By Michael Jackson

Not drinking, flying

Michael issues a wake up call before the whole of Scotland vanishes...or is re-branded
If I have a date with a plane, here’s how my day starts. I wake up to the sound of prepositions colliding. More of a shunt than a crash. WHACK!!! UP-TO!! UP-to! Upto....SHSHSH I would transcribe it thus: a hard rim-shot by Buddy Rich, a run of stick work by Elvin Jones, and tinkling cymbals from Kenny Clark.How do you set this alarm? The night before, for every shot of loud percussion, slam down a shot of Johnny Walker Black Label. If you dream in quadraphonic sound, use Green Label. I have been using this method since my Bowmore branded travelling alarm clock, a great premium gift circa Jim McEwan, started its silent season, pending the installation of new batteries.Today, on the back-up alarm radio, Jim Naughtie is enunciating the news. It is appropriately alarming: “Two Scottish beauty spots are missing. Bowmore harbour, complete with seagulls, has vanished from the labels of the village’s famous whisky; farther north, Highland Park has lost its Orkney landscape.“Detectives investigating the two cases want to interview members of the cult known as ‘Marketing’. Members of the public are advised not to attempt to tackle these men, as they are likely to be armed with Power Point presentations, which can be lethal.” I tear myself away from the radio to check whether Mohammed is outside. I expect to see him impeccably suited, leaning with languid elegance against his shining black Merc, with the boot open ready for my bags. He will help me pack the main suitcase – which I will have over-stuffed, thus ensuring that I emerge from his car at the airport looking like a Tatty Bogle. Or even a Tatty Mobile.I have found this an effective disguise for many years in my battle against the forces of blandness, baloney and rubbish.As we nose out the neighborhood, there will be a lively discussion as to whether we should swirl via what Mohammed calls The Carling Apollo and I insist is The Hammersmith Odeon.Whether they are brewers or distillers, drinks companies do themselves and their products no good by changing the names of institutions that have a strong local base. In this case, The Hammersmith Odeon is not only huge local landmark but a temple to fans of rock and roll worldwide. The Carling Apollo recalls a Canadian brewers attempt to rule the world.Carling is a brand, not a beer. Not a good model for whisky distillers. I hope this kills rumours of a Glenrothes Ronnie Scott’s. Or was it a Glenrothes Ronnie Cox?To avoid verbal and visual irritation, I would prefer that we travel via Chiswick directly to Brentford, where Mohammed will now make a commemorative attempt on the world land speed record, between two sites of outstanding graphic merit: the Lucozade neon and the Martini Clock.Time check, please?Ohmigod!!!, I’ve missed my plane. Where’s Mo? Why didn’t he knock, or call me on the phone?Let me look out of the window. Gosh, I’ve never seen him wearing a kofi before. And overalls like those favoured by Andrew Symington of Signatory. What is he doing with those table-tennis bats? He’s directing traffic. Planes. I would know a plane anywhere, inside and out. Evidently we didn’t miss it.Excuse me, sir. Water or Orangina?No thanks. If we ever reach boozing height, could you please bring me a Pain au Chocolat “Richard Paterson”.You toast the bread, steep it in Dalmore, then douse it in butterscotch sauce.Yes,I ordered the diabetic meal…Latest on Michael Jackson.He last night admitted himself to the S.J. Perelman Clinic, Non Sequitur, New York, where he underwent a successful procedure for the removal of several exclamation marks.