Shite, but the boy has about as much nous as a cauliflower, but isn’t quite as good looking. His maw thinks the wee fannybaws is a genius. No point in mentioning that the only way he’s going to pass an exam is if it goes in his digestive system at one end and out at the other. It’s always “My Damian’s gonnae make it big one day – ah know it.” Aye, right. The only way her precious Damian is gonnae make it big is by continuing to stuff his greedy fat face with burger and chips.
But needs must. I’m too old now to go breaking into places. Arthritis in my knees and bursitis in my elbows. Squeezing through windows is no longer an option - not that it really ever was. I always relied on the boys to do the donkey work. Kept me away from the polis an’ all. They never suspected me, and my boys never gave me up. And now I’m even less likely to be helping the polis with their enquiries. They’re more likely to help me over the road.
Sadly, the boys are long gone – one got a twenty-stretch in the Bar-L, and the other fell out of a windae in my flat, twenty storeys up, when he was pished. Well, that was the official conclusion anyway. I’m good at acting distraught, so I am.
Out of the goodness of ma heart, I took on his son Damian. I knew it was a mistake though. And, as if to prove just what a useless wee nyaff he is, he’d just turned up at my door with a bloody great painting.
“What the fuck have I always told you, Damian? Pick up the small stuff – money, jewellery, laptops an’ that, and get tae fuck out again.”
“But...this is worth a fortune.”
“And when did you get a job with the Antiques fucking Roadshow?”
“I remember the knob fae school. Some Italian wank. Salvator Darling or something. Did pictures of clocks meltin’ an’ elephants an’ shit. “
“How we gonnae get rid of it? It’s no’ like we can just take it down to Cash Converters, is it?”
Damian shrugged. “Mibbees we could sell it down the pub?”
“Fucksake Damian. It’s not one o’ they velvet Elvises, or a photo of a couple of lions shaggin’. Nobody down The Horse is gonnae want this pile of shite.” I looked at the picture more closely. “They’re all off their heads on drink or drugs as it is. This stuff would give anybody nightmares. Naw. You’ve got tae dump it.”
“Dump it? It’s worth a mint, but.”
“All the more reason tae dump it then. The polis will be all over this one like flies round shite. What else did you get?”
Damian dug in his pockets and pulled out a handful of notes. “Some cash and a couple of diamond rings. An’ one o’ they computer things without a keyboard.”
“Gie’s the cash and get the other stuff over to Big Frankie tomorrow. And get rid of that fuckin’ picture.”
As Damian handed me the cash, the doorbell rang. I tucked the money into my cardigan pocket and hobbled over to answer it. Fucksake. Plod. “Hello, officers, can I help you?”
“We’re looking for Damian McKee.”
“Ma grandson? Aye, he’s here, come away in.”
I followed the two polis into the living room where Damian was standing with the painting in his hands, looking guilty. “Ma wee grandson just brought me this picture round, officers. Said he got it at a car boot sale, but it’s no’ ma taste. I prefer wee kittens playin’ with wool and that.”
“Fucksake, ya old cow. Whit the fuck are ye sayin’?”
One of the polis got out his handcuffs. “Now, now, son. That’s no way to talk to your grandmother, is it.”
I put a hand to my chest as though my heart was going pitter pat. “He’ll be the death of me yet, officers. He’s always been a worry that one.”
As they huckled him out of the door, I fingered the notes in my pocket. How the fuck was I going to manage on my pension?