So I got an email from a loyal listener in Scotland who wrote a little story that I want to share with everybody. I have cut and copied it directly from his email. I hope you find it as entertaining and funny as I did. Merry Christmas! Here is his piece….
The intense squeeling sound of the alarm clock smashes my ears at an unsociable hour on a brutally cold morning in Lochgoilhead. Lochgoilhead, population 500 on the West coast of Scotland.
I throw the covers off of me and jump out of the bed, I get acclimated to my frost laden surroundings and wonder will this shit ever end, I dream about one day, one day, being in the sun, letting it soak my bones. For now though I need to get to work. I head through to the kitchen and think about getting some breakfast. I peek outside my house, a blanket of vertical rain pours down blocking my view, my view of what? Breakfast is done and I step out the front door, I step out and just as my foot touches the outside world the rain stops, as if someone flipped the switch, the morning sun jostles for a position amongst the clouds, they seem to move without holding a grudge. The scotch mist sits low and the mountains that surround the valley reflect onto the mirror like loch. I hear the sound of bagpipes, Hamish in the next glen must be at it early this morning. I listen before taking another step and make out a bagpipe rendition of Ice Cube’s Today Was A Good Day. I can’t do anything else but laugh to myself and head to my truck.
I’m driving out a small 6 mile, single track road to get to civilization and come upon a damsel in distress. Flat tyre, no phone signal, she’s lucky that I’m passing, not only have I been told that I’m dashingly handsome but I can change a tyre like a mother fucker.
I get the tyre changed and she notices that I’m wearing a Mick Betancourt Show T-shirt, she gives me a wink but I need to tell her to calm down, I’m married. It all turns out well and she buttons her shirt back up before she takes it too far to not to be taken seriously, she needs some work done, she recognizes me and asks if I’m that guy, I say what guy, she says the carpenter to ……… I cut her off and say, the carpenter to the rich and famous? Yes that’s me. She goes weak at the knees and can’t believe she’s been struck with the T-shirt and now the carpenter title, I steady her and we talk about the work. I have to follow her to her father’s house.
I walk in the door, she called ahead and mentioned the T-shirt I was wearing. Turns out he was a famous Hollywood writer and had been exiled to Scotland after one too many bad stories. He hears the name of Mick Betancourt and it brings back memories of his life in tinsel town, he realizes where he is and it puts his in a deep deep depression. He obviously knows my prowess and is on edge, lets his ego take over and comes across as a tough guy. He offers his hand for a handshake and I respond, he squeezes just too tight. What she didn’t mention that I was the carpenter to the rich and famous, I have strong hands, it comes with the territory, his loss, I squeeze back just a bit stronger and from then on he knew not to fuck around anymore. We sit down, he goes through the work he is looking to be done, we agree a price, all is set. He asks about the T-shirt, I tell him all he needs to do is to leave a 5 star review then Mick will send one out, he asks if that all there is to it, I say yes but you really should listen to the show too, he says hes too busy to be listening to some radio show, I tell him it’s a podcast and not radio show, he apologises for his snappy attitude, obviously the blood rushed to his head and he forgot about the handshake just 10 minutes ago, I forgive and leave the house.
I head to one job I have going, it is fitting out a house with crazy ridiculous finish carpentry for a Prince of the Austrian Royal Family. Prince Ralphe Schmidtstein. He asks why I’m late and I fill him in. He understands and comments on the T-shirt, he likes it and says that I must be a very strong and noble man, we high five and I get on with the work. He makes me lunch and tells me about his father, General. Schmidtstein. His father has spent his life finding all the families artwork that Hitler stole during the war. He has one or two pieces to reclaim and he will be at rest, he can then work on his one and only passion, a passion that has been pushed to the side because he wasn’t letting that bastard Hitler get one over on him.
While I craft my beautiful work I meet the father, an old tough son of a bitch, he has a gallery in Vienna where he keeps the families artwork. He needs some work done and asks if I can go, right now, this minute. Not one to turn down a paycheck I say cool lets do it, he lets his son know and we head to the private jet. I load on my tools and we jump in.
We are somewhere over Northern Italy when this old tough son of a bitch turns to me and asks if I’d do him a favour. I say with all due respect that it depends what it is and I let him know that I’m not a guy that one wants to fuck around with. He understood and told me that he got word this morning that his team on the ground claimed back the penultimate piece of artwork, the team on the ground, albeit strong, tough, navy seal like in their approach to every task handed to them, they just have something missing and asks if I would help him get the last piece of the artwork, the very last piece and he can work on his real passion. Me and the old tough son of a bitch Gen. Schmidstein on the rampage for the very last piece and the family artwork will be reclaimed for future generations to see. Before I do any carpentry work we get suited up for the raid, I check the abseil kit is good to go and we set off.
We are told that the piece is being kept in a small bakery, not just any bakery but the famous Binder family bakery. This makes things worse because Schmidstein was in bakery school with young Herr Binder, Schmidstein was a far better baker but Binder had the personality, his cakes were shit but he got by with his charm. Just before their final exam Schmidstein had to leave to square up Hitler and get the families artwork back, this saddened the General but the bakery would have to wait. While Schmidstein was conquering Europe, Herr Binder finished school and set up his very own bakery, the only bakery in the town, he became an overnight success. Schmidtein was annoyed because the local villagers didn’t know a good cake, they had settled for less. That didn’t matter, Binder was king of the bakers and Schmidstein was trapsing all over Europe looking for his art.
We were on the roof of the bakery in the middle of the night, I remove the glass dome and dropped down my ropes. I clipped on and the General lowered me down, I’m half way down and I feel the rope tugging, the general drops me, I’m inches from the floor and he gets a hold, I jolt to a stop, my face 2 inches from the hard concrete floor. I unclip, look around for the piece, I see a safe and know that it must be in there. From my kit I pull out my stethoscope and crack the safe, spin around the wheel handle and open the heavy door. There it is, the last piece of their families art collection. I take it out the frame, roll it up and put it in my bag. I take off my TMBS T-shirt, put it in the frame for Herr Binder and head back to the ropes. I clip myself on and climb up, when I get to the top the General notices that I have a bare, solid concrete like Scottish chest, I tell him that I left a memento for this bastard. He turns and tears up, I ask if he is ok and he tells me that leaving the T-shirt was the single most brave act he has ever saw anyone do. We did it, the last piece, we made history that night.
The next day I am at the gallery finishing up some beautiful work and I ask the General what his plans are just now. He tells me that he will open his own bakery, a bakery with a café for his village, he goes into the menu and the seating plan and the colour scheme, on and on and on.
He tells me that he has a website already set up and for the past 30 years he has been thinking of a name and he has stuck on this one name, he doesn’t know where to get it. I go to my bag and pull out an envelope, I hand it to him, I took it from the safe for him when we took back the painting. It’s $1million in cash. He is very grateful and says that it will go a long way in getting his bakery set up. I ask what is his speciality and what will be the main thing he’d like to be known for. He tells me its pancakes. I ask what’s the website address you’re wanting to buy, he says www.morepancakes.com!
Mick Betancourt, he’s got $1million cash and wants more pancakes BOOOOOOSSSHHHHHHH!!!!
**** That was written by Neil McKinlay out of Lochgoilhead, Scotland. Here is a link to his family owned business – www.calebandtaylor.co.uk ****
I hope everybody is having a great Holiday Season! Here is to an amazing 2015!!!!