Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kevin Bridges!
Yes, thank you, Glasgow! Saturday night, Glasgow. Thank you. Yes, welcome, welcome, welcome along. The Hydro. Wow! This place![…]
Well done for coming to something. Well done, good for you. Well done. It’s difficult, coming to something. I don’t underestimate for a second the challenges involved. It’s a lot of effort. I don’t think we ever take the time to show our appreciation for the heroes in there, and the unsung heroes, people amongst you who organise these nights, people who know when shit goes on sale. People who sit on Ticketmaster. “Page cannot be displayed.” “Server timed out.” The people who compose that original group text, assembling the troops. The people who dare to dream that a night out could be possible. Sitting, dealing with people’s replies trickling in, sucking out the enthusiasm. “Oh, Kevin Bridges. Aw, what night is it? Where is it? “How much is it? What time does it start? “What time does it finish? Who else is going?” “Who else is going” – what a fucking snide enquiry! That’s when the organiser’s faced with the internal politics of the social circle. Your night out needs a big name to confirm. A headline act, an A-lister pal. A crackpot – Disco, Ryzo, Gnasher – somebody that can turn your night out into four nights out. “Aw, it’s only Wee Scobey going, so far. “I know he’s a wee prick, but he’ll drive.”
Welcome along, front row. How are we doing? You all right? Looking good. What’s your name, sir? You’re not telling me? All right. That’s good. What’s his name, mate? Grass him in, since he’s not telling me. -Johnny. -Johnny. Johnny. You settling for that, Johnny? All right. It’s only a comedy show, Johnny. You’re not getting booked by the police. It’s just a wee… Camera, right on Johnny, there. That’s it, mate. You make him feel like shit for that. There we go, that’s Johnny, everybody. Tell your name to the camera, Johnny.
Good man. Welcome along, Johnny. I like a night out. I’m… I’m getting to that age. I’m growing up. I’ve got mates getting married and having children. This is new to me. My life’s changing. You don’t get a night out as often, the weekend is no longer an excuse in itself. You don’t get a night out. It’s rare. But, when they happen, then it’s a rollover and they go on far too long. I don’t think anybody can party like the newly-married man, the new father. I hear One Direction singing, “I’m going to go crazy, crazy, crazy,” until they see the sun and rappers singing, “Going to party until six in the morning.” all these parties that have got scheduled end times. That’s not what happens when your mates start getting married and having children and you get a night out. They go on far too fucking long. People don’t want to go back… ..to the life that they’re creating for themselves. Mayhem ensues at the suggestion of a six in the morning curfew. Yous want to call it a night? ‘Mon to fuck, man. One more hour, the Spar’s open. We’ll go and get cans.
The adult empty. It’s a bleak affair, the empty, ten years on. Some paranoid wreck walking through your living room looking for a Nokia charger. “17 missed calls? I’d better fucking text her.” Highlights of a game of FIFA on the PlayStation that was finished about three hours ago, still playing. Two guys snorting cocaine, talking about a fight they had in primary school. HE SNORTS “Listen, I’m fucking glad we sorted that the night, bud.” “Me and all, mate. I was out of order that playtime. “I was out of order.” 35-year-old guys still using expressions like “playtime”. “It was me that was out of order, mate. “I’m the one that kept throwing fizzy cola bottles at you. “I knew you had to be seen to be doing something about that, mate. “I understand. You never needed to call us a VL, but. “That was out of order, on your part.”
At six in the morning, Nokia guy arguing with his missus by text. “I told you I was having a mad one.” His only justification, for having a mad one – he fucking told her he was having a mad one. Then, staying on the offensive, “I thought you were going to your mum’s to watch Strictly, anyway.” HIGH-PITCHED: “It’s fucking six o’clock in the morning, Ryan.” “How the fuck am I supposed to know what time Strictly finishes?” Then, looking at the telly, looking at the PlayStation, thinking it’s fucking Sky Sports. “Here, when did Motherwell beat Colombia?” “That’s fucking some result for the ‘Well, isn’t it?” “Colombia have their full team playing, aye?” “Wish I’d stuck money on that. Seven red cards? “Is there a bit of needle between them two?”
Six in the morning. It’s tough watching guys grow up against their will, watching somebody going through an old VHS case that’s been used as a joint-rolling station for years. Raking through the paraphernalia, trying to find something smokable. “There’s a bit of green in there, press my finger on that. “There’s plenty here, gentlemen. The night is but young. “A bit of green stuff, tobacco, scrape that in. “Hairs. There’s always hairs in the rolling tray. “I’ll put the pubes in. Who gives a shit?”
Lying there in emotional purgatory, trying to get a knackered disposable lighter to work, the only lighter in the party, doing big, long flicks. “Come on, you piece of shit!” Eventually, you get a bit of blue flame, and I’m going, “Yes!” and then the “S” blows it straight back out again. It’s hard to watch a married man lighting a pube joint off the toaster.[…]
Are you a political man, Johnny? Oh, you don’t give a shit. I watch it. I get into it. I like the politics. I’ve started buying the big paper. I never knew the big papers were as expensive. I just thought it would just be the same price. Standing in the queue at the newsagent with my pound coin, making plans for the change. “£1.80.” “Oh, fuck. Do you take card, mate?” “Yeah, only if it’s over a fiver.” “Oh… Just… All right, a Daily Telegraph “and 16 packets of Hubba Bubba, mate. That’s… “I’m out of here.” I watch it. The Tories, that’s what we’ve got, reducing the deficit in the economy. That’s what’s going on. Austerity Britain, making cuts.
I watch them. ENGLISH ACCENT: We must work together to reduce the deficit. That’s what’s going on. Reducing the deficit. I read about the deficit. Do you know about the deficit, big guy? Do you know Britain’s debt? No. £1.5 trillion. That’s how much the UK owes somebody. £1.5 trillion. I don’t know who the fuck we owe that to. But surely they’ve gave up on it. Surely… Surely, when it hit the trillion mark, they must have been having their doubts about ever seeing it back. I’ve enjoyed Greece. I like their attitude. That’s how you treat debt. AUDIENCE CHEERS They’ve had a great time. It’s got to the end. Everybody’s on their case – the IMF, the EU – and they’re just telling them to go and fuck themselves. Good on them. Well done, Greece. Angela Merkel on the phone going fucking mental. Greece have just got her on loudspeaker, just laughing at her. Sitting drinking bottles of ouzo, letting her shout at them. GERMAN ACCENT: “You must make the repayments now! “240 billion euros.” Going through books on Greek philosophy, trying to quote their way out of the mess. “Angela, as Socrates says…” “He is richest who is content with the least.” “That’s a beauty, man. Any more?” “Or as Epicurus said, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not, Angela.” “Here, let me talk to her.” “Or as Plato says, “You’re not getting it, you fucking cow.”
Good on them. Everybody knows somebody like Greece. I’ve got mates like Greece. They’re likeable, but you don’t lend them money unless you’re prepared to deal with their shite when you try and get it back. I don’t know if you’ve seen that, Johnny. Greece actually accused Germany of owing Greece 279 billion euros because of the Nazi occupation in the 1940s. Classic tactics. “Oh, we’re weren’t going to mention it, Angela, “but since you’re chasing us up…” We’re paying it back. 1.5 trillion, that’s the plan. Reduce the deficit. The deficit means you’re spend too much money, don’t bring enough money in. Tory solution, make cuts. I think we just need to start making some more money. All these billionaire psychos putting their taxes into the Cayman Islands. They tell you that as if the money’s irretrievable. Fucking invade the Cayman Islands. Get it back. What the fuck are the Cayman Islands going to do about it? Instead of going after disabled people, fucking single parents. That takes balls, doesn’t it? That takes balls. George Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith. Going through disabled people’s doors. “This is your fault, mate. “You. We could go after tax-avoid multinationals, “we could go after Vodafone, Starbucks, Amazon, Google, […] “but it’s your fucking fault. “You.” “You’re going back to work, mate. “We don’t give a fuck how disabled you are. “Oh, you’re paralysed from the neck down? “We don’t give a fuck, mate. “There’ll be a farm out there looking for a scarecrow.” Couple of people checking for the offside flag on that joke there. Maybe an extreme example, but that’s… That’s their ideal world.
Cutting benefits. People fall for it, people believe it. I hear folk moaning, I hear them, see them on Facebook. You discover through Facebook you hate your own aunties. Reading their shite. “I have worked my whole life and I’ve worked two jobs “since I’ve been 12 years old and I think it’s a disgrace “that these people are sitting on their fat arses…” “They’re spending their dole cheques on alcohol and cigarettes. It’s a darn right disgrace.” Missing the point, man. They’re spending it on alcohol and cigarettes – highly-taxable goods. The country’s getting it back. These people are reinvesting. These people are the heroes in this mess. It’s not poor people spending, it’s fucking rich people saving. That’s the problem. The money’s there. Just need to get it to people that’ll spend it. I would put the dole up, I would make the dole a grand a week. That’s how you kick-start an economy. Every bit of it would get spent. You see it on Black Friday. That’s poor people. Imagine them on £1,000 a week. The country would be fucking bouncing! Not one penny going offshore or into a savings account. “Let’s get fucking tattoos, man.” People arriving at the job centre in taxis, to sign on. “Just keep the meter running, my man. I’ll be five minutes.” “That’s the dole up to a grand a week, Denise. “You still wanting your tits done?” “Aye, we’ll get the hot tub, aye, why not. Grand a week.”
I’ve made a bit of dosh, thanks to you people, I’ve moved on. I’ve made some cash. I’m on the property ladder. That’s what I done. Bought a house, bought a house off a neurologist. That builds an inferiority complex. I’m showing up to buy his gaff in a Superdry hoodie. Guy’s gave me the tour. Showing me his PhD “That’s nice, mate. We’ll get that down, “get that painting of the dogs playing poker up there. “That’ll be nice.” I grew up in a council house. I grew up in Clydebank. Couple of people know that. Famous place. Famous for Wet Wet Wet. Marti Pellow, he’s the only guy who ever left Clydebank to become a heroin addict. But I’m in the West End. I’m in the nice bit of the city. I’m living… I’m living with the great and the good. It’s where I live. I’ve been there for a few years. But it’s never quite become my bit. You’ve got where you stay and you’ve got your bit. OK? That make sense? There’s where you live and there’s your bit. It’s not quite my… I don’t know if it’ll ever become my bit. I see… I see the kids whose bit it is. I hear them shouting on each other. “Sebastian?” “Sebastian, we’re over here. Sebastian?” I hear a name like Sebastian, I’m hoping to look up and see a Dalmatian, not this wee guy. Sebastian making his grand entrance with his purple blazer on, his perm wafting in the wind, a cello on his back.
They call me Mr Bridges, the kids on my street. I don’t feel intimidated physically. I feel intellectually intimidated by the gangs of youths in my street. “Mr Bridges? Mr Bridges, how are we, Mr Bridges? “The family and I sat down to one of your performances on the television “over the festive period, Mr Bridges. “A tad coarse in places.” “However, I would be lying if I said “I didn’t allow myself a chuckle, Mr Bridges.” A wee guy. I’m out of my fucking depth trying to talk to him. And having to raise my game to talk to a ten-year-old. I can’t have a normal, older-guy-to-a-wee-guy conversation. “Who’s the best fighter in your school, then, Sebastian?” “Well, I’m the chair of the school debating team, Mr Bridges. “There have been a few heated exchanges, “but we’ve not quite come to blows yet.” His wee pal’s beside him, de-seeding a pomegranate with his fruit knife.
I still… See, I still wear trainers and stuff. I never knew that was frowned upon, wearing sports gear, unless you’re off to participate in a sporting activity. I still wear shorts, trainers, any excuse. I’ve got a neighbour who always looks at me. Always looking me up and down. Always going… “You off to the gym, Kevin? Off to the gym?” I said, “Mate, why do you always ask me if I’m off to the gym?” “Just when I seen your trainers there and your sports top.” “Off to the gym, no?” “No, I’m off to the garage to buy a Wispa, mate. “It’s not…” “..it’s not a fucking black-tie event, mate.”
I try and blend in. I’m quite a friendly guy. I’ve got a dog, for example, right, that’s how you get to know your new neighbours. Right, you become part of your local dogging community. I got a dog, right. That’s your buddy, I got a dog. You get in the park, dog’s there, other dogs come over and start to play with your dog, you pat the other dog and you get talking to the owner. Quite a sociable experience. I’m in the park. Dog’s there, another dog came over, began to play with my dog. Began sniffing my dog’s arse. Sniffing away. Having a fucking great time. I’m patting the other dog. And I said, “And who’s this?” That’s dog walker talk for “What is your dog’s name?” That’s how you strike up a bit of chat. I said, “And who’s this?” And the guy goes, “Well, this here, this is, this is Diego.” And I thought, “Oh, naming the dog after Diego Maradona, mate? “That would explain the sniffing, then, right.” I thought that was the ideal thing to say. Fucking hilarious. I’ve got a voice in my head, going, “Superb, Kev. “An exemplary piece of patter. “This’ll be your bit in no time, Kev.” I’m asking his dog for the Paw of God, thinking this guy is going to spread the word. “Oh, yeah, I met Kevin Bridges in the park. The guy’s funny as fuck, “even off-duty. “The man’s a scream.” But the guy said, “No, he’s not named after Diego Maradona. “We named him after Diego Rivera, “the post-impressionist 19th-century Mexican protest painter.” And this was a game changer. I had fucking nothing for the guy. Wow. I looked him right in the eye. I cannot believe you’ve just done that to me, mate. I don’t know what to say. I’ve never felt so homesick. A voice in my head going, “This is not your bit, Kev, go home. “You don’t belong here. You’re a fucking fraud. “The sniffing patter, that might cut it down your bit, “this is the upper echelons of society. “You think you’re going to get away with that up here? “Even his dog is looking at your dog, as if, “My dad just fucking clamped your dad.” And he just carried on with his day.
And I’m left on my phone, having to Google this arsehole. Under pressure. Another fucking thing that I do not know has just been exposed. I’m on Wikipedia reading about this guy. “Diego Rivera was a Mexican painter known for his large wall works “in the style of fresco.” I don’t know what that means. Let’s go back to the start, Kevin. Let’s concentrate. Learning is fun. Come on, this is the kind of shit you need to know to hold conversations up in this park. “Diego Rivera was a Mexican…” You know what a Mexican is – tequila, sombreros. […] “Mexican painter.” You know what painter is – Uncle Kenny’s a painter. Remember Uncle Kenny? Used to always sneak you and your cousins a can at Christmas – remember? “Uncle Kenny, how come Auntie Denise lives in New Zealand?” “Drink your fucking can, son.” Remember Uncle Kenny? “Known for his large wall works in the style of fresco.” I don’t know what fresco means. But fresco is highlighted in blue, meaning it’s got its own Wikipedia page. Why not make an afternoon out of it? I click on that link. I’ve not even made it through the opening sentence of Diego Rivera’s Wikipedia page and I’m on another Wikipedia page, reading about fresco. “Fresco is a technique of mural painting, “executed upon wet or freshly-laid lime plaster.” I don’t know what lime plaster is. But that is also highlighted in blue. Click on that link, Kevin. “Is there anything that you do fucking know, Kev?” Lime plaster? “Lime plaster is a type of plaster composed of hydrated lime water “and sand. Lime plaster is different from…” Why are you reading this, Kevin? You’re supposed to be reading about Diego Rivera. Remember why we came here. Now, you’ve went to fresco, now you’re on to lime plaster. You’ve got fucking ADD.
I’m Googling, “Have I got attention deficit disorder?”. I’m taking the University of Maryland’s six short questions to determine if I have attention deficit disorder. I’m about to diagnose myself with a mental health condition because of this fucking phone, this tadger, and his wee shitey dog. Even my dog is looking at me as if, get over it, Kev, hurry up and throw that tennis ball. Give me a minute, Annie. I’m no well. I’m mentally ill. Please be patient. I need your support just now, dog. Taking the test. The University of Maryland’s six short questions to determine if I have attention deficit disorder. “Do you sometimes struggle with the finer parts of a project “once the challenging parts have been finalised? All of the time, most of the time, some…” “Ten celebrities you didn’t know were gay.” Don’t go near it, Kevin. Don’t click on it. Don’t fucking click on it. Don’t go near it. “14 reasons you are always tired.” I am always tired. I think I have that chronic fatigue syndrome. Finish the ADD test. How the fuck can I finish the ADD test if I’ve got ADD?
I went back, I read about Rivera, I got tooled up on this guy, educated myself. “Diego Rivera was born in 1886, “Rivera began painting at the age of three years old, “a year after the death of his twin brother. “Rivera would paint on his bedroom walls. “His parents, rather than chastise him, installed chalkboards and canvas on his bedroom walls, to encourage his gift. “At the age of just ten years old, “Rivera was accepted to the San Carlos Academy of Fine Art “in Mexico City, where he studied until 1907, before moving to Europe, “where he became friends with Pablo Picasso…” I’ve got fucking shitloads…
Off to the gym? I’ve lost a bit of weight. I don’t know if anybody noticed that there. Looking sharp. Lost a bit. People worry about you in this city when you lose weight. I had a guy shout, “Fuck’s sake, Kev, have you got AIDS?”. Which is… just the local way of saying, “Looking sharp, Kev! “Have you been working out?” I’ve got a jaw. Look at that. Jaw. I’ve never had a jaw in my life. I’ve always been fat. I was fat my whole life, right through school. This has been a long time coming. I was 18st when I was 18. I was fat at school. That was tough. Sitting on a plastic chair at school at the end of every class, knowing there’s going to be a sea of sweat that’s been separating the two hemispheres of your arse. Sitting beside the lassie that you fancy, having to do that slide, trying to wipe it as you’re getting up.
That was tough. Being fat at school. I was the first in my class to get tits. It’s hard. Going to the swimming on a school trip. “No, I’ll just keep my T-shirt on, the water’s dead cold. “I’m all right. I’ll just swim with my T-shirt on.” I went to a guy. 18. That’s when I first addressed the problem. 18st. I went to the gym. The real gym. You know, the big, proper gym guys. The real big tanks. This new breed of man that you get. You know the big mammals? The big protein bastards. With the big beard, covered in tattoos. I’m going, “Mate, did I create you in a PlayStation game?” These big guys work in the Carphone Warehouse, but they’re training for the apocalypse. These big… Convinced their best mate’s shagging their missus and they’re training for the day they can finally prove it. I went in… And that’s what puts fat people off the gym. These guys. They take it too far, these big… “Only God can judge me.” I’m standing here judging you, you big bell-end. I went to the guy. I said, “Look, mate, “I’m trying to lose a bit of weight.” The guy goes, “It’s all about nutrition. All about nutrition, “You can do whatever you want in here, but it’s all about nutrition. “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” And he asked me… He asked me what I had for breakfast. He goes, “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” Instantly, I’m thinking, “I’d better say something that I never had for “breakfast this morning.” Make a good impression with this big mammal. I said, “Oh, I had fruit, mate. A bowl of fruit.” The guy’s going, “Fruit in the morning, “that’s got to go. Fruit in the morning, very high in sugar. “You need to lose that.” I’m thinking, “Fruit, mate? “Fruit? That’s bad now, fucking fruit? “Fruit?! I never had a bowl of fruit, but as far as you’re aware, “I did have a bowl of fruit, so I should be commended. “I had a fucking Terry’s Chocolate Orange, mate.” You’ve no idea how low I would stoop for breakfast – cold pashwari naan with Nutella on it. I’ve been there, mate and you’re on my case about fucking fruit?! I used to have four raspberry ice poles and a Wham bar for breakfast. Half past eight every morning for six years. Then, a roll and sausage at half past ten. A pizza crunch and chips at 12 o’clock. A can of Coke. Then, fucking Astro Belts on the way home. Fizzy cola bottles, Bikers, Johnny’s Onion Rings. Everything. Then, I would…
Then, I’d go home, for crispy pancakes, oven chips, potato waffles, croquettes. Yellow, mate. That was the only colour I would eat. Yellow. “And you’re on my case about fruit?” I never said that, because the guy would punch fuck out of me. but I was thinking it. I said, “All right, I’ll cut out the fruit. The guy gave me a diary to fill in, a food diary. That’s a step too far, Johnny. Submitting hand written lies to somebody. He’s telling me all these foods to cut out. Carbohydrates. “You should be eating this shit. Eat this stuff, eat this sort of stuff. I’m filling in my food diary, on the internet, reading about super foods. Trying to impress the big man. “Monday morning, I had… Avo-cado. Avo-cado. “Here, what the fuck’s avocado, in case this guy asks me? “You have it on toast? Oh, he’ll go off his heid if I say toast. “Will I just say I had avocado? How many? How many? “Five? Five avocado. “Fuck it, I’ll put ten. Ten avocado.” Show the guy I’m serious about it. Ten avocado. Monday morning, breakfast. Then, I had almonds and blueberries, and then I had beetroot. Beetroot? That’s a superfood, is it? A big jar of beetroot, mate. Got a spoon, rattled the lot. Mmm. Then, I had… Quin-oa. Qui-no-a. Am I saying that right? Qui-no-a? What the fuck is qui-no-a? Click on images. It’s a powder? Snorted a couple of lines of quinoa. And then, I had oily fish and I really felt it reducing my risk of Alzheimer’s, mate. And the guy’s going… “This is great, Kev. Is this the truth?” And I’m saying, “No, mate, the truth would break your heart. “I’ll tell you the truth. “I lasted two meals without carbohydrates “and I thought I was going insane. “I’ve never felt so angry. “I had to get off the couch and just lie on the floor, “staring at the ceiling, trying to take myself to a happier place. “Fantasising about carbohydrates. I never knew what a carbohydrate was “until you told me to cut them out, and then you grassed them all up. “I’m lying there, ‘Oh, I would love a spaghetti toastie right now. “Mmm, how good would that be? “Or a baked potato, with rice in the middle. “Then, I could put that on a sandwich, eh? “When’s the last time I had a piece and baked tattie and rice? Eh? Mmm. “With a wee spaghetti toastie chaser. Oh, yes! “Then, I crumbled, mate. I went rampaging through my own kitchen. “In the freezer, there was a tub of Ben & Jerry’s that had been there “for months. Now, because it had been there for so long, “the little wooden spoon you get inside a tub of Ben & Jerry’s bent “and snapped on impact with the ice cream. “So, I had to put the tub of Ben & Jerry’s in the microwave. “Now, I left it in the microwave a bit longer than I should have done “and the ice cream melted, “so rather than just have a few wooden spoonfuls, “as I had initially intended, I drank the fucking lot, mate.” I never knew how to fit that into Monday evening’s column.
It’s too extreme. If you’re fat, you’re at a tremendous advantage when it comes to losing weight. You need to bear that in mind. I was 18st at 18, now I’m 28 and I’m 14st. That’s 4st I’ve lost.
Thank you for those of you applauding that. Applauding a man who’s lost 4st in just ten years. That’s… ..admittedly, a pretty difficult diet to market. I’m not going to get on the front cover of Reveal with that story. “How I shifted 4st in just ten years.” A before and after photograph and it’s me with a fucking school uniform on, in the “before”.
It’s simple. Simple changes. That’s what you need to make. That’s what the 4st in ten years programme encourages. Small steps. Don’t have McCoys, have Quavers. Simple changes. We don’t need go to bed with a two-litre bottle of Fanta and a tube of Pringles every night. Small changes. You don’t need to lose junk food, just Google it first. “What is healthy to eat from the Chinese?” Go on Yahoo Answers, ignore the top answer. Some nutritionist from the University of Arkansas. AMERICAN ACCENT: “Well, all Chinese food is usually fried. It’s always very large portions and it usually contains a chemical called monosodium glutamate, which is highly addictive and fattening.” Fuck her. Just keep scrolling down. Keep scrolling, until you find what you want to find. What about this, guys? Sweet and sour chicken is quite healthy, as long as you peel the batter off at least three of the chicken balls. If you’re putting fried rice on a prawn cracker, don’t have a lid. Just have the one prawn cracker. See, simple changes, that will help you shift 4st in just ten years.
I’ll be fat again. Don’t worry, I’ll be fat. I’ll be back. I’m looking sharp, but I’ll be back. I’m one all-inclusive holiday away from fucking meltdown, don’t worry.[…]
I went on that – a cultural break. Tried that. Done New York, all that stuff, you get dragged around tourist attractions. A lot more pressure on yourself to actually go and do shit, standing looking at stuff knowing you should be enjoying it. The Statue of Liberty. Wow, that’s exactly how I thought it would look. Having to take your photograph. You don’t realise how much shite you photograph until you go somewhere good and your phone runs out of memory. Standing on top of the Empire State building, deleting fry-ups. I’ve got an app called WhatsApp, right. All the kids have got it. People send you… People send you pictures and videos and it just saves straight to your phone. And it’s horrific shit people send. And I never knew I had a video of a guy fucking a Hoover on my phone until I was showing my mother my holiday photographs. I’m flicking through them, giving my wee commentary. “That was us on the first night, “that was the view from the hotel, Mum. “That was the wee Italian restaurant. “That was where Harry Met Sally. “The pastrami sandwich wasn’t very nice. “That’s a guy… Aye, cracking holiday. Definitely recommend it. Of course you watch it. If a guy has taken the time to fuck a Hoover, I will take the time to watch a guy fuck a Hoover. Lying watching it. You ever seen your own reflection in your phone and you see how tragic you look at these moments. Lying on your couch, big double chin, dead behind the eyes. Your life is ending. “Is that a Henry or a Henrietta he’s fucking?” And you need to reply to your mate that sent it, “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.” H-A, H-A, H-A.” Into the emoticons, there’s that wee guy that fucking cries with laughter. 15 of them, mate. Projectile tears of laughter are leaving my eyes, mate. There we go. “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…”
That was it. New York, getting dragged into museums, trying so hard to enjoy it. Just that the voice in there going, “Shite. Shite, shite, shite, shite.” Trying so hard. It’s not shite, Kevin, show some respect. It’s shite. It’s an art gallery, it’s full of shite. Shite. Shite, shite, shite, shite, shite. Listening to the tour guide, “And this is 300 years old, this was donated to the museum…” I thought… Shite, shite, shite, shite, shite, shite. “And you’re fortunate that the Tutankhamen exhibit is here “for six weeks only.” Trust me to land that six weeks. How shite will that be? Tutankhamen, the king of Egypt at 21. I bet he was a wee wank. Shite. Shite, shite, shite, shite, shite. Come on, Kevin. You’re better than this. Let’s see your show of strength. “Excuse me, mate. Is that a Diego Rivera?” You don’t know who he is? You’ve found a victim, Kev. All that hard work. Give him it both barrels. “Never heard of Diego Rivera, mate? “No? Never seen Dreams Of A Sunday Afternoon In The Alameda? “Arguably one of Rivera’s most controversial works, my man. “Why was it controversial? “Well, because it depicted Don Ignacio Ramirez “holding a placard that said, “God does not exist”. “The work caused uproar, mate. “But Rivera refused to remove the placard until nine years later, “stating that he doesn’t have to hide behind Don Ignacio Ramirez “to show his own atheist views and that he believes “all religions are a form of collective neurosis.” You don’t know this shit? Listen to this guy! Job done, Kev. Now get to the gift shop, buy a rubber and fuck off.
I travel. I travel a lot. I appreciate my life. Travel, stay in a lot of hotels. They’ve always got bad news for you. Noticing that in hotels. “Unfortunately, Sir, the Wi-Fi is only available in the lobby area.” “Is it all right to masturbate in the lobby area?” That’s what to say to them. Call them out on it. “I might use your Wi-Fi in your lobby, then, mate. “And the websites I visit, that is between me and my browsing cookies. “Your manager can deal with the inevitable “negative reviews on TripAdvisor.” Some stunned couple. “Don’t get me wrong, the rooms were spacious, the location was great, “the staff were a delight, could not fault the food or the facilities. “But on the final night, there was a Scottish bloke “ripping the head off it in the lobby.” “It was a bloody disgusting. “Nothing subtle about it. He had his denims at his ankles, “his feet on the coffee table.” “He was using both his hands, at one point. “He was shouting encouragement to himself.” “He then demanded housekeeping bring him a Hoover. “It was rather bizarre.” “Two stars, we won’t be back. “Two stars.”
The Wi-Fi is killing this world, isn’t it? The internet. I’m trying to cut loose. I’m trying to stay offline. I like technology, I appreciate what the geeks have done in this world, I just don’t like the person that I’ve become. As soon as it fails, as soon as it stops working, it sends me into a big angry primate. I’ve had too many of these rages. I’m quite a peaceful guy. Fucking laptop stopped searching for wireless networks a few weeks ago, right. I know that sounds a bit trivial, but that’s enough to send me… “Piece of shit.” Fucking shouting at it. Because I’m so out of my depth trying to figure out… Your laptop breaks, you’ve got two options, Johnny. You can hand it in to where you bought it or you can phone up the technical support line. What option would you choose, Johnny? In your own time, Johnny. Well, I phoned up, Johnny. You could hand it in. That’s part of my problem. I know I need to hand this computer into the Apple Store, to speak to Marc with a C, with his wee genius T-shirt on. Talking about his band. “Yeah, we’re called Skull Fracture. “We’re playing the unsigned tent at T In The Park.” With his big stupid earlobes hanging down. “Going to put your earrings back in, Marc, “and stop putting people off calamari for life.”
I decided to phone up – laptop is no longer searching for wireless networks. People were calling it a First World problem. That just makes you angrier. I fucking know it’s a First World problem, that’s why I’m on the phone to the Third World, trying to get it fucking fixed. I phoned up. I’m on the phone, Indonesia, talking to my man, my man Gavin. He starts asking me questions… I’m telling Gav the issue. Gav’s asking me for my DHCP client ID. I said, “I don’t know what that means, Gav.” Gav told me to click on system preferences, then go to network settings and, then, advanced network settings and he said in there, you should see a IPVN 4 number and, from that, you should be able to see your DHCP client ID. I’m following him, I’m fucking getting excited here. Gav’s onto something. I said, “Yes, Gav, I can see a DHCP client ID.” And he’s asking if it is configurated or deconfigurated. I said, “Well, Gav, it appears to be deconfigurated.” Gav tells me to click on… I’m already there, Gav. Clicked on configurate, done deal. And he goes, try again. I’m so fucking excited, Gav, to try again. I tried again and the laptop connected to the wireless network. I thanked Gav for his time and I’m left wondering, my mind was blown – who the fuck undone that? I have never been anywhere near that part of the computer before. So what the fuck happened between connecting to wireless networks and not connecting to wireless networks? Did I have an MIT frat party in the living room one night? Did I have Mark Zuckerberg and the boys round for a couple of cans? It’s got a bit out of hand, I’ve fallen asleep at six in the morning and rather than just shave off my eyebrows or draw a cock and balls on my face, some prankster has logged into my laptop and fucking deconfigurated my DHCP client ID.
And you’re raising kids in this world. I’m only 28, I still remember the world being a bit simpler. It’s tragic when you hear the children going, “Dad. Dad, the iPad isn’t performing the software update. Dad!” And if I ever become a father, I don’t know if I could handle that. I think I’ll be saying, “Shut the fuck up, ya wee tool.” Performing a software update. “You’re a wee guy. Go up to the loft, find a golf club, “get outside and chop some jaggy nettles. Go outside.” “Outside. Get out there.” “Away and chop some jaggies. “You’re a wee guy. You got your whole life “to perform software updates. Go out there and be bored. “Decapitate a few dandelions. “Get in the bushes.” “I’ve just been stung by a nettle!” “Well, get a fucking dock leaf then.” “Learn some survival tactics. “Away out a big walk. “Just kick a plastic bottle down the street. “Be at one with your thoughts. “Get a big stick, get a bit of dog shite on the end…” “..control your bit, armed with a bit of dog shite on a stick.” It’s a rite of passage to any child. Sitting up in your bedroom getting cyber bullied. Go to his door with a bit of dog shite on a stick.
They need to be bored. Their minds are too occupied. I used to be bored as a child. I was quite a creative wee guy. I tried to start a boyband. I had mental ideas. In my jotter, Element Four, that’s what I called us. I had three mates who I gave aliases to. Earth, Fire, Rain, Wind. I told them about my plans. They laughed at me, called me “gayboy”. I thought fuck yous. I went solo. Big Wind. Going down to the kitchen, grabbing the radio, up to the bedroom, blank cassette in, pressing play and record at the same time. With my lyrics that I’d wrote, Big Wind, in the studio.
# Baby, I’ve been thinking about you # I think you’re thinking about me, too… #
Making sure my dad’s not there, in case I get leathered.
# When you say goodbye It made me cry, baby… #
Doing the voice that long your eyes start to water, it really adds a bit to it.
# Baby… #
I was fucking bored. I enjoyed childhood. Going out a big walk. Just showing up at your mate’s door. Going in for your mates, going in for somebody. Just battering their letterbox unannounced. “All right, Mrs Cassidy, is Stu in? “I’m here to eat every crisp in this house.” “His name is Stuart, Kevin.” “Where is he? Stewbster!” That’s when you discovered the love you had for your own family. I see the wee dweebs like that. “I actual hate my mum and dad.” Fucking get out of the house, then. A sleepover, that’s when you discovered how much you loved your own mum and dad. When you went and spent an evening in another family. That was an eye opener. And we need that. The kids are too busy online, they’re not socialising to this level. You need to go and spend time in another house. Discover you’ve got it good. That Saturday morning, returning home to your own house, after a sleepover, you just want to cuddle your mum and dad, as if you just served in Afghanistan. “Mum. Come here. “Dad, bring it in, big guy. “I know I don’t tell you a lot, but I love you. “The Cassidys are fucking weirdos.”
Cos it would start off all right. You’d go in for Stu and end up in the bedroom playing the computer, he’s making you use an unofficial control pad that his gran bought him for Christmas. You’re letting that slide, even though it’s frustrating. Through on goal trying to shoot, “Stu, where’s the square button? Stu, Stu, Stu?” “It’s not square, it’s number nine on that pad.” “Fucking piece of shit. Fuck you, Stu. Fuck you.” Then, his mum comes into the bedroom. “Kevin, we’re going to phone a Chinese, “would you like to stay for some Chinese?” Fucking jackpot. “Of course. “Of course I’ll stay for some Chinese.” You start to relax. I like this family. I reckon I could be a Cassidy. Everything is going to plan. Friday night, home delivery. Then, you get shouted down the stairs, made to set the table. We’re setting the table for a home delivery? Again, letting it slide. This is the Cassidys. It’s not fucking Christmas Day, but maybe this is their thing. Maybe they set the table for a home delivery. Then the food arrives. You don’t recognise one fucking thing that they’ve ordered. Not once was I consulted during the ordering process. I know I’m ten, I know I’m a guest, but ordering a home delivery is a democratic process. But again letting it slide. The dad is showing you the food. “OK, Kevin, this is the king scallops, Szechuan-style. “This is the kung pao lamb. “This is the sweet and chilli bean curd.” “This isn’t Chinese food, Mr Cassidy. “Where’s all the yellow shit? “Where’s all the chicken balls, chips, curry sauce?” You’d get laughed out of China for that shite, Mr Cassidy. Then, he starts saying grace, the dad. Thanking the Lord for a home delivery. Just fucking tip the delivery driver. Job done. You’re trying to plate yourself up some food. You’re going, “Mr Cassidy, where’s the rice?” “Just give us a few minutes on the rice, Kevin. “It shouldn’t be long.” “Oh, they never sent the rice? “I hate when that happens, Mr Cassidy.” “Oh, no, no, no. Sheila’s just boiling the rice.” “Oh, they sent it not boiled, Mr Cassidy?” “No, Kevin, they never sent anything. “We don’t order rice from the Chinese. “Why would we pay £2 for rice when there’s a whole jar of rice “on the worktop? That would just be stupid, wouldn’t it?” Alarm bells are ringing. We’re having fucking house rice?! With a home delivery on a Friday night – we’re having it with house rice?! The evening’s took a sinister turn. Glaring across the table at wee Stu. “I’m going to fucking expose you. “This is going to finish you, Stu. In school on Monday. “This’ll be your nickname for eternity. “Wee House Rice. Even if you’re driving a Ferrari… “Oh, he’s driving a Ferrari, is he?” “Who? House Rice?”
Finish the food, seeing the family. I don’t know if I could be a Cassidy. Then, you get made to wash the dishes. “Kevin, why don’t you make a little game of it? “Stewart can wash them, you can dry them.” Fucking great game, Mrs Cassidy(!) Non-stop scream in this house on a Friday night. Maybe we can change ends at half… Or is that a bit too out there? Then, the gran arrives. You get dragged into the living room. “Yeah, we always watch a movie together as a family, Kevin. “It’s just our little Friday night thing. “Are you coming in? We’re going to watch The Hand “That Rocks The Cradle? Have you seen it, Kevin?” “No, Mrs Cassidy, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic. “I’ve heard it’s hilarious.” Having to sit watching this. How do I get out of here? I need to get home. I need home. Home. I’m homesick. I’m only four streets away and I’m homesick. “Kevin, why don’t you just phone your dad and see if “you can stay overnight? “That would be nice. Have a wee sleepover.” How the fuck do I get…? Imagine that, Kev? The overnight package, with these freaks. “Kevin, phone your dad.” This is before mobile phones. You had to use the living room phone. The whole family are sitting there. “Phone your dad, Kevin. Phone your dad.” The Hand That Rocks The Cradle’s been paused. They’re all listening in to your phone call. “Ask if you can stay overnight.” On the phone to your da, solely dependent on your tone, to give across to your da that you’re being held against your will. This is going to take an acting performance, Kevin. We need out of here. This isn’t a family, this is a cult. “Phone your dad, Kevin.” “All right, I’ll phone my dad.” Trying to get a bit of a lump in the throat going, hoping my dad hears I’m crying. Comes and rescued me. “Where are you, Kevin? “I’m going to come and I’ll fucking do them. “Where are you? Where are you?” “Oh, it’s ringing, it’s ringing.” HE CHOKES “Hi, Dad?” “Dad, is it all right if I stay overnight “at Stewart Cassidy’s house?” “Of course it is, Kevin, you have a great night.” Your dad’s not fucking getting it, at all. “Dad, are you sure I’ve got no plans in the morning? “I thought I had some plans. “Did you not say something about I had something on?” “Nothing on in the morning, Kevin. “It’s a Saturday morning and you’re fucking ten years old, pal. No plans.”
That was it. You’d signed up. You were one of them for the evening. “Kevin, unpause the movie.” “I think it’s you that’s got the doofer, Mr Cassidy.” “It’s me who’s got the what? The doofer? The doofer? “Is that what you call the remote control?” “The doofer?” He’s laughing, the maw’s laughing. The whole family, wee House Rice is laughing. They’re all laughing at you. They’re ripping the piss out of you, Kev. “The doofer! The doofer!” Hook the da, Kev. Hook the da. Take the whole family out. One jab to the da. No family recovers from a jab to the da. “The doofer!” Fucking knock him out, Kev. Then, you’re nudging wee Stu. “Mon, we’ll go up to the bedroom. “Mon, we’ll go up, House Rice. Mon, we’ll go to bed.” The da catches you. “Are you trying to get Stewart to go to bed “with you, Kevin? Is there something you’re not telling us?” You’re on thin ice, Mr Cassidy, you old bastard.
Eventually, up to the bedroom. Wee House Rice just goes to sleep straightaway. You’re left alone on his floorboards, inside a Scooby-Doo sleeping bag. You’ve not even got a pillow, you’ve got a cushion off the couch, with the zip on your neck, having to turn it. Alone, breathing in their family smell, their house smell. The whole family smell the same. I recognise that smell, that’s the way he smells when I sit beside him in school. I wonder if he stunk out the house or the house stunk him out. I wonder what came first? Listen to these noises. How fucking loud is your bedroom clock, House Rice? Ticking away every second of this torture. I need out of here. I wonder what time I can leave here. Do you think five in the morning’s a bit early? That’s the target, Kev. Five in the morning. Anybody catches you trying to leave… “Are you not going to stay for breakfast, Kevin?” Wonder what you get for breakfast in this shithole? “What would you like your breakfast, Kevin?” “Maybe some eggy bread?” “Eggy bread? Is that what you call French toast?!” All that shite starts again. All the fucking House Riceses laughing at you. “Are you not going to stay, Kevin? We’re going to have Alpen. “Do you like Alpen?” “Mm, yes, Mrs Cassidy, “I love nothing better on a Saturday morning than a big bowl of Alpen. “That’s what gets me through the week. Mmm.” Get something in that frying pan, you fucking boot.
Ladies and gentlemen of Glasgow, thank you for listening. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thanks very much. Good night, Glasgow. Take care. Love one another. Thank you. Cheers. Thank you. Good night. Cheers.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE