Back in the mid 90’s one of our more socially inept friends surprised us all by announcing that he wanted a career change. He’d been a dry-liner since the age of 16 making really good money while the rest of us were either on income support or at college doing our best to drink our student loans and funding as many nights out as possible to the local pubs and clubs.
Snakes decided that the dry-lining business wasn’t for him anymore, so he retreated to his bedroom at his mams house armed only with an Amiga and a copy of Deluxe Paint II and taught himself how to be a graphic artist.
At the end of his self-imposed exile he had produced as show reel which was impressive and creepy in equal measures being as its centre point was building from the local graveyard in which we’d spent an inordinate amount of time doing “research”. The research of consisted of taking us taking LSD after nights out and sitting in the dark cemetery to see what we could see. The answer being all sorts of things most of which to this day I couldn’t tell you if they were real or not.
The giant bowl of cereal from The Big Breakfasts “Get Your Knobbly Nuts Out” was definitely not real. Nor was the fact that the building turned into a giant Kerplunk but after that the jury is still out.
Off the back of his show reel and some coaching from his friends on how to appear normal in an interview he landed a job with a bona fide gaming software house in Glasgow. At the time they were working on some big time games and won a few awards. Buoyed by their success the company decided to reward their staff be taking over a city centre bar for an evening and providing free drinks for all staff and their guests.
This is where we came in. Snakes obviously having a mad rush of blood to the head invited me and a couple of pals to the do and the attendant free entry into the next door club where Jeremy Healy was playing that night.
Now I’m not a lad’s night out, stag do, jolly boys outing kind of bloke. Mostly because I’m wildly anti-social and mixing with people makes my knuckles itch. I was however prepared to make an exception as the booze would be free and Snakes is an old time mate and we’ve got a lot of (nefarious) history together.
We rounded up the required “supplies”, booked the train tickets and a hotel through our mate’s missus and departed on the 13:30 to Glasgow.
There were three of us in our little train crew. Me, Yorkshire Rick and Bryn. Peado Paul was making his own way up in his car and was to meet us at the hotel. Snakes was primed to meet us at the train station so nothing could go wrong. The organisation had been conducted with military precision so nothing could go wrong.
The first thing that went wrong was that we thought the journey would be en-livened by some amphetamines before hopping on the train and then cans of LCL as we talked a load of bollocks through to our destination.
Three blokes all talking at 100 miles an hour boarded the packed train. No matter that we didn’t have seats we simply sat outside the toilets on our bags and cracked the cans open waiting for the conductor to come round. He duly appeared and after looking at our tickets pointed out that we were on the Edinburgh train not the one to Glasgow Central. This caused some heated speed fuelled debate amongst out little group accompanied by much swearing and gesticulation of lager cans.
Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour he told us we could get off at Edinburgh and hop a train across to Glasgow only needing to pay for a ticket for that part of the journey which we could get from the machines at the station. “Happy Lads?” he said backing away as quickly as possible. “Mint, cheers mate” came back the reply as we cracked on with talking shite.
The journey carried on in this manner enlivened by the odd dab here or there and more cans. A polite older asian guy stepped over Rick who at this point had forsaken sitting on his bag for lying sprawled on the ground and went into the toilet.
After a few minutes he stuck his head round the door and asked if we know the sink worked so he could wash his hands. This was an older style train and to get the water out of taps you had to pump it with your foot so Rick hops up, explains to the guy how it all hangs together, tells him to cup his hands and operates the foot pump for him.
What you don’t want in this situation is a speed fuelled Yorkshireman operating your foot pump. He went at it as if someone had told him he’d get a pound for every pump. The bloke was soaked. He had chinos on and by the time Rick stopped pumping he looked like he’d thoroughly pissed himself.
“Fuck’s sake Rick, you can stop now”. The Asian guy sloped off back to his seat as we cried with laughter and decided that the situation called for a celebration in the form of an E each just to take the edge off........