Cammy meandered towards the city centre clutching copies of his CV. His wife had seriously been on his case recently about his bashfulness towards paid employment. ‘Jeeso Ali, you single me out as if I’m the only person without a job. There’s another 1.6 million of us in the country. Listen, I’m gonnae start going out every morning to hand out ma CV,’ he pleaded. Cammy was gambling on this promise depositing some much-needed goodwill into the marital rewards scheme. Cashing in at the weekend in the form of a trip to the pub with his mates. His wife had given him the look, making it perfectly clear that she was tired of his guff. She scanned his CV. ‘Works well as a part of a team. Aye, sure yi dae!! Can’t say I’ve seen any evidence of that in ten years of marriage. An attentive listener!! You’re full of it. Worse than a politician. Oot ma sight.’ She threw his CV towards him. ‘And take yir Camifesto wae yi.’
Cammy loved being unemployed. The only downside for him was the mid-morning garbage on the telly. He felt the need to escape the noise pollution of Jeremy Kyle and the fear that one morning whilst watching Kyle, he’d witness a family member of his embroiled in a complicated DNA case that would effectively take a chainsaw to the family tree he’d painstakingly completed. So, he came up with the pretext of pounding the streets handing out his CV’s to prospective employers which would enable him to partake in a little mid-morning stroll while appeasing his wife into the bargain. It was on these little jaunts he became aware of the changing demographic of the average city centre street. Things had changed. Specific kinds of businesses were now exerting their power. The local independent butcher or baker were fast becoming obsolete. Turning down one of the main arteries of the city centre he prepared to play a game that he created based on the changes he’d witnessed. Fantasy Football On The High Street. The Bookies V The Pawn Shops/Pay-Day Loan centres/Charity Shops.
Cammy began to daydream about men in exotic parts of the world playing his game. He thought about Lagos. The reason for this was that he was engaging in email correspondence with a Nigerian called Azumah Adefunke. He pictured a wee Nigerian guy swaggering along Lagos Grassmarket playing his version of Fantasy Football. The mobile phone shops V The International Fraudsters. This Adefunke character had sent Cammy an email explaining that his mother, Patience Adefunke, was seriously unwell and needed $20,000 US Dollars for medical bills. If Cammy paid in the $20,000 dollars it would result in the release of $100,000 dollars straight to Cammy’s bank account seventy-two hours later.
Cammy wasnae daft. He’d been to Turkey five years in a row. Fancied himself as a bit of a haggler. He regaled his mates in the pub with stories of overseas haggling escapades. Twirling his beermat between his fingers, he said, ‘Lads, lads, listen tae this. Picture the scene. I’m in a market in Gumbet. I’m decked oot in ma yellow speedos, ma trusty leather bumbag and ma flip flops. Av got ma big tennent’s lager beach towel over my shoulders cos they’re burnt silly. I wisnae wearing sun tan lotion cos that’s for wimps. I’ll tell yi wit a should have been wearing though…….. a mask. Cos there was a fucking robbery committed lads. Make no mistake of that. A had this wee poor wee Turkish guy called Ugur’s breeks at his ankles. Av haggled him silly. Mesmerised him wi the auld Glesga patter. FIVE kappa t-shirts for 20euros! Naw, listen… it gets better. TEN. AYE. TEN pair of Speedo Swimming Shorts for 20 euros. Can yi believe it? Cammy battered through Nothing to Declare as HE FAILED TO MENTION to his mates that when he got home, after only one wash, the kappa’s shrunk to such an extent that the large Bear Factory teddy bears on his daughter’s bed were now neddy bears decked out in Kappa t-shirts. HE FAILED TO MENTION that when he took the Speedo shorts out their wrappers the world-famous brand name emblazoned across the shorts was missing the letter S.
Despite his current financial embarrassment, he emailed his new Nigerian acquaintance trying to get him down to $6365 & 50 cents. According to his calculations this was £5000. Less than sixty seconds later, Cammy emailed again, this time posing the question, ‘Adefunke ma man. Why you dealing in Benjamins? When you know a live in Scotland?’
Cammy ruminated on the complexities of the deal. ‘Mibbe it’s hard to shift the auld Scottish tenners err in Lagos…. AYE…..That’ll be it. It’ll be the same as Blackpool, they look at yi like you’re a fucking alien when you hand them a Scottish Tenner. Mibbe Adefunke’s busy. The guy’s got a lot on his plate. His auld dear isny keeping too chipper.
Adefunke didn’t reply.
He was roused from his daydream as he passed a William Hill Shop. This signified the blowing of the ref’s whistle. Cammy had tried to procure one of those discreet headsets that important looking busy people use when talking into their mobiles, however, beggars can’t be choosers. His purchase from Poundland, made him look like a deranged call-centre worker who had absconded from the office having been hung up on for the hundredth time that day.
‘This is Cammy, reporting from Union Street. A whirlwind start to this early kick-off. It’s 1-0 to the bookies, William Hill’s gamble to arrive late at the back post pay’s off as he nods home…..And…..it’s another!!, They’ve made it two, a towering header from big Paddy Power,’ he announced, as he walked past one of the aforementioned marketing genius of an Irish bookmakers shops. Cammy tried to avoid eye contact with his fellow pedestrians as the strange looks sometimes put him off his game. ‘The next goal is vital. And the comeback is on as The Pawn Shops/Pay Day Loan Centres/Charity Shops get one back through Robert Biggar aka Goldenballs. Passing a shop that provided the embarrassed Pawn Shop user with an alibi of checking how the pound was faring against the dollar in the event of being spotted entering by a friend or family member, he screamed into his headset, ‘And it’s all square, thanks to Ramsden’s tap-in. Cammy then committed the school-boy error of looking up at an elderly couple walking towards him…. the elderly man pointed straight at him, brazenly shouting to his wife, ‘Uch that’s a shame Marjory, that yin there, look, he’s rabbiting away to himself, he’s shouting random shite oot loud, he’s goat that roulettes syndrome.’
Cammy shook his head in disgust, but ever the professional, got back to business, ‘The punters are getting real value for their money here, the comeback is complete as the triumvarite take the lead as the big cheque centre……forward cashes in on a slip to make it 3-2.’
Now, Cammy wasn’t sexist in any way. He knew that women’s football had come on leaps and bounds in recent years but even he was surprised when the diminutive Sue Ryder sneaked in at the back post volleying home from close range following some charitable defending just before the final whistle to make it 4-2. ‘A classic, we won’t forget this one in a hurry,’ he shouted into his headset.
Exhausted, he took a seat, one by one he rolled his CV’s into a ball throwing them towards a bin providing a running commentary as he did so. When finished, he pulled the slices of bread he’d packed earlier from his Helly Hansen jacket pocket and began to feed the pigeons. ‘Aye that beats those boring nil-nil draws when I’m walking through the posh suburbs or that poncy Finnieston. In they areas there’s mer chance of spotting Robert Carlyle than Robert Biggar.