Monday, 6 October 2008
The roots of this one go back a fair way.
To begin with, I was sure that the City/Liverpool game would be the headline one on Sunday afternoon - the Ford Super Sunday extravaganza if you will. But, I had already grokked a wrongness in the fact that only 3 games were played on Saturday this week, so I was mistaken there for a start.
I received a text from Grant saying (amongst other things) that he was available for weddings, parties, etc. My reply quoted Bar Mitzvahs and he said that he would have mentioned it, but was unsure of the spelling. No sooner had I re-holstered the Blackberry and walked into Waitrose, than I saw a headline in the Islington Gazette (or some such local rag) with the words Bar Mitzvah in it. Not often you see that, I can assure you.
Anyroad up, went for a pizza in the realisation that the City game would only be featuring on 5 Live Sports Extra, arriving there at sometime after 2.00. In the car on the way back, radio on, I was delighted to hear that we were 2-0 up at half time. Of course, there was the nagging doubt, as there always is at 2-0 up, that the Scouse twats might pull off a leveller. Schlepped to the pub, thinking that at least the atrocious Sky Info Bar would keep me up to date while I snoozed through the Everton/Newcastle match.
Despite the odd smell in the pub (a mixture of piss and must - it was one of those occasions when the toilet smells nicer than the bar) and a little bit of grappa dizziness, all was well till the 55th minute, when the first Torres goal was reported in the blue bar scrolling across the bottom of the sun-drenched Goodison pitch. There was only me and 3 other blokes (one was, oddly, a Cockney Toffee, which is also an unusual sight) in the pub at the time, and so I loudly sucked in a sharp intake as I read it, fearing the worst.
Well, things really went downhill from there as I spied a group of four approaching, in high dudgeon, from down the Cally. I knew three of them reasonably well - an Irishman who works on the Underground and his missus with the ever-changing hair, his son and a half pissed bird I didn't recognise. At that moment, I don't know why, I decided to check my phone. The kiss of death was laid upon me by someone who really should know better, with a text which read:
"Are City the real deal?"
He had betrayed his first, true, Scouse love in 5 words. He will NEVER be forgiven.
The Irish son, who works in the bookies, had internet access on his phone, and the dread creeping over me was confirmed by him in gloating tones to anyone who would listen as I sat with clenched teeth through the teasing of Richard Keys before trudging home in the pissing rain.