Although it must’ve been around 1997 when it “happened”, I recently related the below occurence to my new work mates prompting me to re-post it here…
One time I had a run in with Glen Michael of Sunday morning television Cartoon Cavalcade.
He was in Tesco in Ayr buying Gin, and I can tell you, a few precious childhood ideals were shattered that day.
Glen was clearly the worse for drink that day and the management of the shop obviously didn’t want their wholesome family image shattered by this roaring drunkard, but due to his minor celebrity status were unwilling to create a fuss. Anyway, all was peachy, if smelling slightly of wee, until I asked Glen where Rusty, whom you may recall was his sidekick along with Paladdin the Lamp and (irritatingly) Totty the Robot*. At this point Glen, in his unshaven state started to wail uncontrollably. In between his sobs you could, if you listened closely, hear him mutter ‘I’m so sorry…’
The store were clearly embarrassed by this and sought to remove him from the premises and dispatched the 7 foot man-mountain security guard Scott Blacklock, to escort him from the store.
Suffice to say that Glen didn’t take to kindly to this and threw a tantrum in the Wines and Spirits aisle.
With screams of “You can’t do this to me. I’m a celebrity! I WANT MY GIN!!!” he anchored himself to a nearby checkout and refused to be budged.
Scott, who was only doing his job, kindly asked him to leave, and a strange, I might say dangerous, glint appeared in Glens eyes. “Do you remember…”, he whispered quietly, “…I used to rule the early morning entertainment world. Before Disney Club, before Skoosh, those traitorous BASTARDS…”, he exclaimed in a momentary slip of his calm visage, “…I was a prince…”, he whispers. “Do you remember? Do you remember the Fantastic Four cartoon without the Human Torch? Do you remember me badly CSO’ed onto a picture of the Nine Sisters in a crappy tinfoil suit pretending to float in space? Do you remember the Birthday Parade?”, as he speaks he reaches into his top pocket and produces a tattered, folded old piece of card. “Do you remember Paladdins magic?”, as he speaks he unfolds the card.
We can now see that it is a homemade effort. A crudely drawn representation of a hot air balloon with a trimmed Polaroid picture of a cheekily grinning young scamp, carefully positioned so that he just keeks over the top of the basket. The rest of the world, the background chatter of the store fades and those surrounding this dishevelled orator watch, entranced, as his drink addled hand lifts the front on the balloon to reveal seventh birthday greetings from Mum, Dad, Nana & Papa Reid and Cookie the Dog. “Do you remember how I would pick up an everyday object, or turn over a bit of card and on the back would be a dodgy old Bugs Bunny cartoon that you’d seen a hundred times before?” We nod slowly. “I have a surprise for you…”, he says as he begins to rotate the Birthday Card. What wonders will we see? An old Arabian Nights cartoon? A building site safety film? A Daffy Duck cartoon from when he was annoying and not funny yet?
The card turns and the crowd, myself, and Scott draw closer…
And Glen thrusts his fist into Blacklocks stomach, grabs 1.5l of Gin and legs it out the revolving doors.
If you ask me Glen was drinking because of his guilt over Rustys death. You see he would always feed him Polo Mints, and as you may know they contain a laxative that must have a bigger effect on a small dog than a human. Multiply that by the number of packets over the years and…well…My theory is that poor Rusty squitted his lungs out his arse and Glens been haunted by that knowledge ever since.
Next time: More celebrity encounters as I cross utensils with Top TV (television, not sexual preference) Celebrity Chef Nick Nairn, and my run in with craggy old hag Joanna Lumley…
*I say ‘robot’ but in reality this was one on those stupid remote control things that had a little tray to deliver** you a drink on that was at the back of the Kays catalogue for £99.99 (or 48 weeks at £4) twelve years ago. And that was when 99 quid was a lot of money.
**I say ‘deliver’, but clearly you had to be within the 1 metre -or yard in those days, I suppose- range of the remote control unit. And you had to make the drink and put it on the tray first, so why you didn’t just carry it yourself, I don’t know…