The wind blew the driving rain into Big Gordy's face as he pedalled home on his mountain bike. He was tired after that sixteen-hour shift and, although it was cold, dark and miserable, he was sweating inside his thick, black and red waterproof jacket. He took his left hand off the handlebars and quickly wiped his eyes with thumb and forefinger, not sure if it was water or perspiration he was wiping away. The rain mingled with the sweat on his bald head and trickled down past the RFC tattoo on his neck. He scorned the use of any headgear; helmets were for poofs!
A car overtook him slowly, its tyres making a sloshing noise on the wet road. "Hey, ya prick! Pit somethin' bright oan! Ah nearly run ye ower!" the driver shouted through the open passenger window. Gordy just stuck his middle finger up as the car pulled away. Wear something bright? A couple of years back he would have been wearing a light-blue Rangers jacket but last September, when it came time to buy a new one, he got this black and red one instead; there was no way he was giving money to those rats in the boardroom. He did have a high-vis vest in the knapsack on his back, but he was not wearing that when he did not have to. Despite his work colleagues assuring him that it was yellow, he knew the truth. The thing was green and nobody was going to convince him otherwise. It was all part of the big conspiracy that he had read about on the internet.
The road was quiet and no other cars came past so his mind could not help but wander. He thought of what dinner might be waiting for him at home; it had better be something good or there would be trouble. It was nearly ten o'clock at night but his wife knew better than to go to her bed and leave Gordy a dried-out, congealed mess in the oven. It had only been a couple of nights ago that he had come home to be served a Scotch pie, oven chips and beans. He had thrown it at his wife and an argument had ensued, with her pointing out that there was no money for anything else since he had spent it all on that trip to Dumfries. The argument had finished with her in A&E having her broken jaw wired up. Why did she always provoke him?
His two sons, Billy and Walter, would be in bed by now so as to be up for school in the morning. It was just as well since they both irritated Gordy all the time too. Last week Billy, who was eleven, had actually had the nerve to speak back to his father, something Gordy would never have dreamed of doing when he was that age. Gordy was giving his boys a drunken lecture about the evils of Catholicism when Billy had pointed out that there were Catholics at his school and they were all right.
"They should be in thur ain fuckin' schools!" Gordy spat the words out.
"But, Da, you said that they should dae away wi' Catholic schools,' said Billy reasonably.
Gordy's befuddled mind puzzled over this for a moment and then said, "Jist stye away frae the bastards; they're trouble!"
Billy came up with yet another reply. "But, Da, you said wae should feel sorry fur aw the Catholic weans 'cos thur aw gettin' sexually abused wi' priests!"
This stymied Gordy somewhat and he struggled to find anything else to say. Fortunately, there was an easy way to settle the argument and Billy went to bed with a sore face and the imprint of an RFC ring on his cheek.
Bloody weans! thought Gordy as he pedalled mechanically. Even at Christmas they had shown nothing but ingratitude when they found their Christmas stockings filled with Rangers shares. Didn't they realise? Didn't they understand? This was their heritage, their very culture that their father was trying to save for them! They had to know that there were far more important things in life than PS4s, laptops, toys and selection boxes; they were part of The People. The world had tried to kill Rangers but it was still there and Gordy was determined that it was always going to be there, for his sons, their children and their children's children. It broke his heart that neither of his sons was interested in football and had not wanted to go back to Ibrox after one visit. They would learn, though, even if they had to be hospitalised to do so.
Gordy's thoughts turned to Walter, named after that man of dignity and greatest football manager the world had ever seen. He was nine and absolutely terrified of his father, as Gordy had been of his. That was the way it should be in a proper family. Walter had to be practically dragged to school every morning because he was ridiculed mercilessly by the other children. Although Gordy had angrily remonstrated with the headteacher and Billy was constantly punching anybody that looked at Walter the wrong way, it had been going on for months.
It had been Gordy that had inadvertently caused the bullying. It was in January and he had already used and ruined every bedsheet in the house for demonstrating at Ibrox. That Saturday there was only one sheet available; Walter's. As Gordy brandished it nobody was looking at the big picture of a rat; their attention was drawn instead to the large pish stain behind the rodent. The match had been televised and word soon spread around the school that Walter peed the bed. Not that Gordy would ever admit that it was his fault; it was Walter's for pishing the bed in the first place.
At last he reached home and was surprised to find that the back door was locked. He fumbled in his pocket, pulled out his keys and let himself in. The whole house was in darkness; what the hell was going on? He found the switch and turned on the kitchen light. There seemed to be nobody at all in the house and there was no sign of any dinner. The kitchen had been thoroughly cleaned and he was sure that there were one or two things missing. On the table there was nothing but an HP sauce bottle with a piece of paper underneath. He slammed the door shut, made his way to the table and pulled the paper sharply, making the sauce bottle fall onto its side with a thud. The noise emphasised the silence in the rest of the house, letting Gordy know that he truly was alone.
The note was short and to the point. Gordy's wife had gone for good, taking the boys with her. She warned him against trying to find them as her solicitor was going to court to stop him from coming anywhere near them. Gordy sat down on a chair and held the crumpled piece of paper to his face. He felt a mixture of emotions: anger, sadness, frustration. Most of all he was hungry; she had not even left him something to eat! He thought about rummaging in the fridge but could not bring himself to move. His hands fell to his sides and the piece of paper dropped onto the floor. As he stared into space the realisation suddenly struck him:
This was all Ally McCoist's fault!