Poinky LX


The Professor’s Sixtieth Birthday Bash Speech

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If I could interrupt the proceedings for just a couple of minutes
If you were fortunate enough to be at Donald McDonald’s ‘Musselburgh Mayhem’ then you’ll have heard this very short introduction before.
My name is Tom Davidson and if you don’t know me, where exactly have you been?
Now, being a West of Scotland man, its normal practice over there to put off telling your friends and heroes how much you like and love them until its too late and, lo and behold, its black tie and sausage roll time.
However this evening, as we’re currently located on the East Coast. I intend to seriously buck that trend.

I’ve known Tom a long, long, long time, since two years B.G. (that’s Before Grace)
It was well over forty five years ago, that I found myself as a pupil, in a Clydebank classroom, sitting next to this rather swarthy character who bragged that he could tell the time of day by the arriving planes on the Glasgow flight-path, immediately above us.
This much touted, and envied, talent mysteriously vanished, almost immediately, as his wrist watch was forcibly removed by some non-believing and bullying cynics.
Similar ‘difficult to believe’ claims about the Viagra like properties of his mother’s home-made soup, however, remain unfounded to this day.

Soon, a common love for the sound of Hammond, Lowrey and even Farfisa organs, with their accompanying drummers playing in berserk time signatures, saw us attending The Morpheus, The Temple of Peace not to mention The Hanging Leg Club and spending all our disposal income on records.
He’s always been sexually naïve for his age, when I’m finished, form an orderly queue and ask him about a woman’s red balloon. For a short while, in the late sixties, almost like an outtake from the yet-to-be-made ‘Gregory’s Girl’, he occasionally had me wear a brassiere over my outer clothes, so he could practice and become adept at the removal of such garments, should he ever get that lucky. I’m glad to say that that no longer happens to me, I believe nowadays that role has been happily taken over by none other than Gary Park.

Then in the very early seventies, with University looming, like King Theodin, in his much beloved Lord of The Rings, he went to sleep, and was actually very boring for several years, only to be brought back to life  by the sound of punk rock in 1976. It was ‘Stranded’ by The Saints if you must know.

When married, he moved to Ayrshire where he briefly acquired the Kenny Rodgers inspired moniker, rather unjustly I thought, The Coward of Kilwinning. This is blatantly a misnomer and quite untrue as this is one very, very brave man.
He has on, not one but, two separate occasions walked the length of Duntocher dressed as a monk (1974 Totally Trappist, 2010 Being a Buddhist). People there are still talking about it to this day.
Back in those early days, you may find this hard to believe now; I was clean shaven and dark haired while Tom dressed almost fashionably.

Obviously never a slave to fashion, I’ve overheard him being described as Arthur Lowe to my Arthur Lee.
I think even Tom, or Captain Corduroy as he’s known amongst a certain section of the Clydebank support, will now concede that his one man, several decades long, effort to popularize Hush Puppies, with matching leather elbow patches, is now certainly dead in the water.
Having said that though, how many of us have played saxophone while wearing a gas mask and on a skateboard?
How many have of us have blacked up, squeezed into our wives best dress and donned a pirates hat?

Only a few weeks ago, in Deepest Yorkshire, Lesley, Grace and I had to endure his unannounced and uninvited impression of Yogi Bear. This involved him wearing absolutely nothing but a knitted tie and a small, soft hat.
The use of the two words small and soft were used quite deliberately and subliminally in that last sentence.
Throughout the years he’s been a Company director, a Professor, a Senior Fellow even, a Seed funder for Brew Dog, an unpaid PR officer for Caol Breuch and a test pilot to the Jambalaya Marketing Board…… but most importantly he’s my pal.
I love him like a brother; we’re not so much Blood Brothers, more Beer Brothers, with an almost unhealthy obsession with all things Ale.
Most folk will either enjoy a beer or dislike a beer. However this is a man who argues with his wife about the correct equation for calculating the increasing surface area of a beer bubble as it travels up towards the top of the glass.
I still have that particular napkin from Spain 2007.
I share more private jokes with him than anybody else on the planet.
He is not my best friend!
No, as that would then exclude others, many of them here this evening, equally deserving of that title.
But at the same time there is certainly none any better!!!

And finally, as we’re in Aberdeen there is a high probability that there will be a spy from The House of Dornan among us. I will remind them, then, of our personal Davidson family motto

Numquam Donec cum amici mei, quia tu es, qui venabuntur descendite quia capitalist adparitor! Iam pridem memoria, et ne canes dormientes mendacium.
Ipsius enim sumus Davidsons!

Anyone who as a child has ever been propositioned by a priest will obviously understand Latin, but for the rest of you that translates as;

Never mess with our friends, for we shall eventually hunt you down for the capitalist lackey that you are! We have long memories and unlike others do not let sleeping dogs lie.
For we are Circus Davidson!

Now as we approach midnight, and his 60th birthday, I’d like everyone to point their glass, their swords and their erectile tissues towards the man in question and toast the man in question……………

Tom Baxter


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