ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
Joe Cranston-MacDougall has carved his own groove in Australia, according to friends and family back home.
The popular science student turned hospitality guru turned footballing actor has embraced Australian life like his very life depended on it. Rarely does he look back at old photos of the grey Aberdeen granite and wish he was back there throwing rocks at buses like he did as a youth.
However, there’s one thing he does miss – something his new Australian pals will never understand.
From time to time, the 27-year-old gets the thirst.
Not for a cold, refreshing schooner down at his local French Quarter pub, Le Grenouille et Pamplemousse on Rue de Branlette.
Not for a chilled glass of Rockhampton Rose.
Not even a sparkling glass of red.
The thirst that Joe cannot seem to quench Down Under is his thirst for Buckfast, a caffeine-enriched tonic wine that’s garnered a cult-like status among Scotland’s most reprehensible scallywags.
Joe’s new mates were initially entertained by his Buckfast-related stories of misspent youth and needless property destruction but their laughs were quickly quelled by sheer horror.
“Mate, if you could get Bucky down here in Australia, the whole fucken joint’d be in flames,” said Joe.
“Aye, everybody knows you Aussies take the piss out of any liberty a government will give you. I cannot even begin to imagine the state of the place would be in if you mad bastards were allowed to pick up half a box of Bucky from your local Tescos or something,”
“I’m tellin ya, lad. It’s basically unfermented grape juice, like fucken Ribena or something. Sugary as all shite. Then they fortify it with pure ethanol and add it a fuck ton of caffeine for good measure. Pure madness man. We’d have a coupla cans and a bottle of bucky and up’d roll a riot van moments later. Shit’d put ye in a trance or something like,”
Friend Michael, a born and bread Betootanese builder, asked Joe what it’s like to drink and what was the dumbest thing he’d done while under its spell.
“Mate, it’s like getting jumped with a defibrillator or something, putting a fork in a power socket. Hearts just racin’. Dumbest thing like? Probably put my da’s Opel backward through a shopfront one night with the fellas, up come the polis van an missed us by a bawhair. Got away but. Mad. Never again like.”
Michael looked over at this two other friends and nodded in agreement.
“Yeah. Sounds like something we could get around, though,” said Michael.
“Do you have any here?”
Joe smiled and finished the rest of his pint.
“Aye, pal. Lettuce retire to my flat and I’ll tell you all about it.”
More to come.