Beechgrove Garden Festival
(Alec and Dougal potter about with watering cans, trowels, etc. Centre stage, a floral sheet or cloth covers two more figures. Dougal looks up and addresses the audience.)
Dougal: Oh, Hullo!
Alec: (also taking note of audience) Hullo, there!
Dougal: Hullo and welcome tae the Beechgrove Garden Roadshow. And today, Alec and are in… Where the fuck are we, Alec?
Alec: Well, today we’re in a verra big garden indeed, Dougal.
Dougal: Fuckin’ enormous garden, Alec.
Alec: That’s right, Dougal, because today we’re at the Glasgow Garden Festival. And isn’t it miraculous?
Dougal: Aye, aye. Whit’s miraculous, Alec?
Alec: It’s miraculous tae find a Garden Festival in a major industrial centre sicas Glasgow, Dougal?
Dougal: Aye. For example, Alec, vit’s that over there?
Alec: Well, that’s whit we cry a green belt, Dougal. Parkheid. And it’s right next door tae that lovely red, white and blue display, Brigtonus Masonicus, with that provocative wee splash of UDA over in the corner, look.
Dougal: Lovely, but for me Alec, this is where it all began, here at Queen’s Dock in Govan.
Alec: Aye, well you know what they say, Dougal – flowers are a lot prettier than cranes.
Dougal: Aye, and the great thing about flowers, of course, is that they keep coming back, year after year. But once the cranes and the ships and the jobs have gone, they never seem to come back, do they?
Alec: Verra true, but I’ve got a wee surprise for ye here tae cheer us all up.
Dougal: Vit’s that, Alec?
Alec: Well (Alec whips the sheet off the ‘display’, which consists of a yuppy in a bowler hat, with a briefcase and tennis raquet clutched nervously to his person, and a suspicious worker), it’s this wee growth of Bourgie Obnoxicus, right here in Govan.
Alec: Oh, he doesnae look too happy, Dougal, I’m afraid.
Dougal: We’d better get right down tae work here, Alec, it looks like.
Alec: Aye. On ye go then. (Alec explains while Dougal pokes at the plants). Yesee, the thing aboot yer ‘Wee Yuppy’, as we gardeners affectionately cry him, is that they’re a fragile, delicate sort o’ plantie. They’re never completely happy until they’re entirely surrounded by plants exactly like themselves.
Dougal: So, in order for your ‘Wee Yuppy’ tae flourish in a new area like Govan, we’ve got tae get rid of the hardier, not quite so nice ‘Proletarian Skintibus’, or ‘Scum’, as we gardeners call them. So, first of aw, we pull oot aw the weeds (removes his fag), then (watering him from can), we let the waiter seep intae the living areas, and when they call the cooncil tae dry them oot (drags him to far side of stage) we repot them way, way over here in this dry, arid, desert region we gardeners cry Drumchapel.
(Yuppy, now with more room, gets happier, plays tennis, mixes cocktails, etc)
And if he tries tae come back, he’ll find the area has been completely overrun by yer Bourgie Obnoxicus. This is the process known tae us as Barrelling.
Alec: And tae the Districl Council, ihe area has been Lafferlied.
Dougal: Or fucked up complelely.
Alec: So here’s yer new Glasgow. All Ihe Scum chucked oul on tae the Compost Schemes, and lots of pretty flowers and obnoxious yuppies, every where ye look.
Dougal: Remember, Alec, how in ihe old days we had tae wait for ihe scum tae work themsels tae death before we could gel rid of them.
Alec: That’s the wonders of ihe Scottish Development Agency for ye, Dougal. Cos ye know what they say?
Alex & Dougal: GLASGOW’S MILES BETTER…for yer wee yuppies.
(Yuppie whinnies in agreement, and the worker looks on.)
– END –
Performed by Red Heads: Kate Donnely, Libby MacArthur, Peter Mullan, Peter Arnott.
Workers City “The Real Glasgow Stands Up”
Edited By Farquar McLay Clydeside Press