PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE
Remember the Orange Lodge’s cartoon superhero character from NTV 160? Oh come on, you must do. He had his orange hair gelled into a fey wee quiff at the front, polished and capped teeth (yes, he appeared to have a full set of teeth) and he wore a purple cape and an orange lycra body stocking? Alright, he didn’t have a can of cheap lager in his hand and didn’t seem to be a smoker, but he was the Lodge’s latest attempt to rebrand its image. Don’t know how effective it has been, but unless my eyes (and ears) are deceiving me, it looks like numbers are down on the colourful parades this summer.
Their latest brianstorm to get the lost brethren back into the fold is to extend the annual bigotfest so that it lasts a week. According to the Grand High Ferret, it could end up like Glasgow’s West End Mardi Gras thing or the Edinburgh Festival.
What genius! How can it not catch on as a major tourist atrraction? There must be countless millions of people on the continent and further afield who would happily flick through their brochure extolling the scenic virtues of Larkhall before jumping up and excaliming, “Zut Alors Pierre, I can’t wait!! Let’s allez to Glasgow. I’ve heard Les Oranges have a great week planned. Er... don’t pack anything green!”
According to Strathclyde’s finest, the tally sheet at the end of this year’s festivities was along the lines of:
Glasgow City Centre 35 arrests:
Larkhall there were 23 arrests:
On second thoughts, with all that pissing going on, perhaps the OO might consider offering water skiing and DIY flumes as part of the entertainment.
As if all this wasn’t bad enough for the Lodge’s image, over in Belfast this summer there was outrage among the bowler hats and crympelene suits when leading gay rights activist Peter Tatchell strode into town claiming there is evidence William of Orange was a player of the pink flute. Mr Tatchell said: “It is particularly hypocritical for unionist politicians to play the homophobic card when their hero, William of Orange, had male lovers.”
Anxious to keep the peace, might we respectfully suggest that in order to appease Mr. Tatchell, while at the same time maintaining traditions, the same songs could be sung with slightly amended lyrics. “Hullo Hullo Sailor” perhaps, or “The Blouse My Father Wore”.
Anyone wishing to try a more exotic July 12th experience would have been interested in an article which appeared in the Sunday Mail at the end of July. In another excellent example of journalistic schizophrenia, the story was headlined “Istanbilly boys”. It featured an Istanbul bar, called the Ibrox Bar, that is dedicated to the mighty Huns FC and is described as “the ultimate marching season holiday” (march all the way there and you probably deserve a holiday).
The accompanying picture shows four men dressed in a mixture of red, white and blue tops and camouflage trousers (although the piece does point out that “they strut their stuff in a manner which is more Village People than We Are The People”).
What’s odd about this story is that the first half of it is fairly positive, but the remainder is outraged that this kind of thing is going on. We are then treated to some quotes from two guys who met up with friends there last week, Carl and Craig. They certainly don’t approve: “The place just made my skin crawl” said Carl. “It was horrible” added Craig “you can’t miss the waiters in combats, berets and shades marching up and down.”
The owner “who claims to have spent £10,000 on an executive box at Ibrox” was asked about sectarian singing in the bar (the headline to this article might provide a clue as to what song they were singing) but his response was straight from the Dave Minty/Martin Bain song sheet: “Well it did happen when I wasn’t here but I’ll never let it happen again”, before adding “I know the history, I’ve followed Rangers for 23 years”.
Rangers, for their part simply said “We are investigating the matter”. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that investigation to conclude, they still to report on the singing at the San Siro in 2005.
Do you think the Lodge’s image problem might also extend to Rangers? The reason I’m asking is that it seems they have become persona non grata after Manchester. For example we heard that Dougie Freedman’s testimonial was this summer and the team he was due to play were Rangers. Rumour has it that after the Manchester riot the English Feds have refused to police any “friendly” Rangers game in England in the near future and have even said they would consider not attending Champions League games if they were involved in it down there.
Ah Manchester... so much to answer for, as Stephen Patrick Morrissey once remarked. You would think that perhaps they might want to draw a discrete veil over that whole ghastly episode over at the Death Star. But no, they actually brought out a video commemorating the UEFA Cup final.
No, I’m not talking about this one:
“Guaranteed sleep or your money back”. That’s obviously a spoof.
I’m talking about this one:
Now, at this point, although I do suffer from insomnia occasionally, I will confess that I haven’t watched it. I was, however, intrigued to read the reviews of it on the Amazon website. For example: “A great show, congratulations to all of Scottish football for making this possible. The SPL for extending the league, the various teams for allowing games to be postponed, the SFA for allowing the Rangers players to avoid playing for the national team when it suited them. And of course Walter and the lads for building up so many hopes and dreams, including mine, only for them to be fulfilled at the end of the season. But the biggest thanks has to go to Manchester for allow the Rangers fans to use their city as a toilet. But then that’s Rangers and their Quintessential British dignity.”
Or: “This had me in stitches,the best comedy since Alan Partridge graced our screens! Particulary enjoyed the closing credits where sad fans couldn’t leave their seats in expectation of being caught on camera as the token “gutted fan”. Oh, how we laughed!”
Or: “I watched this with my sister (who is also my wife) and I am not ashamed to say that tears of pride were rolling down my cheeks from beginning to end. At the end I was moved to sing a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen followed by the Horst Wessel song. For although we were beaten we were not defeated. No surrender!”
Or even: “Previous releases from this studio have been patchy ( “100 Goaless Draws”,”Stars of CCTV-Manchester Edit”)so I approached this latest release with some trepidation. However the climactic final scenes more than made up for the fairly drab preamble. I believe a directors cut is in the offing, with commentary from Wattie and Ally, where Rangers hang on for a draw and are awarded the trophy in lieu of the UEFA “Fair Play(Stabbings Excepted)” award.”
And: “Well God only knows how this game was ever played,as the biggest club in Scotland must have been so exhausted as to even get on the plane to Manchester.But get there they did,and treated us to one of the all time UEFA cup classics.Captured here in all its glory,with legends such as Broadfoot,Darcheville and Alexander in their prime,its a must for any fan of the beautiful game. Although Zenit won the game,with 2 goals which were of the debatable variety,all the plaudits go to Rangers for interrupting a gruelling domestic campaign to actually play this match.In fact, they deserve the trophy for just existing in the first place.”
But the funniest was: “The fact Rangers were competing for so 4 trophies up until the last week of the season is a miracle and testimony to the management skills of Walter Smith. Zenit had a 2 week rest before the Final whilst the Scottish Premier League made Rangers play 4 games in 1 week - destroying their chances of UEFA Cup and league success. Shame on them. Shame on Scottish football.”
Ha ha ha ha ... Hey wait, that last guy was being serious!
Toodloo the noo
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