Sunday, July 21, 2024

Mark

Good morning.

My apologies for the lateness of today’s blog. It’s not my fault though, blame Mark. If he hadn’t launched his very own bourbon some time ago, and labelled it ‘Maker’s Mark’ I would have been up much earlier than I was.

I’ve known a few Marks in my time, I have to say. There was my pal Mark who I was in school with and who was a very good artist. He’s not an artist now though, he’s a pilot. I don’t know if there’s a through-line between artistic competence and plane flying skills, but he can do both. I remember him taking flying lessons, then he left Ireland go to the US, and I think he was based out of Atlanta for a while.

They have a very big and very busy airport there and I remember him telling me about his early piloting days where he’d be in some small aircraft flying some private client or cargo, scheduled to land at Atlanta, and air-traffic control would give him the go ahead. He’d have to get in behind a 747, with a 767 up his arse (it was all Boeing back then), with a 90 second window to get his tiny plane on the ground.

He now works for one of the big airlines over there, he’s a literal captain, and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. I don’t ever remember anyone in my life saying ‘One day I’m going to leave Dublin and live in Tennessee’ – which is no slight on that particular state by the way, it just never came up in conversation. London? Sure. America? Absolutely. Australia. Certainly. I even remember one lad talking about how he wanted to go and make a life for himself in Finland. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Not because Finland isn’t real, but because he went on holidays and got eaten by a bear, as if he was some kind of frontiersman. They never caught the bear that did it, but I don’t blame the animal, this lad had a very salmony way about him and I’d have done the same before I hibernated.

Then there was Mark who worked in production in one of the radio stations I worked for. He was a very nice fella, and an important person because if you were in his good books, he’d say ‘I have a couple of ads here for you to do the voice-over on’, and that was great because you’d get a few extra quid at the end of the week. Those quids might be the difference between having a tin of baked beans with your frozen fish or not – because you were spending the rest of the money on going out at the weekend. To be clear, not so much the going out itself, but the things that would allow you stay out until very late/early the next day.

The problem, however, was that he had a body odour issue. In that he smelled like his body had been buried for weeks in a shallow grave somewhere after he’d been whacked by a local crime gang. Entering the production studio was an exercise in literal mouth breathing. That extra money was good, but my goodness, you had to earn it – not simply by saying the words on a piece of paper in the right order and with the right emphasis. In time, I would choose the least smelly option but I appreciated the work he gave me, even if many of the scripts were sub-par.

For those entering the radio advertising world, if anyone comes to you with an idea that involves two people talking about what a great deal they have on fridge-freezers at Kelly Electricals on Main Street, Small Town, County Somewhere, tell them stop being so lazy and to come up with something better.

That’s as many Marks as I can think of. It’s a bit mad, given how common the the name is, that Arsenal haven’t really had a big player called Mark. With all due respect to Mark Randall, it didn’t happen for him. Oh, sure, I can hear you shout ‘What about Marc Overmars?! but Marc is NOT Mark, in the same way that Karl is NOT Carl. Let’s not get into that whole thing this early on a Saturday morning. I don’t want a load of angry Marks/Marcs and Karls/Carls on my case.

It is early, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s late now. I don’t know. Just don’t get the Brian/Bryans started, that’s all I’m saying.

Till tomorrow.

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