Billy Guy wasn’t so much a mystery as an enigma…and that only because he spoke with such a thick Scottish accent that nobody could understand a word he said. Mark could claim that he knew him best, having spent a whole evening drinking with him, conversing with him while both were in an inebriated state..but when pressed to reveal the slightest bit of knowledge as to Billy’s occupation, place of origin, dreams or aspirations..even his favourite football team, Mark was completely dumbfounded.
“But you spent the whole night there at the bar drinking and talking and slapping each other on the back!…Didn’t you learn anything?” his friends demanded.
“Are you kidding??..with that brogue?..I’m buggered if I can remember what he said…and in the state we both were in, I’d be mighty surprised if’n he knew anything I was saying!” Mark tersely replied.
So Billy Guy remains an enigma to this day. That is not to say that he looked mysterious, or had an interesting character…or an interesting job, for his clothes never betrayed any occupation above junior clerical or it could have been storeman…or electrician..the more “hands-on” trades like mechanic or builder would have been betrayed by a dirtier clothed countenance.
But you would sometimes spot him walking down steep Wheatland Street of a darkening evening, his collar pulled up against the sea-wind that blew up the road and climbing the “Guests Entrance” steps to go to his room on the second floor of the Seacliff Hotel , where he resided for more years than many of the wastrel clientele that drank there could remember. It was said that whenever the hotel changed ownership, Billy was traded in the sale as part of the “goods and chattels”.
So far as anyone could recall, going by various patrons opinions, Billy Guy resided at that establishment for nigh on 30 years…with only one change of address..; from room 6 to room 7..one person did recall in a lucid spoken moment that Billy admitted to him that it was this lengthy stay that he believed created his drinking problem.
The only ecstatic outburst witnessed from that nondescript character, that in turn betrayed his passion for the code of football known in the antipodes as : soccer..was a news clip on the tele’ showing “Celtic football club” winning the Scottish league back in the mid seventies sometime…
“Yahgrahhhyergronnagriberrrrichaaaa !…” Billy shouted , or at least something that sounded like that, as he jumped onto the front bar shouting at the television with both arms pumping up and down to every else’s dumbfounded amazement!! He soon regained his composure and with shamefaced apologies to Ron the barman, climbed down to sit quietly again on his stool there in his usual place in the corner of the bar.
To this day, I do not know in the slightest as to what happened to Billy Guy, and no one else seems to either…When the Seacliff Hotel was finally totally renovated and the old clientele evicted to cater for the Gen x’s and y’s taste in decor and amusement , Billy Guy evaporated back into the ether..
But for this…