Big in Glasgow
If I were big in Glasgow, I'd start to pepper my speech with Scottish slang. Not that I would be so immersed that people would begin to confuse me with Irvine Welsh, but I my Glasgow following would send me up-to-the-minute sayings and terms that would separate me from all of the wannabe Glasgowphiles crawling the streets.
Like the young, ambitious bands I used to write about, I'd summon all the aw-shucks humility I could when referring to my standing overseas. "Well, sure," I'd say, "I've got a small following in Europe."
"Glasgow, mostly," I'd add, as if that were nothing, not Paris or London, but Glasgow. Maybe I'd mock myself for it. "Oh, yeah, I'm huge in Glasgow." I'd soft sell it, so that the listener might assume that one of the reasons for my Glasgow popularity is my humility. "If only that were the norm," they'd say to themselves. Since this conversation would likely take place in San Francisco, they'd extrapolate and conclude that I should be the face of American communications to the rest of the world. "If our hated president were only that humble, maybe our reputation abroad would improve."
Their appreciation of me would last only as long as it took them to find whatever opinion I didn't share with them. Then I would again be just another enemy of the moral and righteous. But I would still be big in Glasgow.
I know very little of Glasgow; what I saw in "Trainspotting," plus assumptions I've made and whatever Mooshi Mooshi San tells me. Though she may be talking about Edinbrugh. I apologize for forgetting. I picture mist and abandoned factories.
For awhile, I thought that the dance- and drug-happy sound of mid-90s dance music came from Glasgow. Eventually, I realized that I was thinking of Manchester. I'll readily though not proudly admit that I am less educated regarding the U.K. than most.
If I were big in Glasgow, I'd vow to make the most of my Scottish connections and someday take a trip to Scotland, where I'd have a ready-made peer group to hang out with, thus avoiding the pratfalls of the everyday American tourist. My vacation photos would be of laughing Scots with small hoop earrings, wearing "jumpers" and "track suits," in stark contrast to my Banana Republic black t-shirts and jeans. Since I would be in with the locals, I would return to San Francisco garbed in up-to-date Glasgow gear. This would shock my friends and annoy our own local hipsters, who would be aghast to discover a bald, middle-aged dad rocking a look more current than their own.
In return, my Scotland friends would be welcome when they occasionally came to San Francisco. Sometimes they might lose my contact info, but other times they would have it, and we would meet at Zeitgeist or the Edinburgh Castle in the Tenderloin, which they probably would have already heard of, as it is to San Francisco Scots as Belden Lane is to the French; that is, the epicenter of their exported culture. At first, I would find their accents difficult to understand, but as with the Irish contractor I met today, soon I would come around. Eventually I would learn to approximate the accent myself, thus replacing the flat-out awful cockney I try as my go-to U.K. accent.
And maybe Glasgow would only be the jumping-off point. Through word of Scottish mouth I would spread to Edinburgh. Maybe one day I would be, if not huge, than at least measurable, in Belgium, Sweden, Monaco and Italy. Latvia. Greece. It al begins with Glasgow.
Right now, I am tiny in Glasgow. At least I think it's Glasgow. It could be Edinburgh. I'm not sure. That being said, it does seem strange to me that my presence in Scotland is larger than it is in Idaho. I have absolutely no toehold in Idaho, which is unlike the bands I used to write about, most of whom were actually quite large in Idaho. Boise, mostly.
You never know.
Today I met with a prospective client named Mary. As our meeting went along, we realized that there was a very good chance that I had once checked her ID at a bar called Watertown in Seattle, circa 1988-89. Odds were also favorable that we had played volleyball together at an open gym on Queen Anne hill sometime from 1993-1996. We did not look familiar to each other, but I'd say that there's probably at least a 60% chance that we have stood no more than 10 feet from each other at one time in the past. Even better is the chance that, as we drive around looking for a nice 1 bedroom TIC for her to buy, we will come upon some person from Seattle whom we both know. It will happen.
So if that can happen, is it really so far-fetched that I will one day be big in Glasgow?