Talking Point with Ron Harris

Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison

Our chief reporter thinks an insane notion could be Simples!

WAE mah addiction tae drink and wummen and tae wummen who drink, bawbees were oft in short supply in mah wild days.

This led tae me seeking ways tae supplement mah income by pretending tae be a part-time telly and film critic for wan o’ Scotland’s big two Sunday newspapers o’ the era, the wan WITHOOT The Broons and Oor Wullie.

Oan mah first shift in Glescae the entertainments editor, a charming man, gets haud o’ me by the lapels and gives me the following full and detailed briefing oan mah duties: “Right, scruff: you can slag aff onything you want EXCEPT God and Sean Connery. And no’ necessarily in that order. Now, awa’ and get oan wae it...”

Now, there is a theory that onywan writing a film review should actually see the movie before daein’ it but ah had tae adopt a different method.

Y’see, mah days, then and noo, are filled wae fun, bringing enlightenment and joy tae every hearth frae The Law tae Leedhills, working for the Gazzy and so it was impossible for me tae attend the swanky press previews o’ all the new films staged in a certain Glescae cinema every Tuesday afternoon.

Thus, ah had whit the suits cry a `diary problem’ withoot a `time envelope’ for mah critical duties and faced wae this dilemma ah tackled it in mah usual fashion by resorting tae strong drink, the Harris Motto being: When the going gets tough, the tough have a fag, a dram and a ponder.

In the confessional o’ a certain wee pub in the Wellgate, a guid pal came up wae a crazy suggestion.

“Why BOTHER seeing the films at a’, Ron? See yon Barry Norman daein’ the weekly film show oan the telly? Weel, ah’ve NEVER liked a movie he raved aboot. He’s mince. Just write the total opposite o’ whit he says aboot a film and you’ll be okay.”

Using highly technical medical jargon, I seriously queried his current state of mental health: “Are you aff your nut? It’ll NEVER work, Barry Norman’s Britain’s biggest film expert!”

Still, through desperation, ah was forced tae try oot his eedjit scheme and, by chance, the first movie ah had tae review was Sean Connery’s mediaeval whodunnit `The Name of the Rose’.

Weel, did Barry Norman no’ put the boot right intae it, cruelly pointing oot that there were gey few 12th century French monks wae a Fountainbridge accent.

Following mah editor’s Golden Rule plus the Lanark Pub Theory, ah gave the flick ten oot o’ ten and, blow me, did the movie no’ turn oot tae be wan o’ Shir Shaun’s finest hours.

Onyway, just last week ah heard anither insane notion at a Lanark Community Cooncil meeting, meant as a joke but, having thought aboot it, ah realise was a stroke o’ genius.

Y’ken how the cooncil won’t build a shelter up at yon wilderness o’ a new `Lanark’ cemetery that’s actually in Ravenstruther? And how the Murray Chapel at the auld cemetery needs rebuilt and is noo redundant onyway `cause yon graveyard’s fu’? Weel, why not take doon the chapel brick by brick and rebuild it oot at the new cemetery?