Belfast, Nottingham, Austin...
On the other hand Octocon would probably be a bad idea, because I do need to save my money for when I go on the lam in Austin, Texas. Because let's face it: the prospect of returning home to Scotland in the depth of winter is enough to make even the maddest of Mad Schemes seem a better option, when that Mad Scheme involves not going back to where it's bloody Baltic and only light between, oh, 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. OK, so there's the whole Visa Only Being Valid For A Limited Time thing and the Country Being Ruled By Neo-Con Nutjobs thing, and I know I'd eventually do something stupid in Texas like, I dunno, leave Austin. But, listen, I have a plan. See, after I've accidentally burned down the Alamo, or asked the wrong cowboy if he's a fan of Brokeback Mountain, or mistakenly roared antichristian sonnets and random insults outside some Baptist church ("Westbury, you say, not Westboro. Oh. Well, I take back what I said about the goats.")... anyway, after I've done whatever it is I'm bound to do that will mean I have to hightail it out of Texas, then I shall follow the plan of every self-respecting renegade: head south for El Mexico!
Cause if I have to hire an unscrupulous speedboat-owner to smuggle me across the Rio Grande, or swim the fucker myself, a Scottish wetback in search of sunlight and tequila, frankly it'll probably still be a more tempting option than spending winter in Glasgow. And they'll never catch me. I know some Spanish. Mi estomago Europeo es debil. See? I've been watching Don Juan De Marco and practicing my fake Spanish accent; it's now really bad. Muy mal. I'm not saying I'll blend in, but I'll be entertaining.
-- Who is this gringo loco with the bad Spanish accent? they'll say. Why is he even speaking with a bad Spanish accent when he is in Mexico?
-- I'm no gringo, I'll say. I'm Scottish. I too am of an oppressed people with an overbearing, imperialist neighbour! I too understand that life is hard and short but that this, yes, this is all the more reason to celebrate its brief and fleeting joys with the rapture of drink and song, mes amigos. Give me a tango beat on that guitar, my friend, and I shall show you that I am truly your brother.
They'll have to let me stay, once they realise that Scots are really just Mexicans without the Catholicism and the weather. But how will I survive once the money runs out? Why, I shall join a mariachi band. We'll work the bars and cafes, regaling rich American tourists with the Alex Harvey version of "Next", confusing them with my bizarre pseudo-Castillian lisp and guttural Glaswegian drunk-in-a-pub incomprehensibility. I shall set the poetry of Lorca to music, sing his sweet Gypsy Ballads to newly-weds on honeymoon, serenade them with such sensuality that the woman will tremble in anticipation of the pleasures which await later that night. And while she dreams of the satisfaction of her deepest desires, the man will sweat, squirming with the not-quite-conscious-and-yet-still-unsettling vague sensation that these songs of love are not for her, oh no, but rather aimed at him. Yes, I shall try them in the crucible of passion, and if by chance some of the men they find themself transformed, the cold steel of their heterosexuality melted to a more mercurial temperament... well, I shall try not to be shot dead by a jealous wife, but death-by-romanticism is surely a better end than old age. Either way, these lovers will return to their homes with stories of this strange Spaniard-Scot of a singer, with his wild eyes, wild hair and even wilder hand-gestures, this man known only as... Don Loco!
It's a plan. It may not be a sane plan, but if it was sane then they would not call me Don Loco.