year auld at the maist. He’s greetin fir his da but A lead him awa tae safety as some of ma colleagues deal wi the kants roondaboot where the bairn wis standin. If he’d fawin ower the mob widdae trampled his heid tae mince.
A’m at the ither side o toon next week. A prefer it there tae be honest. A’ve nae much time fir the Hibiz. I prefer the Hertz like, ye ken, bein fae the Shandon an that. A’ve nae went tae the games fir a long time but my da goes alang an ma brither tae. A feel a bit mair at hame among my ain fowk even if ye find a few heidbangers at aw the games.
I’m nae that popular wi the Hibiz the day. Am A ivir? But A cannae help haen a chuckle tae masel. They’re nae best pleased wi droppin points at hame against the Arabs. But A’ll be able to go hame soon, get these drookit claes off an get in the tub. Ma hubby will be waitin fur me wi a cup o hot tea an a cuddle. An he luvz me. At least A think he does.