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  Short Story IV  Page1   Page2
 Page3   Page4
....written by James McKenna author of Last Exit from Bridgeton          (order his book)

Try…………….Try Again.


A Public House in The East-end of Glasgow. ©

“Ye’re no still in the huff are ye Andy? I tell ye, she is no gonny phone, can ye no jist accept that and stop this ridiculous behaviour.? Every day noo for the past two weeks ye’ve been doon here  and has she phoned? Has she whit?”

“She will Sam, she will, wan o’ these days she will. You wait and see, every day for the past two weeks I have been coming intae the pub expecting to get a call on that phone at the time I asked her to call, one of these days……………one of these days.”


“He’s aff his heid Malky, right aff his trolley” said Sam to his friend “ I  mean does he honestly think a wuman like that is gonna phone him? Am away up the road, maybe you can talk some sense intae him.”


Andy thought of all the times that he had seen her, it was thirty years ago now since he first saw her but he remembered the very first glimpse of her as though it were yesterday. It had been down at his local Palais. Oh her long fair hair and that shy, almost child-like smile, he had been instantly and completely hooked. Since then over the years he had seen her almost fifty times though she seemed to be with a different guy every time. He remembered too that he had seen her along with this guy Robert who had dark hair and an Italian sounding surname on three different occasions. She had also been with this taller guy called Jeremy whom he remembered spoke with a strong, distinct southern English accent. Though she had always been some distance away from Andy all the times that he had seen her, and it had always been dark, she somehow ‘stood out’ he thought, as for the assortment of males she teamed up with it did not deter him in the slightest. Such versatility he thought.


He wondered how he could get in touch with her, but as it turned out he needn’t have worried about that as he later found that her address was freely available, the only snag being that she used a box number for all her correspondence. One day he would write to her, one day. It had though taken him all these years  to eventually get down to putting pen to paper and he had written to her four weeks ago. As he put it he had been “preparing” for the big day. At last the great day arrived , his letter was ready and off it went. In his haste and excitement he had almost forgotten to put a stamp on the envelope. Well its not every day you write to Meryl Streep is it?


“Whit did ye ask her tae phone ye at a pub for said Malky? Wis a request for her autograph no good enough for ye?”

I did ask for her autograph said Andy but if I had brought it doon here nane o’ you lot would have believed me, you wid all have said I wrote it mase’l. That’s why I asked her to call me doon here  at the pub and no at hame, so you would all see me speaking to Meryl. Anyway, all I want  for her is to say a few words, a few words like “Hi Andy, and thanks for your letter>” I have even told her she can reverse the charges.

Better no tell Sammy (The Head Barman) that said Malky. Aye Andy ye’re a sorry case right enough. Dae ye think she knows the dialling code for Shettleston?

Oh hell, I forgot all about that. Ach, she get it oot the yella pages I suppose.

A slight laughter could be heard amongst the bar regulars.


The next day Andy appeared as usual in the bar as usual just before the appointed time of half past eleven. By midday he was his usual depressed self.

“See whit ah mean Andy said Sam. Meryl Streep phoning the Croon Bar. There’s marginally merr chance o’ Ian Paisley bringing Gerry Adams in here for a pint of Guinness. Snap oot o’ this Andy and start living in the real world. Its your round anyway.


Andy sipped his pint, a look of rueful resignation had spread over his already sad face. A few minutes later though his face had suddenly brightened. A ‘knowing’ smile had materialised.

“Hey Sam he almost screamed at his friend.

“Its jist dawned oan me said Andy?”

Whit’s jist  dawned oan ye, is it that there are places where ye can go and get help for this problem you have? I think that’s a good idea Andy.”

“Naw Sam, its jist dawned on me why Meryl hisnae phoned. Aw this time I’ve been waiting for her tae phone at 11.30 am. I forgot that where she live is seven hoors in time behind us, she’ll still be in her bed Sam, she’ll still be in her bed Sam. Oh my, oh my, I ‘m so relieved, here wis me thinking the worst, starting to think that she had let me doon. Ah’ll need tae go up the road and write her anither letter and put doon nine o’clock in the evening as a better time tae phone me, she’ll be up and aboot at that time and I’ll be doon here in the pub waiting on the phone ringing.


Aye Andy said Sam and Malky, shaking their heads in exasperation as Andy downed his pint and rushed off, a whole new purpose to his life.   © 

Written 1999.

~ end ~

Short Stories  Page1   Page2   Page3   Page4   Page5

Jun 2009


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