Bam to the Beat of the Drum-published by Speculative Books April 2019


Derek Weir is slouched over the bar of his local, his elbows resting on the 70 shilling beer towel. His 38 inch waist Wranglers are doing their utmost to hold his 42 inch waist in check. The spider-webs of cracked leather on his Adidas Samba are smeared in Cherry Blossom black shoe polish. His plain white cap sleeve style shows off his magnificent tattoo – a member of Dutch royalty hailing from the 17th century sat astride a white horse.

‘Big day the day, Ronnie,’ he says to the barman. ‘Biscuit-arse err there is 18 the day. An yae know wit that means eh?’

Ronnie shakes his head. ‘Aye, it means I’ll be leaving a bucket next tae the table.’

Derek laughs and puffs his chest. ‘Vwewy vwewy proud, as Sir Alex would say,’ he answers as he picks up the first legal pint he’s bought his son, Raymie.

He slams it on the table. ‘Get that doon yir pipe wee man.’ Raising his pint, he wishes his son a Happy Birthday.

Raymie chinks glasses, ‘First a many Da.’

Derek leans forward. ‘So, yae know how significant the day is? Av drilled it intae yae fir years wee man.’

‘Course, Da. Av been buzzing bout it fir years.’

The Weir family are notorious for many things but mostly their obsession with the team from the south side of the city. Derek runs a blog called Weir The People. A well-respected face and voice amongst his fellow fans. His online rants dripping with bile and bias go down a treat with like-minded fans. The Weir clan’s other obsession is bammin people up. Especially each other. When one of the son’s turn 18 an important family tradition kicks in. The son has a six-month window to successfully bam up their da. Triumphant bammification leads to the inclusion to a special club containing only four men. A dozen others have tried and failed. One of the many privileges reserved for the four legends is the annual George Bowie bonkers booze cruise to Amsterdam. Paid for by the dozen who’ve failed. The trip is stuff of legends. They call themselves, The Four Horsemen. Terrorising the young team for the entire weekend. Bammin wee guys up all over the shot.

Derek makes a dent in his pint and slams it down. ‘Everything av taught yae has led to this. Mind the time yIr Uncle Rab an me hid been oot fir a right session oan that cloudy Belgian muck. Easy a dozen pints ae it even though it tasted like a fuckin cough boattle. Mind the next morning Rab made the mistake ae phonin mae, rough as fuck, askin if a fancied gon fir a sauna?’

Raymie looks at his Da like he’s thinking, ‘No again. Many times is the auld dick gonnae tell me this story?’

Derek leans forward, a big daft proud grin on his red coupon. ‘So, a politely decline, tell him am too rough an…’

Raymie butts in, ‘Yae sneaked doon tae the sauna, filled up a Volvic boattle wi yer pish an threw it on the coals wen Uncle Rab wiz in the sauna an locked him in fir five minutes.’

Derek slaps him on the head. ‘Yae might be 18 wee man, but yir no too big tae cop wan ae ma haymakers. Don’t butt in like that again, awrite.’

Raymie rolls his eyes. ‘Aye Da.’

Derek finishes his pint and looks at his boy. ‘Drink that the noo in a wanner. Yir an embarrassment. As if you’re capable ae bammin me up,’ he says, stabbing his thumb against his chest.

Raymie tans the rest of his pint then slams his glass down like his Da. ‘We’ll see bout that Da.’

Raymie has thought about bammin up his Da for years. Something big. Something that’ll totally floor him. He can’t think what, but he knows it’ll need to be special and hit him right where it hurts.

Derek comes back from the bar with two pints and two haufs. He pulls a wee bank bag from his back pocket and places it on the table. ‘Twenty lady godiva’s fir yae tae spend in the titty bar. Joost don’t be actin like a dug eatin peanut butter. And mind it’s a marathon no a sprint.’

Raymie answers with a grin so big it pops a couple of his spots. ‘Legend Da, cheers.’

Derek downs his hauf in one and looks at his son. ‘Last thing al say wee man. Don’t hink cos am yir Da al go easy on yae. Oan the wan haun, ad love yae tae be oan that booze cruise wae The Four Horsemen, but see even mer than that, a don’t want a wee pie like you successfully bammin me up.’

He lifts his pint. ‘May the best man win.’

‘Al buy yae a pint a bitter when a bam yae up big style Da, cos efter am done wi yae, yil be bitter as fuck.’ Raymie’s laugh makes his Da cock his coupon back and raise an eyebrow.


Three months have passed since Raymie’s eighteenth. His Da gave him a belter of a night and he’d just got his first tattoo. Derek grabs his wrist. ‘Wit the fuck dae yae call that? Wits it even say?’

‘It’s Arabic, Da,’ he answers, pulling away quickly.

‘Yir a fuckin half-wit you. You know how skint av been since a got laid aff. And you go an waste yir birthday dough oan that pish. If a cannae get a joab soon al be pawning stuff, dae yi realise that?’

‘Aye, Da. But it wiz ma birthday money an al dae wit a want wae it.’

‘Oot ma sight stupit, I’ve got a blog tae post,’ Derek screams as he tosses a slipper at him.

He picks up his laptop and begins to type…A huv it oan good othority fae a soarse ae mine…How good a soarse? A very good soarse that…


Raymie is lay on his bed going through social media on his mobile. The bedroom door swings open.

‘A don’t fuckin believe this! They’ve stoapped ma benefits. Says av no put enough effort intae findin a new joab an they’ve bin made aware ae ma social media an blog a run which must take a shitload a time tae update every week. Time a shud’ve spent joab-hunting.’

‘Sake Da. That’s bang oot ae order. Absolute scumbags.’

‘Am up shit creek noo, Raymie. Wit am a gony dae?’

Raymie sticks his hand down his shorts, has a quick scratch and a wee adjustment. ‘Well, mind how you were talkin bout pawning sumthin? A was thinkin yid be better aff puntin it oan Gumtree.’

Derek scratches one of his chins. ‘Aye. Aye! Yir right wee man. Al go an have a gander oan there and hink aboot wit a kin punt.’

Raymie puts his mobile down on his bedside cabinet. He shuts his eyes. Half an hour later his Da barges into his room and starts shaking him. ‘Raymie. Raymie.’

‘Jeeso Da. Wit is it?’

‘Av set that up oan Gumtree.’ He shoves his laptop in Raymie’s face. ‘See. Right there. Am selling ma drum.’

Raymie jumps up from his bed. ‘Yae canny sell yir drum Da, wit’ll yae dae in July fir the walk?’

‘Uck, you can take err wee man. A can joost go and enjoy the day noo, have a swally and watch you takin err the mantle. It isnae the clubs drum, it’s ma drum, mind a bought it aff that daft teuchter, Forbes…mind the guy, the wan fae that highland piping band.

‘Al put the feelers oot nearer the time aboot getting yae yer ane drum.’

‘Pure sad day Da, huvin tae sell yir drum.’

‘Aye, needs must. Desperate measures fir desperate times. A need to get this punted and pronto. Then, I’ll need tae get the benefits soarted.’

Raymie looks at his Da as he turns to leave the bedroom and shakes his head.


Father and son are in the living room watching the Royal Wedding. Derek has put on a sorry looking little buffet. Raymie turns to his Da. ‘Wee Harry’s the kind a guy yae could go fir a pint wi, eh Da?’

‘Aye, spot-on son. Dead doon tae earth. A credit tae his maw.’

Derek grabs a cocktail sausage. ‘When’s this American twat gonnae shut it. He’s tryin tae steal the show.’

His mobile phone rings. He lifts it from the armrest and stares at it like he doesn’t recognise the number. ‘Hello?…Hello?’

‘We are the billy boys,’ Raymie chips in.

‘Aye, av still got the drum pal.’ He gives Raymie a big thumbs-up.

He listens intently, then says, ‘Zat right….aye….aye….Only hing a know bout art is he had a curly barnet and he was tight wae that wee Paul Simon.’ He looks at Raymie and starts battering his fist off his forehead in a derogatory manner. ‘Na, don’t know where that is pal.’

Raymie whispers, ‘Where don’t yae know?’

Derek waves aggressively, warning him to back off. ‘Naw, course a want tae sell it pal. It’s joost am watchin the wedding the noo….Suppose so….Awrite. Haud oan a minute. Here Raymie, stick this in yer moby.’  He rolls his eyes at his son, ‘On yae go pal…Arty McFly…’

‘Cool name,’ Raymie says with a laugh.

’52 Candleriggs. Right…aye, al be there in an hour.’ He puts his mobile on the table.

‘Everything awrite, Da?’ Raymie asks.

‘Aye, joost sum dick wantin tae buy the drum. Wisnae takin naw fir an answer. Needs it the day. Poncey dick says he’s needin a drum for a paintin he’s daen. Cannae believe am gony miss the wedding.’

‘Al come wae yae Da,’ Raymie says, rising to his feet.

‘Naw. Naw,’ Derek presses down on his son’s shoulder pushing him back onto the settee. You watch the wedding an tell me aw bout it wen a get back.’

‘Only if yir sure, Da.’

Derek grabs the house keys from the glass coffee table. ‘See yae soon, wee man.’


An hour later, Derek returns. Sloping back into the living room, he slumps himself onto the settee. Raymie is sitting on his laptop. ‘How’d you get oan Da?’

‘Fine. How wiz the wedding?’

‘Aye, good.’

Derek places his mobile on the armrest. He lets out a big sigh. ‘Gonnae stop typing so fast and rattling the keys oan that, yil break it,’ he snaps. He frowns at his mobile. It sounds like the end of Space Invaders when they start going tonto. He snatches it from the armrest. Keys in his number to unlock it. ‘Fucccccckkkkkkkkk. Nawwwwwww.’

‘Sup Da?’

Derek doesn’t take his eyes off the mobile. He covers his eyes with his left-hand.

‘Wit is it Da? Tell mae.’

Derek drops his hand and looks at Raymie. ‘Av done sumthin stupit. Went intae the rang place at the rang time. It wiz aw flowers an clouds an that kinda pish wen a went in. The guy clocks the drum an tells mae the guy I’m looking fir is doon thru the back ae the gallery. Am fucked. Done fir. This cannae be happenin. Check the blog page.’

Raymie pretends to press a few keys but the blog page is already on his laptop screen. A crystal-clear picture of a bewildered looking Derek in Arty McFly’s, his drum on the floor between him and his ‘buyer’ who’s wearing a Republic of Ireland top. The two of them locked in a hand-shake. Surrounding them are portraits of all the greats Derek and his mates despise. Larsson. Broony. Lennon. Brother Walfrid. Stein. Wee Jinky.


Raymie hits a button on the keyboard then looks at his Da. ‘Ooft. It’s worse noo, Da.’

Derek looks at his mobile. A photo of Raymie showing his tattoo pops up. A chuffed looking Raymie is giving it the big thumbs-up. The tattoo says, Lak Yawm Ya Zalem-Your Day Will Come.

Under the picture it reads: Today’s special guest on the Weir The People blog was Raymie Weir. Raymie would like to offer his thanks to his Art & Photography student pal from college, Sean Fitzpatrick for making the call and taking the above photo of the auld pie.


AmsterBAM here a come!!!