Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday 1 July 2006

New month, new me, new resolutions.

The day begins warm but well as post arrives with blag booty a plenty as my Latitude Festival tickets turn in addition to an envelope from the BBC containing tickets to the Radio Four play Not Today Thank You which features Harry Shearer! Who cares what the play/show is like; it’s fucking Harry Shearer man, Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap and Smithers and 101 other voices from the Simpsons. Hella good times.

Early morning and I check my phone and there are texts from Racton bemoaning the Friday Night Project and the professional dickheads Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins. I text back that they are the new David Cross and Bob Odenkirk before Racton replies, complaining about being awake way too early on a Saturday morning and how he almost vomits when he hears/sees the new Razorlight single on TV which ransacks wholesale Marquee Moon by Television. I’ve said this before; Tom Verlaine should take them to the cleaners.

And talking of the cleaners, I’ve been feeling fucking scuzzy all week so today I decide to get a trim at Colin’s – which is always a pleasure and never a chore. Today I cruise into the shop, next in queue listening in on their next planned insurance job – insurance scams sound a winner, especially when your song works for the police.

With my work done on the coast by eleven; I head back to Colchester for the real chores of the day. I love Holland On Sea, my parents really should not have moved away to all the hassle of new Colchester. Holland On Sea looks like retirement heaven to me, as I drive through the main street I see some oldsters with a Westie like Snowy which rolls on its back upon being stroked – it’s a sight that will make anybody fall in love with humanity again.

On my way back I make a detour to the Highwoods Tesco and finally get my naan Chicken Tikka pizza so denied of me a couple weeks ago.

In contrast to Holland, Colchester town is hell on this sticky summer Saturday. After stopping by the oldster’s crib I head into town where I excruciatingly bump into someone I used to play football with at Beaumont Seymour. To say we barely acknowledge each other would be something of an exaggeration, I send out a shit eating grin which can only be interpreted as pained or sarcastic. Such crossings of paths scream why I need to get away from Colchester for the best of my sanity.

I head to O2 to update my phone now that my contract has expired and it is a year since I dropped my brand new phone down the toilet at the James Brown gig. The fuckers won’t give me the one I want, the one that will play Paramount Channel. Instead I settle for a Samsung phone, who the fuck has Samsung phones? I later discover, watching TV, it is the phone those twats from Chelsea have on that annoying advert. Oh great, I’m riding with those cocks now.

Still early for my dread opticians appointment I go to HMV and finally buy the Cosa Nostra book. Unfortunately a little research would have pointed out to me that it is more of a history book than a Sopranos companion – which would have meant I wouldn’t have bought it and it does mean that I am now really unlikely to actually get around to reading it. After a quick flyby in WH Smith where I see the most amazing lady flicking through the most moronic books, I hold my breath and head over to Specsavers.

Now, I will admit I am well overdue an eyetest but what the hell, its Specsavers, the McDonalds of opticians, they just want to test your eyes every other week in order to generate revenue. Upon arrival they barely acknowledge my existence. And soon it turns out that there is a difference between an eye test and a contact lens test. How on earth is there any major difference? Well, little difference other than Specsavers being able to produce two bills. I ask about this and my query is not greeted with welcome. I do the eye test drill in a matter of minutes by some snobby woman obviously repulsed by me (lol). And then when I stand above her I see way more tit than should be legal – put ‘em away girl. Upon completion about 150 seconds later as I get charged £18.95 for my “test” the aged fat fuck that has run the store for years begins condescending me about my glasses being out of style/fashion being round frames and not square. Yup, style guru advice coming from a man the size of a house that probably can’t even see his dick over his belly – yup, he’d sure be the person to ask for style. I enquire about my contact lens test now and whether they will begin sending me new lenses now that I have had a test even though they have continued to draw their direct debit monthly without giving me anything in exchange. I get told I have no appointment and I get sent upstairs. I usually when somebody sends you upstairs it is to be beaten up and whacked. Upstairs, the day becomes even less fruitful as further condescending sees the contact lens ladies frowning on me for continuing to wearing contacts without their permission apparent. It seems that they have not sent me any new contacts since September; they thought I had stopped wearing contacts or gone elsewhere but still they have still being drawing my monthly direct debit. And despite all this they cannot and will not see/deal with me today. Great service. And this follows me noticing a sign in the waiting room stating that because of the England v Portugal game the store is shutting at 3PM that day for “healthy and safety” issues. What the fuck are those? So, today being the first, when can they squeeze me in next for a contact lens check up – the twenty second of July! So what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Nothing it seems, they really do not seem obliged to me and offering me any kind of service. How useless can an organisation get? In my next life I want to be an optician. Now I wonder why I don’t go to the opticians for eye test very much?

That out of the way it was down to business. With two hours to spare and a town centre full of flag draped chavs, it was time to head home to the olds where they have food, my dog and Sky. Pre-match entertainment was supplied by the ability to channel surf where I wind up watching the Dukes Of Hazzard on Bravo and an episode where Bo Duke loses his memory and is convinced that Boss Hog is his. This TV show is funny as hell and it suddenly occurs to me that the current wave of Americana (and therefore folk) comes from my generation’s apparent yearning to get back to Saturday evening watching Dukes Of Hazzard (instead of the stormtrooper propaganda that was CHIPS).

England v Portugal turns out to be hell. England once more fail to perform and are the polar opposite of so much that they had promised. Blindly I have had hope and faith in the team and Sven all tournament. I have wilfully been happily predicting that the team would win each and every match 3-0 because quite frankly we are a team capable of such results…….on paper and in theory. The reality is a true ruiner however, it is soon apparent that once more Sven has no plan in place and ultimately no clue in what he is doing. He sits in his dugout like a Madame Tussards mannequin of Mr Burns whilst Steve McClaren barks out instructions whilst looking completely out of depth – a complete spectacle of somebody I wouldn’t even listen to. And on the pitch things aren’t much better. At back the team looks rock solid after the little bumble that was the Swedan match but beyond that where are the apparent world class talents of Lampard and Gerrard? And Beckham, now a mere shadow of himself, ultimately he just looks like a tired old man with a stupid haircut – and at the age of just 31! Halftime arrives and I cannot recall any real moments of true excitement. At this point it is plainly evident that Rooney is lost out to sea on his own and require someone upfront with him. I have never believed in any formation where there is a lone striker (Neil Harris – I feel for you) and today is not any exception.

Things pick up slightly when the weepy wimp figure of David Beckham is replaced by the excited and lively Aaron Lennon but still it is not quite the final bite that the team needs. Of course the game turns in the 60th minute when, with things look dull but not lost, the worst thing imaginable happens as Rooney gets sent off for stamping on the bollocks of some Portuguese piece of meat. And it does look bad and you are only left wondering what the fuck was he thinking? If as intentional as it looked for me it is a red card offence although the fact that this gets compounded by Ronaldo stepping in and pushing the point home only serves to makes things doubly worse. As soon as the card is shown it is without question Game Over. With Rooney off, our team on the pitch is actually without a recognised striker. And our options on the bench: Crouch and Walcott. Within a few minutes Crouch is on the pitch for Joe Cole (not the person I would have taken off) but soon, despite his best efforts and intentions, he is also lost to scene and really being revealed as not being up to standard at this level. The game presses on and at the back England are solid and very impressive, it looks like Portugal could play for hours against us and fail to score. Of course it would appear that Scolari has strikers problems akin to England as well as an issue with aged has beens of his own. When 90 minutes finally come around, extra time has long been inevitable.

Extra time just about brushes up on exciting, with England at least showing a flicker of danger towards to the Portuguese goal but ultimately it is just not enough, the team is not strike minded, extra passes are put in, which probably should be pop shots, as the team search out space that just is not there. No surprises then as penalties arrive and go. In the build up Robinson looks confident but Sven looks like he has shitting pants, he looks almost as if he has conceded he has lost. Just before the final whistle is blown there is sight of him and McClaren making notes. Motson thinks they are making out their list of penalty takers but the wise man has money on them making notes for their excuses press conference in the near future. Why can’t England take penalties? I have no idea; I have no idea why a team such as England, such as it is on paper, cannot muster a fucking shot on target it seems. Excuses can be made that they arrived at the finals exhausted but this is just professional football, 90 minutes at the weekend and 90 minutes midweek if the players are lucky – that excuse is the domain of the decrepit. The shoot-out turns out to be excruciating. I will never know how three “world class” players can fail to score from the penalty spot - all that money and all that apparent skill, ultimately it counts for nish! The concept of Gerrard AND Lampard missing penalties is inconceivable – maybe one of them on a bad day but BOTH? And in the most important game of their lives (maybe)? They lose their bottle as they go out the cup. Fittingly Owen Hargreaves scores his (one player the English can now cherish) but with the sight of Jamie Carragher stepping up to retake a penalty, you only know that the end is nie. Personally in 2004 I thought getting the goalkeeper to take the winner was taking the piss but circa 2006 getting the evening rat Ronaldo to score the winner and finally thump us out of the competition seems painfully fitting. If he ever wears a Manchester United shirt again it will be insanity.

The game ends in silence. Pictures on my TV show a bunch of overpaid jessies crying their hearts out and their distinct failure to perform. Passionate as ever, Sven does the rounds sheepishly but how can anyone in England have any sympathy? We were wimps with no passion. I would far prefer a reaction but ourselves similar to the Argentina ruckus, perhaps once we might have.

Game Over and the evening is now well eaten into, so what does the BBC put on to cheer us up? Dr Who! That certainly raises a nation. Instead it turns out to be more entertaining watching people waddle home pissed from the pub, distraught and agitated. That and every other Chav pikey solemnly taking down their cheap ass English flags that are made in China. We should have one big bonfire I say and effigies of the England squad atop. Or failing that just put half the England squad atop to burn. Word seeps through that there is some trouble in Colchester town post-match – good times.

Further channel surfing/hopping sees me coming across an awful Neil Young documentary on the biography channel but I still find myself learning a load of stuff that previously was unknown to me.

I stick around the olds for Brazil v France and find myself semi surprised when France come out victorious, France themselves beginning to look like a team of has-beens also. France however are revived and are improving by the game in this World Cup it seems as Brazil just look tepid and aged (is it me or is there a recurring theme to this World Cup of has-beens). The quarter finals turn out to be a weekend of shocks, would anyone have really expected Argentina, England and Brazil to have all been knocked out this weekend? Astonishing.

Finally I get to go home on a meek Saturday night that really sees me living it up with Cruel Intentions on Channel Four. There is something about this movie that really rubs me up the wrong, a bunch of Yank toffee nosed teenagers acting like they fucking know it all whilst getting their end away it seems much more than I ever do. And they are all oh so smart with it and I know certainly people (B mainly) that totally fucking lap this movie and its characters it up. It’s just such fucking bollocks. “You don’t have to watch it” I hear you say but there is nothing else on TV (ha ha). I soon fall asleep though, only to awaken in the early hours with some weird episode of Big Brother on TV and Nikki sticking her face in the diary room camera trying to show off a mouth ulcer that she has – she is a world beater for sure, she really would have made a fine WAG at this year’s World Cup.

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