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666 Great Junction Street

Part 8

'And who are the young couple who live next to Jock?' enquired Seraphema.

'Ah, yes. I'm not quite sure of their names,' pondered Sylvester. 'It could be Jason and Kylie or Liam and Megan or Noel and Zoe. Something like that. They have a delightful taste in music which I'm sure you'll be participating in soon. It has a way of juddering the whole building and exciting the soles of your slippers like a piledriver penetrating a colony of beehives. It can be strangely invigorating at times, but alas, not always so enticing at 3 in the morning. Still, their youngster…'

'Shadney,' remembered Seraphema.

'Yes, peculiar looking creature. Sort of like a cross between a packet of giblets and a bald monkey. I had occasion to peer into its carriage once and was alarmed at its ability to gurn, sneer, scowl and spit simultaneously, whilst sucking on a dummy the size of Oban.'

As they spoke, the very creature was being hurled down Great Junction Street in its Burberry buggy at a rate of not considerable knots. A passing Clint McMurdo leered lovingly at the bottle of White Lightning (Shadney's parents' pacifier of choice) as it shoogled enticingly in the buggy tray. Shadney, disgruntled that her gnarled dummy had not been dipped in the bargain basement cider for at least five minutes, leaned back and spat it out. It shot through the air in a graceful arc of spittle and landed with a thump on Jessie Kelso's scarved head as she relaxed on her favourite bench in Taylor Gardens.

Jessie picked up the dripping bright purple and turquoise plastic carbuncle which had rebounded off her forehead and lodged itself on a recently crafted mound of goo on the chewing gum dappled pavement.

'Ne`er cast a cloot till May be oot,' she said as she hurled the object back in Shadney's direction.

The two parents looked at each other, then at Jessie, then back at each other. 'Is she takin' the pish, Whitney?'

'A dinny ken, Ryan. Pick the bairn's dummy up ya radge.'

They trundled on past Wilkies just as the doors opened and out staggered a dazed, disorientated and disheveled old-timer with a battered paraffin lamp tucked under one arm and a restless looking daschund under the other. This was Michael Cade, the ex children's TV presenter whose old school charm had fallen victim to the garish style of modern kids telly.

Never one to hold a grudge or allow the taste of bitterness to sully his cheesy palette, Michael disregarded the look of disgust on Whitney and Ryan's faces. Spying little Shadney ensconced in her tatty chariot, he was immediately transported back to the piles of home made cards his viewers used to send him adorned with cut-out photos of babies' heads stuck onto painstakingly crayoned cartoon characters.

He loomed over the vacant looking child to utter the immortal words:

'A shee a wah, a shee a wah, a shee a wah.'

'Get aff, y'auld drunk, or yer oan a burst mooth,' snarled Ryan, waiving the legendary purveyor of cheap cartoons aside.


Next week: Sex and Drunks and Easter Road



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