Suzy Swizzle & The Tartan Foof

Swizzle and The Tartan Foof

Fictional stories based upon every day random conversations held between
members of the workforce throughout the working week.

An Imaginary Tale of The Square Root of Minus One

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning from Parkhead Hospital in Glasgow I thought of my early days in Galashiels where we first formed The Tartan Foof. I was also known as Lorenzo in those days and played lead guitar. We toured the pubs mainly down in the South West of England and that’s where we met our lead singer, Scarlett Thistle. She was a local girl who worked in the food packing industry. One night we were in The King’s Arms at Didmarton playing our usual instrumental stuff, when Scarlett Thistle, a complete stranger at the time, unexpectedly jumped up onto the stage and just belted out words she had written herself to our music. That’s when we really took off and all our music became songs sung by Scarlett Thistle. She took us right to the top with our first ever collection of hits reaching number two in the album charts, selling three million copies in just five weeks.

It was just after this that Scarlett Thistle decided to buy out the company she worked for, and gave it to all her work mates to own and run, but not before she had built a brand new custom works on the site of the old vacuum cleaner factory, that had been mothballed ever since it was moved lock stock and barrel to its new site at Hullavington. Her colleagues then set up several spin off businesses on the site such as Jayne’s Bakery and Teresa’s Cafe. Jason and Simon set up an Internet online Fishing Equipment business with Cool Hand Luke running their despatch warehouse. The old factory was abandoned with all its clapped out machinery and given to Ben as a parting gift much to Malcolm’s delight, who now had his very own VW Custom Campers & Cars workshop, in-between Jayne’s Bakery and Teresa’s Cafe, and of course it was called, Malcolm In The Middle.

I remember doing a stint at the old food packing factory with all its clapped out broken down machinery straight out of the Ark, it should all have been in a museum somewhere, some of it my dad even drew plans for back in the early 1950’s when he was Technical Illustrator for Alvan Blanch. Any how I was there to gain some inspiration for new songs based on the ladies who worked there, as Scarlett Thistle said they were all a right moaning load of old gits. I soon found out she was just pulling my leg, as I discovered they actually represented all the positive traits you could attribute to any of your best friends, such as to mention but a few, Integrity, Honesty, Loyalty, Respectfulness, Responsibility, Humility, Compassion, Fairness, Forgiveness, Authenticity, Courageousness, Generosity, Perseverance, Politeness, Kindness, Lovingness, Optimism, Reliability, Conscientiousness, Self-Discipline and last but not least – Humorous.

Humour in a person is my favourite trait as I love to laugh and every where I looked in that factory I saw something to laugh at. If it wasn’t the decrepit state of the place then it was the banter and shouting and the loving hugs they all gave each-other. Sometimes they would almost be rolling around on the floor with laughter, this would make me think all kinds of funny thoughts based on all they said and did. I think they thought I was just taking the Mickey when I kept teasing them, but really I was just mirroring how they were making me laugh, and what fun people they all were. They were all good people, who really knew just how to have such a great time, no matter how pissed off they were with their working conditions. Then there was poor old Malcolm in the middle, getting it in the ear all day long from the shop floor and being trodden all over from management above, I bet he felt like an earthquake victim trapped between tonnes of rubble, wondering if he’d ever be dug out and rescued before it became too late, and he’d die of thirst, starvation and loss of blood from the wounds he’d received.

I suppose I felt like I was back behind bars with Robert Grey in Ward Three at Parkhead Hospital, as the food factory seemed just like a metal hospital itself. Everybody seemed to be a complete nutter, especially the ones from up stairs who you rarely saw, high security inmates I think they were. Then there were the lifers, the old fogies, wrapped up in their blankets, just like in an old folks home, waiting for matron to change the channel on the television. Oh! and that guy who was always escaping on the caretakers bicycle. He’d get half way down the Fosseway before the local police could locate him hiding in the blackberry bushes talking to the birds. I also felt a tiny bit sorry for that man who thought he was Winston Churchill and kept trying to escape in the Land Rover. He made it all the way to the BT tower at Wootton-under-Edge one day and had to be talked down from the top.

Then there was that wild girl, Suzy Swizzle, who claimed she was 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment and kept jumping off of the kitchen roof with her imaginary parachute, can’t remember how many times she broke her ankles. Oh and Karen Nikita Khrushchev who would stand on the roof of the building addressing the imaginary massed crowds of hundreds of thousands of her supporters telling them how they were about to invade Tetbury and annex it for Wiltshire and set its people free to work in the food factories all across her glorious empire.

The greatest time of all though was when we were all snowed in and we all sat in the conference room watching Muriel’s Wedding on the big screen, oh how we all laughed, and we all kept saying, “You’re terrible Teresa.” Poor Jarvo, she soon forgave and always loved us really, especially on her wedding day when we surprised her with the Treorchy Male Voice Choir.

Episode Eighteen : Worse Things Happen At Sea

“Any resemblance between the characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle.”