I?d been looking forward to Glasgow for two reasons.
1/ Scottish audiences are fantastic. I don?t know why it is, but they really know how to enjoy themselves when they go to the theatre, which makes performing so much more enjoyable.
2/ The golf courses around here ROCK.
Although the Actor enjoys free daytimes for golf, it is not always possible to play a course. Matinee shows put a big dent in the day, and with the actor unable to rouse himself from bed before 10.00 am, alternative golfing arrangements have to be made. For this reason, and for those rare days in Scotland when the weather is less than perfect, it is essential to find a decent driving range to call home.
Having arrived in Scotlands largest city the previous day I found myself with a free morning before the usual new venue 3 o?clock sound check. So armed with clubs, mobile phone and Sat Nav I set out on my search? And I found a beauty.
The World Of Golf lies just off the Great Western Rd. on the outskirts of Glasgow. The shop and range are superb, but it?s the short game area that really sets it apart. The chipping, putting and bunker facilities are of such high quality that you?d be hard pushed to find better on any course? If only I?d used them.
So there I was on the range, in my own little world pounding balls with my 4-iron, when quite out of the blue from the bay behind I heard ?Nice swing.?
I turned to face the approving voice. It emanated from a small man of progressing years with a Father Christmas face, and a stomach to match, except in place of the beard was a bushy white moustache.
?Thank-you? I said, rather pleased by this flattering remark, and went back to hitting balls. Just as my club reached the top of the backswing, ?Must have a low handicap??
?Five.? I replied.
?Och, good golf that, good golf. I was four myself. I?m Bill?
It seems to me that the Scots are split in to two distinct groups. Those that talk incredibly quickly, and those that talk unbelievably slowly. Bill hailed from the slow school.
?George.? I said
?Pleased to meet you George?
?Likewise.? I said
Pause?. Relieved I returned to my problematic 4-Iron.
Bill then uttered the words that I believe in a golfing context, and certainly on a driving range, have never been spoken before and probably never will be again.
?You know that Song For Europe, would ya like to hear my scoring system for each individual act??
I stood there open mouthed, not quite believing what he had just said, or indeed why he had said it. I tried to formulate a reply, but what can you say to a question like that? Unfortunately Bill mistook my silence for interest and proceeded to explain, in quite intricate detail, his three tiered scoring system, while at the same time moving round and standing on my mat. I was now completely trapped.
What could I do? Politeness decreed that I couldn?t just tell him to go away and bore someone else, besides the man had complimented my swing. I decided on the only course of action left open to me. Fight fire with fire. I had to out bore the bore.
I forcibly interrupted his flow with ?Did you know Bill,that the Eurovion Song Contest actually started out as the San Remo Song Festival set up as a way of harmonising post-war Europe?
Hardly pausing for breath I continued to spout forth about my favourite Eurovisionee Sandy Shaw and her bare-footed rendition of Puppet on a String. Then about ABBA probably the most globally renowned Eurovision success, I went through their career, I talked about their film, the inter-marriages within the group, the release of ABBA Gold, maybe the greatest compilation album of all time, concluding with the success of Mamma Mia: The Musical.
Then I continued on to The Brotherhood Of Man and Save all your kisses for me, did Bill know the obligatory accompanying dance? I demonstrated on the mat, with full leg and hand movements.
Bang- Straight in to Bucks Fizz and Making your Mind Up, oh the surprise and joy when the skirts came off. Then the Irish period of domination with their unprecedented three in a row in the early 90?s, coinciding with the barren years for G.B.
Dana Internationals win striking a blow for transsexuals everywhere, and finally how, in my opinion, since the demise of the Eastern Block the whole thing has descended in to a political back slapping exercise, and that due to the current political climate G.B. and Scootch didn?t stand a chance.
At the end of this Eurovision monologue, that must have lasted a full 15 minutes, Bill stood there, silent. I could tell that his boughs had been breached and he was taking on water fast.
?Well,? He said ?Better get back to my practising.?
I smiled inwardly at my victory, placed a ball on the mat, took a couple of practice swings, slowly back and?
?Will I see you here tomorrow George??
It was a masterful piece of timing, judged to perfection. I lowered my club turned to him and said;
?I look forward to it Bill, I look forward to it?
Two beauties sent in this week:
Golf Monthly- How to maintain a high handicap
Boo Weekly- A magazine for ghosts
Please keep sending your Golfing Translations to the address below.