Monday, 26 May 2008

The Maryhill Tavern

My friend Alanna is my sidekick for the weekend. She was going to spend her first night with an old nursing mate in Glasgow's East End, but on Sunday morning at 7am I get a voice message from her - "Pez, when can you come and get me?...I've got to get out of here - it's a techno hell-hole and it won't stop". I wasn't even awake, let alone up so she stole away from the gurners and hopped in a cab over to Queenzieburn. Ross showed us around the farm and we got a real eye full of his prize bulls' great swinging nads. (Heavy). Then said our good-byes and got on our way - off to Maryhill, the home of the real ice cream wars.

No voyage in a choc-mobile that sells ice cream would be complete without a visit to Maryhill - it's standard. Everyone warns me about tyre slashing and windscreen smashing but I'm adamant. And besides, I have Alanna with me which means that it doesn't matter how dodgy an area we're in together, we will always gravitate towards the sleaziest, most down at heel old man's boozer that we can get our chops around and the rest of the world can disappear.

The Maryhill Tavern appeared like a great throbbing, pulsating beacon. I screeched to a halt and we accosted the first guy that came out of it, Wally. "Get the fook oota tha car and get insaad the fookin pub ya fookin speckies", he yelled. We decided he was probably saying this in good humour and went on in, flanking this great, gruff big teddy bear of a man.
"Oh mah god, Wally's not brought a burd in here fa years - let aloon twoo" cried a bleach blonde grandma at the bar.

We went and settled down with Wally and his pals and the whole pub started hurling questions over at us. As soon as they twigged we were English there was pandamonium - especially from Wally who'd thought we were from Ullapool or Harris.
"If ah'd knoon you were fookin English ah'd a told ya to fook off doon the rood" he shouted before making off to the bar and getting us a drink.

A guy called Jimmy heckled us from the other side of the pub, telling us to "get oot, you're no' welcome in here". I marched over to him, said "here Jimmy, I've got something to show you - come outside with me" and led him by the hand out to meet my Jimmy. He was absolutely delighted. The rest of the afternoon saw us taking endless trips out to the van with all the Jimmys that came in and dancing with old men to the karaoke croonings. It was absolute gold dust.


David Hall said...

Brilliant Petra! Real life - and a few characters, just what you were looking for! Blueberry Hill, what a hoot. Glad you enjoyed it, I LOVE Scotland


Petra Barran said...

I know! I know where I'll be heading next time I'm in Glasgae.

Hope Yorkshire was fun,