Thursday, November 13, 2008
Thanks to my two-week touchline ban, a football free Saturday void of footballers and teenage daughter who was encouraged to overnight at her friends’ house. An early departure for the car crash of a football team to an away game near the coast, so a leisurely breakfast with the papers and an episode of Quantum Leap on UK Gold, I could get used to this “bringing the game into disrepute” lark.
But what to do with the rest of the day?.
To Iron or not to Iron?
To Dust or no to dust? …you must be joking.
Today I have some much needed retail therapy to catch up on, and next Saturday a full day session at a spa where I shall be massaged with exotic oils by a toned young man in tight shorts, read magazines in wooden cubicles under different types of lights, swim without the interference of boisterous/drowning children or the latest round of bombathons, dine lightly on food drizzled with the same exotic oils that were rubbed into my body and wash it all down with a large glass of something dry bubbly and white. But that is for next week, this day is for shopping.
After a quick shower the phone rang, it was Ginny. Ginny has no male offspring, only two young girls and Tom, an organic husband who spends most of his time on his allotment where he grows misshapen vegetables that Ginny struggles to peel, subsequently they eat out a lot.
After ten minutes of chat and an agreement to meet in town for lunch Ginny remembered the initial reason for the phone call. Tom had been at the allotment the previous evening and had witnessed a disturbance on Grandad’s patch involving Grandma and a group of boys did I know what it was about?
I didn’t but would check on my way shopping.
Grandma was home alone when I knocked, and after a brief round of pleasantries she came to the reason for the disturbance. During a brief discussion between the two silver scrappers about the current line up for "‘m a Celebrity get me out of here", Grandma had expressed disappointment about the absence of the lovely Jason Donovan, who had done so well in one of the series past and would be her choice of Tarzan should she happen to be stuck in a jungle. Grandad, irked at the thought of being cuckolded by the antipodean Joseph hit the roof. A tirade about the youth of today ensued, the show was filmed in the car park of a hotel, and during his time in Malaya with the army, Witchety grubs were for high days and holidays.
Grandma responded with a challenge to Grandad; if it was so easy why didn’t he go on the show, which led to a lot of harrumphing and snorting and an agreement to start training by living in his shed on the allotment for a period, surviving off his small area of land. Grandma would stay at home, fill in the forms and visit him once in the morning and once in the evening. Unfortunately after last night’s visit which was Grandad’s third night in the jungle/allotment a group of local youths had got wind of what was going on ( no doubt from Grandma) and were issuing Grandad with challenges to consume various plates of creatures dragged out from his compost heap, which he did, with a
“you young buggers don’t know you’re born”
A little concerned at Grandad’s sojourn in the jungle/allotment I agreed to accompany Grandma on that morning’s visit where the local youths or Grandma had daubed his shed with the slogan “I’m a liability get me out of here” Grandma hurried down the path and Grandad emerged from his shed.
“Hi love, you’re doing really well, they have agreed to include your time here as part of this year’s programme. Cameras have been placed in some of the trees around here, and last night everyone voted to keep you in, keep it up, I will be along this evening to tell you if it is your turn to leave the jungle”
Grandma grabbed my elbow and ushered me away,
“Not a word to anyone, if he wants to play silly buggers I’m going to teach him a lesson. He will be home on Sunday.”
Dumbfounded I dropped Grandma off, is this what husband and I had to look forward to in later life? A prolonged battle between the inhabitants of Venus and Mars.
I shopped and lunched with Ginny before returning home, stopping off at Grandad’s allotment on the way. The local youths had slung a rope over a branch of a tree that bordered Grandad’s allotment and were lowering a half eaten bag of chips down to him, stopping with the bag just out of his reach.
“ Yo Grandad Mears, If you want to earn more meals for the camp you’ll have to finish off them snails”
Grandad reaching up to try and grab the chips with his hoe.
I chased the youths away, and handed Grandad some sandwiches I had bought from the garage.
“You can’t give me those love, I’ll be off the show, they pick all sorts up on the cameras and microphones.”
As he handed them back to me.I left for home, hoping that Grandma would have him home soon.
I was met at home by a buoyant father and son and a sleeping teenage daughter.
“Hey Mum, Dad copied you and you’re coaching methods and we won one nil”
Husband and son’s team had taken the lead through an own goal late in the first half. At half time son and his mates had suggested to Dad that he speak to Brandi and her Floaters who happened to be at the game. The Floaters had performed at a seventies revival night the previous evening at the nearby holiday camp, Brandi happening along for the ride. Aware of the proximity of today’s game to the previous night’s “gig” the Floaters had agreed to return the favour and come and support Brandi’s cheer leading.
Husband said that he thought this particular coach may be immune to Brandi’s charms but he would ask Randy if he would run the line for the second half, which he did.
The opposition striker straying off side continually, leading to
“Hi, Randy, Aquarius, and I like my football played onside”
accompanied by a side stepping finger clicking routine by the remaining Floaters and a falsetto
“He’s offside…….offside, offside”
“mmmmmMMMMM….see ma flag, its in the air cos you’re offside”
Replied Randy with the red flag.
With no rule in the book about adding time for routines performed by seventies R&B bands, each offside incident took upwards of a minute out of the game. Husband and son’s team triumphing by a goal to nil, and the Floaters selling several tickets for that night’s performance.
“There’s mileage in these distraction tactics I tell you”
said husband opening the mail and reading an official looking letter.
“Fantastic, your appeal has been upheld and your touchline ban rescinded, common sense at last”
Thursday, November 6, 2008
After the match day madness of the other week, I naturally assumed that my brief time in the glare of football’s spotlight would be over. Alan and 606 had moved on, husband was back at the helm of his floundering ship of football and I had retreated back into the shadows of match days content to ignore the game, chat with friends, listen to my ipod, admire any eye candy that may be refereeing the game and get through the ninety minutes of tedium as best as I can albeit with a hundred percent success rate in football management.
Three weeks passed before one morning I received an official looking envelope by registered delivery. On opening the expensive envelope I discovered that I was to be charged with bringing the game into disrepute;
Result! recognition at last! Somebody on the same wavelength as me with an equal disregard for all things football.
Reading on down the letter, to discover where I was to pick up this award and whether it merited a new outfit it became apparent that this was not some like minded individual but someone who couldn’t be further from my train of thought. I had been in charge of a football team and knowingly fielded more than eleven players on the field at the same time. Despite my well-intentioned motive of “giving everyone a go” the lecherous cove who had been transfixed by Brandi and her gang had reported the team to his local Football Authority who had taken it upon themselves to send me this letter; I was to attend a hearing in two weeks at the county Football Authority headquarters.
Now I found it laughable and was not the slightest bit concerned by the apparent gravitas of the situation. Husband was all of a dither over the future of his club, while son prepared placards for his friends to carry to the hearing. I convinced Captain Ditherspaz that the occasion merited a new outfit and was granted leave from one match day to go and choose an appropriate outfit, which I did along with a selection of matching shoes, accessories and lunch.
On the way home I saw Brandi for the first time since the match in question, she was entering her cottage’s garden, dressed in trademark plastic stilettos, tight t-shirt and short shorts accompanied by a group of four African American gentlemen, who my son would term as “dudes”.
I stopped the car; I had felt a need to make some kind of peace with the ageing high kicker since I had used her charms so mercilessly in my football management career.
“Brandi I just wanted to sa……”
“Squeeeeeellll…….honey you have just come at the right time, these guys are old friends of mine from the seventies, come and meet the Floaters, they had a hit and used to warm up some soccer matches with my girls”
Brandi ushered me towards the quartet in white suits and shades, who had worn very well if they had indeed had a hit in the seventies.
“Hi, Randy, Aquarius, and I like a lady who’s good in the kitchen”
“Float, Float on…”
Sang the other three, while clicking fingers and stepping from one foot to the other
“Hi, Larry, Libra, and I like a lady who knows what she wants“
“Float, float on….”
“Hi Felix, Sagittarius and I like a lady who takes it silky slow”
“mmmmmmmmmMMMMM…….. Take my hand, and come with me to wonder land”
Sang Brandi before dissolving into fits of shrieking laughter,
“You Guys,….. Sorry honey they do that little gag every time, seeya round”
And with that she was off into the house with her Floaters.
Perplexed I drove home and dug out my old Top of the Pops albums to try and find a picture of the Floaters and ascertain if it was they who I had just met. My search briefly terminated by husband’s anguish at discovering the sheaf of receipts in my bags from my day at the shops.
A quick google of “Floaters” revealed an extensive range of self-contained sewage treatment devices so I called off the inquiry, and set about assembling my outfit for the following day’s appearance in “Crown Court”
The next morning Husband was up with the lark, and bringing me breakfast in bed.
“It may be your last meal for a while, not sure what the food is like in prison, although Jeffrey Archer didn’t look bad on it”
He was quickly followed by daughter, who had not seen this time of day since primary school; if I was not coming home could she have my new boots. At the very least she expected me to be wearing some kind of tag around my ankle which would prevent the wearing of said boots, and by the time I was released/untagged the boots would be out of fashion so it would be best for everyone if I just gave her the boots now…..
“NNNNOOOOO……. I will be coming home at the end of the day after we have got through this latest football induced charade and I will be wearing my boots!!!”
Up and dressed for my morning in the dock, and on with the power clothes, not the ones that I had purchased the previous day, they were for casual, social and everyday wear. I already had my outfit for today hung in the wardrobe; pencil skirt with jacket in light charcoal, plain white blouse with top two buttons undone, sheer tights and medium heels, hair up and glasses in pocket, minimal accessories and briefcase rather than handbag, A vision of powerful femininity that screamed, don’t mess with me.
Husband and son accompanied me to the house of the terminally mad and bewildered, which housed the Football court. My briefcase was checked on the way in for weaponry and we were escorted through to a waiting room. We were second up in front of the beak, after a throng of eight year old boys and girls who had received a similar charge as myself, after they discussed some of their recent under eight football matches with their parents when they got home, The Football authorities apparently having banned all reporting of some junior matches lest anyone should find out if they were doing well or not.
Children suitably rebuked and escorted crying from the court we were on, three men behind a desk, all of a similar age and all attired in what must pass for Football authority smart casual. Blue Nylon blazer with gold buttons, white shirt, blue tie with football on, cream staypress action slacks and well polished but reasonably cheap shoes. Bits of paper in front of them, five minutes of drone, with stern and grave looks over glasses before being asked to stand and issue my reply which I did,
“Guilty as charged throw the book at me”
Which they did, and boy did they feel good doing it, not in a misogynistic way but in a “don’t muck around with the boys in blazers, football is a serious game kind of a way”
I rose, thanked them profusely for their time and wise counsel and left the room.
Husband and Son met me outside.
“Your out……….. No fine? no tag?, no punishment?”
“No, no fine, no tag, just a two week touchline ban, I did ask for four weeks but they declined, a football free fortnight….bliss”