Read Why Me? Online

Authors: Neil Forsyth

Why Me?

Neil Forsyth is an author, journalist and writer for radio and TV. A fellow Dundonian and friend to Bob Servant for over twenty years he has previously assisted Servant on two books,
Delete This At Your Peril – The Bob Servant Emails
and
Bob Servant – Hero of Dundee
, as well as the BBC Radio 4 series
The Bob Servant Emails
.

Forsyth is also the author of
Other People's Money
, the biography of fraudster Elliot Castro, and the novel
Let Them Come Through
.

Praise for Bob Servant (
Delete This at Your Peril
and
Bob Servant – Hero of Dundee
)

‘A former cheeseburger magnate and semi-retired window cleaner, Bob is a delightfully deranged but likeable rogue. Drinking in and chasing ‘skirt' around the bars of Broughty Ferry with ne'er-do-well mates such as Frank the Plank, he is a late middle-aged working-class eccentric in the vein of John Shuttleworth . . . a living, breathing creation of comic genius . . . Today, Broughty Ferry. Tomorrow, the world?
Bookbag

‘Bob Servant is a very, very funny book. You will piss yourself and then quote sections of this book repeatedly within your circle of friends'

Irvine Welsh

‘Reminds me how good good comic writing can be . . . The surrealism is perfect'

Scotland on Sunday

‘This is one of the funniest books ever compiled . . . the work of a comedy genius'

The Skinny

‘Neil has captured something particular of the Dundonian, surreal sense of humour. And I don't think we've ever had that before. We've had Billy Connolly and Lex McLean's Glasgow stories and traditions, but now we've got this Dundee creature who is just so funny . . . I was in hysterics'

Brian Cox

‘Hilarious, full of sly, Scottish humour'
Martin Kelner, The Guardian

‘He's a Henry Root for the digital age . . . a hilarious collection' GT Magazine

‘Hurrah for Bob Servant! Read it in private as it will make you laugh out loud'

The Book Magazine

‘Brilliant entertainment. Funny, absurd, engaging comedy'

Felix Dexter

‘Bob is a serious man, a thoughtful man, a complicated man, who knows that when holding a man's cock in the bathroom you look straight ahead'

Sharp Magazine

‘There's stuff in here that Chic Murray would have been proud of'

Sanjeev Kohli

‘Wildly unpredictable, roaringly funny'

Daily Express

‘Some of the funniest emails you will ever read and some of the best comedy I have read in a while'

Lunch.com

‘These are the writings of a clearly deranged mind'

Soteria

‘
Delete This at Your Peril
will not win the Booker Prize'
The Kilkenny Advertiser

‘
– Didn't do it for me, a bit lazy . . . I just didn't connect to Bob as a person'

M. Thomas, Amazon.co.uk

Why Me?

Also by Neil Forsyth featuring Bob Servant

Bob Servant – Hero of Dundee

Delete This at Your Peril – The Bob Servant Emails

Fiction

Let Them Come Through

Non-fiction (with Elliot Castro)

Other People's Money. The Rise and Fall of Britain's Most Audacious Fraudster

Why Me?

-------------------------

The Very Important Emails of Bob Servant

-------------------------

Neil Forsyth

First published in 2011 by
Birlinn Limited
West Newington House
10 Newington Road Edinburgh
EH9 1QS
www.birlinn.co.uk
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without the express written permission of the publisher.
The moral right of Neil Forsyth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
The moral right of Bob Servant to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in Stewpot's Bar, Broughty Ferry, Dundee on a number of occassions
ISBN: 978 1 78027 009 8
eBook ISBN: 978 0 85790 093 7
Picture credits
pp. 4, 39, 42, 72 (left), 73 (left), 134 supplied by the author
pp. 15, 19, 82, 83, 114, 130, 131 by Mark Blackadder
All other artwork supplied by Getty Images
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Typeset by Brinnoven, Livingston
Printed and bound by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc
For Rhiannon, my skirt, with love
Contents

Introduction by Neil Forsyth

A Big ‘Hello' from Bob Servant

  1     Why Me? 1

  2     Bob the Oilman

  3     The Football and Timmy Servant

  4     Dr Kenny Wilson

  5     Bob's Phone Number

  6     The War at Home

  7     Why Me? 2

  8     Twinklers

  9     Sad Times Publishing 1

10     Sad Times Publishing 2

11     Timmy's First Skirt

12     Bob the Poet

13     The Church of Broughty Ferry

14     The Skirt Hunt and the Dunblane Hydro

15     The Vanishing Beard

16     Deadeye the Fleet-footed Wonderboy

17     The Bob Servant Experience

18     Why Me? 3

Acknowledgements

Introduction by Neil Forsyth

Two bewildering decades have passed since I first met Bob Servant. Over that time I have encountered him as a window cleaner, a startlingly successful cheeseburger van operator and, in the last few years, an author of books which I have been given the task of editing. This is his third book and, as when I worked with him on the others, a part of me hopes it will be his last.

Bob's recent emergence as Scotland's least likely man of letters has caught most by surprise while apparently pleasing others. For them, a new addition to the Servant collection is perhaps greeted with a shade of excitement. For me it has meant the usual hardship. I know these are the first words you're encountering in a book bought for light diversion, and I apologise for the negativity, but I find it hard to offer an upbeat alternative.

My suffering began with Bob's standard approach to me in these matters, a phone call bristling with hubris and mild aggression. He had been ‘back on the emails' and ‘the results speak for themselves'. I was instructed to return with immediate effect to our shared hometown of Dundee– Scotland's sunniest city that sits in honest contemplation by the River Tay.

Reluctantly I boarded a train, to be met by Bob at Dundee's gleaming station. He had commandeered an aging Ford Sierra from a local pub landlord and took me on a tour of the city – sweeping up the Dundee Law hill to gaze down on the streets below, zipping between the glory-drenched football stadiums, crawling respectfully past the city centre's Desperate Dan statue and then finally down into the riverside suburb of Broughty Ferry, Bob's personal fiefdom.

It is in Broughty Ferry that Bob feels truly at home, and to see him marching through the streets is an astonishing sight. He liberally dispenses nods and winks to those he passes, whether they know him or not, and his hands are busy with shakes, pats and various tweaks which are greeted with delight by children and an often extreme discomfort by adults. The sight of Bob roughhousing with an uncooperative traffic warden, who was on the verge of tears throughout, remains disappointingly fresh in my mind.

Finally we retreated to Bob's favoured Stewpot's Bar where he told me of his plans for the book you currently hold. I asked, hesitantly, if a sequel of further emails was in any way a cash-in.

‘World War Two was a sequel,' said Bob gravely. ‘Was that a cash-in? Was beating the Nazis a cash-in?'

When Bob is in this kind of form, and I'm not sure I've ever seen him in another, there is little to be gained by debate. Instead I visited his ludicrous house the following morning and gathered the emails he had exchanged with spammers around the world.

For the third occasion I found myself in Dundee's central library for long weeks, trying to piece together a Bob Servant book. The emails themselves were as intriguing as ever, but as usual I was soon immersed in the library's
Dundee Courier
archive in my loyal attempt to stand up Bob's more unlikely claims. You will observe my woe through the book's editorial footnotes.

Two months later, drained by 12-hour days with Bob's inanity, I stood on his doorstep with the edited proof in my hands. As always I was seeking to leave Dundee after my tasks were done to avoid Bob's excitement as publication approached. I have heard various stories about Bob's behaviour in the days after last year's book release, when his titles sailed to the top of Dundee Waterstone's famously impregnable charts and Bob made an appearance on Grampian Television that still provokes local debate.

Bob led me to his living room where he'd been relaxing with an indeterminate alcoholic cocktail and an episode of the
You've Been Framed
television show which I noticed, with alarm, was not being transmitted but was playing from VHS video.

‘This clip is top three,' said Bob sincerely while we watched a man sit on a plastic bin at a family barbecue before the bin's lid gave way, sucking the man within it while screaming family members ran to his aid. ‘Not of all time,' added Bob helpfully, ‘just of that series.'

I gave Bob the book's proof and mentioned the Acknowledgements section. He told me to come and find him the next day and that we would ‘have a good time', a phrase which, when used by Bob, always means that I am going to have a bad time.
1

After this burst of co-operation he grew distant once more, dividing his attention between myself and a compilation of people suffering mishaps in and around small rivers, streams and recreational lakes. Bob confided that he lacked appreciation for
You've Been Framed
clips involving people falling into water because they were ‘as predictable as Christmas' and there was ‘no real twist'.

I stood, shook Bob's hand and left him giggling quietly to himself, the mysterious cocktail close by and an endless stream of infantile entertainment flickering before him. In retrospect, I don't think I have ever seen him so happy.

Neil Forsyth

London

2011

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