The camel-coated brigade


Looking back over this and other years seems to be a traditional way of whiling away a few hours, and I’m no different in that respect. The trouble is that my greatest punting disasters always seem to get trotted out at this time of year, so before someone else does it, I’ve decided to do the dirty deed myself

Life seems to have a custard pie waiting to plop in my face at the most embarrassing times, and the tale that always gets an airing around here is the time I disappeared on a bender and ended up a guest of the local constabulary. 

Many years ago when the adjective ‘mighty’ preceded the name of Hamilton Accies, a magnificent triumph over Glasgow Rangers had been won in the Scottish Cup, and yours truly embarked on a boozathon of mega proportions with a few dozen other true believers. 

After 48 hours the participating revellers had been whittled down to the usual suspects of me and Psycho Wullie. Rational thinking was not high on our list of abilities after two days guzzling electric soup, and our plan to replay the game inside the stadium was not one of our better calls. 

Nevertheless, once the decision had been made there was no going back, and we climbed over the outer wall and entered the scene of our teams greatest triumph. 

A rolled up sweater served as our ball, and Psycho and I played out every second of the game with both of us getting on the score sheet just before plod arrived. 

Wullie’s reaction to their interruption of our lap of honour made sure that no excuses or pleas for leniency would be of any use. A sliding tackle on the sergeant leading the posse of coppers ended our chances of talking our way out of the mess, and we were locked up in Hamilton nick for the remainder of the night. 

Bailed next morning to appear in front of the local beak at a future date, we did the only sensible thing we could and paid a visit to One Eyed Harry the local money-lender and headed for the nearest pub to prepare our defence. 

After a few sherbets things didn’t seem so bad, and although we were undoubtedly in the wrong for being inside the stadium, no real damage had been done and the prospects of a heavy sentence were inconclusive. 

That was the magic word that sealed my fate. Inconclusive


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Games Room

Glancing over the shoulder at the newspaper of the guy sitting next to me, I spotted a horse called Inconclusive running that afternoon. Wullie said it was an omen and we should have a go. The 50/1 price was irreeellavantsfesd, he said, or something like that. 

A fiver each and Wullie headed next door to the bookies to lay our bet. Two hours later we had completely forgotten all about it. In all truth we had forgotten where the hell we were, but all that was blown away when the local runner came in cursing his head off.


Every pub has one of these guys. He’s the one who spends all his time running backwards and forwards between the pub and the bookies, and boring everyone senseless with his stories of what happened in the last race. 

This time he came in swearing about some 50/1 shot that had just run away with the last race, and instantly I knew Wullie and I had a huge win on our hands. 

It was then that it all started to go pear shaped when the big fella confessed that he had doubled the horse up with a dog called Larry the Lawyer. 

I knew we were doomed, but we ran into the bookies just in time to see the hare flying past the traps and the hounds bolting after it. 

The race was over hurdles would you believe! Now I’d never seen dogs jumping hurdles before and it just added to the sense of disaster I already had, but incredibly our dog was well in front and had gone off at 4/1. 

Round the last bend, over the jump well clear and only one to go when the Grand PooBah intervened with a custard pie right in the gob. The bloody dog hit the last fence and tumbled over the line second. 

That was the only time in my life I have managed to get away with belting Psycho without him wreaking a terrible revenge. I trudged home with only the task of explaining to Sweetie Pie where I had been for three days in front of me, but that’s another story. 


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