Captain Redbeard


I’ve been quiet of late on this blog thing and for that I apologise. I’ve been finishing up uni (walking out with an A and two B’s, giving me guarenteed entry into joint honours Scottish Literature/Film and TV) and working on a novel.

The novel has no title yet. Here’s a chapter though. It’s basically influenced by a similar event which happened in Garth Ennis’ comic The Boys.

Not quite the blood the drummer hoped for…

EDIT – 03/05/2013: alright, so I’ve had this one accepted for publication so I’ve had to remove it from my blog. Sorry aboot that folks!

Day Three Hundred and Fifty Six/Fifty Seven: Taxi Driver Monologue

I’m combining two days here because of dodgy internet.

Yeah so we’re nearing the end of 2011 and thus the end of my challenge. More thoughts will follow on that, however I’m actually looking forward to not blogging every day so I can focus more on creative work without a deadline. I think I’ll do a post a week though.


Anyway, this is based on a real conversation. I tried to remember as much of it as I can, so there’s hardly any fiction in it but what it does do is give little suggestions and insights into the character of the narrator. It’s a monologue and yes, the conversation really was as one sided as it appears.

Taxi Driver (Sans Bickle)

So, how’s life? Ah’m pretty good maself. Ye sorted for Christmas, aye? Nice wan. Aye, it’s pretty cauld innit? Well me n wife ur aff tae Spain in two days; Spain fur the Christmas holidays. Lookin forward tae it. A damn sight better than here in the cauld fur Christmas ah kin tell ye. Wis jist a wee cheap deal we saw in the windae eh that Barrheed Travel oan Oswald Street. Thought it’d be nice tae get away fur Christmas tae the sun. It’s jist me n the wife ye see, aw the kids huv flown the nest so aye, that’s us, aff tae Tenerife fur ten days. Ah heard oan the radio that its tae be right cauld later oan in the week so ah’m glad tae be aff tae Spain. 60 degrees ere there, so it is. Just workin a wee bit extra fur some spending money tae take ere. Ah started at 12 and ah reckon ah’ll stay oan tae about 7 or 8 o clock the night. Ah wis gonnae start earlier but ah hud tae take me wee grandwean tae the school this mornin ye know? So aye, ah took him doon there an went back tae the hoose an that’s when the wife says tae us that we’ll need to go doon tae her brother’s the night. Ah was like why? An she wis like, cause we’re aff tae Tenerife for Christmas so ah’ll need tae gie him his Christmas present afore we go so that was like fair enough. Ah picked the wee yin up fae the school again at aboot 11 an dropped him aff at his maws then ah went doon tae the taxi rank tae talk tae some eh the drivers fur a bit an then ah decided that ah’d come oan fur the day at 12. Ah’ll tell ye man, that brother eh hers pure scunners me. He asked us tae get him 60 fags fae the duty free oan oor way back. Fur his Christmas like, y’know? The guy cannae afford them like cause he’s no workin. Husnae worked for years. He’s on that disability benefit cause he’s only goat wan leg. He’s got diabetes tae like an he was telt that if he did nae stop smokin he’d lose his leg. Did he listen but? Did he hell. He just kept oan smokin. Ah tell ye son, if somebody telt me ah was gonnae lose ma leg ah’d have stopped smokin right there on the spot. He’s a stubborn bastard, y’know? So aye, he asked us tae get him 60 fags but ah telt him naw. We cannae afford that for his Christmas plus ah didnae want tae encourage his smokin like. He’s a bit eh a plonker, just sits oan his arse aw day watchin the telly. Him and his brother, ma other brother-in-law, hate each other. He lives in England noo like. Don’t hink they’ve seen each other in years. They used tae be in the RAF thegether ye see, but stationed at different barracks’. That younger wan, the wan wae the leg, he used to borrow money aff eh loads eh folk in his barracks then no pay it back. Eventually he moved tae another barrack an when his brother moved intae the barracks he used tae be in aw the squaddies wur like, your brother owes us money an he said aye, ma brother does. No me. Ma brother. Whit ye want me tae dae aboot it? So ever since then they’ve hated each other. He even telt him tae stop smokin tae. He’s a surgeon y’know, so he knows whit he’s talkin aboot. Ah mean, what’s an aeroplane fitter gonnae know aboot amputation? Shoulda listened tae his brother cause he wis a surgeon, knows whit he’s talkin aboot so he does. Mebbe if he listened tae him he’d no be such an auld crabbit git. So aye, that’s ma night sorted efter ma shift. Crimea Street eh? Is that just next tae the MoD building aye? Just aff Brown Street aye, aye, ah know where ye ur. Ah’ll get ye there awright. Nae worries at aw son.

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Five: How to Write a Monologue

Some Irvine Welsh for ya’ll today. This is how to writer in synthetic Scots properly. There’s really no excuse for having not read Irvine Welsh before. He’s utterly electrifying and this is a brilliant monologue. All rights etc lie with the man himself, I lay no claim to this work.

Two things to consider before reading this: 1) there’s a lot of swearing. But that’s part of that natural rhythm of speech in Scotland. 2) “cunt” is essentially a kind of punctuation in modern Scots. It often means “him” or “that guy” or variations thereof. You’ll understand when you read it.

Disnae Matter
by Irvine Welsh

Ah wis it thoan Disneyland in Florida, ken?. ‘Took hur ‘n’ the bairn. Wi me gittin peyed oaf fi Ferranti’s, ah thoat it’s either dae somethin wi the dough or pish it doon the bog at the Willie Muir. Ah saw whit happened tae a loat ay other cunts; livin like kings fir a while: taxis evraywhair, chinkies evray night, cairryoots, ye ken the score. ‘N’ whit dae they huv tae show fir it? Scottish Fuckin Fitba Association, that’s what, ya cunt.

Now ah wisnae that keen oan Disneyland, bit ah thoat: fir the bairn’s sake, ken? Wish ah hudnae bothered! It wis shite. Big fuckin queues tae git oan aw the rides. That’s awright if ye like that sortay thing, but it’s no ma fuckin scene. The beer ower thair’s pish n aw. They go oan aboot aw thir beer, thir Budweiser n aw that; its like drinkin fuckin cauld water. One thing ah did like aboot the States though is the scran. Loadsay it, beyond yir wildest dreams, n the service n aw. Ah mind in one place ah sais tae hur: Fill yir fuckin boots while ye kin, hen, cause whin wi git back hame we’ll be livin oafay McCain’s oven chips till fuck knows when.

Anywey, it this fuckin Disneyland shite, this daft cunt in a bear suit jumps oot in front ay us, ken? Wavin ehs airrms aboot n that. The bairn starts fuckin screamin, gied hur a real fright, ken? So ah fuckin panels the cunt, punches the fuckin wide-o in the mooth, or whair ah thought ehs mooth wis, under that suit, ken? Too fuckin right! Disneyland or nae fuckin Disneyland, disnae gie the cunt the excuse tae jump oot in front ay the bairn, ken.

Thing is, these polis cunts, fuckin guns n aw ya cunt, nae fuckin joke, ah’m tellin ye, they sais tae ays: “Whit’s the fucking score here, mate,” bit likesay American, ken? So ah goes, noddin ower tae this bear cunt: Cunt jumped oot in front ay the bairn. Well ootay fuckin order! The polis cunt jist says somethin aboot the boy mibbe bein a bit too keen, its ehs joab, ken?? The other yin sais somethin like: Mibbe the wee lassie’s frightened ay bears, ken?

So then this radge in a yellay jaykit comes along. Ah tipples right away thit eh’s that bear cunt’s gaffer, likesay. Eh apologises tae ays, then turns tae the bear cunt n sais: Wir gaunny huv tae lit ye go mate. They wir jist gaunny, likes, gie the boy ehs fucking cairds like that. This is nae good tae us, eh tells the boy. This perr cunt in the bear suit, eh’s goat the head oaf now, likes; the cunt’s nearly greetin, gaun oan aboot needin the joab tae pey ehs wey through college. So ah gits a hud ay this radge in the yellay jaykit n sais: Hi mate, yir ootay order here. Thir’s nae need tae gie the boy ehs cairds. It’s aw sorted oot.

Mean tae say, ah banged the cunt awright, bit ah didnae want the boy tae lose ehs joab, ken. Ah ken whit it’s f*ckin like. It’s aw a great laugh whin they chuck that redundancy poppy it ye, bit that disnae last firivir, ken. Aw they doss cunts thit blow the dough oan nowt. Thuv goat mates they nivir kent they hud – till the fuckin hireys run oot. Anywey, this supervisor radge goes: S’up tae you mate. You’re happy?, cunt keeps ehs joab.Then eh turns tae the boy n sais: Yir fuckin lucky, ah’m tellin ye. If it wisnae fir the boy here, ken, ye’d be pickin up yir cairds, but this is aw American, likesay, ye ken how aw they doss cunts talk, oan the telly n that.

The cunt ah gubbed, this bear cunt goes: Really sorry, mate, ma fault, ken. So ah jist sais: Sound by me. The polis n the supervisor boy fucked off n the bear cunt turns n sais: Thanks a lot, buddy. Have a nice day. Ah thoat fir a minute, ah’ll fucking gie ye nice day, ya cunt, jumpin oot in front ay the fuckin bairn. Bit ah jist left it, ken, nae hassle tae nae cunt. Boy’s entitled tae keep ehs joab; that wis ma good deed fir the day. Ah jist goes: Aye, you n aw, mate.

Day Three Hundred and Thirteen: Deek IV

The conclusion of Deek’s story. You’ll be able to find part one, two and three at the links.

She grabs the pint n turns roond an starts walkin away so ah walk up behind her n grab her by the waist.

“Where ye goin hen?”
“Dancefloor. Mon.”

We hit the dancefloor and she stands there noddin her heed to a couple of good tunes, takin care no tae spill any of her drink. Priorities; ah like it. It’s at this point ah notice she’s wearin a lovely red dress wi matchin stilettos. Ah’m no intae red, but she looks pretty stunnin tae be fair. They play an AC/DC number n ah decide to dance closer tae her. When it’s done we break apart again and she motions fur me to come closer again. As ah move in she pulls ma heed doon tae her mouth n whispers in ma ear.

“You’ve got something in yer beard.”

That’s the best line ah’ve heard for a while. Usually ah go in first n kiss the burds but she’s playin it cool, takin charge. Ah grab her wee waist again and she leans back n chucks her pint in ma face.

“That’s whit ye get ya creepy dick!”

Ah’m ragin, an through ma Strongbow filled eyes I catch a glimpse of her walking away aff the dance floor. Ah woulda followed her but ah could barely see straight. After aboot a minute eh rubbin ma eyes ah could see again an ah noticed a bunch ey lassies who’re standin wi Ronnie pure guttin themselves laughin. Ah flip Ronnie aff and he just aboot falls oan his fat arse in hysterics. Cunt.

Ah make ma way through the now busy club and intae the toilet tae gie ma face a wee wash. After negotiating the bog queue ah run the tap under ma hands n splash some cold water in ma face then check ma self in the mirror. Ma brown beard has taken on a slightly sticky feelin an a weird yellowy tint since the cider incident, so ah wash it again before checkin ma self oot in the mirror one more time, suckin ma gut in for good measure. Ah pull the comb fae ma back pocket through ma hair and make ma way back oot into the night. This minor setback wisnae gonnae stop me pullin a lassie the night. No by a long shot. Ah order two more jacks and hit the dance floor. Even if I’m showin ma age a bit, the night is still young.

Day Three Hundred and Twelve: Deek III

Part three of my insight into Deek. The name of the band he and Jack are in is yet to be decided. Find parts one and two here and here.

Jack slinks aff into the night and I’m left on ma ain an am soberin up pretty fuckin sharpish. The club’s playin some decent tunes but between the sticky floors and the black as fuck walls combined wi the overpriced drinks and dodgy strobe lights, it’s a pretty grim spectacle. We seem to attract people the kind eh people who like to wear black a lot. The guys are partial to tartan trousers and coloured hair dos, but the lassies are aw the same: black hair n black clothes. It’s like a fuckin ninja disco in here. Depressed by Ronnie slinging his moves in front eh a couple of fat burds with blonde hair in skirts that are far too short and holey tights, I make my escape to the bar for an overpriced jack n coke or two. Couple of drinks later and I’m on the prowl.
The bar’s startin to fill up which is good news cause there’s mair than a few nice wee burds floatin aboot. A stand aboot at the bar for a while tryin tae look, how dae ye say it, non-che-launt. A couldnae stop thinkin aboot that chancer Jack n whit he wiz dain wi oor money right noo. It was pure guttin, but a wiznae for chasin after that sorry cunt. He’s mare n capable of findin his own way back tae the van. Four JD’s later an the world’s become blurry around the edges. Ah’m feelin like a bit of a rock star noo and, cause ah know these Aberdeen fuckers willnae be able to understand whit ah’m sayin, ah decide to change ma approach n try tae chat up this nice wee thing that’s been eyein me up aw night. Ah order ma fifth jack n slide across the bar tae introduce ma self;

“Awright hen?”
“Noticed ye lookin over at me there, thought I’d come say hi.”
She takes a step back tae eye me up, so I stop slouchin n suck ma slight beer gut in. She probably cannae see it in the dark but ah play it safe all the same.
“Haha, it’s cool. I’m just a regular kinda guy. Ye probably recognise me as the bassist in the band that played here the night.”
“Oh really?”
Knew it. The band thing works every time.
“Do you sing as well?”
Her eyes light up an she moves in closer. For a second ah think it’d be wrong to lie but then ah realise this is all about one thing and one thing only, an that a lie will get me further. When it comes tae the endgame, morality is pretty far from yer mind. As far as I’m concerned the only morality in sex is the age of the pray and the species ey the game yer huntin.
“Aye, aye. Singer tae. Multitalented, me.”
“Whits the band called then?”

Ah tell her the band name an move a little closer, puttin ma arm around her waist. Lassies like it when ye dae that.

“Eh…whit ye dain?”
“Just getting a bit better acquainted wi ye. Hi, ma name’s Derek but ma mates call me Deek. And you are?”
“Sandra. Could ye no dae that, please?”
“Ah, dae ye no want me hen?”
Aye she does. She pure does.
“You oan something? Get yer hands aff me.”
“How, ye got a boyfriend?”
“Naw it’s just a bit…much, that’s aw.”
“Let me buy ye a drink.”
“Naw. Let go of me.”
“Just wan?”
“Ah said LIT GO EY ME.”

Ah remove ma arm from roond her waist and ease aff a bit. Some lassies aren’t into public displays of affection and that’s cool by me. It’s all good. We’ve got all night.

“So, dae ye want a drink or no?”
“Aye, a pint ey Strongbow’ll be lovely.”

That was some change eh tunes there, but ah oblige aw the same. Barman takes a while tae get tae us so I filled the space wae some innane bollocks to show her whit an interesting character ah wiz. She looks well impressed, her eyes sparklin as ah tell her aw aboot the band n that. Then the Strongbow arrives alongside ma double jack n coke. It’s time to pull oot the big guns.

“Cheers.” Ah say an we clink oor glasses together.

Day Three Hundred and Ten: Deek II

Part two of yesterday’s story. WOO!

JP was left tae tear Jacks equipment doon and take it tae the van cause Jack found himself indisposed with a phone call on the porcelain phone but I felt a sorry for him so I helped him oot a bit. Ronnie’s a little particular aboot his own gear so we left him to tear his drums doon himself. The tour manager said that he found us a place to crash the night at his mate’s hoose, which was pretty fuckin sound of him, but I doubt I’ll need it. I’ll be goin hame with a lassie the night. Sleepin in a bed. Well, eventually. Maybe sleepin. I dunno. We’ll see whit happens. By half eleven we’ve finished packing up the gear and the promoter opens the club. I asked him if he had our guarantee – which’ll probably go toward petrol money – and he handed it ower to Jack. Fuck. That’s bad, bad news. I have to be honest, I didnae see him leave the toilet and when I checked he’d fucked off. He always does this when he’s had a few. Fucking cunt. That petrol money will be gone by the morning and old Deek here will have to pay for it, like the idiot I am. We didnae shift as much merch as we’d have liked either tonight, so we cannae use some eh that cash. After aboot an hour the club starts tae fill up and Ronnie hits the dancefloor, eyein up lassies and tryin to get his chat oan. Jack puts in his token appearance which gave me enough time to grab a wee word wae him. It’s a conversation which went something like this:
“Jack, Jack? JACKIE BOY!”
I had to shout cause he was sitting starin into space, with that look on his face like he never understood what wis happenin around him, but wae a big fat daft smile signifying he was enjoying his current state of mind. That’s how ye know he’s utterly pan handled – big dopey smile, and empty saucers for eyes.
“Deek maaaawnnnnnnnnnn! Whur tha hull ye been?” he says, grabbing ma neck and pullin me in close for a hug, kissin me oan the cheek. He gets pretty affectionate when he’s drunk even though his legs, his common sense and his wallet urnae worth a fuck.
“Been here the whole time, pal! Ye pished?”
“Aye man. Ah’m absholutely fu –hic- fucked, mate. Dun in. Where ur we?”
Shit. He’s goat the hiccups. That’s never a good thing.
“You got the petrol money there?”
“Eh, naw mate. I do not.”
“Ye sure? Promoter said he gave ye it.”
“Naw man. He never gied us a thing. Not a thing.”
“JP husnae goat it, neither’s Ronnie.”
Ronnie moonwalks over, smooth as ye like, leavin a trail of unsatisfied lassies in his wake.
“Awright troops. Whit’s the craic?”
“Deek wis telt by eh cunt promoter that he gied me the money.”
“And Jackie boy here says he’s no goat it.”
“Ach man, fuck it. We’ll sort it the morra. Did ah tell ye ah love you guys? Yer special tae me. Even you, Jack.”
Ronnie grabs us both together in a bear hug. He’s a big guy, is oor Ronnie, so when he hugs ye, ye know it, however this is unusually affectionate. Bet he’s fleein. Jack clocks the weirdness – a fuckin Poriot level insight, given the current state of his mental faculties – and sees it fit tae enlighten us, changin the subject as he does so.
“Here, Ronnie, ye oan somethin?”
“Jack, Jack, Jack Jackie boy. Ye’ve such a nice face, did anywan ever tell ye that?”
He pecks Jack on the cheek: shit is getting legitimately bizarre. His pupils are as big as pinballs and he’s grindin his jaw somethin fierce. A look doon and he’s produced a tiny plastic bag with a few white pills in it.
“This here’s some good, good fuckin shit here. Wan eh they lassies ower there gave us em.
“Is that so?”
“Fuck sake Deek. Ye sound like ma da when ye say that ‘Is that so?’ whit fuckin age ur ye, 45?! Any eh you two interested in poppin a couple eh these bad boys?”
Jack blindly reaches for the packet but I guarantee that if he takes one eh them, we’ll be spending the rest of the night in A and E. He’s a right sleazy bastard when he’s oan pills. Legit. I pat his hand oot the way
“Hink yer awright there, Ronnie. Mind n get some watter noo, eh?”
“It’s all good Deek. Ye might talk a bit like ma da but I love ye aw the same. Ye big beautiful bearded cunt!”
Ronnie’s pretty touchy feely when he’s oan pills, so he grabs ma hand n kisses it before moonwalkin back onto the dancefloor. I dunno how he’s no para, to be honest. Unless yer in an environment when every other cunt is pilled oot their faces, there’s always that fear that yer gonna get busted by the bouncers. Bad craic man. Bad fuckin craic.

Day Three Hundred and Nine: Deek I

A new story for ya’ll. It’s related to this. Enjoy.

That wis good. Wisnae the best, but it wis good. I’d like to open every tour like that. Couple eh bum notes but it’s no great shakes, the crowd lapped it up even though Jack wis hammered. He’s no figured oot the balance yet. I’ve been at this game for about 7 years noo and he’s still no got the balance right. If yer too pished when ye go on stage ye get thirsty really quickly, and then the fatigue kicks in as ye burn through the excess carbs in the booze, so by the halfway point in the set yer choking for a drink eh something that’s no beer and yer ready for yer bed. He took it on the chin but, and we played well. Ye have to get a wee buzz on before ye hit the stage but ye don’t want to overdo it so ye can continue later on. After a couple eh songs I’d sobered up, so I just topped it up wi mare beer, unlike Jack. At the guitar solo in “Sick of Bricks” he jumped over n told me that he wisnae feelin that great. Nae wonder, he’d already tanned a bottle eh vodka afore we hit the stage. Mad cunt.

Anyway, noo that the business is oot the way it’s time tae get doon tae the pleasure. Aberdeen’s club scene is pretty shite to be honest, but since we’re kicking this tour aff on a Saturday night we’re hitting the clubs. The promoter has set up a bit of an after party for us in the venue, so hopefully the drink will be flowing an hopefully there’ll be plenty eh burds tae. Unlike any other singer I’ve ever met, Jack’s no in tae that kind eh thing. He’d rather just get pished in a corner and dance until he vomits, so it’ll likely be me and the walking woman repellent Ronnie who’re left to party on to the bitter end like true rock stars. JP’s like me in that he’s got a missus, but unlike me he’s devoted tae her. I’ll never understand that; I’m in this band purely for the wummin; he’s in it for something else entirely. Lead guitarists n singers are supposed to be the hell raisers yet it’s the bassist and the drummer eh this band who do the real demonic shit. JP’ll be back in the van reading afore half one, sober as a fuckin judge, and Jack’ll be in away with it by half twelve. Don’t think that’s a complaint, by the way; less for them, more for me. I’ll just need to see if I can ditch Ronnie at some point. It’s been a wee while since I goat a good ride on tour, and if I’m honest with ye I’m glad we arranged this tour after Christmas. I was sick of stickin to the one woman. Been far too long. Far, far too long.