Donald MacInnes: There are worse jobs than being a sport-orientated peacemaker

In the red

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The Independent Online

Yes, I know I promised I would deliver an answer this week to the ongoing tension in the West Bank (in three easy steps including a cross-border badminton round robin), but events have conspired to render this unlikely. After my comments last week about the survival or otherwise of a certain football team in Glasgow, I received quite a few emails calling me bad names and questioning my personal development.

It got so bad that I was forced to check under my scooter when I left for work in the morning. As a result – and in spite of the fact that I love/live to be provocative – I think the Middle East situation and my personal barge pole can remain unacquainted for the foreseeable future. I have enough on my plate.

Anyway, as I was applying my fake moustache and long ginger wig before going to work on Tuesday, I began ruminating on “ the worst job I ever had”. Without wishing to encroach into Derek and Clive territory, given the week I’ve had, it suddenly seemed pertinent (even though my career has never involved Jayne Mansfield or, indeed, lobsters).

We’ve all had to do jobs that make us question, well, everything.

When I was about 13, I had a paper round and, even though that required my fighting through Glasgow’s Finnish weather and climbing a million stairs (no detached villas on my round... it was all four-storey tenement buildings, with eight deliveries in each), it still wasn’t the worst job I ever had.

I also used to work at Safeway when I was about 17. And even though that job required that I wear a green apron and black bow tie and clean up eggy spillages in Aisle 4 while being screamed at by a man who thought Safeway Assistant Store Manager was the best job he’d ever had, it still wasn’t the worst job I ever had.

Nope, that dishonour goes to a job I had when I was about 16. I used to ride around on my bike delivering prescriptions and various health-related items from our local chemist. And the worst of it happened once a month, when the local old folks’ home would need a fresh supply of incontinence pants, which came in massive boxes of 100 or so.

I would have to deliver up to 30 of these boxes at a time. On my Raleigh racing bike. Now that was a bad job. This is probably why, to this day, I walk a little funny. And why I’m not too bothered about the rage of a few incensed Rangers fans.

Incidentally, boys, I was only joking.

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