When Las Ramblas Spoke Geordie Scene 6

Scene 6
{ Magpie Restaurant, St James Park. }

( Sound of knives and forks on plates and glasses clinking. )

Stat : So I’ll book the hotel and Trotsky will deal with the tickets. We’ll catch a flight the day before the match.
Stevie : Try to keep the costs down Stat we’re not all made of money.
Stat : I’ll do my best.
Iddy : This is a bit different to when we used to scran a pie and cup of bovril on the Leazes End, isn’t it ? How do you manage to scoff all this down at half time ? You must miss loads of the second half.
Stat : They don´t serve meals during the match. If you must know they give sandwiches to Platinum Club members.
Stevie : Cucumber?
Stat : Whatever we want.
Iddy : Nah, I’ve never wanted a royal box to meself. I like to be where the action is.
Stat : You mean fighting?
Iddy : Nah, y’knaa the singing, the jumping up and doon when we score, the crack with the lads.
Stat : The Taylor Report just passed you by didn’t it ?
Stevie : Standing’s not dangerous.
Iddy : It is if you stand on your seat.
Stevie : Iddy, did you know that some of the boxes are soundproofed?
Iddy : You’re joking!
Stat : Yes, it’s true. The hospitality guests don’t like bad language.
Iddy : They shouldn’t fucking swear then.
Stat : It’s not them. It’s the crowd.
Iddy : But they are the crowd, aren’t they ?
Stat : No they´re not. They’ve come to be entertained. They’re customers.
Iddy : Ah yeah. We’ve got the same problem on the railways. They’ve tarted the trains up, put us in poncy uniforms and hats and told us to say yes sir no madam to THE CUSTOMERS. To me they’re still bloody passengers.
Stat : Things have moved on. Soccer is part of the entertainment business now. It’s like when you buy a ticket for the theatre.
Stevie : He’s never been to the theatre.
Stat : Let me finish. When you go to the theatre you get a good seat, clean and modern facilities and you don’t expect anyone to hurl abuse at the actors.
Iddy : Yeah, but the actors don’t usually play shite do they ?
Stat : You two are living in the past.
Stevie : No we’re not, we just can’t afford the present. The past was cheaper. Do you really think football is better now?
Stat : 100% better. Attendances are 20% up. There´s been a 1,000% increase in profits in the last 5 years. Newcastle sold 500,000 tops last year. You can´t argue with the figures.
Stevie : I’m not talking about that. What about the atmosphere? The passion? The pride?
Stat : As Sir John says, Newcastle´s success is attracting business to Tyneside, it has a knock on effect.
Stevie : The pits? The Shipyards?
Stat : You don’t understand. The future is leisure and retail. Look at me. We started with one sport’s shop in the Metro Centre. We’ve got five now. I reckon we have sold 70% of the tops in Newcastle. We can’t lose. There are plans to produce special edition tops for the League and FA Cups and of course special limited editions for Europe. The punters can’t get enough, business is booming. I have a lot to thank Sir John and NUFC Plc for.
Iddy : I hope you’ll be bringing tops for the lads to wear in Barcelona then.
Stat : Er, I’ll see if I can sort out a discount or something.
Stevie : You what? Do you not think you’ve had enough money off me?
Stat : What do you mean?
Stevie : We had to fork out over 50 quid this Christmas on a new strip for the lad. Wor lass worked overtime in the Metro Centre to pay for it. You can stuff your bloody discount. You’re not getting another penny off me.
Stat : I think we should pay up and go. 15 quid each should cover it.
Iddy : I thought it was your treat?
Stat : You wouldn’t want me to insult you by paying for you would you?
Iddy : Nah really Stat you can insult me anytime you want.
Stevie : Here tek it.
Stat : I’ll get the bill.

Stevie : He never changes does he?
Iddy : Yeah, he’s the only guy I know who throws his money around at himself.
Stat : That’s probably why he’s well off and we’re skint.
Iddy : Listen if this Barcelona trip is too expensive for you I can lend you something if you want.
Stevie : Thanks mate. I’ll manage. I’m due a big cheque soon.
Iddy : Hey, look at that big gadgee on the door.
Stevie : Aye? He’s a big bastard alright. But who is he?
Iddy : (sings.) Remember Nottingham Forest! Remember Nottingham Forest!
Stevie : Yeah. Bryan Clough. Two European Cups. Stuart Pearce. Too good to go down. What else?
Iddy : Nah man. FA Cup ‘74. three one down. Pat Howard unjustly sent off. Pitch invasion. Fightback with ten men. Four three to us. Fucking brilliant.
Stevie : It’s not is it?
Iddy : It is. Big Tommy who led the pitch invasion from the Leazes end.
Big Tommy : I’m sorry lads but I’ll have to ask you to leave. The management don’t allow singing at St James during the week. There are a lot of people here who are not football fans.
Stevie : And on match days?
Big Tommy : Only in the cheaper seats and the away end.
Iddy : It’s Big Tommy isn’t?
Big Tommy : Me name’s Tommy yeah, so what?
Iddy : (singing quietly.) Remember Nottingham Forest?
Big Tommy : Christ. Keep it down mate, you’ll get me sacked.
Iddy : You were my hero Tommy. You changed football history and got us to Wembley.
Big Tommy : Aye it was a long time ago. Y’knaa Cloughie said that the Forest players were so shit scared after the pitch invasion they didn’t dare win. I like to think I played my part.
Stevie : Pity you didn’t do the same in the final.
Big Tommy : I was banned from going.
Iddy : I always wondered why we lost. Hey Tommy, let us see the pitch, go on mate. We can invade it for old times sake.
Big Tommy : I’m supposed to keep people off the pitch. It’s more than me job’s worth.
Iddy : Go on man, please.
Big Tommy : No.
Big Tommy : Sssh! Come on then. Five minutes.

( Restaurant sounds end. Silence. Then sound of footsteps and plastic seat backs springing up.)

Big Tommy : Leave the seats alone, will you?
Stevie : Behave Iddy. I haven’t set foot in here since we nearly went down to the third.
Big Tommy : Lost interest?
Stevie : No me job when the yards shut.
Big Tommy : Sorry mate.
Stevie : I’ve spent the last five years in the pub watching Newcastle. It’s not the same as being there though. Are you one of the lucky few?
Big Tommy : What! On these wages? No, working here I sometimes see some of the players and Kenny. That’s enough for me. I still feel I´m part of it all though.
Iddy : Look this used to be the Paddock . We saw our first match here. Who was it against?
Stevie : Can’t remember. Stat will though. He always remembers.
Iddy : And that’s the Leazes End over there. (Singing.) It’s in the Leazes End, where Geordies never end, and all the Sunderland fans lie dead at your feet.
Iddy, Stevie & Big Tommy : La la la la la la la la la la
Iddy : (In Motsonesque voice.) And Newcastle are three one down to Notts Forest. My word! Pat Howard has unbelievably been sent off. The crowd are furious and quite rightly so. But what’s this? Big Tommy from Wallsend has jumped over the wall and yes, he’s on the pitch followed by Long Benton Boot Boys. Big Tommy is running towards the centre circle and his fat belly has flopped out for all to see. Incredible!
( Silence followed by restaurant sounds.)

Stat : Where have you two been?
Iddy : Invading the pitch.
Stat : I hope you get banned for life.
Stevie : Don’t worry we already have been.
Iddy : Are we pissing off then?
Stat : Yes, things to do. Shirts to sell.
Stevie : Money to count.
Iddy : See you Tommy and thanks a lot. Make sure you keep the hooligans off the pitch.
Big Tommy : I will. See y’s lads.



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