Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday 23 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY THIRTEEN

As per fucking usual I awaken at 6.15AM today as I begin to brace myself for questions regarding my no-show at work in view of England playing a very (too) important football match this afternoon.  I booked this day off months ago and it was contentious then and now it will be more so.

Outside it is a beautiful day, perhaps the best of the year so far.  In other words it is too hot, too warm for humanoids, for an Englishman so used to damp and drizzle, to grey skies that cause suffrage of the climatic kind.

One of the first things I do today is listen to the Derek “Robbo” Robson podcast before daring to check my iPhone for messages.  The podcast is OK, probably better than the BBC podcasts but not as good as The Guardian one.  He doesn’t sound like the man that did The Treatment on Radio Five all those years ago.

From here I watch the penultimate episode of Bored To Death and once again this show just gives and gives, delivering on a large scale.  This episode ends on something of a bourgeois cliff-hanger but these guys are likeable so you do not resent them their adventures.

Afterwards another quick check of my iPhone thankfully still shows no missed calls or messages.  I think I have got away it.

By now Frasier is on Channel Four and as ever it is an episode I remember watching back in the day but this show has just aged so well that it is still able to hold my attention and make me smile (if not laugh).  Wherever did happen to Roz?  She was a honey.

Back online I actually find myself buying porn out of boredom.  I am curious by some of these clips sometimes and currently I appear to have more money than sense.  After payment as I begin downloading the reality is that the file is over a gigabyte in size.  My interest (my boner) in the piece will not last, maintain or withstand for that long.

With this in mind I walk to the Layer Road paper shop for today’s edition.  No Guardian.  I drive to Shrub End.  No Guardian.  In the end I wind up getting a copy in Prettygate.  What is wrong with these shops?  No wonder it isn’t selling many copies if it isn’t even being stocked.

I return home to still no word from work thankfully.  I think I have avoided flack.  From here I begin writing but today I lack gusto and enthusiasm.  Off the back of a few touches of hassle it just does not seem/feel worth the effort to pursue these things today.

Instead I find myself texting Mark to see if he wants to watch the football.  He responds wanting to do the pub thing when really I just wanted to break into my parents’ place and watch it on a big telly.  At this time I don’t really want to be around pissheads in such heat but equally I don’t want to be a fud.  After a pause for thought I give in to the pub suggestion and arrange to meet up for 2PM.

When 2PM comes round we head to The Castle.  Upon arrival fortunately it is not too busy but it still houses an ample amount of suitably annoying and gung ho people.  Why do people take all this so seriously?

To deal with these surroundings and this situation I tear into pints of Kronenbourg, knocking the first one back as if it were nothing.  I half sense the words “you’ve never really been much of a drinker” from Christmas still ring hard and angry in my head.

We hunch by the bar with me leaning against a post that I keep sticking to.  I hate to think just what the glue is.

Eventually after another tiresome build up on the BBC with the readers wives the teams come out onto the pitch and stand attention while the national anthems occur.  As some place their hands on their heart and others sing along you begin to wonder what these guys are about.  Come on when did our anthem become so treasured and precious?  Only half the team sings along to it, singing badly and embarrassingly.  Excuse me if I’m wrong but I can’t recall our players ever singing along to “God Save The Queen” before.  Welcome to the Sky era of football where participants are lent on to do what is expected of them.

Its weird watching football with a non-football supporter, a real class and culture tourist, all the way they make pained gestures as if they were in a Sky Sports commercial.

Perhaps due to nerves or the fact that I am stood by the bar, I begin to order and down Kronenbourgs at a rapid rate.  Without doubt this will end in tears.

Soughting backup I send out a few text messages to Stevo to see what he is up to and unsurprisingly he is with Butt Road types just down the road at The Goat.  He suggests that we join them but I struggle to envisage that my old Butt Road bosses have moved on to the point they would welcome me into their bosoms.

Thankfully around the twenty minute mark Jermain Defoe scores and suddenly England begin to look like the team we should be.  In a room full of drunken arseholes we can all see that Defoe was the answer all the long.  I think.

From here we grab a second but despite the cheers of the pub it quickly appears that I am one of the first people to spot the linesman flagging as while cheers surround I find myself booing against the flow.  Even the BBC score in the corner turns to 2-0.

As I continue to text Stevo to see where he is I then spot Barney who was the other half of the receptionist at Butt Road.  It seems that place will continue to haunt me forever, especially on days like this.  He doesn’t appear to recognise me, which is perhaps for the best all considered.

Soon the game reaches halftime with me halfway through my fourth Kronenbourg of the day.  Without doubt at this rate there will be tears.

Mercifully the halftime break proves a short one and soon the second half gets rolling but England are unable to kill the game off.  Towards the end Capello pulls off Rooney and brings on Joe Cole in his place to loud cheers and applause.  Is Joe Cole really our best hope for the tournament?

Finally the game ends with a sense of relief as we win 1-0 and progress out of the group.  At this point in the other game the fact that America has managed to score an injury time winner and top the group fails to register with me and will not for another eighteen hours.

From here we go off in search of food.  Personally I am thinking pizza at either Zizzi or Pizza Express in the hope that it successfully soaks up some booze but instead Mark makes a joke about going to a place called Clowns.

Suddenly before I realise it we are entering the restaurant in what would appear to be a gesture of pissing on ghosts of our past (people we know who worked in the place at one time or other).

In true beast fashion I find myself ordering a Mile High Burger and banana milkshake.  It is at this point my mother decides to phone me from Ibiza to tell me what their plans are for returning to England on Saturday.  I barely take in what she says to me, this is not a good time to be accepting phonecalls.

Eventually our food turns up and a Mile High Burger turns out to be four burgers in a bun with various bits of cheese and bacon in between.  We scoff our food in silence with conversation having drained away due to us both being cunted.  Finally we head off, paying the bill where the waitress does not look confident or expectant of a tip.  We are a mess.  This was a mistake.

We spill out onto the sunny summer sights of Colchester High Street off the back of an England World Cup victory.  In many ways, all is well with the world.  We step through town before heading off in our respective directions.

Back home I soon wind up passing out on my bed, spinning and jolly.  By now already a headache is beginning to kick in as it would appear after overdoing it so enthusiastically I have stopped drinking too early.  As Germany v Ghana kicks off I pass out within seconds.

When I eventually reawaken it is with the Germany v Ghana two minutes into injury time.  By this stage I am in pieces, I have a real time hangover.

With an impressive presence of mind I remember that Danny Baker is on Radio Five tonight so I summon up all my strength and manage to find him on the internet.  To help facilitate the process of being active and ready for the morning I spend the night with a wet flannel sat on my forehead.

As the room continues to spin I suddenly feel the urge to come on and puke.  With athletic agility I fly off my bed and into the bathroom where I proceed to bring up the most solid chunks of puke I have issued in years.  While stuff is still coming up and going out I can feel my stomach already lining up the next batch.

Twenty minutes later I proceed to do the same again.

Eventually with the world still spinning and my head still pounding I pass out as a tough day comes to an end.

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