The Tale of the Sleekit Smoking Man and 38th Time Unlucky

I am tired, sitting on my own on a Friday night.

I was working last night at the Rangers vs CA Osasuna match UEFA Cup match, and once again placed in the Red Zone for a bit, then moved to the West Tower where I had to direct the upper classes to their capitalist boxes where the drink free Carling and bullshit each other about how important they are, in some sort of competition. I lost patience last night for a few different reason. Firstly there is the nagging problem at football stadia in Scotland these days of the smoking ban, where you cannot smoke inside the stadium, and you cannot leave the stadium. This, in the lower regions of the stadium would mean smoking anyway, but this clientele, you would think would respect the law.


There was this one gentleman who initially aroused my suspicions when coming back from "meeting a friend at the bottom of the stairs" he appeared from the top of the stairs, meaning he had came up them rather than take the lift. This is not that unusual, as we will see, for people to choose to miss the stairs, but this particular gentleman had already let off steam to me about "having to take the stairs last week". The lift had just arrived at the floor. Point 1.

Second point was he preceded to come back again, and say "I have to meet someone downstairs." He said this to my supervisor, and she said that was fine, but I had already became interested in his movement... he had already been "downstairs to meet someone" so I called bullshit. Point 2.

The third and final point was that he then walked past me at half-time, when I was too busy to confront him about his absence, and then came back "On the phone" talking to "someone" about their absence at the "bottom" of the stairs. Unfortunately I worked in a phone shop for short of 4 years, and know what screen should be on a Nokia 6230i when in a phone call. It is not the stand by screen at any rate. Point 3.

All of this makes me feel like Poirot.

I decided to leave him alone till he came back for a fourth time, just after full time. This is a transcript of what happened;
"Excuse me sir?" I said.
"Yes?" he queries.
"I wonder if you would tell me where you intend to go, as you cannot leave the stadium and return inside."
"I am going to meet someone downstairs" he explains.
"I am sorry sir, but I don't think I am allowed to let you."
"I have already been down." he says, looking slightly annoyed and worried.
"Exactly my point. And, sir, if you are caught smoking on the stairs you will be ejected from the stadium, your season ticket will be kept for the club to review your membership, and there might even be prosecution, as I am sure you are aware that it is an offence to smoke inside this ground."
He looks at me to gauge what my reaction might be. He gauged wrong. "I don't know what you mean, I have not been smoking, what is this?"
"Well sir, if you have not been smoking then I apologise, but I must warn you that the Police are not as liberal at applying the Law to offenders as myself and my supervisor."
He looks at again at me. I can see his mind working things out.
"I'll give him a phone, see if he is about." And quickly turns away.

Victory to me.

The second thing that tried my patience was the fucking "lift". I say "lift" as it more of a small room with doors and no windows, that really goes no where other than no where. It is notorious for breaking down, and Thursday was no exception. It was fine until it broke at the end of the night, when everyone is leaving drunk and merry with the late equaliser. I had to stand at the doors, with the lift randomly appearing at the floor, opening it's doors halfway, shuddering, loosing power, making loud screeching noises, telling the patrons they would have to walk down 7 stories of stairs.

One man suggested I gave him a piggyback down, and proceeded to mount me.
An other said he was a war veteran and could not use the stairs.
and one, the final patrons to leave the stadium actually challenged me to a fight over the lift, complete with faux punching and headlocks. I had to wait till the lift engineer could switch off the power, which happened at 11.45pm.

All of this might not seem so bad, but you need to be aware of the level of patience that I have. I can quite happily wait over 45 minutes for a bus,as I know it will eventually come. I also have the most incredible patience with total tools, to the great amazement of my colleagues.

A case in point happened this week once again on my infrequent bus journeys on the 38/A which have slightly increased this week with the lack of railway transport. At Jamaica St. a bunch of lovely youths jump on the bus, each of them being loud and obnoxious. I hate the bus, but was none too bothered about this. They then pushed their way to the back of the bus, shoving people out of the way and generally just fitting themselves into spaces that were not even there. One woman told the taller of the fivesome to "fuck off" when asked to move out of the way. This prompted "Did she jist tellt ye tae fuck off?" They smelled horrible, of stale sweat, shite and tobacco, and interestingly liked to bump people on head with their arms. I was seated right next to one of them.

Instead of getting infuriated like Hazel, I decided to stay calm, sample some of their banter, before switching on my Zen and listen to some The Smiths.

I just know Morissey is having much worse a time than I was.

I was going to rant about the silly bitches that don't fucking fold up their prams on the bus, but I seem to have ran out of space. For another time.