Date : 15th February 2018
Time : 22.00 hrs ish
Location : The Stratosphere
To Sleep, perchance to dream…….
Actions speak louder than words and it was those actions that comprised the tsunami of utter ecstasy that swept through Janefield, Kerrydale, Springfield, the Gallowgate and London Road. Words would never have been enough and if we had still been living in caves or wandering the plains as nomads, the events of Thursday evening would have been etched, drawn, painted and hammered into the earth’s fundament for dickheads like Indiana Jones and that long haired waste of space on BBC2 – Neil Oliver – to totally misinterpret as they concluded that the pictures of the ball hitting the net were a superstitious record of an alien civilisation landing in a miniature spacecraft and being caught in a primordial spider’s web.
Anti-Social media, and let’s be honest here the term ‘social’ in the context of internet discourse has to be right up there in the quest for the greatest ever oxymoron, is unforgiving at the best of times. Populated or possibly ‘plagued’ by those who I suspect of having secreted a smart-phone into their cell, harbour the greatest self-perceived grudges, sport a ‘feed a family of four’ poke of chips on each shoulder or wield a typing finger like a rusty chib looking for the figurative rib cage, we/they spend our waking moments in the attic of our soul sifting the ether for an unsuspecting internet wanderer in search of some polite conversation…and then we mug them!
But not on Thursday night.
Selfies posted, “faces booked”, “twits tweeted” and “Whats Apped” will bear witness for ever to the magical transformation that saw smiles like lasers, flashing eyes dispelling darkness and a hundred thousand high fives thundering acclaim. For as long as the universe expands those personal mementoes of that night will mark the remarkable events not just on the pitch and in the stands, but across the city, throughout the country and in every nook and cranny around the globe where Celtic supporters meet and greet (sometimes in both senses of the word).
“Around the Globe?” Did I say “Around the globe…”? Well you can stick that back into the primordial soup. This was far betond the constraints of mere terra-firma. Think Spock; think Sigourney; think even of that ugly wee hun on a bike.
Alien, Klingons, Daleks, Cybermen and all their otherworldly mates, some still in hysterics at the concept of us smashing potatoes ‘with their metal knives’, while monitoring for latent terrestrial intelligence must have seen their intergalactic radio wave detectors go into meltdown as a million conversations between a million earthlings erupted from an epicentre in the east end of Glasgow. New words and phrases probably sent their detector needles shooting off the scale. Shies! Bye kicks! Stoat ups! Strange words sent them scurrying for their stellar babel-fish; one eyed roach-like creatures called “hens” or something very like it, from the 23rd dimension of boom-bang-a-bang, where the Goddess Lulu reigned, stared in confusion at each other as their universal translator responded with the simple answer “Ah’ll be fecked if ah know!”
As the communication blast continued of ‘passes passed’, ‘shots shot’, ‘tackles tackled’, ‘headers headed’, ‘saves saved’, an infinite number of advanced civilisations across the boundless reach of the universe found themselves donning green and white scarves, floating through space, transporting across eons and sending suggestive illustrated texts to lieutenant Uhuru while getting the Tardis to transmit a constant broadcast of Hail Hail.
Intergalactic monitoring screens replayed and replayed that one nano second of silence as on the field of play another foray, another advance, another attack started and the ball went from Charly, to Olivier, to Moussa, back to Charly culminating in the till-then loudest sound known even to the gods of creation of two black holes devouring a neutron star, paling to no more than a whimper as the ball reached Calum’s chest, then his foot, and then travelled with the accuracy and power of photon torpedo ripping the net and the space time continuum apart, stopping every timer, every clock and even time itself at stardate 150220182145 (ish).
And then as the power of Paradise revived us from that schism, a mere 15 minutes in earthling time but a light year for occupants of dimension busting ‘TIMe’ machines, the Celtic Park exits burst open and my thoughts turned immediately to that indelible phrase from Hamlet’s soliloquy “To sleep, perchance to dream….”
Or maybe that was exactly what I and a million others were NOT thinking. The last thing that was on our minds was going to sleep and dreaming. We had rediscovered the lost gold ingot of optimism, glowing with positivity and ambition and tonight we were going to show it off for all corners of creation to see.
I could tell as I made my way back to the Gorbals, passing the big flats, the Park Lane Tavern and Scotsman along Tullis street, past the drookit butcher’s apron and “crowned red-hand” flegs sodden on the eves of Orange Hall, that the thoughts of every hoop-scarf clad fan who couldn’t sleep it would be a night to play over and over, to sing over and over and hope over and that the replay on TV or web was but a beginning.
Next week in St Petersburg the world will be watching, the world will be witness and for those imports in the Zenit team who now call freezing wet bone brittling weather… “It’s like feckin Glasgow man!”….let me just say ‘The storm is coming..a storm that will still be echoing as the midwife lifts your children’s children up by the ankles, skelps their arses and the weans scream out…”Hail Hail The Celts are here”…….
I decided to tell the cosmos of what was coming.
I got on my stool in intellectual corner, booted my notebook into life, cracked my knuckles and prepared to reveal all…….when
C R A S H!……and a voice called out
“Will Somebody help Matt…he’s fallen aff his stool again”