Fit a sickener fin ye wake up and realise ye’ve slept in.
It happened to me last week. Still snorin’ in my scratcher at 9am when I’d an appointment in town at 9.30am. Panic, panic. Phoned a taxi, nae shower (gads), make-up clarted, hair hingin’, but I made it.
Luckily, that hasn’t happened for years. But, when I was working, my sleep-ins had affa results. And, after last week’s episode, the memories came flooding back.
Like, barely a fortnight into my new jobbie at the EE. Our flat still didnae hae a phone, so when I didnae turn up for my 9am shift, the angry news editor sent another reporter to chap at my door. I answered, straight from ongoing slumber, in goonie and curlers. In his retirement speech, the laddo declared it was one of the worst sights he came across in his 40-year career. Sod.
My most catastrophic oversleep in 1982 still haunts me. I’d just joined the paper’s features department when the boss asked his writers: “Is anyone free on Tuesday?”
Suspecting something nae fine, we a’ muttered various excuses. Then he pounced: “OK, Mo, it’s you, You’re going to interview… Dustin Hoffman.” Spik aboot tickled.
I’d to fly to London, lunch in an Italian restaurant with the star and various other press bods, and talk about his new film, Tootsie. I was oot buyin’ a new outfit afore you could say “jings, crivvens.” I mind it perfectly – white and blue striped skirt, white blouse, blue jacket wi’ padded shoudders.
Come the day, come the disaster
Come the day, come the disaster. Having slept through the alarm, woken by doorbell. Please, God, no. The taxi driver to take me to the airport for my check-in in less than 30 minutes. And me at Braeside.
As I cannoned into the shower, my hubby scraiked: “No waaay you’ve time for a shower!” But how could I meet my hero mingin’? Flung on the bonnie claes, hair a bird’s nest straight from under the towel, and ootski. Only dawned on me in the cab that I should have taken my make-up. Shshshave a bandie!
On the plane, where I must have looked like some sort of posh bag lady, I conceived a plan to enhance my appearance. Loadsa time before the meal, got a taxi to Selfridges. Bought foundation, lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, then up to the big wifies’ lavvies to cake it on and attempt to style my scarecrow locks. All the while, convinced Dustin would be appalled at this recht orra gype.
However, the moment I stepped into the famous Dean Street ristorante and caught sight of the wee mannie, all my hassles were forgotten.
A group of press sat with him for each course. I was lucky to get him right beside me for the longer main course. Pasta untouched, notes untaken, I was hypnotised by this, yes, diddy, but tanned, handsome loon who was charm itself.
At the end, when he was signing a picture to my two bairns, he asked how old they were. When I told him they were twins, he transformed from the film star into the adoring dad.
His wife had just had a baby by caesarean. Were mine natural births or a section? Was it full anaesthetic or epidural? He kept on with so many obstetric questions, I damnt near showed him my scar.
Once home, mum – who’d been to the screening of Tootsie before I went and didnae like it – asked: “Well, was he ony better in real life?” A million times.
Moreen Simpson is a former assistant editor of the Evening Express and The Press and Journal, and started her journalism career in 1970