Meet Paul McFarlane. Nineteen years in the Royal Marines (man and boy), Falklands veteran and someone who is clearly confused about a number of things.
Come On Down!
The Remembrance ‘season’ is that fertile time of year that yields the richest of crops. It delivers the goods year in, year out – and 2010 did not disappoint the Waltwatchers. Into the spotlight steps Paul McFarlane, proudly marching alongside fellow 'Booties' and sporting his hard-earned Commando beret and medals at the Cenotaph. All very well and nice. Unfortunately for Paul, his ex-missus just happens to be watching a spot of box and spots her former beau up to his old tricks.
The fragrant Elaine had booted (pun unintended) McFarlane out of the love nest a couple of years previously when she discovered he’s been telling porkies about a number of things – notably his action-packed service career. Nineteen years with the colours saw Paul get about a bit - the usual spots around the world that a Cold War warrior would have been to before things got silly in later years: Cyprus, Germany, Northern Ireland… the Channel Islands etc.[Huh?]
The couple met in 1995 and were soon married, Elaine in the usual comedy shuttlecock costume and Paul in the dress blue uniform of a WO2 in the Royal Engineers – a somewhat odd choice of attire for a former-Booty who’d reached the dizzy heights of Colour Sergeant – complete with GSM, South Atlantic Medal and UNFICYP gong. One would have thought that nineteen years in the mob would have yielded a long service medal too, but those booties can get a bit feisty and Paul had obviously dropped a bollock at some point. But RE?
Elaine was a bit baffled by this, but carried on regardless - for another thirteen years - until Paul dropped another bollock (this time a real one) regarding some overseas property that they didn’t own in. So what else had he been fibbing about? Just about everything. Elaine demanded to see his service record and it transpired that he’d been ‘kicked out’ of basic training after two weeks, though out of what is unclear. True to form, Paul was off another course – the marital variety. Elaine then dutifully bubbled McFarlane to local service associations. Job jobbed.
Devil in the Detail
All water under the bridge until she spots our man grabbing his fifteen seconds of fame on telly. Naturally outraged, she informs the press and that bastion of righteousness The Daily Mail runs the story – with the usual chronological errors in the detail. When confronted by the hardy newshound, McFarlane persisted with the lies, informing the hack that he’d served between 1972 and 1991 and took part in the Falklands Conflict. He even provided a service number. Checks with the MoD revealed the number to be false and (unsurprisingly) there was no record of McFarlane serving in the marines.
McFarlane now lives in Wales where he works as a Door Supervisor. His prowess in Naked Rollmat Fighting no doubt coming in useful in the seedy clubs of Chester. Needless to say, had McFarlane read Walting With Confidence then he could have avoided all this. Mong.