“When the time comes to initiate Jocky’s Master Plan, Leigh, the first thing I’ll do is pull that lever. When that lever is pulled, prepare for the Age of Jocky.”
McLean’s helicopter had dropped me and Billy of at Dens. Billy left, saying it was past his bed time. I bid him farewell and steadied myself for the meeting with Brannan and Chisholm. I went into Dens and was ushered through to Brannan’s office. He cut straight to the chase.
‘What happened? Did you find him?’ His face was full of anticipation.
‘No Bob, I didn’t find him. I found the place he had been hiding, but there was no sign of him. Jocky’s gone.’
Brannan stared hard at me for what felt like an eternity. ‘You’re lying. You found him.’ I shook my head. ‘Sorry, Bob. There was no sign of Jocky.’ He stared at me for a while longer then asked, ‘Leigh….what’s that on your face?’ I was puzzled. Brannan pointed to his upper lip, and my hand went up to mine and found the moustache Jocky had given me. Shit. I mumbled an explanation about growing one, and Brannan gave me a funny look. There was silence. Eventually he calmly thanked me for attempting the mission and said I was free to go.
I got back out to Sandeman Street and breathed a sigh of relief. That hadn’t gone too well. The ‘tache was a dead-giveaway that I doubt he bought my excuse for. Well, at least the meeting was over. I pressed on with my real mission.
It was around midnight when I approached Jocky’s house in the Ferry. Dundee’s premier affluent suburb was as quiet as the grave. I slipped inside his garden and approached the door. I immediately realised I had no way of getting in. Fuck! Jocky hadn’t given me a key. How was I meant to get in? I stood there for a second and considered my options. I knew full well he wasn’t here, but instinct made me knock at the door anyway. I heard a sound from inside. Someone was in there. The 17 locks started to come loose at the other side of the door. My heart was pounding. Was he back? Who the hell was in there?
The 17th lock came free and the door opened slightly. Tentatively, I pushed it open and stepped inside. Jocky the jetpack-flying cat hovered at head height behind the door. The cat had answered the door. I shouldn’t have been surprised. This creature was, apparently, a martial arts expert and a bad-ass Connect 4 player. Opening doors wasn’t that much of a challenge to him.
I closed the door behind me. The cat stared at me. I looked around and realised we were alone.
I stroked it under the chin, and it purred in response. I was strangely thankful it liked me. I didn’t want to test the theory of it being a trained killer.
Jocky flew off through the living room door, and I followed it. Everything was as it was the last time I’d been here. Jocky hovered by the bookcase. I walked up to it and scanned the books for Watership Down. I found it. It was sitting next to a copy of Jim McLean’s autobiography, Jousting With Giants. I didn’t realise McLean had a book out so I took it off the shelf for a quick look. The front cover had been altered slightly. A photo of a grizzly bear had been stuck on along with a pornographic image of a black man with an erection and Jim McLean’s head pasted on him. I sniggered. Jocky the cat miaowed, and I focused on the task at hand again. I slowly reached out to the teckle book about rabbits. I fingered it and pulled it back towards me.
The floor beneath me started to revolve. Jocky flew close to me, and we were spun around into the secret lab.
‘Mr Griffiths, we’ve been expecting you.’
A man in a white lab coat approached and offered his hand. I took it and said hello.
‘Nice to meet you. I have no idea what I’m here for. All I know is Jocky said you’d be able to help me access the lever in his old office.’
The man grinned and ushered me into the lab. I’d had a glance of it that night a few weeks back, and it was every bit as intriguing as I’d remembered. It was the a room filled with complex looking equipment and on-going scientific experiments. Massive computers sat by glass beakers filled with colourful bubbling liquids. There was about a dozen men and woman in white coats, all of whom stopped to acknowledge my presence with a smile and a nod. This was incredible. If every house in the Ferry had this kind of thing going on it was no wonder property prices were extortionate around here.
‘Welcome to our laboratory, Mr Griffiths. My team and I have been working here for quite some time on a couple of projects, one of which will assist you in activating the lever in Mr Scott’s office at Dens. The other is perhaps the greatest scientific achievement in the history of mankind. You’ll find out about it in due course, I’ve been instructed to maintain the secrecy of it at this point.’
He smiled at Jocky the cat who was flying close by me. The man stroked him under the chin, and wee Jocky purred appreciatively. The man turned his attention back to me.
‘The lever in Jocky Scott’s office works under a security feature which is the first of it’s kind. It is on the cutting edge of modern technology. While fingerprint and retina recognition programs are slowly becoming more commonplace, we’ve developed something similar yet altogether more revolutionary….TEsticular Controlled Kinetic LEver, or TECKLE for short. The name isn’t ideal, but Mr Scott insisted it should be called TECKLE and we had to work from the acronym upwards.’
I was pretty much dumbstruck by my surroundings, so I just nodded in acceptance. The scientist continued.
‘Footballing matters are not our concern, Mr Griffiths. All I know is we were asked to create a security feature that relied on scanning Jocky Scott’s testicles, a scrotal recognition system. We did that. The lever in his office at Dens Park can only be pulled once a positive ID of his testes is taken. That was only half the job. At the turn of the year Mr Scott decided he needed a back-up entry method. I tried to tell him a simple computer password would do the job, but he insisted on going a step further. His instructions were quite clear – “Fuck up, cunto, dinnae gie iz yer pish. Jocky wants a spare set o’ ba’s!’
Oh my God. The scientist saw my look and chuckled.
‘I had much the same reaction as you just did, Mr Griffiths. A spare set of testicles! I argued long and hard against his suggestion but he merely kept repeating a mantra that queried who was in charge here. A spare set of testicles was the only way forward. I gathered a team of the world’s top scientific minds and experts in the field of cloning. The men and woman you see here are the finest scientific people on the planet. We managed to carry out the task, Mr Griffiths. We have cloned Jocky Scott’s balls.’
Oh my fucking God. The scientist pointed to a nearby table. I walked up to it and gasped in disbelief as I saw the fruits of his and his team’s labour……a pair of balls in a jar. The jar was filled with a clear solution, and a scrotum floated around in it.
Jocky had cloned his own balls. I repeat: Jocky had cloned his own balls.
I left the lab with the jar of Jocky’s spare balls in a Lidl carrier bag. You’d think the top scientific minds in the world could provide a more appropriate logistical solution. Jocky the cat flew out with me. I stopped in the living room and took stock, taking a seat in one of his deckchairs. Wee Jocky landed in my lap and I stroked him as I gathered my thoughts. I had to get into Jocky’s old office at Dens. I remembered Jocky’s advice and realised it was time to go and get Billy Dodds.
Jocky had given me Billy’s address before I left his compound in the wilderness. He’d claimed it was “the maist teckle fuckin’ hoose in the land. Mind and tak’ yir shoes aff.” I phoned a taxi from Jocky’s. When it pulled up outside I said goodbye to the cat and left. As the cab pulled away I looked back and saw the cat hovering at the window. It may have been a trick of the light, but it looked like he was waving a paw at me.
We drove for a few miles. Billy lived out in the countryside on the outskirts of town. We drove up a country lane. The driver stopped.
‘This is the address, pal.’
I looked around. Nothing.
‘Mate, are you sure? There’s no houses here.’
‘Aye, there’s no houses…..but there’s a bouncy castle…..’
He pointed out his window. Right enough, there was a big inflatable castle sitting over in a nearby field.
‘That can’t be the add……’, I thought about it for a second then continued, ‘actually that most likely is the address I’m looking for. Wait here a minute would you mate? I’ll be heading back into town once I’ve picked my pal up.’
The driver agreed to wait. I got out the taxi and jumped a fence to get into the field. It was a cracking bouncy castle, a huge thing with turrets in each corner. It wasn’t open-topped like most bouncy castles, and it had a front wall with holes for windows and a door covered by a big Dundee flag. The flag had BILLY’S HOWSE written in almost illegible crayon marks on it. A generator hummed away somewhere, keeping the thing inflated. There was no doorbell, so I just shouted in.
‘Billy! It’s Leigh!’
‘Hiya Leigh! Hiya pal! Come on in!’
As I started to make my way in he yelled again. ‘Shoes aff! Shoes aff!’ Of course. Jocky had mentioned it, and bouncy castle etiquette dictates that you can’t go on with your shoes on. I took them off and entered. It was hard to walk along the inflatable floor. I stumbled along a corridor. The walls were inflatable too. This was some bouncy castle! I got to a doorway and went in. Billy was bouncing around like mad.
He looked delighted to see me. He bounced over and gave me a cuddle. ‘Come and have a bounce!’
I started to protest, but then remembered the days of my youth and just how much fun bouncy castles are. Why not? I started bouncing around with Billy. If the press could see us now…..Dundee’s star striker and assistant manager on a bouncy castle, which the assistant manager happens to call home. After a few minutes of bouncing off the “living room” walls and jostling each other playfully we were out of breath. We sat down.
‘Billy, Leigh needs a wee hand getting into Dens and Jocky’s old office. Can you help me, pal?’
Billy grinned and took a key out his pocket.
‘Master key for Dens. Jocky already told me plan, about…..’, his eyes went wide, ‘….Age of Jocky….’
I nodded. ‘Good lad, Billy. Thanks for your help. Are you ready to go?’
He got up and bounced off to another room. ‘Two minutes, Billy has to get changed!’
I sat and waited for him. After a couple of minutes he announced his return with the words, ‘OOOOOOOH YEAH!’ Billy was dressed as Macho Man Randy Savage. He wore a colourful leotard and leather jacket with long tassels hanging from the armpits to the sleeves. He wore a stetson, and had added put a fake beard to his Jocky ‘tache.
‘BILLY’S MACHO MAN! DIG IT?’
I laughed. ‘I dig it, Billy. I like your outfit. Come on, let’s go.’
We hopped in the taxi. The driver did a double-take at the sight of Billy, and he looked at me. I smiled and nodded without saying a word. Yes driver, Billy Dodds did just leave his bouncy castle home dressed as Macho Man. The driver looked back at Billy, shrugged, and started driving towards Dens.
Billy’s key worked a treat at the front door of the stadium. Making sure there were no prying eyes around I ushered him inside and closed the door behind us. We crept through the dark corridors that lead to Jocky’s old office. Billy whimpered. ‘Billy no like dark, Leigh…..scared of Papa Shango!’ I soothed him as best I could. ‘Don’t be scared pal. Macho Man can beat Papa Shango!’ He smiled and whispered, ‘Ohhhh yeahhhh! Dig it!’
We reached the door to the office which was now occupied by Gordon Chisholm. Billy took his master key out. We had 17 locks to get through and time was of the essence. The poor boy’s hand was shaking badly, so I helped guide it to the locks. It took a minute to get through them all but when the final one was unlocked the door swung open.
The office was as I’d remembered it. Chisholm had few personal effects around, but it was exactly the same. I couldn’t see the lever at first, because Chisholm was using it to hang his manager jacket up on. I removed the jacket from the hook. Shit, here we go. I started shaking like a leaf. This was huge. I didn’t know what was about to happen, but I was scared. Bless his cotton socks, Billy put his arm around me. I looked at his smiling face and he whispered, ‘Billy’s looking out for you, Leigh. Dig it? Yeah!’ I giggled nervously and put my arm around him. Right then and there I loved that half-daft wee bastard like I’ve never loved anyone in my life. What a boy. I carefully took the jar out the Lidl carrier bag. I unscrewed the cap of the jar and put it back in the bag. I put my hand in the jar and took the loose skin of the scrotum between my fingers. I gently lifted it out the jar. Jocky’s spare balls dangled. I waved them around in front of the lever. Nothing happened. Shit, how did this thing work? My hand started shaking again, and the balls trembled. Billy returned the favour I’d done him moments ago and placed his hand on mine to steady it. Together we waved Jocky’s balls in front of the lever. ‘Steady, Leigh….try this…’ Billy guided my hand to a point above the lever and held it there. The balls stopped wobbling about. Just as I was about to move them again a green laser emitted from the wall, fanned and scanned the balls. It swept up and down them twice then went off. I stood with my heart in my mouth. A little green light came on in the wall. Green for go. Yes! We had activated the lever. Billy and I looked at each other and exhaled simultaneously. I placed the balls back in the jar, screwed the cap on and returned it to the carrier bag. The lever was primed and ready to be pulled.
I heard a noise from outside. Shit, we’d been caught! Billy looked petrified and fell into the foetal position on the floor, wailing, ‘Papa Shango!’ The noise drew closer, the soft burr of an engine. Relief washed over me and I placated Billy. ‘It’s ok pal, it’s just…’
The office door opened. It was wee Jocky. He floated in and miaowed at us. Billy hadn’t seen Jocky before, but the fact he was flying a jetpack didn’t seem to phase him. He stood up and stroked it. ‘Hiya pussy cat!’
We stood together on the edge of goodness knows what. How did it come to this? How did I come to be in this moment? No time for questioning the cosmos now. Here we were. Macho Man Billy Dodds, a cat flying a jetpack and myself in Jocky’s office, with the lever that leads to the Age of Jocky activated. I clasped my hand round it, took a deep breath, and……
I pulled the lever.
Brilliant, blinding white light ripped through my head. The floor beneath me shook violently, and the vibrations ran through every inch of my body. A terrible roar rose up and engulfed me. My basic senses were overcome, my grip on reality was lost. I became adrift in existence, mere flotsam in time and space, and for a second I saw it all. The world and everything in it. Everything that was, had been, and ever would be. A moment of perfect clarity and understanding. A glimpse of Life from the perspective of the force that created it. It came and went in a heartbeat.
I came crashing back to reality in the blink of an eye. I was still in the office. I was still holding the lever. I was still alive. What the…..
A huge roar came from outside. A crowd of people making an incredible noise. I turned my head this way and that. Jocky’s office was empty. I was alone. Another roar from outside. I released my grip on the lever and went to the window. I pulled the blind up and gasped. There was a game going on. Dens was full. Only it wasn’t the Dens I knew. The dilapidated South Enclosure was now a modern stand that held at least 20,000 people. I looked around in astonishment. The Bobby Cox and Bob Shankley ends of the ground were also new, enormous and filled to capacity. My focus turned to the pitch. A game was taking place. A team in the dark blue of Dundee were attacking a side in claret and blue stripes. It was familiar yet completely alien. The crowd roared again as what I assumed was Dundee won a corner. As a player ran over to take it my attention was drawn to a scoreboard that read
CHAMPION’S LEAGUE SEMI FINAL
DUNDEE 1 – BARCELONA 0
The time on the board struck me hard. It didn’t seem to move for several seconds before it passed to 17:18, 17:19, 17:20…
My eyes drifted towards the dugouts in front of the Main Stand. In front of the one marked HOME stood a man waving his arms and barking instruction to the players on the pitch. He was old, grey, yet commanding……Jocky. Jocky Scott.
The very instant I recognised him he froze. His arms slowly dropped to his sides and he turned around. He felt me looking, then he saw me. Jocky. He stared at me. Our eyes were locked. Slowly, he made his way towards me. I couldn’t move nor break my gaze. Jocky Scott walked over to the window I was looking out of. He came to a stop just a few feet away from me, his eyes unflinching. He nodded slowly and smiled. Words came out his mouth in a whisper.
‘Hiya Leigh……….hiya pal…………’
He was stunned. I could only stare back at him, no words would come forth. He scanned my face like I was someone he’d seen once in a long-forgotten dream.
‘You pulled the lever……eh dinnae ken what that means exactly, but somewhaur in another place far, far awa’ you pulled a lever that brought yi’ here tae see me.’
I nodded. Yes, I had pulled the lever. I remembered it. I did it mere seconds ago, but the seconds now felt like several years. Jocky looked at me in awe, and seemed to recall a distant memory from a life he didn’t lead.
He had a look of wonder on his face, and he found realisation from a source deep within his psyche. ‘This is……….this is the Age o’ Jocky. The Age o’ Jocky! This….’, he raised an arm and waved it round the ground, ‘is the story that went untold, the future that never came tae pass. This is reality in another time and place, another dimension……this is…..this is…..’ He looked around with the same astonishment I felt. This was his life. He lived in the moment, right here and now, but he saw it for what it was. Two parallel worlds had collided.
The game raged on behind us. Jocky looked round at it, then back at me. He smiled. I knew he had to go and carry on down this path. I had no place here. It wasn’t my reality.
Jocky started backing away. I wanted to reach out to him but knew it would have dire consequences for the very fabric of space and time.
‘Good tae see yi’ pal. Eh’m glad yi’ came tae witness this. Champion’s League, likes! Beating Barca 1-0! Hola, cunto! El Fairmuir es beuno! Fuckin’ teckle!’
He smiled, winked, then turned away from me. A brilliant white light filled my vision, and a thunderous roar built up around me. The ground shook, and I surrendered to the invisible hand that grabbed me and thrust me back to where I came from.
I woke up on the floor of Jocky’s office. It was like coming out a hyper-vivid dream. It had left it’s mark on me, I could still feel it’s touch. I was groggy. What the fuck had just happened? Through the fog in my head I heard a voice.
‘Leigh, wake up! Wake up, you’re scaring Billy!’
I sat up and managed to reply, ‘I’m ok, pal. I think I’m ok.’
Billy helped me up. The lever was still there. I looked at it in awe. It was the most incredible, mind-blowing piece of technology ever created. I couldn’t even begin to fathom how it had been conceived or constructed. Billy saw me looking at it. ‘Leigh, what happened? You just fell over!’
‘Wait a minute, didn’t you see any of that?’
Billy looked confused and shook his head. ‘Didn’t see anything! You fell over and made me scared.’
‘Sorry, pal. Man, that was crazy. Billy, there’s no time to explain. I’m not sure I even understand it myself. We better get out of here. Where’s the cat?’
‘Got scared when you pulled lever and flew out window. Nice pussy cat!’
‘Aye, he’s something else…’
Just then there was noise from outside in the corridor. Voices, Bob Brannan’s among them. Shit, we’d been caught. I considered our options and decided to flee.
‘Billy, quick…..out the window!’
We jumped into life. I gave Billy a lift up and practically hurled him out the window before quickly following. He was waiting for me on the other side, the poor boy was terrified. I took his hand and started moving towards the track, hoping to escape over the fence I used a few weeks ago. But our exit was blocked. Several stewards in yellow jackets stood in front of us. I turned and saw several more in the other direction. Brannan had called for reinforcements. The man himself was now approaching flanked by more stewards. He looked angry. Very angry.
‘Griffiths! I knew you were up to something. I didn’t believe a word that came out your mouth earlier. That bloody moustache gave the game away. I’ve had the lads here following you since the moment you left my office.’
The stewards looked like a mean bunch. They had a reputation for being over-zealous, power-hungry little Hitlers. Brannan continued.
‘Leigh, you’re a valuable asset to this club. You should be sacked for your actions tonight, and for failing to carry out your task of calling the police when you found Jocky. But I can’t sack you. The fans wouldn’t stand for it, and we’d lose out on the transfer fee you will bring in one day. But you deserve to be punished. Oh yes. You won’t play for the rest of the season. We’ll announce that you’re injured. While the press will hear you’ve got some standard footballing injury, the truth will be slightly different…’
The squad of stewards started closing in on me. Shit, I was about to get a hiding. Bless him, Billy stood in front of me and took his Macho Man jacket off, ready to fight. The stewards had an evil look in their eye as they rolled up their sleeves and prepared to jump me. I braced myself for a kicking.
Suddenly the floodlights came on. We all shielded our eyes at the powerful blast of illumination. It took a few moments to adjust our vision, and when I was able to see properly again I saw Bob Brannan staring at the Derry with his jaw on the verge of coming off it’s hinge. I followed his gaze, and the stewards followed mine. Holy shit.
The Derry was full. Every seat was taken up by a topless man with a moustache who was wearing a jetpack. It was Jocky’s army. A voice boomed out from the PA system.
‘BOOOOOOABY BRANNAN! WHAUR’S MEH FUCKIN’ TIPPEX YA BALDY WEE RAT?’
Jocky. He was up in the DJ box.
The fuzzy baseline of Gratitude by the Beastie Boys came over the PA, and Jocky started MCing.
‘A’ the Jocky’s in the hoose say HOOO-OH!’
‘HOOO-OH!’, came the response from the Derry.
‘Back da fuck up, Boaby Brannan! Throw yir hands up in the air! Wave them aboot like yi jist dinnae care!’
The boys in the Derry started waving their hands up and from right to left in perfect synchronisation. Jocky dropped the volume of the music and started doing a human beatbox. After laying down a beat he burst into a rap.
‘Well meh name is Jocky and eh’m hear tae say, Boaby Brannan’s a wee bit fuckin’ gay, he stole meh Tippex, he’s a fuckin’ rat, he’s awa’ tae get a doing fae meh teckle cat!’
Brannan looked confused and repeated, ‘about to get a doing from what? A cat?’
Jocky the cat started flying down from the DJ box. Brannan and the stewards looked utterly stunned. No wonder, really. Wee Jocky hovered to within a few feet of Brannan at head height. He adopted “the crane” pose from Karate Kid that I’d seen him do on Goodwillie’s CCTV footage. Brannan laughed.
‘A flying cat! I’ve seen it all now!’
Jocky the cat flew in quickly and kicked his little legs, landing a blow on Brannan’s face. All of a sudden he was a flurry of flying paws. He landed blow after blow on Brannan’s face.
‘YAAAAASSSSS! JOCKY! PUNCH HIS PUS! JOCKY, JOCKY PUNCH HIS PUS!’, boomed the voice from the PA. The Derry joined in with the song. As Brannan fell to the ground under the weight of the attack the stewards moved in to help him. The voice boomed out again.
The air was filled with the roar of hundreds upon hundreds of jetpacks firing up. The stewards stopped and looked to the Derry. Jocky’s moustachioed army took flight and flew across the pitch. The stewards didn’t hesitate, they ran like the wind out the ground. The army gave chase.
All of a sudden it was perfectly calm. Brannan lay groaning on the ground. Wee Jocky hovered over him, daring him to get up. Billy and I stood dumbstruck.
Jocky came out the DJ box in the stand and hovered down to us. He landed over Brannan, who was now whimpering for mercy. Jocky looked at him and turned to the cat. They gave each other a high-five.
‘That wiz fuckin’ teckle Jocky! Fair kicked his heid in, likes.’
Big Jocky grinned and turned his attention to Brannan. ‘Boaby, yi fuckin’ asked fur that. As if giein’ me the bullet wiznae bad enough yi wur awa’ tae batter Leigh. Nae cunt batter meh pals, Boaby. Wha’s in cherge here?’ Brannan could only shake his head in disbelief at what had just happened. Jocky kneeled down next to him. He spoke slowly. ‘Boaby, Jocky’s awa’ tae ask yi a wee question. See if yi dinnae answer it honestly, eh’ll let wee Jocky here finish the joab aff. Ken whit eh mean?’ Brannan nodded. He was in no position to argue. Jocky took a deep breath and gave him a deadly stare. ‘Boaby………whaur’s meh fuckin’ Tippex?’
Brannan couldn’t look him in the eye. He scratched his baldy head before finally meeting Jocky’s gaze. ‘The Tippex you let me borrow about three months ago? Jocky, I gave you that back! Remember? You put it back in your pocket and told me it was “the maist teckle correction fluid in the land”.’ Jocky thought to himself for a moment then started raking about in the pockets of his trackie bottoms. He fumbled about in them for a few seconds before he gasped and slowly removed his hand from his right-hand pocket. He held a bottle of Tippex aloft.
‘JOCKY’S FOUND HIS TIPPEX! BY CHRIST, IT WIZ IN MEH POCKET A’ THIS TIME! YA CUNT, EH’VE BEEN LOOKIN’ FUR THAT FUR FUCKIN’ AGES!’
He was overjoyed. The daft bugger had it in his pocket the whole time. He started body-popping and laughing away to himself. Jocky the cat started mimicing his moves. So did Billy Dodds. I laughed and started doing the same.
‘Check it oot Boaby! Check the lads bustin’ oot the teckle moves! Twa turntables and a microphone ya fuckin’ cocklord!’
Brannan shook his head and looked at us. He had no response to all this. He pulled himself up and departed, leaving us to dance about to ourselves. One of Jocky’s men flew back in and landed next to us. It was Maros Klimpl. ‘Boss, men are ready to move on to next phase of mission. Ve await your command.’
‘Hiya Maros. Hiya pal! Tell the lads tae form a flyin’ V formation over the Hulltoon and get ready tae head tae Goodwillie’s hoose. Cunt’s no’ seen the last o’ big Jocky!’ He turned to Billy and smiled. ‘Billy pal, fancy comin’ doon the Ferry wi’ Jocky?’ Billy started jumping up and down with excitement. ‘Billy wants to go with Jocky! Jocky’s found his Tippex!’
‘Ken eh huv Billy! Ken eh huv! Fuckin’ yas! Maros, get this cunt a jetpack.’
Klimpl and Dodds scurried off somewhere. I’m not sure Billy was capable of flying a jetpack, but I kept my reservations to myself.
It was just me and Jocky by the side of the pitch. He put an arm around me and we strolled over to take a seat in the dugout. We didn’t speak for a moment or two, but curiosity was clearly getting the better of him. ‘Leigh…..yi’ pulled the lever! Bet it wiz mental, eh?’
‘Boss……it was beyond comprehension. I can’t even begin to think how it works or what it means.’
Jocky chuckled. ‘Ken, it’s pure scientific as fuck,likes. Jocky wiz discussing quantum physics and a’ that jazz wi’ thon body-cripple Stephen Hawking in the Fairmuir once. Boy’s totally gubbed, like. Cannae play darts worth a fuck. Jocky kept wheelin’ the wee fucker up tae the oche…….Jocky rhymes wi’ oche! Yas!……..and tryin’ tae get him tae hae a go but he jist kept saying, “here Jock, this isnae happenin’ likes. Dominoes is mair meh gemme” in that mad robot voice o’ his. The pair o’ us sat doon and hud a few pints o’ Special instead. Boy wiz drinkin’ it oot one o’ they teckle big curly straws, like. Started bangin’ on aboot space, time, aw kinds o’ mad shit. Efter aboot four pints wi’ sussed out how tae access parrallel universes. That’s when eh got the lab on the go and telt they scientist fowk tae get busy wi’ makin’ the lever.’
Wild. I told him what I’d seen when I’d pulled it.
‘Ya fucker……..fuckin’ kent eh should’ve dived in that field and shagged a sheep wi’ Sir Eck! Bastards! Och, never mind. Jocky’s hud a braw time in this dimension. Ups ‘n’ doons likes, but fuckin’ teckle nane the less. Leigh, question fur yi’ cunto: whaur’s meh spare ba’s?’
I shook my head, smiling. ‘I can’t believe you cloned your own balls.’
‘Fuckin’ right! Jocky’s beanbag’s worth fuckin’ haein’ twa sets o’, like. Meh ba’s are fuckin’ teckle!’
I laughed and got up. ‘They’re in a Lidl bag in the office. I’ll go and get them.’ As I strolled off I heard him complain, ‘Lidl! Jocky’s a Tesco man fur fuck sake.’ I went in the office and retrieved the bag with the jar in it. I took Chisholm’s jacket and hung it back on the lever. I wonder if Chisholm had considered what the lever was for. It was more powerful than anything he could possibly imagine.
I walked back out to the dugout where Jocky was still sitting. There was something sitting next to him. A jetpack. He looked at me and nodded his head towards it. ‘What say you, cunto? Yir season’s over, really. Fancy joining Jocky fur a carry-on through the summer? You saw the Age o’ Jocky in another plain o’ existance, but yi’ can be part o’ it in this one.’
The Age of Jocky.
‘It’s a’ready kicked aff, pal. You ken the score. Think aboot it! Jocky’s in cherge! Me and the lads are gonnae hae a teckle time gettin’ fowk telt. What dae yi’ reckon, fannycock?’
I thought about it for no more than a nano-second and picked up the jetpack, hooking myself into it.
‘YAAAAAASSSSSS! That’s the gemme Leigh!’
We shook hands and smiled at each other. Jocky looked up and pointed to the sky. A flying V of jetpack warriors was hovering over the Hilltown. Jocky quickly showed me how to operate the jetpack and took off. I stood for a few seconds, watching him go. I took a deep breath and hit the button.
WOOOOOSH. I was airborne. I was flying my own jetpack! What a feeling! I flew upwards and joined Jocky at the head of the V formation.
‘Some view, eh pal? Teckle!’
It was hard to disagree. The lights of Dundee twinkled below. It was a wonderful sight. I heard a cry and someone zoomed past us. ‘BILLY CAN’T WORK HIS JETPACK!!!’ He was flying round in circles at top speed. Jocky pissed himself laughing. ‘By Christ that laddie’s no’ wise! Klimpl – help that wee daftie oot ya big Swedish goat-blower!’ Klimpl flew off to assist Billy. Jocky got his megaphone out and bellowed his orders.
‘RIGHT A’BODY, LET’S FIRE DOON THE FERRY. GOODWILLIE’S GONNAE LOOK FUCKIN’ TECKLE NEXT TAE MEH MONKEY PUZZLE TREE! THAT’S WHAT EH’M TALKIN’ ABOOT! THUNDERCATS! HOOOOOOOOOOO!’
And with that we began the flying charge. I flew alongside Jocky and shouted HOOOOOOO! as long as my lungs could carry it. As we passed the Law Hill, Jocky got my attention and pointed to it’s summit. I looked down and saw a massive statue of the man himself, topless and grinning, just like the one in my dream from weeks ago. It stood tall at the highest point in the city, an enormous stone monument watching over the city in which he made his name and asking it wha was in cherge.