Last week, amid the Art Deco splendour of the Coatbridge Tabernacle of Mega-Bingo (Pensioners half price on Tuesday afternoons) 4 of Slab’s biggest beasts slunk into an alcove between the club’s deep fat fryer and the ancient Donkey Kong machine, looking shiftier than a gang of amateur pickpockets.
After weeks of snuffling about in the political weeds like a truffling hog with a hypersensitive hooter Hackmeister Cuddis captured secret footage of the cabal’s surreptitious meeting from behind the luxuriant foliage of one of the Mega Bingo’s many potted aspidistras.
At a press conference this morning the Hackmeister had this to say: ‘This explosive video evidence lays bare the cracks in the fault lines of the divide between the crevasse of shame and the abyss of piss into which Scottish Labour’s funding pipeline has tumbled headlong, feet-first.’
As a result of his exposé, Cuddis is being hailed as Coatbridge’s very own Edward Snowplough. Cuddis’s source—known only by his nom de guerre: ‘The Clachnacudden Puddin’ said this about the content via a written statement read out by his lawyer: ‘The last time I was this shocked was when I came across my granny at three in the morning, snaking up our tenement stair in a paralytic one-woman conga.
‘She’d said she’d just got back from an all-night, highly lucrative ‘whist drive’ to Loch Lomond. She carried a near empty bottle of Morgan’s Spicy and sported so many love bites on her neck, she looked like the victim of a lynch mob.’
Choking back a sob, the Puddin’s lawyer went on to explain that only after her death did the Puddin learn than his granny had been cocked more times than Wyatt Earp’s revolver and had been making a career out of hooring since she left school.
But I digress (Just a tad. Ed.). Here is an exclusive transcript of the video footage:
Gloom rivalling a wet October in Mordor hangs about a shadowy alcove like ectoplasm. The sombre mood stems from the chilling fact that Slab’s funds are shrinking faster than the wedding tackle of a naturist in a Murmansk Nudist Colony, as the party haemorrhages members by the thousand.
Baillie is nowhere to be seen. Dugdale explains: ‘Jackie will join us after the bingo. Now, anybody raised any money?’
Murray straightens his Union Jack cravat and states: ‘My chums at the BBC let me have Albert Steptoe’s horse and cart out of their archives. I went round the estates, looking for cheap furniture from roups conducted by bailiffs as a result of evictions caused by austerity measures we voted for. I got a 50s-style cylindrical vacuum cleaner that looked like an aqualung having a lie down. This baby could suck the wool clean off a sheep—
‘—How much did you get for it?’ Duggers cuts in.
‘Who bought it?’
Rowley announces that as a result of masquerading as a Big Issue seller outside an Aldi store in Govan, he has made enough to buy everyone bingo tickets for that evening’s session. He throws the books onto the table with a triumphant grin.
Duggers tells her team that earlier that morning she passed the begging bowl round a couple of Glasgow food banks. She quickly clocks the looks of horror on her comrades’ faces before assuaging their fears by saying: ’It’s okay. I used sanitary hand gel—after all these people were nouveaux working class, not the salt-of-the-earth working class Labour used to champion in the old days. This lot had hygiene issues.’ The whip round, she said, gleaned a small treasure trove featuring a Lidl’s loyalty card and a Pontefract cake.
A fag-packet calculation reveals a net contribution to Slab funds of minus £8.50.
‘It’s down to Jackie then,’ Duggers sighs.
‘How come? Rowley asks.
‘Cos she’s working as a part time shouter, on minimum wage,’ Duggers replies.
‘Is that wise, given her shoogly grasp of numbers?’ Rowley asks.
‘Shouldn’t be a problem,’ Murray points out, ‘there’s no computation involved in bingo shouting.’
Everyone shrugs their shoulders, their suspicions allayed. The disembodied voice of Jackie Baillie crackles and hums over the 50 year old PA system.
‘Eyes down for a full house.’
‘4 and 6, 32.’
‘Two fat ladies, 68.’
‘All the threes, 41.’
‘On its own nine-o …’