JOHN BUCHANAN EARLIER TOLD US HIS THE CARPET STORY. IN HIS SECOND CELTIC STORY HE TELLS US ABOUT THE DAY HE TOPPLED A DESPOTIC AREA MANAGER…
Sunday 27th August 2000. A beautiful day, one that will live long in the memory of Celtic fans everywhere. There are thousands who can claim with pride that “I was there”, a real JFK moment, as there will be many others who can recall where they were and what they were doing on the day of the Demolition Derby. Sadly for me, I wasn’t there, but I do remember exactly what I was doing.
Back in August of 2000, I had the misfortune of having a supervisory role in a supermarket located approximately 2 miles due north of the middle of nowhere. It was one of those odd and rather remote places where most people look worryingly similar to each other and despite the fact this place had about 2000 residents, there were only about 4 or 5 different surnames. The average I.Q. level surged dramatically when I arrived there.
I had considered pretending to be unwell that Sunday, but I was the key holder to the supermarket. I had no choice but to reluctantly go in to work. Bah humbug. I did, however, bring a radio with me so I would at least hear the game. At 9am the troops rolled up, and I had a special pep talk lined up for them. Under no circumstances was anyone to buzz me, or interrupt me in any way, after 12.45. I also possibly mentioned that if the place caught fire, they were to call the fire brigade and not me. Thankfully they followed my instructions to the letter.
Too well as it turned out.
The kick-off arrived, and we can all remember what happened next. A mere ten minutes in, and Paul Lambert had struck Celtic’s third goal. 3-0 after just ten minutes! Well that was just too much for me and I could no longer hide my glee, I jumped out of my chair, ran at full speed out of the office, through the warehouse and spectacularly hurdled over a large pallet of vegetables while whooping very loudly.
What happened next caught me by surprise. From nowhere suddenly there appeared a person. Now I’m not sure how he did it, but it’s as though he popped out of nowhere and just magically appeared, like the shopkeeper in the old Mr Benn cartoon. My momentum could not be stopped and we collided. I still remember he had enough time to look startled, and I’m sure I would have had a similar expression. I’m not a very well built person (in fact if I wore a hat and was in silhouette, I could easily be mistaken for a rake) and the person I ran into was shall we say, less rake-like, but he toppled like a tree in the forest with a large “OOOFF” noise. I can’t mention names to protect the innocent, however this fellow was guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (and was generally a bit of a twit).
It was my area manager… oh dear.
Visions of instant dismissal and workplace malpractice flashed through my mind as I helped him off the dusty warehouse floor “Umm very sorry about that.” I said, hoping I sounded convincing enough, “I was ahh umm just having my break…what are you doing here?” He was looking a bit flustered and slightly purple, but he didn’t fire me on the spot. He harrumphed and said “How’s the game going?” as we walked to the office I informed him of the score with some glee.
“THREE NIL??? GAHHHH!” he exclaimed, now a noticeably deeper shade of purple. For the sake of my wages I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and changed the subject. Thankfully he decided not to stay and left about 20 minutes later, and I settled back comfortably into my office chair to enjoy the rest of the show. And we all lived happily ever after.