An absolute must when in Glasgow is walking down town to the city centre on Saturday morning when the streets are given across to a huge array of diverse nutters and causes’ campaigners. It’s all great fun and to outsiders often quite unbelievable.
Recently, my partner and I took one of my sons down there. As we bowled down Sauchiehall Street the first encounter we heard from 100 yards away, such was the volume from their loudspeakers, were about 30 middle-aged black men and women, all lacking the usual pre-requisite dark glasses, all overweight and dressed in body-hugging white attire, prancing, jigging, foot-stomping and singing, according to the leaflet one of them gave us, for Jesus. If Jesus could actually hear this racket I imagine he would promptly turn to atheism to escape it. Fortunately the bugger doesn’t exist so no problem there.
Next came the communists, all elderly men handing out leaflets. They took my wind-up teasing with typical Glaswegian humour and were happy when I bought a copy of the Daily Worker, now gracing our Wellington office foyer, its front cover urging readers to destroy the Racist Tory Filth.
Just along from their stall lay their enemy, the Socialists, these comprising young blokes. “You silly buggers should be out chasing girls and getting rich,” I urged them. They laughed and one said he’d act on it now if my partner was available. Help yourself; I said and he dithered awkwardly.
Interspersing throughout the multitude of stalls, a huge number of one man ranters bellowed out their messages covering a rich variety of advocacies, mostly of a conspiracy nature. They were largely ignored but seemed blithely unconcerned. Musicians, bands, jugglers and diverse other entertainers all competed for attention.
One group was really enjoyable and had about 100 folk of all ages, jigging and dancing before them. Pop music ain’t my forte but I was still moved to give them a tenner, so entertaining were they.
The anti-Israel and pro-Israel groups, both dishing out leaflets about what rotters the other faction is from their facing stalls, but again without rancour, both copped some teasing from me.
And so it went until we hit the Islam stall. The 3 young blokes manning it told me they were from Kashmir so I told them a hilarious story about something that once happened to me there. They looked confused. I had the sense none had ever laughed in their lives. Their sole interest was persuading us to take free copies of the beautiful hard cover productions of the Koran they had, which we happily did.
And so it went; joy and laughter everywhere until we encountered the trans lot bellowing into loudspeakers. I hit on a placard-bearing young woman. “You don’t look like a bloke to me.” I said. “I’m here in support.” she replied.
“You’re wasting your time. “I told her. “Woman world-wide are peculiar about toilets and won’t ever buy into sharing them with blokes in wigs and I can prove it to you. “Go on.” She said, so I did.
“No-one in history”, I told her, “has ever known their mother to go to the toilet. It’s something they share with cats.” I left her looking reflective as she realised the truth of what I’d said.
We’re taking my youngest (15 years old) daughter there next week for the school holidays and I can’t wait for the first Saturday morning. She will be dumbstruck and like the other family members, want to shift there. I’m convinced it’s the happiest place in the world.