Mack’s Craic



I noticed a strange sign on the train to London. It said, “If the door is not properly closed and the train is still moving, do not attempt to close it – Use the emergency alarm in the saloon”. – Saloon? I didn’t know there was a SALOON on the train! Why did I get a stale sandwich and a cold cup of tea from the buffet when I could have been enjoying two fingers of “red eye”, a game of poker and dancing girls?

Have you ever had an important person get your name wrong? That happened to me on the air when my guest on the phone was Richard Noble, the land speed record breaker. He kept calling me “Mark”. I corrected him a couple of times but it didn’t work so I gave up. He turned out to be such an interesting guest that in the end I wished I really was called Mark.

How come Swindon has so many seagulls? Don’t they know how far it is to the sea from here? The Mackmobile has been hit several times by seagull poop. I took it to get washed and the very next day, it was hit again. This time it looked like a pterodactyl had swooped and pooped after eating too many prunes! Hey, if Swindon can be home to sea birds when we’re at least fifty miles from the sea, why not flying dinosaurs that have been extinct for sixty-five million years?

I was shocked when I heard the news that Alex “Hurricane” Higgins had died of throat cancer. Not because of his death, he’s been sick for a while but because none of the news reports I heard linked his death to smoking. Alex was a very cool guy and smoking was part of his coolness. Smoking helped make snooker “cool”. The “Embassy” World Snooker Championships were even sponsored by a cigarette company. In 1980 when the BBC cut away from Alex playing Cliff Thorburn in the Final to show the SAS storm the Iranian Embassy in London, the bad taste joke that went around was “Who smokes the most Embassies, Hurricane Higgins or the S.A.S.?” I wonder how many people started smoking because of cool people like Hurricane Higgins. I wonder how many would stop if news reports mentioned that smoking probably killed him.

So quite a week, the death of a superstar, a train with a secret and I’m on first name terms with a British speed legend, even if it isn’t MY first name!

Craic’s life!



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