Ding dong skoosh! Ah, the memories. It was a game we played when growing up in the suburbs of Glasgow. It had simple rules. You were given a dare, you had to carry out that dare, more often than not in one of our neighbor’s homes, and once you completed your task, you had to ring their doorbell and run like hell to avoid the tirade that would ultimately follow. One of the favorites was to pull up all of someone’s flowers from their flowerbeds, scatter the remains along the driveway, ring the doorbell and run. Skoosh, another word for GTF, or Get The Fuck, as we say in Scotland. We have acronyms for everything. GTF, being just one of many.
WTF, what the fuck
BFD, big fucking deal
CU Jimmy, an expression to run from. Means you’re about to get a kicking.
Our three-letter abbreviations post dated all this LMAO, and LOL nonsense you get today when texting someone. We were streets ahead of any new technology, and yes, it’s just another thing us Scots invented. Straight to the point no-nonsense 3 letter acronyms. BWM, brilliant wee man!
One sunny afternoon in Thornliebank, and no there are not many sunny afternoons in Thornliebank Glasgow, I can assure you, there we were, bored out of our brains, and raring to go. It was windy, the temperature had reached a balmy 67 degrees, the shorts were on and the sleeves rolled up. This was summer!! There was Steve, Dave, Howie, Aaron, and of course, yours truly, all gathered outside 38 Sherwood Dr. The only question that day was, should we play golf or should we cause havoc in the neighborhood? Being nice boys, well some of us were, others, rebellious, we opted for havoc. It was up to our esteemed leader, Davie, to sort out the competition for that particular afternoon, and boy did he come up with a beauty. Considering he ended up being a cop, I’m surprised his reputation never preceded him.
The deal was simple. We’d play “Let the car tires down” with nails and chewing gum. Simple really, you stuck the nail into the sidewall of the tire on some unsuspecting victim, immediately place chewing gum over the hole, ring the door bell, watch them come wearily to answer, tell them you just saw someone playing with their car,then, as they walked towards the car, see the gum on the wheel, pull it off, notice the puncture as the air gushed from within, then, we would run like fuck until they were out of sight. They couldn’t catch us, and they couldn’t drive to catch us either. By the time they’d put two and two together, we were long gone back to our own part of the city. Priceless fun! And the stupid thing is, it worked again and again, until this one afternoon, when things got out of control and during this stint as our fair haired daredevil Stevie was running for his life down a stranger’s road after performing his ‘delightful task’. With all of us watching from a distance, the guy runs into his garage, gets on his bike and gives chase! There was no car available, but there WAS a bike, which was no match for our ‘hero’. After catching Stevie within about a half mile of the incident, he grabbed our pal by the collar and beat 7 bells of shit out of him. We were too far in the opposite direction to make a difference, and obviously unable to back him up. Before we knew it, it was over, with our buddy on the ground, his pursuer, out of breath and on the ground, and the rear left wheel of the guy’s car, deflated and also flat on the ground. Ah, the fun of the chase! In those days, getting a ‘doing’ wasn’t like it is today. It was a hefty beating, but without limb or internal damage. It took us about twenty minutes to make sure that man was back in his home before attempting to rescue Stevie, and when we did eventually get to him, he was fine, other than a bloody lip, so we gathered up our dignity and headed back on the number 38 bus towards Thornliebank, where we would piss ourselves laughing for hours at our courage and the indignity we had inflicted upon our poor victims.
The point of this story is as follows. There was no, or indeed little respect for other people’s property in the 70’s and today, there is even less. The issue today is that the property we have is far more technical and expensive than it was in those days, but disrespect is disrespect no matter what. If you steal an iPhone today, it’s just as criminal as stealing a hub cap from a car back then. If you puncture a tire today, it’s just as bad as doing it back then. So why are we, those of us old enough to remember, frantically trying to prove to ourselves that the youth of today is far worse that the youth of our era? The answer is simple. It just is! Respect is at an all time low. No matter who you are or what you do, your respect levels have diminished considerably. Just look around you. How many people do you meet on the street that actually say good morning? How many just walk right on by without the utterance of a single word or even a smile? How often do your kids say they want the latest greatest newest device on the market? Often! And, it’s always ‘I need this or I need that’ No respect. No respect for what you have, how you’ve earned it and how you are trying to teach them to be grateful for everything they have. Yes, we might have had a mischievous side to our character while we grew up back in the day, but there was more respect for sure. We were humble, and yet proud, not braggers and certainly not ashamed of what we had. Today it’s 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Show me a kid who appreciates what he/she has in life, and I will show you a great parent.
Ding Dong Skoosh, it was always a challenge, but no more so than dogging bullets on the streets today. The only difference? Today you’d be shot!