A few hours ago I got a phone call:
“Hey, where are you?”
“On a train.”
“Cool, where you going?”
“Where the fuck is Falkirk?”
“What the fuck you going there for?”
“To meet a mate. Well, I say he’s a mate but I’ve never actually met him.”
There was a long pause.
“So how’d you know him?”
“I met him over the Internet.”
There was an even longer pause.
“So … you’re going on a blind date?”
Not exactly. Now I come to think of it, it is a bit odd. Having accidentally found myself in Glasgow, I decided now was the ideal time to go and see Gordon Robertson – a man I’ve known for three years, but have never actually seen or spoken to.
So how do I know him? The power of the Internet, of course.
Flashback to 2005 and several deluded, yet hopeful writers are terribly excited to have been chosen for Shoot the Writers! Seemingly we’d beaten off all opposition and were now faced with the very real prospect of winning a nationwide competition and becoming incredibly famous.
As it turns out, the show was pretty bad and was buried in the late night schedule – still, it was a telly credit and not to be sniffed at.
At about the same time I’d started writing for The Treason Show and was having some moderate success. Gordon recognised my name on the running order and from the Shoot the Writer’s forums and introduced himself.
Three years later and we’ve been in semi-regular contact ever since. We read and slag off each other’s work – in the nicest, most constructive sense – we used to compete for Treason Top Trumps– until I gave in and conceded to his superior output; and we’ve each been among the first to see any completed projects the other has wrangled and finagled through production.
In short, we’ve been keeping a semi-jealous eye on each other’s career, being as supportive as possible whilst being slightly envious at the same time.
And today we’ve finally met.
I’ve just got back in fact and I can say he’s a jolly decent chap. Although bordering on the Scottish side, something which doesn’t really come across in his emails.
We met, we had some food and we talked a lot.
I didn’t kiss him though, I don’t like to put out on a first date.
So there you go. If any of you are ever at a loose end in Glasgow, I can heartily recommend popping over to Falkirk and sampling Gordon’s hospitality – he even bought me a present (well, it’s for Alice; but I opened it for her on account of her not being able to use her thumbs yet) which I thought was particularly nice.
Hmm … maybe I should have put out after all?