an idiot in london


Saturday, 18th November.
A pint, some karaoke, and a fight please!

Hackney Marshes on an overcast, wintry November day is a desolate, uninviting place. But I'm told it's pretty much the same during summer. I was in Hackney (or as they say in the east end, "dahn 'ackney way) to play for the team that really should know better, the Ispurs. We were playing West Ham supporters on their home turf.

Now the Hackney Marshes can be reached easily by helicopter. Dr Geoffrey Edelstone and his pink helicopter were nowhere to be seen as I trudged from Leyton tube station. Under threatening skies we kicked off. We conceded a goal in the opening quarter of an hour when I slipped over (I'm blaming the lethal combination of borrowed boots on a muddy pitch) leaving one of their blokes unmarked to slot home. We then applied some good pressure, and half time we were still in the game with a full-time scoreline. After the interval, the ridiculopathy came.

First of all we equalised, giving us the false hope that we were actually in with a chance (schoolboy's own stuff, all that) and then we let in a couple of soft goals. There will be no finger-pointing on this website! Anyway, our goalie threw a wobbly, went completely spare, and threw his gloves on the ground saying that he didn't want to play any more. We apologised to the opposition for his histrionics, and got on with the game. Darren put his gloves back on, and played on in a less than convincing fashion. With attitude like that, he could play in Italy! Or the Melbourne North-West Provisional League Division 3.

Rumour has it that we lost 8-4, I wouldn't know, I stop counting when one team scores three goals.

After the match we went to a pub (which was more than miles from anywhere) to enjoy some post-match comradeship with the opposition.

One of their lads was telling us about one of their ex-players, who is now a career karaoke singer. He went along to see him perform at a pub one night, and the pub was rough as all buggery. He was being introduced to convicted robbers, murderers, etc, the usual mixed bag, and then somebody smashed a glass and thrust it in some blokes face. A big flap of his cheek was hanging down, and the bloke calmly puts it back into place. His wife is screaming at him to leave, and the bloke sits down and says "Not until I've finished my pint." So sure enough he finishes his pint! Then, blood streaming down his face, he says, "Right, better get myself down to A & E."

That's the spirit that made England great.