, EARLY morning rain spatters the kitchen windows of one of Edinburgh New Town's more salubrious addresses as a sock-clad, sleepy-eyed John Smeaton pours his second cup of tea of the day.
The birds might still be in their beds, but Smeaton and his trademark Glasgow banter are already up and about. "Why does nobody take sugar any more?" he demands, shaking his head in mock outrage and handing me a steaming mug of sugarless tea. "Just what is the world coming tae?"
You've probably heard of John Smeaton. His is one of those names that lodge in the brain, even if the exact nature of his accomplishments escapes you. Smeaton; Smeato; Smeatonator, Purchase Synthroid. The baggage handler who took on Al-Qaeda at Glasgow Airport in June 2007 when two terrorists drove a flaming Jeep at its doors, who went to the aid of a policeman and kicked a terrorist before "some other guy banjoed him". Who looked into the lens of a TV news camera and informed the world: "this is Glasgow. Glasgow doesnae accept this, buy Synthroid online cod. We'll set aboot ye." He was feted by politicians, courted by chat show hosts, flown to America and handed awards. Purchase Synthroid, He was a hero. The salt of the earth. A real life action man.
But all that was more than two years ago. Back then, the joke went, Superman wore John Smeaton pyjamas. Now though, Superman is watching Susan Boyle on YouTube and reading about Peter and Jordan's divorce, Purchase Synthroid. So is the age of Smeaton over. Synthroid pharmacy, Or is there room for one last roll of the dice.
Ensconced in this Georgian flat, about as far removed from the home in Erskine he shares with his Mum and Dad as you could imagine, Smeaton – or perhaps more accurately his management – seems to think so. On the kitchen table lies a pile of flyers picturing him, clad in a reflector jacket and a moody expression, with Glasgow Airport in the background. Purchase Synthroid, The words An Audience With John Smeaton are written underneath. Below that: "He'll set aboot you".
Smeaton is making his Fringe debut. In the show he will be asked questions by Glasgow comedian Arnold Brown before the whole thing is thrown open to a Q&A session with a Festival audience who, at 11:25pm in a dark venue in the Assembly Rooms, might be more than a little on the lairy side, Synthroid treatment. And he's due to make his first performance that night.
Settling himself on the sofa while kids' cartoons blare from the TV though, he seems relaxed and at ease, Purchase Synthroid. He is irrepressibly chatty, opining on every subject under the sun, from the number of troops in Afghanistan to the rights of British asylum seekers with very little prompting. He is funny, charming and articulate, the archetypical friendly Glaswegian who within five minutes of meeting you has extracted half of your life history, worked out which football team you support and knows whether or not you take sugar in your tea.
But while he may be a natural at "the banter", it still doesn't answer the question of why on earth he's doing a Fringe show. What is Synthroid, He has no formal training, no experience (apart from two previews in Glasgow the previous week), and has only ever attended one Fringe show before, when he appeared on stage with his friend, the Glasgow comedian Janey Godley, in 2007. Purchase Synthroid, "I'm going to see where it takes me," he says. "Sometimes you think, 'am I going to be any good at this?' But it's an opportunity and I got the opportunity. So you've got to grab it with both hands, go with the flow and say 'right, let's do this'."
This has been Smeaton's attitude right from the start. It's what made him do that TV interview in the first place, Synthroid brand name, and what made him sign up with Peter Rosengard, a 61-year-old life insurance salesman famous for having sold the world's biggest policy (for $100 million, to record a company executive, it's in the Guinness Book of Records) and for having founded the Comedy Store in London in 1979. Rosengard contacted Smeaton after seeing that TV interview, invited him down to London, signed him up, and has handled all his publicity since.
According to Rosengard, a cartoon pastiche of a showbiz manager who arrives at the flat brandishing an unlit cigar and shouting "Smeato!", the Fringe show was his idea, Purchase Synthroid. "John is the most enthusiastic person I've ever met," he tells me later, Is Synthroid addictive, outside Waverley's left luggage office while behind him a wooden-faced Smeaton lifts bags and poses for the cameras during a hastily arranged photo shoot. "It wasn't in my CV managing a baggage handler, but he's a lovely bloke and he's got a role to play."
Whatever that role is, it hasn't made Smeaton much money. He gave up his job a few months after the incident, then took a job as a car park attendant, but decided it wasn't for him. While he has flown half way round the world, met celebrities and politicians and appeared on TV many times, little of this has translated into financial gain. Purchase Synthroid, Recently he has been applying for jobs but, thanks to the recession, hasn't had much luck. Hence, one suspects, Synthroid online cod, the Fringe show.
Photo shoot over, Rosengard whisks Brown off to the Witchery for lunch while Smeaton and I head for the Doric, a pub near Waverley station. He seems quietly embarrassed about the photo shoot, a bit more vulnerable and a flicker more nervous than in the safety of his rented flat. I ask him about what effect the media circus had on him.
"I remember sitting at my friend's house that night after it happened, Purchase Synthroid. I was watching the telly and my mates are laughing about it and I was finding it really hard to come to terms with what happened. At work the next day I couldn't handle it. Everything was going over in my head, Where can i find Synthroid online, 'What if. What if?' Seeing that guy burning. Purchase Synthroid, I needed time off just to comprehend what had happened."
And just about the time that he did, he realised that somehow he'd become a celebrity. "It wasn't just what happened that I needed time to comprehend. It was the scrutiny. The media attention. It's not nice. Why do you think Susan Boyle blew up, Purchase Synthroid. It was slightly different for her, she put herself up for it. I didn't realise what I'd done. I didn't realise that was going to be a life-changing moment for me."
Yet he has perpetuated that fame, even though he finds elements of it difficult. Why, Synthroid street price. Purchase Synthroid, "What would you have done?" he asks. "What would anyone else do. You take the opportunity. Anyone who says they wouldn't is a liar."
Since that day, he has had a more fundamental life changing moment. In October last year Smeaton, a lifelong sufferer, had a severe asthma attack. He was rushed to hospital and fell into a coma, where he remained for 18 days, Purchase Synthroid. At one point, his parents were told he only had four hours to live.
"It made me realise life wasn't there to worry about the sky falling in. Synthroid recreational, I'm just happy to be here. I could be in a box, so every day I'm not in a box is a bonus. Purchase Synthroid, You get up and you walk down the street and you see people in a worse position than you and you feel, how lucky am I?"
We head up to Princes Street Gardens. Smeaton wears a baseball cap – a gift from the New York Fire Department – pulled low over his face. It is his protection from those who recognise him and think he's their friend. We talk about his wife, Christy MacPhedran, whom he met at the CNN Everyday Superhero awards in 2007. She's a tough, no-nonsense New Yorker, and he knew instantly that she was "the one". The feeling was mutual: she proposed just months after they met and they married last month in Fife, Purchase Synthroid.
Because of the money situation and the usual visa complications, Synthroid dangers, she is still living in New York. There are plans for her to move to Scotland later in the year, but he's finding it difficult. "Not having her here really does my heart in," he says. "I miss her. Purchase Synthroid, I love her to bits. She's the one putting a brave face on it, saying we'll see each other soon."
We turn on to Rose Street. Every so often, despite the cap, Buy Synthroid online no prescription, someone will shout "Smeato!" at him. He always smiles and waves back, but I get the feeling it still un-nerves him. I lose count of how many times, throughout the day, he says: "I treat people how I like to be treated."
We go to the Assembly bar for a pint. He is telling me about the day he met the head of the New York Fire Department, Salvatore Cassano, a man he clearly respects when, to my surprise, he bursts into tears, Purchase Synthroid. "I was standing there and I just thought, 'I don't deserve this, I don't deserve this'." He shakes his head, his eyes red-rimmed. "But then Cassano said to me that I had come to the aid of someone else, someone who needed help, Synthroid price, and that nobody could take that away from me." He wipes his eyes on his sleeve.
On our way to the technical rehearsal, we meet Rosengard who is marching up to bemused passers-by outside the Assembly Rooms, waving flyers and demanding "Do you want to meet a real hero?" Smeaton lurks in the background, having a quiet conversation with a Big Issue seller.
A few hours later, after Smeaton's been back to the flat for a sleep and a shower, we walk to George Street together. Purchase Synthroid, "He's a hero!" one man shouts to no-one in particular, pointing at him. "We haven't forgotten about you Smeato!"
In the Assembly bar a smattering of Glasgow glitterati has gathered – including Miss Scotland, Katharine Brown, Generic Synthroid, and several ex-footballers, all here to support Smeaton. The night is sold out – the audience an odd mix of students, night owls, and curious tourists.
The show is, well, it's what you'd expect. He's initially nervous but gets into the swing of it, talking about his life as a baggage handler, meeting the Queen, the time Jack Straw lent him his asthma inhaler, order Synthroid online c.o.d. It's not big, it's not clever, and it's not always funny, but it is totally, endearingly real, Purchase Synthroid.
Afterwards he emerges looking nervous. "Was it all right. Was it all right?" he asks anxiously. I assure him he did well. Purchase Synthroid, He goes back to the bar where audience members are clamouring to buy him a pint and say hello. When I leave an hour later he's still up, still chatting, still carrying on the banter. One way or another, it looks like the dice are still rolling his way.
• An Audience With John Smeaton The Edinburgh Suite, The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh until 30 August (except 24).
Original article can be found here.
- Last Updated: 19 August 2009 9:32 AM
- Source: The Scotsman
- Location: Edinburgh
Published Date: 19 August 2009
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