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............8 more excerpts from the many stories in the book

fitba roon the back


We played fitba well after dark

in the street our Hampden Park
with a cardboard box or a rusty old tin
or anything else from the midden bin
the lamposts were goals and provided the light
as we played our game into the night
many a great player made his name
in the back streets of Glasgow playing this game

  the lowland games
We made bows and arrows from garden cane
a deadly weapon in the hands of a wean
peashooters and slings and the potato gun
forerunners of the weapons still to come
we played at dodgy with the tanner ball
and died as soldiers in dead man's fall
we played at rounders on the chalked out base
if you stood to close you'd get a bat in the face
I ran like mad keeping close to wall
I was almost there about past them all
then I saw in the corner of my eye
the biggest of guys letting fly
he came charging like a raging bull
I nearly wet myself but I stayed cool
I pulled on the brakes and suddenly froze
and he went flying past straight up a close
the funeral 
He had died the previous Saturday night
his head in the oven without a light
he may have been drunk we'll never know
but the signs of decay were beginning to show
he had cotton wool instead of teeth
some up his nose and more underneath
he was decomposing and was starting to smell
though some old eedjit thought he looked well
going messages
I went up the stairs to an opened door
where she stood barefooted on the wooden floor
she had a cigarette dangling from her lips
her hair in curlers with her hands on her hips
her baby doll nightie looked out of place
on a bag of bones with a skeletal face
and the wrinkled stockings on skinny pegs
failed to hide her corned beef legs
the midden
The cleansing motor disturbed the night
it's headlights flashing and burning bright
roaring loudly it would waken the dead
never mind the neighbours who were all in bed
the midden men who just started their shift
were all on the backplates catching a lift
carrying wicker baskets on their backs
there was nothing hygienic as refuse sacks
the midden man
my Aunt Cissie
She was complaining about a pain in her ear
and got took to the clinic that was relatively near
they gave her eardrops then stuffed cotton wool
and gave her a note to stay off school
but a few days later the pain got worse
and she was seen again by a visiting nurse
and my grandfather knew by the look on her face
that mothers illness was a hospital case
  the bike
Took it out the close and onto the street
the pedals clipped to my sandshoed feet
I felt great and was proud as punch
and even skipped my turn for lunch
I was showing off with all sorts of tricks
but I never knew the wheel was fixed
for I tried to stop and went over the bars
and onto the street head over arse

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