Updated: Jan 14
Quote from Wee Malcie …“we f*****g hate the English”.
Once there was Malcolm, who everyone called “Malcie”, then he had a son who he named Malcolm but to differentiate, dad became “Big Malcie” and the son “Wee Malcie”. Apart from his mother and people who like being hit, no one called Wee Malcie, Malcolm
Wee Malcie suffered from tooth decay and when he leaned in close to emphasise his sentiment it was like breathing the odour from a week-old dead hippopotamus. Trying not to gag, I thought … “Why do you (plural) hate the English?” I mean hate is such a strong word and “the English” is such a large and diverse group of people.
Why not say “I dislike some English people?"
Wee Malcie might have replied “After hundreds of years of military subjugation, political repression, and deliberately unfair economic policies, have left the people of Scotland systematically crushed, that is why we hate the evil English oppressor.
Or he could have battered me, which is why the question remained unasked.
No matter how many times I said I was born in Scotland. My whole family was born in Scotland. We could trace our lineage back to the last ice age. I was a direct descendent of Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, and a cousin of Billy Connolly, it didn’t matter. I spoke like I was English ipso facto I was English, and because I wanted to live I didn’t point out that they too spoke English.
I couldn’t wait to grow up. At least adults wouldn’t arbitrarily select one, single, unimportant, aspect of a person’s appearance, then lump all such individuals into one group, would they? I mean, how thick would you have to be, to believe that the more melanin you have the more superior you are?
Fight or flight is a real thing. Fighting was a non-starter, bullies often come in pairs, or more. So, every day I would leave school by a different exit, then walk very fast, and pay no attention to anyone, head down, walk. If it looked like I was being noticed, then pretend to see someone up ahead and run, run fast. Get home as quickly as possible.
One incident changed everything. It all happened in the last ten of a school football game, the score was was 1 - 1, and I was called “off the bench”. A few minutes later a long shot from our top scorer, was half saved by their keeper, he took the sting out of the ball and touched it on to the bar. The ball lazily rebounded in a graceful arc right in front of the goal. My diving header sent it into the net.
The next moment I was underneath the whole ecstatic team, we won the quarter-final of the Schools Glasgow Cup 1 - 2.
After this game, my new name was “English”.