Now is not the time to return to blogging. I’m just buried with paperwork right now, doing lots of good deeds vaguely associated with living in the early days of a better nation, and emphatically not sitting in an armchair eating baked beans direct from the tin and binge-watching old Countdown episodes. My counsellor says that’s all in the past.
Nor, however, is it the time to be frogmarched to the polling booth to indulge a poisonous right-wing cabal’s power fantasies. I mean, another bloody vote? Bridge of Earn Village Hall will be charging us rent soon. Including a Cooncil by-election, that’ll be eight visits to the polls since we moved back to Scotland less than four years ago. That’s as many visits as I had in 15 years of living in Maidenhead, studiously body-swerving Theresa on the odd occasions she chose to bore her constituents to stupefaction in the High Street.
I suppose, looking back, it wasn’t the time last June for Scotland to be wheeched out of the EU as if we’d drawn the short straw on United Airlines. Nor was it the time in November for the laughably misnamed “free” world to have a fickle tantrum-throwing six-year-old narcissist elected to its self-proclaimed leadership. Nor, when the seemingly inevitable thermonuclear holocaust envelops us, will it be the time to be kissing my arse goodbye as the Faslane fallout floats across from Forgandenny.
So here I am, reporting for duty, feeling like it’s the first day of Primary 7 and I’m outdoors in my rugby kit, the wind whipping icy javelins of drizzle into my cheeks, dreading the moment someone throws me the ball and I get pounded so far into the turf that my atoms fuse with the earth’s crust.
I’ve been away so long it’s like a whole new induction course. So much information to process. Ruth Davidson and Kim Jong Un – how do you tell them apart? Does the surname “Torrance” really mean “rivers of pish”? Is Glenn Campbell’s resemblance to one of James Kelly’s haemorrhoids coincidental? How long can Murdo Fraser go on telling jokes before someone laughs? Which is worse, listening to Annie Wells or being repeatedly thwacked in the face with a wet lavvy brush?
At least there are some familiar sights and sounds. Jackie Bird is still on the telly, so I’ve signed up for another course of hypnotherapy to stop me spray-painting “LIAR” all over the screen. Kezia Dugdale, expertly tutored by George Foulkes in the art of irrelevance, is still getting an inordinate amount of airtime, sounding increasingly like a hearing aid on the blink. Ditto John “Professor Branestawm” Curtice, seemingly the only life-form in the galaxy qualified to recite the bleedin’ obvious about voter intentions. Meanwhile, Willie Rennie continues to amaze medical experts by holding down a job in front-line politics, despite having his brain replaced by a Tunnock’s teacake in 1983.
Meanwhile, there are the questions, always the damn brainless questions, fizzing with hostility, white noise searing the eardrums. What currency will you use? The poond? The pibroch? The Eck? The babybox? Which way will the Queen’s head face on your stamps? What will the forty-fifth word on page 69 of your constitution be? What pension will my unborn grandchild be paid in 2088? Won’t the United Nations declare you a pariah state? How will you defend yourselves against invasion by Klingons?
And, of course, you have to smile benignly and take it, because any other reaction will be slammed as “Cybernat Abuse” and Daily Mail goons will be legally entitled to rake through your bins. Unionist foghorns can proclaim that you’re a saboteur to be crushed, or a frothing extremist just a couple of doors along from the Nazis, and everyone from the Queen on down will purr in contented approval. But if you dare to re-tweet something with the word “wank” in it, the faux outrage police will be all over you like chicken pox, the pillars of civilisation will cave in and the jaws of Hell will clank shut on us all.
“Here we go again, more Nat grievances,” intone the usual suspects, surreptitiously feeding copies of The National into a giant shredder. Yeah, whatever. Personally, I think my grievances have a justification so gargantuan it possesses its own gravitational field, but I’m just a brainwashed, poorly-educated cult member, so what do I know?
Anyway, resistance may be futile, or it may turn out to be the spark that ignites the conflagration that reduces the Empire 2.0 mentality to a heap of smouldering ash, but we may as well have some fun while we’re about it. You’ll already have noted that the ol’ sense of humour is rustier than a cheese grater left out in the rain, but stick with it and we might have a few laughs along the way. And, even if we don’t, it’ll be more therapeutic than radio silence.
So now is not the time to return to blogging. But there isn’t going to be any better time, so let the good times roll.