Media, Scottish Football

The ‘No News’ Day

Good Evening.

In an almost-deserted run-down Glasgow pub this afternoon, two Scottish football journalists sat across a table from each other, nursing pints of ‘lager top’…


[*A long silence is underway. The barman polishes the dusty bottles of Babycham and listens to his beard grow*]

Journo 1: [*sighs*]

Journo 2: “What’s wrong?”

Journo 1: “Nothing really.”

[*Another protracted silence. The barman scrapes decades-old peanut fragments from under his nicotine-stained nails*]

Journo 2: [*sighs*]

Journo 1: “You just sighed too. What’s wrong?”

Journo 2: “Nothing, I’m fine.”

[*Both journos sip their pints and eat half a Quaver]

Journo 1: [*sigh*]

Journo 2: [*sigh*] [*Drums fingers on table*]

Journo 1: “OK then. I’ll admit it. I’m bored. No offence mate, but I’m just bored with work. Nothing’s happening of late. It’s all dull.”

Journo 2: “I’m the same mate. It’s really tedious.”

Journo 1: “Tedious. Aye that’s the word for it”.

Journo 2: “Tedious.”

[*Both journos sigh*]

[*A long pause. The landlord removes wax-coated cashew nut debris from his left ear while he looks at his mobile phone*]

[*Both journos sigh again*]

[*The landlord frowns at his phone and then suddenly becomes animated. He calls out to the journos*]

Landlord: “Lads! Lads! You’ve got to see this it’s amazing!”

[*The two journos stare into their pints. One of them reaches for another Quaver, but then decides against it.]

[*The landlord comes rushing over*]

Landlord: “Lads! Lads! This is fantastic stuff. You’ll want to see this straight away…”

[*Landlord thrusts his mobile phone in front of them*]

Landlord: “Look! The Offshore Game has published some really tasty allegations about the SFA. This is right up your street!”

[*The two journos stare into their pints. Journo 1 clears his throat and then sighs.*]

Journo 1: “Are we staying here for another pint, mate or shall we pop down to the Spineless Weasel for the next one? It’s dead in here”.

Journo 2: “We should probably move on. We might pick up some gossip that we can turn into an article.”

Journo 1: “Aye. They’ve got a fax machine there too. We might get fresh orders from you-know-who.”

Landlord: [*Annoyed*] “But there’s a story right here. Look! I am waving it in front of your faces!”

[*The two journos sip their pints. And stare silently into the distance*]

Landlord: [*Angry*] “I’m telling you lads, I’d love to read more about this. You are on to a winner here! Who doesn’t want to read about a potential football scandal?”

Journo 2: “Shall we go?”

Journo 1: “Aye. It’s getting a bit oppressive in here.”

Landlord: [*Exasperated*] “Have it your own way. But at least stay for the entertainment I’ve got lined up”

Journo 2: [*Finally acknowledging the landlord*] “Entertainment? Well I suppose we could do with SOME excitement on a boring day.”

Landlord: “Good. It’s the dancing girls first.”

[*Music starts up and a troupe of Tiller Girls appears on the pub’s tiny stage. Each one is carrying a big piece of card*]

[*The girls begin their routine and turn the cards around to spell out the words ‘Offshore Game’*]

Journo 1: [*Tutting*] “This is rubbish. Let’s go.”

Journo 2: [*Gulping down the last of his pint*] “Yep, let’s get out of here…”

[*The journos run out of the pub. In their haste they trip on the pavement and are almost run over by a lorry with the words ‘Offshore Game’ emblazoned on the front*]

Journo 1: “Phew that was close!”

Journo 2: “Aye! The lorry nearly got us as well…”

[*The pair walk down the street, past an advertising hoarding containing the words ‘Offshore Game’, trying not to bump into a street full of shoppers all wearing t-shirts carrying the slogan ‘Offshore Game’*]

Journo 1: “There’s some weird folk about today.”

Journo 2: “There are. Obsessed the lot of them.”

[*Hearing a buzz overhead, the journos look up and see six biplanes flying in formation and all pulling banners which say ‘Offshore Game’*]

[*Distracted and grumbling, the pair fail to spot the hot air balloon which crashes on to the street, knocking them over in the process. As they clamber up, they see the words ‘Offshore Game’ towering above them on the side of the balloon, and then they spot the pilot who is wearing an ‘Offshore Game’ fleece.*]

Journo 1: “Watch where you’re going pal. Don’t you know who we are? There’ll be no football news in your paper tomorrow if you aren’t careful”.

Journo 2: “Leave it mate, he won’t understand how the media works. Let’s get that next pint.”

[*The pair enter the Spineless Weasel and head straight for the bar. They frown*]

Journo 1: [*Addressing the landlord and pointing to the hand pumps*] “What the hell is that?

Landlord: “We’ve got a new range of drinks on. We’ve ‘Offshore Game’ beer, ‘Offshore Game’ lager, and we’ve got a whole load of different ‘Offshore Game’ spirits. What do you fancy?”

Journo 2: “Two glasses of tap water please.”

Landlord: “Suit yourselves. Would you like to try our new crisps? We’ve got ‘Offshore…’”

Journo 1: [*Forcefully*] “JUST THE WATER, PLEASE.”

Landlord: “Fine. Coming right up”.

[*The landlord serves the drinks, and the journos sit down*]

Journo 2: [*Sighs*] “What a dull day… And I STILL don’t know what I am going to write for tomorrow’s paper. I thought a couple of drinks and a change of scene from the office might get the creative juices flowing.”

Journo 1: “I’m the same, mate. Not got a clue what to write. Nothing interesting has happened at all. It’s the worst kind of no-news day.”

Journo 2: “I suppose we could run some pish about an amazing nonentity being linked with a move to Ibrox?”

Journo 1: “Genius! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Journo 2: “Well it wasn’t your turn. You thought of it yesterday, and you are down to think of it tomorrow.”

Journo 1: “Yes of course! At last the day is looking up! We have some real news to thrill our readers!”

Journo 2: [*Raising glass*] “Yes indeed! Cheers!”

[*Somewhere in the distance, the few remaining readers shed a tear for the death of Scottish sports journalism*]


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