Talking Point, with Ron Harris

Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison
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Find out our chief reporter, Ron Harris, is riled up about this week.

THIS could be the very last column ah write for the dear auld Gazzy, given ah’m aboot tae tempt fate BIG time this week.

As is mah Good Lady Editor’s wont, ah amble Carluke-ward wance a week tae spend the paper’s deadline day at oor sumptuous heidquarters, drinking their coffee, nicking their copy o’ The Scotsman, footerin’ aboot and generally annoying everywan.

Weel, last week ah couldnae help but notice that, despite me being the auldest crew member oan deck by a lang shot, the rest o’ them were all suffering frae some dreaded lurghi or another. Honestly, it was like being in the Casualty Department o’ Wishay General the day an Orange Walk strayed intae Carfin.

A reflected oan the injustice o’ all this, me being the only hale and hearty wan after 40 years o’ living on fags, cauld pies and mah nerves.

Y’see ah reckon mah comrades are all leading far too sensible lifestyles for their ain good and should follow mah example o’ ignoring every bit o’ health advice going.

Example: oan Manic Monday, when the pressure’s really oan, ah tend tae supplement mah usual diet o’ health foods like cuppasoups, pot noodles and bridies wae sweetieshop-fu’s o’ family-size chocolate bars.

Now, ah ken there are mony folk worried about hazardous waste being fed intae yon Dovesdale Incinerator but, if they had a keek at the contents o’ mah innards come aboot eight o’ clock on a Monday nicht, they’d have kittens.

Ah was actually getting a bit worried aboot this weekly choco-bingeing when, stone me, did the scientists no’ come oot wae a report claiming that fellas who hit the Cadbury’s hard at least wance a week cut doon their chances o’ a stroke by aboot 17 per cent!

Mind you, in mah job, health-wise you need tae take ony edge you can get, the casualty rate amang us newspaper hacks being higher than a tightrope-walking troupe in an earthquake zone.

Ah weel mind 20 years back when yon auld twister Robert Maxwell had it awa’ wae the pension fund o’ his press empire.

Ah was doing weekly shifts in Glescae for wan o’ his papers and went hither that night, thinking ah would find his staff considering following his example by chuckin’ themselves intae the Clyde.

Not a bit o’ it!

Oan arrival at the press’s traditional howf, The Copy Cat, there was a party in full swing as Maxwell’s employees appeared tae be coping wae the grief o’ his loss very weel indeed.

Ah asked mah Sunday Mail mentor and fellow Lanarkian Scotty why naebody seemed worried aboot their retirement fund disappearing doon the Suwanee and he replied: “Ron; in oor trade, who ever MAKES it tae retirement tae collect their pension?”

Weel, happily, he did and perhaps a hunner years from today ah’ll be in some Lanark nursing hame wae a cub reporter bawling doon mah wan functioning lug: “Mr Harris, it’s your 156th birthday today. What’s the secret of your long life?”

Ah’ll wink at the young eedjit and reply: “Ask yon bonny wee nurse ower there tae bring me another dram and a fag and ah’ll tell ye, sonny.”