the death of Ian Betty

Funeral today. If history lived it wasn’t with Ian Betty. I don’t know if I’ll go. He was the broccoli of the human race; people said they liked him. A heart attack. He lives on in Facebook, which is worse than death. Shame not in the death, but the fact they’ve got to sell football cards in the pub to pay for the £500 deposit so that the funeral parlour will take him. They can be a bit sniffy. With Ian Betty that is understandable. He’d red hair, which is never a good start in life and one eye. Well actually he’d two, but one didn’t work so that he’d cock his head when he looked at you like a cockatoo. I can remember his partner Maggie Fyfe wandering up and into my house. I can still hear her clumping up the stairs. ‘What the fuck you do’ing in my house Maggie?’ I asked her. She couldn’t answer, thought it was her own. I guided her down the stair opened the door and released her elbow and like a little bird wearing Doc Martin boots she stumbled away. She’s dead now too of course. I heard Ian Betty had two other birds on the go when he died. Even God will have a bit of trouble believing that. He was a mechanic. Him and Scott were ‘backstreet motors’. They’d fix anything. And if the car rolled off the pavement and got to the end of the street, well you had your money’s worth and what could you expect with these old cars?

If I dived into a pool of myself my younger self would be giggling and snorting and shouting that 51 was ancient and what can you expect? Maybe it’s the cold and swollen hands and rumours of putting anti freeze in buckets so that windows don’t freeze when they’re cleaned, but I’m reminded of Solshenitsyn’s gulags and the old lags telling the young when there sentence was upped from 10 to 25 years that it wasn’t long, it was do-able. It’s a lifetime.