IN THE FUCKING HOLE! – Part 2

I stood in perfect white light. It enveloped me, filling all points of my vision. The ground beneath me wasn’t solid yet it held my weight. I couldn’t tell if the edges of the space in which I stood were inches or several miles away, or indeed if there were any real edges at all. It felt like being inside a room without dimension, with indefinable limits, yet somehow it was perfectly formed and tangible. Existence here seemed to be some kind of optical illusion.

Granny Scott. I don’t know how I knew it was her, it was just something that I was instantly aware of. She was ancient. Her face was etched with all the hallmarks of old age and exuded a weary benevolence. Her eyes were kind and full of the fire one might attribute to someone a fraction of her age. Disturbingly, she looked just like Jocky and had a fearsome moustache to match his award winning facial decoration. On the face of it, that probably had a lot to do with the instant recognition.

I felt a rush of panic for a second as Jocky came to mind and I realised he wasn’t here. Granny Scott sensed my fear, smiled and pointed to the long, dark tunnel from which I’d came. Someone was floating down the tunnel towards us. I looked at Granny Scott and she nodded. Yes, here came Jocky.

Whilst I had somehow floated down it unaided Jocky was traveling in his usual style. He arrived via jetpack in his golfing outfit. He still had that bloody sombrero on. He came out the tunnel and touched down in the cloudy substance beneath our feet. After a cursory glance around to take in his surroundings his gaze fell upon his Granny. His eyes welled with tears and the smile that formed damn near split his face.

‘Hiya Granny. Hiya pal.’ He opened his arms up and stepped forward to embrace her. Granny Scott mirrored the gesture and went to meet him. Just as they were about to lock together…

WHACK!

Granny Scott leathered him with her handbag. ‘Hiya Jocky, hiya pal! What did eh fucking tell you aboot calling me cunto on that ouija board! Eh? Nae cunt calls me cunto ya mad vagina!’

I jumped back a step, shocked by the sudden outburst.

‘Fuck sake Granny! Eh call a’body cunto! Stop hittin’ iz ya fucking dingbat!’ Jocky cowered slightly and held his arms up to protect himself from the flailing handbag that was raining blows on him.

‘Telt yi’ hunners o’ times, but would you listen? Would yi’ fuck!’ She walloped him another few times then stopped. She was pretty fucking violent for a woman who looked like she’d been of pensionable age for at least half her life. Jocky straightened up. They faced each other and Jocky once again opened up his arms for a hug. His Gran melted. She dropped her handbag and accepted the embrace. They held each other tight, and the tears that had formed in Jocky’s eyes moments before finally spilled down his cheeks.

‘Hiya Granny! Hiya pal! Meh God, it’s fucking teckle ti’ see yi’! Missed yi’, cunto!’

‘WHAT DID EH JUST TELL YOU YA DAFT BASTARD!!’

Granny laid into him again, this time using her fists. She had quick hands for an old lady. Jocky backed off, apologising profusely until she calmed down again.

‘Eh’m glad ti’ see yi’ still dinnae tak’ any pish fae folk. Even Jocky! That’s the gemme auld aine! Get me telt!’ Jocky re-engaged the hug and kissed his Gran on the forehead. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so happy, and I’ve seen him find his Tippex.

‘Granny, eh want yi’ meet meh pal Leigh Griffiths. Leigh’s fucking sound. Lives in a teepee!’

Granny Scott burst out laughing at me. ‘A teepee? Get a hoose, Crazy Horse!’

Jocky roared with laughter at that remark. ‘Granny, eh wiz just sayin’ that earlier on! Eh called the daft cunt Crazy Horse tae! Fucking yas!’

Granny Scott gave me a cuddle. ‘Hiya Leigh, hiya pal. Nice ti’ meet yi’, mongchops.’

Jocky went into hysterics. ‘Granny, eh call Leigh mongchops tae! Calling Leigh mongchops is fucking teckle! By Christ, this is as funny as fuck!’

Granny laughed along but gave me the sweetest smile. ‘Pay nae attention to us, Leigh. The Scott family are well known fur takin’ the piss, but equally well known fur holding their pals in the highest regard. Any pal o’ Jocky is a pal o’ mine. It’s affy nice ti’ meet yi’ son.’ She motioned for me to lean down and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

‘Pleasure to meet you, Granny Scott. I don’t understand what’s going on though. How did we get here? It feels like we’re in a dream but it seems so vivid, so real. What’s happening?’ A sense of dread crept into my stomach. Something wasn’t right here. Jocky’s Gran was dead yet I could feel the trace of her kiss on my cheek. Realisation seeped into my mind. No……….

Granny Scott smiled weakly, her eyes portraying great pity. I shook my head. No. She took my hand and squeezed it. She nodded to counter the shake of my head. She didn’t have to say anything. It was just a matter of letting the truth sink in.

She gave me some time. It was too much to take in. My mind was overloaded and struggling to compute the dreadful information that had been thrown at it. Jocky seemed to be dealing with it better than I was. His eyes were on me, full of empathy and concern.

‘Fucking Joe Calshaggy, eh Leigh? Took the pair o’ us oot! Cunt’s well gettin’ haunted.’

Granny Scott spoke softly as she explained our final moments. ‘Jocky passed away first after being hit by the golf buggy. Leigh, you died when your head cracked against the concrete after Joe knocked you out.’

I was slightly puzzled by a minor detail. ‘How come I arrived here first if I died after Jocky?’

‘Big Jock’ll field that one, Granny. Eh stopped fur a slash in the tunnel. Fuckin’ burstin’ so eh wiz. Eh saw you going past, Leigh, but could nae wave ‘cause holdin’ meh cock’s a two-hand job. You ken the score. Glad eh hud the jetpack on in there, it looked like a bit o’ a trek ti’ reach the light and there didnae seem ti’ be much o’ a bus service. Mibbe it’s a bank holiday and there’s only a Sunday service on.’

I was even more puzzled by a much more major issue. ‘Granny Scott…….where are we? What is this place?’

‘This, Leigh, is the Afterlife. The bit we’re standing in right now is whaur new arrivals get their heids together before moving on to the Kingdom of Heaven.’

Wow. As I took that onboard Jocky struggled to grasp it. ‘The Kingdom o’ Heaven? Is that the new private estate up the back o’ Whitfield?’

‘Dinnae be daft, Jocky. Yi’re a helluva long way fae Whitfield.’

I felt my emotions catching up with me. The gravity of the situation started to really hit home. I was dead. I didn’t make it out my teenage years. I burst into tears. Jocky immediately took me in his arms and hugged me. I wept into his shoulder as he consoled me.

‘Yi’re a’right pal. Jocky kens the score here. Eh’m no’ even bathered aboot being brown bread. Eh’m auld and hud a good life. Went oot in style haein’ a square go’ wi’ a golf buggy quoting Star Wars. That was fucking braw! Bit o’ Obi-wan, likes. You went doon efter one punch when yir ba’s huv barely drapped. Fucking shame. Only the good die young, pal. The good……..’ he gasped before continuing with a barely audible whisper, ‘and the crocodile hunters……..’

He quickly pushed me away and turned to his Gran with a face filled with excitement and anticipation. ‘Here Granny, is Steve Irwin here? By Christ, we might just hae a best o’ the teckle situation on oor hands………’

Granny reprimanded him for being so insensitive, but replied, ‘aye, Steve’s here.’

‘FUUUUUUCKINGGGGGG YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS!!!! OH YA CUNT! YAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS!!! Cheer up Leigh! The Crocodile Hunter’s in the hoose!’

He did a jig of joy in circles around us and sang, ‘we’re off tae see Steve Irwin! The wonderful Irwin of Oz! Ya cunt, ya cunt, ya cunt, ya cunt! The wonderful Irwin of Oz!’

He stopped suddenly and whispered in my ear. ‘Here Leigh, mind that day that wiz affy reminiscent o’ Apocalypse Now? This aine’s got Wizard of Oz written all over it! You can be Dorothy, Granny and me’ll be the Lion and the Tinman, McLean can be the Wicked Witch o’ the West and even though he’s no’ a doag wee Jocky can be Toto. Eh hope it rains doon in Africa!’’

This was complete gibberish to me. ‘What on Earth are you on about?’

‘Och it disnae matter, forget eh even mentioned it.’

Granny made an announcement. ‘Boys, it’s time to move on. Youze are brown bread. Dead, likes. And when yi’re brown bread yi’ hae ti’ go and meet someone…..’

Jocky looked worried. ‘Dinnae tell iz it’s that Boaby Brannan. Surely tae fuck….’

Granny shook her head and looked perplexed. ‘Don’t be daft, cunto. Eh’m talkin’ aboot the chief. The man in cherge.’

‘Wooooah there auld aine. Big Jocky’s in cherge here, a’body kens that. Wha’s this chancer wha’s claiming he’s running the show? Reckon it might be punch in the pus time.’

‘You’ll keep yir hands ti’ yerself, Jocky. God doesn’t take kindly to people trying to gie him a dab in the pus. ‘

Jocky went wide-eyed. ‘God? Did you say God there, Granny? Fuck sake, does that boy actually exist? Eh thought he wiz just a character fae a fairy story, like Tom Thumb, or Daley Thompson.’

‘Aye, He exists all right. We should mak’ oor way to see Him as soon as. Follow me youze twa.’
—————————

We moved through the white light until a huge gate came out of the horizon. A middle-aged man in a white suit was sitting at a table outside it.

‘What’s the score here, Granny? We gonna get in ok?’ Jocky looked a tad concerned, probably because he was thinking back to the lifetime of craziness that was unlikely to have gone down well with whoever, or whatever, God is. Granny had it covered though.

‘Eh’ll sign yi’ in.’

Brilliant. Heaven was just a big clubbie where members could sign a few pals in. I wondered how much a pint would be. You have to assume you get a decent pint in Heaven. Granny lead us to the table and signed the visitor book before passing the pen to me. I scribbled my name and handed it to Jocky, who enquired as to whether Heaven was busy tonight as he signed the book “BIG JOCKY, DFC #1”.

With the signing in process complete we were about to head through the gate when the guy on the door coughed to get our attention. He pointed out a bucket on the table marked with ‘ALL GUESTS £1’. Ah. We should’ve expected that really. Jocky asked me to pay him in but promised he’d find a cash machine inside and square me up later.

The gate swung open. We entered the Kingdom of Heaven.

—————————-

Have you ever been to Alton Towers? Heaven’s remarkably similar. It’s essentially a big theme park where the visitors are dead people spending eternity in the perpetual bliss of rollercoasters and candy floss. As Granny Scott lead the way to our audience with God I noticed a log flume called Noah’s Ark, an Oblivion-style white knuckle ride called Straight to Hell and a woman wearing a fig leaf bikini tending a candy apple stall called Forbidden Fruit. As we wandered along Jocky bumped into an old friend.

‘Fuck sake, there’s Davie Cooper. Davie ya big Hun bastard! How’s it goin’ pal?’

‘Alright Jocky! No’ bad mate. Didn’t realise you were here. How did you die?’

‘Aye, just kicked the bucket half an hour ago. Went oot in style, like. Di’ yi’ ken the bit in Star Wars when Obi-Wan gets killed? Replace Darth Vader wi’ a fresh-aff-a-crucifix Joe Calzaghe and his light saber wi’ a speeding golf buggy and yi’re maist o’ the way there.’

‘Sounds like a grand finale. If you fancy a kickabout sometime give me a shout, there’s a five-a-side league on the go up here. All the best, Jock.’

We pressed on and reached an administrative block. Granny entered a door under a sign saying Manager’s Office. We filed in behind her.

God has often been portrayed as an old Caucasian man wearing robes and a big white beard. It turns out that popular representation is way off the mark. God is a black guy who wears stonewash jeans, Adidas Samba and an Iron Maiden tshirt.

‘Howay Granny Scott, how are ya pet?’

Oh aye, and he’s a Geordie.

‘No’ bad, chief. Eh’ve brought a couple of new arrivals ti’ see yi’. Meet meh Grandson, Jocky, and his good pal Leigh Griffiths.’
God came from behind his desk and approached us. He greeted me first. God’s got a bloody good handshake. Firm yet friendly. He put his hand out to Jocky, who had his chest and chin stuck out and looked ready for trouble. Oh no. Please don’t get wide with God, boss.

They locked hands. Jocky grimaced as he applied the pressure. God met his grip, and they went eyeball-to-eyeball. Jocky spoke through clenched teeth. ‘Hiya God! Hiya pal! Question fur yi’, biblical cunto: wha’s in fucking cherge here?’

Jocky tilted his head in anticipation of the response. A sense of impending doom hit me. Anyone who has read the Bible will realise that God’s a bit of a nasty bastard capable of dishing ridiculously cruel and unusual punishment. Thankfully he broke into a smile.

‘Alreet Jocky lad, lovely to meet ye man. Been watching you play darts at the Fairmuir on the God Vision. Play a bit meself like. That was some finish when ye beat the team from the Boars Rock like!’

Jocky softened in an instant. ‘Did yi’ see that, big aine? Fuck sake! Yi’re right enough pal, it was some gemme. Big Jocky needed double three ti’ win it. First arrow wiz just the wrang side o’ the wire. Eh went, “ooft!”. Second arrow wiz closer yet but still the wrang side o’ the wire. Eh went, “fucking ooft!”. Third dart……bang in the middle o’ the berth! Eh went, “fucking yaaaaaassss! Get the fuck oot o’ here ya Boars Rock cunts! Awa’ back ti’ yir shitey boozer whas only redeeming feature is the fact it’s next door ti’ Grossets the butcher which sells fucking teckle steak pehs.” That wiz the Boars Rock telt, like. Yas!’

They were bonding over Dundee’s inter-boozer darts league. How very surreal. Jocky caught my attention and winked. He was up to something. Slapping God the black Geordie heartily on the back he suggested they should have a wee game themselves. God apparently had a board through in his rumpus room and happily agreed. Jocky put his plan into action by suggesting they make it more interesting with a bet.

‘If eh win yi’ send Leigh here back ti’ his life. If you win eh’ll refrain fae kicking yir teeth oot yir heid and putting them in the Dee4Life raffle. They’d no’ be as popular as that jar o’ Tommy Coyne’s pish eh managed ti’ get hold of but they’d probably bring in a couple o’ quid fur an affy good cause. What say you, cunto?’

God gave it some thought. He must’ve taken the threat from Jocky seriously, because he put his hand out to shake on it.

‘Why aye lad! Deal!’

———————————

They played from 501. God may be the omnipresent, all-powerful creator of the universe but he can’t play darts worth a fuck. Jocky beat him easily. When he hit his double 10 finish he roared, ‘YAAAAAAASSSS!! FAIRMUIR ONE – HEAVEN NIL! WHA’S IN FUCKING CHERGE HERE YA BYKER GROVE-WATCHING CUNT?’

God just laughed along. He turned to me. ‘Leigh pet, I’m a deity of my word. Ye can go back to ya life, like.’ Jocky watched on with a wry smile on his face. The man just saved my very soul. I was ecstatic for no more than a moment before I realised this meant I was leaving him behind until I died again.

‘God, I’m not going without Jocky! We go together or not at all.’ Jocky and Granny started to protest vehemently, but God hushed them. ‘Leigh pet, ye better fooking believe he’s going with ye. If ye think I’m putting up with being called a “Byker Grove-watching cunt” ye have another thing coming. Take the mental bastard with ye, and for the love of Shearer keep him alive as long as possible.’

‘That’s the gemme, God! Cheers pal, that’s fucking teckle! Fire doon the Fairmuir fur a gemme o’ darts anytime, like. The Pope plays there tae. Yi’ ken the Pope, eh?’

‘Why aye like, the German fella who lives in the Vatican.’

‘No pal, he bides in a semi in Mid Craigie. Braw lad, one o’ meh best mates. Fire doon and see him ya big ride!’

Jocky recalled something God had mentioned earlier. ‘Here big fella, what’s that God Vision a’ aboot? Is it CCTV fur a’ humanity, like?’

‘Spot on like, Jocky lad. C’mon we’ll gan through the next room and ye can see for yaself, pet.’

God kept an eye on everyone on the planet (“well, mainly Christians and the Toon Army if ah’m being honest, like.”) on an enormous widescreen TV. He had a leather recliner sat in front of it alongside a mini-fridge full of Newcastle Brown Ale. Jocky jumped in the chair.

‘Here big aine, ‘mon tell Jocky how it works then.’

God told him to say out loud the name of the person he wanted to watch. Jocky thought about it for a second or two, then with a fair degree of predictablility, announced, ‘Boaby Brannan’. The screen of the giant TV jumped into life and there was Bob Brannan sitting in his pants eating a Pot Noodle in front of the telly. Jocky chuckled. ‘Check oot Boaby. Fuck sake.’

God snapped his fingers and a control console popped out the floor in front of the recliner. It had a host of buttons and a microphone protruding from it.

‘The mic. goes on when ye put it in ya hand, man. At that point anything ye say will be heard by the person on the TV.’

Jocky grinned. As he realised the implications of this his grin grew wider and wider and he sat up in the chair. He looked at God.

‘Here pal, is it a’right if eh hae a wee shot fur a laugh?’

God didn’t look keen at first. It would be a massive misuse of power. But then God was a Geordie who dressed like he was just back from Monsters of Rock festival in 1987 and, at the end of the day, didn’t really give a fuck.

‘Fire away Jocky lad. Speak to ya pal.’

He smiled at Jocky. Jocky looked like he wanted to kiss him then turned his attention back to the TV screen. Ever so carefully he took the mic. in his hand. He had to put his other hand over his mouth to supress the giggles. He was barely holding it together. He took a deep breath, composed himself and spoke into the mic in a low, ghostly growl.

‘Booooooooaby……’

On the screen Bob sat bolt upright and cocked his ears in turn. He looked freaked right out. Jocky was giggling like a little girl, his left hand covering the mic. so Brannan couldn’t hear it. Again he composed himself, and spoke a little louder into the mic.

‘Booooooooaby Braaaaaannan……’

Brannan was now up on his feet having a hairy fit. He slapped himself in the side of the head. He must have been thinking there was no doubt that time; he was definitely hearing voices. The thing is, he was right. Jocky sat laughing away with the mic. covered, his shoulders bouncing and eyes misting with tears of joy. He cooled down and went quiet for a second. Then, wiith pure venom, he shouted, ‘BOABY FUCKING BRANNAN! WHAUR’S MEH TIPPEX YA BALDY-HEIDED CUNT?’

Brannan lost his shit completely. He started screaming and running for the door. He bolted out into the street in his pants and ran like the wind. The God Vision followed him and Jocky kept talking.

‘Put some troosers on Brannan! Cannae run aboot like that ya daft cunt! Yi’ll end up on the Sex Offenders Register wi’ Dougie Donnelly!’

Brannan seemed to find yet more pace and volume. He ran faster and screamed louder. Jocky pissed himself laughing but let go of the mic. Enough was enough.

God was laughing along but motioned to end Jocky’s time in the hotseat. Jocky halted him with a raised finger. ‘Twa minutes, pal. Eh’ve got one mair cunt tae speak tae.’

I wondered who wa….

‘David Goodwillie’

….obviously. The screen jumped scenes to a BBQ in David’s back garden. He was at hosting a gathering of friends in the summer sun and was stationed behind a large, smoking grill filled with cuts of meat. Jocky started looking around the control panel.

‘Here God, what di’ these buttons dae?’ God pointed out a few key ones. Jocky seemed tempted by the one for sending a massive flood but decided on the lightning strike function instead. God showed him how to aim it and warned him not to hit anyone.

‘Jocky’s no’ aiming for Davie Teckledong, pal. Oh no……’

We followed what was happening on the the screen. A crosshair appeared and Jocky guided it across the garden to………….the shed. David had a brand spanking new shed sitting where the charred remains of the one we’d set up a couple of months ago had been situated. Jocky didn’t fire immediately. He’d gone into that weird trance-like state that thinking of Raith Rovers usually put him in.

‘Hiya Davie Teckledong………….hiya pal………….are yi’ haein’ a nice wee time wi’ yir pals there? Are yi?……….that’s affy nice………..Jocky likes yir “Kiss the Chef” apron, that’s fucking teckle!………..gies a burger yi’ dirty Arab bastard…….’

He snapped out of it and hit the button.

FLASH!

We all jumped as a bolt of lightning came out of nowhere and hit the shed, making it burst into flames. We didn’t jump half as high as the guests at the BBQ though. They completely shat themselves. When Jocky hit the button again they scattered in every direction. The shed was fully ablaze. Jocky was in fits of laughter and burst into song.
‘Burn, baby, burn! Disco fucking inferno, cunto!’

A panic-stricken David Goodwillie ran out into the street. Jocky sent a bolt in his wake as he started sprinting away from his house, then took the mic. and started another song.

‘Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine, eh’m in the bookie’s awa’’ ti’ put a coupon on….’

He turned and gave us a double thumbs up, looking no less thrilled than a kid on Christmas morning. He watched with glee as Goodwillie fled.

‘Wha’s in fucking cherge here, rape-face? Eh? That wiz a wee bit o’ Boaby Dylan eh wiz singin’ fur yi’ there, Davie boy. Boaby’s a good cunt, used ti’ bide on the Provie Road. Yi’ dinnae need a weather man tae ken which way the wind blows, a’body kens that.’
Something on the God Vision caught his eye and he roared, ‘speaking o’ cunts called Boaby…….THERE’S BOABY BRANNAN! YAAAAAAAASSS!!! HIYA BOABY! HIYA PAL!’

Bob Brannan had just sprinted past Goodwillie in the opposite direction shrieking like Billy Dodds would if Papa Shango should ever show up at the door of his bouncy castle. Jocky switched his focus and started firing lightning bolts in Brannan’s wake.

‘Huv you no’ got some breeks on yet, Boaby? Yi’ better be running ti’ TK Maxx there ya cunt!’

His tone changed to one more thoughtful and told Bob via the God mic. that, ‘there’s some bargains ti’ be had in that shop like, but yi’ need the patience ti’ wade through it a’. Personally eh cannae be ersed and just pinch a pair o’ trackie bottoms aff some cunt’s washing line every now and then. Teckle!’

God was creasing himself at all this but had to step in. He brought the fun to an end by switching the TV off and making the control panel disappear back into the floor. ‘Awww, come on big fella. Eh wiz just aboot ti’ send a plague o’ locusts ti’ McLean’s hoose! Would o’ caused havoc in the baldy bear-shagger’s vegetable patch. Nae bather though, cheers fur the wee shot. That wiz braw!’

We started heading towards the door again. I asked God what the score was with getting home.

‘It’s easy enough, Leigh. In order to get back all ye have to do is click your heels together three times and say there’s no place like home…..there’s no place like home…..’

Fair enough. I closed my eyes, clicked my heels and repeated the words from God’s instructions.

‘There’s no place like home……there’s no place like home…….’

God, Jocky and Granny started howling with laughter.

‘Yaaaasssss! By Christ, that wiz as funny as fuck! We got a wee bit o’ Wizard o’ Oz efter all!’

The three of them were beside themselves. I realised what had happened and could only mutter, ‘aye, very good, very good…..’

Jocky was nearly wetting himself. ‘Daft cunt clicked his heels and a’hing! Fucking brilliant! Hiya Dorothy, hiya pal!’

It took a couple of minutes for them to become subdued enough to say cheerio to God. He was far from what anyone at any given moment of history would have expected him to be like, but he was a top bloke. There’s no need to fear death when you’ll be judged by a black Geordie in a Maiden tshirt who has lightened up considerably since the times of the Old Testament.

As we strolled back to the tunnel from which we’d came the experience was complete.

A dirty great crocodile ran past us. Our heads turned as one to follow it. Jocky gasped. ‘Oh ya bastard……’ Our heads snapped in the opposite direction. ‘Oh ya fucking bastard…….’ Jocky looked like he was going to explode with excitement. ‘HERE COMES THE CROCODILE HUNTER!’

Steve Irwin came charging towards us, hot on the croc’s tail. He was in his khaki shorts and shirt and had that wonderful look of pure enthusiasm you so often see on that face of his.

‘OH YA FUCKER! HIYA CROCODILE HUNTER! HIYA PAL!’

Steve Irwin stopped in front of us and caught his breath. Jocky was weeping with joy.

‘How’s it goin’ pal? Eh’m a big fan, like! Fucking shame when that stingray kicked yer cunt in. Jocky wiz greetin’!’

‘G’day Jocko! I’d love to stay and chat but that big gullah of a croc’s getting away. Crikey!’

Jocky fired up the jetpack.

‘Nae bather, big aine! Jocky’s on the case!’

I started to protest but Jocky was already taking off and shouting the Thundercat war cry. Irwin seemed to like that and did the same. The pair of them flew and ran off at top speed.

Granny and I hung around waiting for them. She whistled away to herself. I eventually recognised it as Somewhere Over the Rainbow and gave her a playful sneer, to which she chuckled heartily.

‘Sorry Dorothy, Granny’s just kidding yi’ on. “There’s no place like home!” Fucking belter.’

Jocky came back with a grin wider than Sandeman Street. For the first time since I’d met him he was wearing something on his top half. It looked suspiciously like Steve Irwin’s famed khaki shirt. He saw my inquisitively-arched eyebrow and explained himself.

‘Once we’d kicked fuck out the crocodile eh battered into Irwin. Cunt wiznae expecting that like. Eh says tae the boy, “here, kangeroo cunto: what time is it?” Just as he went ti’ check his watch eh went, ‘it’s punch in the pus time, cunto!’ and knocked him oot. Pinched his shirt, like! Eh’ll wear it just this once then frame it next meh Pele tap in the hoose. Teckle!’
I wasn’t ready to argue the mechanics of taking a stolen shirt back to the land of the living so I let him have his moment.

———————————-

We returned to the tunnel by which we’d entered. It was time to say goodbye to Granny.

‘Cheers fur gettin’ wiz signed in there Granny, that was teckle. Sorted it right oot, like.’

‘Nae bather, pal. Yi’ ken eh’d dae any’hing fur yi’. It’s been braw seein’ yi’ Jocky. Eh’ll miss yi’, but eh’ll see yi’ again. Keep in touch on that ouija board now, and for goodness sake, try and keep oot o’ bather. You ken the score. ‘Mon gie yir Granny a cuddle.’

Jocky gave her the hug of a life – and indeed Afterlife – time. She was teary-eyed as she came and gave me one too.

‘Pleasure ti’ meet yi’ son. All the best next season. Away the Dee!’

Jocky cheered. ‘Fucking yas Granny! Away the Dee!’

Granny Scott grabbed hold off Jocky and myself, started jumping about with remarkable agility for an old lady and started chanting, ‘Derry Rhumba! Derry Rhumba!’ Jocky joined in with gusto, and as it would’ve been rude for me not to, I gave it big licks too.

We stood for a good half hour singing what must have been every Dundee song ever written. Granny’s false teeth came flying out during the final verse of Hector Nicol’s rendition of Up Wi’ the Bonnets of Bonnie Dundee but she managed to get them back in to bellow the final line, ‘for the brave boys who wear the dark blue of Dundee!’

After another round of hugs Jocky and I stepped into the tunnel, turned and waved goodbye to her. She’s quite the lady, is Granny Scott. As we slipped away from one life to another she took off on a jetpack and headed back towards Heaven. Jocky and I floated along. The light at the end of the tunnel, the light of our life, gradually drew closer.

‘Well boss, that was something else, eh? Boss?’

He’d disappeared from my side. I looked round and saw him taking a piss against the side of the tunnel.

‘Eh’ll see yi’ back there, Leigh. Nae bather. Eh’d wave cheerio but it’s all hands on deck when the bad boy’s oot. You ken the score, mongchops.’

Good grief.

—————————————

I was in my hospital bed in the Spanish hospital Jocky and I had been rushed to when Joe attacked us. Apparently we had been offically dead for no more than a few seconds before being resuscitated. A few seconds seems like a long time when you’re in God’s own theme park with good people like Granny, the Man himself and of course Steve Irwin. I browsed an English language newspaper that had been left by my bedside and saw an interesting report.

“Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe has been arrested and admitted to a mental hospital after seriously injuring two golfers in a golf buggy accident at a local course. Calzaghe was deemed to be of unsound mind when he claimed he had been crucified by a cat after it defeated him in a game of Connect 4. As Calzaghe was dragged off by the authorities he was heard to shout “IN THE FUCKING HOLE!” between bouts of maniacal laughter”

Zoinks!

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