It was one of those weeks, my planned (read: forced) alternative football free Saturday was cancelled. Even when it was on I was wondering whether or not Plan B should have been put into operation. This cunning plan involved applying for a Hibs v Hearts ticket and sometime during the football free Saturday sneaking off for a few hours down to Easter Road.
It was Saturday morning and I had about the same chance of getting hold of a ticket than an Aberdonian would have seeing his team gets three points. This was despair, the Hibees were up for it, and I would miss their welcome back to reality.
Nothing ventured, I set out round the local Gorgie pubs and of course the other part to that saying was equally true, nothing gained.
"Tickets! They are like Hens teeth", said the old doorman at Mercie Hearts.
If nothing else it gave me something to ponder on the way to Easter Road.
Who would be a rent boy? Here I was standing on the corner at London Road outside the toilets asking for a favour. Even the plukiest aids-ridden bandit on the street would have had a better chance of picking up something that I did.
The plaintiff cry "Any tickets?" became "Big Issue" when heard by the lucky buggers with tickets. No matter, when you are down things always cheer up with the Goldie Brothers accompanied by Fraser the London Hibby, who were having a hoot across the other side of the street. It became clear that despite their encouragement and amusement, the pitch was overcrowded and it was time to move down Easter Road and try.
There's a small world, we met Davie, Gordon and Brian in Easter Road and soon the ticketed mob had to go and leave me with their best wishes. Things were desperate; my pitch was invaded by drunken fish supper-carrying ticket less Jambos who had tried every boozer in Edinburgh by the looks of things. I got talking to a Jambo who had been trying since 11.30 to get a ticket and he had decided to try the Hibs end as a last resort.
As it was 3.05, my scarf was off and wrapped around my waist. "Oh to Oh to be oh to be a Hibee", I decided to go to the Hibs end and try for a ticket.
I felt that I was wearing a maroon suit with a Fuck the Hibs tattoo on my forehead. No tickets here either. I couldnt believe that I was going to miss this game, so near but oh so far. Then I had a wild idea. Remembering the days of yore in the mid 70s when I sneaked into the main terracing complete with scarf around my wrist and doc martins on
I thought " I wonder..."
I tried the first way in but the sight of two police vans made me back track and go around by the houses across the waste ground from the stadium. Two wee Hibees warned me that the bizzies were over there and if I got in could I come back and let them know. Sure.it was looking like bad news when I saw it, the entrance. Sneaking around the TV vans, I waited until the coast was clear and ran full tilt across the TV Bridge into the only space. I was under the cameras with the Hibs casuals and assorted numpties, the only place where they were standing and I wouldnt be out of place.
What a laugh, I had the most enjoyable time at a game for a long time. After my immediate trepidation was over, I got into the way of things. Yip, I have to admit I was one of the ones that got Fulton booked
"You couldnt pass a pie stand you fat bastard!", was one of the shouts that came from the non-Hibee contingent.
Then the worse moment of the game, Hibs got a penalty. It is quite hard being hugged by some ugly smelly git at the same time shouting bastards! I started to get braver, "Oh Hibs this is pure shite!" and "What a load of crap".
Actually, the worse moment came later in the smelly bogs at the back. My scarf had unbeknown to me, slipped down and when I opened my fly it came out. Fuck! I was trying to stuff it back in without looking like I was shuffling my deck. Something similar happened years ago at a Hibs v Celtic game that I went to when, we decided to go there when the Hearts game had been cancelled.
Except that the crowd on the big terracing caused my scarf to fall out my pocket and it was spotted by a beret-wearing Tim , sporting sunglasses and a bad attitude to Orange bastards. Although me and my mate got away by going down on our hunkers and escaping through the crowd, we were spotted again when going for a pee at half time.
Things improved in the second half though. I moved up to the space between the Cow Shed and the Famous Five stand. Leaning on a barrier enjoying the pain that they were starting to feel, as they became more and more twitchy. I ventured with a
" If we keep playing like this they are going to hammer us"
"They are going to score!"
And they did. Head in hands trying to wipe the grin of my face which was growing every second especially when I looked up and saw pure and utter misery in their faces. Even better I was able to shout with impunity and was not the only one to call into question the ability of this Hibs team.
Full time and I sprinted down the road and up Easter Road. When I got to Checkpoint Charlie half way up Easter Road some Jambo pointed shouted accusingly "here come the Hibees without their scarves
Cue; scarf out from trousers and a laugh from a bemused Jambo.
Fifth Columnist September 1999