SCENE: A writer at his desk. MUSIC: A plaintive, moody saxophone. VOICE: American hardboiled, private eye
Procrastination had set in. He was at the desk pretending to work. He stopped for a break, looked out at the daffodils still refusing to come out just yet. Still too cold. Nature knows best. He stretches, sees three dogs play, one defecates. The owner rather unusually picks up.
The writer decides to change tense. He finishes speaking as if he's in a hardboiled Dashiel Hammett and down-at-heel detective book.
Thursday is always a busy writing day. At 3.10 I stop for a coffee and have two of those very small Cadbury mini crème eggs. I like to live on the edge.
At 3.20, the World Hurdle; the big race at the Cheltenham Festival, was about to start. I turned on the radio; the chat was focused on the massive favourite Annie Power. The pundits were glowing in their praise, she was unbeaten. She had been backed all year, people betting everything on her. You'd have been as well just giving the horse the winner's trophy and cheque.
But come on Andy; where's the political bit, you say? The info emanating from the paddock suggests the hot favourite was nervous and edgy, unsure even. I know nothing about 'the track'- I prefer to throw my hard earned to the mercy of football.
I do however know about human nature. When everyone is backing one thing, I always think no, what if she fails? Be a contrarian. I'm not sure if this technique is for everyone but I went for Annie Power's rival, More of That. And he won.
Here it comes, the political bit: there is a point. I was wondering if there could be a giant turnaround in the Independent Stakes, to be run on September 18?
The biggest race in Scotland's history and the outsider romping home to beat the heavily backed favourite? Here's the really important issue: you can never tell, right up to seconds before the big event, how the favourite will react under real pressure.
You don't know till the runners and riders (the electorate) show up to vote. Are they confident? Do they look nervous? Are they sweating, unsure in the paddock (voting booths)? Are they losing their bottle? For nervousness, read negative news leaks about companies and banks leaving and doubts over the currency union.
I wonder how the chap who placed the huge bet on Better Together is holding up? I've looked at the prices: 7/2 for Yes to independence, against 2/9 for No.
But remember More of That.
When I heard there would be a White Paper, a blueprint for an independent Scotland being written, I pitched an idea for inclusion. I suggested that Michael McIntyre and Amanda Hart have their photos on the last two pages.
I thought if nothing floats your boat in the big white book, maybe just being part of a nation that houses these two comedy greats might do the trick.
If anyone was still unsure, this could be the vote clincher. Imagine a world without Michael McIntyre's raving like a lunatic, always raving, about himself, a man-child in a five-year old's head; irritating laugh…fix hair…joke about looking Chinese. That's it.
I'm sure there are many more important economical, social, political and historical reasons to consider before you get to this point but just in case you're still not sold. Think of Michael McIntyre…if all that fails, the last page has a picture of Miranda Hart.
A survey this week claimed Independence wouldn't harm tourism in Scotland…in fact, it could improve figures.
Let's not run before we can walk here. There are a number of small issues. Overpricing for example; stuffed Wee Westie Dugs at Waverley Station, 58p from Taiwan retailing at SYCY (See You Coming Yankee) prices at £19.99. There's also a serious problem with customer service. Take places on tourist routes in the Trossachs, perfect for lunches and coffees.
"Oh the kitchen doesn't open till five." We're in the middle of nowhere; you're a hotel and restaurant? Being independent won't change the mindset. We need a sea change, since most of Scotland's 'touristy' hotels are like Fawlty Towers on crack.
On the subject of tourism, it may be the perfect time to pitch my Edinburgh-based Scottish/French theme park idea.
Think of all those French fans there last week for the rugby? The Auld Alliance? It's called Asterix the Gyle. Think Disneyland with more violence and Getafix a bit more Begbie-esque.
Anthony Wedgwood Benn, RIP. The man was a political colossus, a towering figure with a life worthy of a movie. I'm sure there will be many heartfelt tributes paid. I will leave you on this. When asked about the hereditary system he said: 'I'm not very keen on the hereditary system. If I went to the dentist and he started to drill and he said oh by the way Tony, I'm not a dentist but my father was a very good one. I wouldn't be all together happy.'
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