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DIARY OF A FIXTURES SECRETARY … WITH NO FIXTURES  - (Week 3 – 04.04.20)


Another week, another load of drivel from me!


What is not drivel is the admiration and respect we must all have for the NHS staff, carers, emergency services, the military, and many more who are in the front line to fight coronavirus.  They deserve the highest praise in a dreadful situation.  I cannot begin to imagine what they’re going through.


To return to the trivial, the ‘They Stink’ gloves have made a comeback!  Not in football action, sadly, but because Sandy retrieved them from the bin, and made me put them on.  I was speechless.  I’ve spent the last five years being made fully aware that my gloves were ‘not wanted on voyage’, and now she WANTS me to wear them!  What’s more … permanently!  “Why?” I asked incredulously. “Because they’re so disgusting, no self-respecting virus will come near them!” she said beating a hasty retreat from my presence.


I’m thinking of designing and producing my own brand and range of goalkeepers’ gloves called They Stink.  Instead of the bright colours of most gloves, they’ll be mouldy grey-green, with an aroma only a goalkeeper could love.  They would be specifically designed so one need never wash them and, preferably, always keep them damp.  They should be kept at the bottom of one’s kit bag underneath empty Lucozade bottles, used, blood-stained plasters, unwashed socks, half-eaten sausage rolls and orange skins.  I’ll be taking orders soon …


Queuing for everything seems to have become inevitable and, last week, I took some prescriptions into Boots in Wincheap. I had a number as they were for Sandy, my mother-in-law and me.  The shop was closed due to staff shortages but there was a small window at which one could drop off and collect prescriptions.  I queued for and hour and a half just to get to the window and, having handed them over, I was told there would be another wait of 35 minutes.  No complaints, of course, I just had to find a spot away from others in the same situation.  That spot was nearer Ashford than Boots! Finally, my name was called on a speaker that would have done Led Zeppelin proud.  Having to avoid many others, including Laraine, our Chairman’s wife, I approached the counter in a mazy run reminiscent of George Best.  (I can dream!) Unfortunately, they only had one of my mother-in-law’s prescriptions.  “The strychnine?” I enquired, hopefully.  “The indigestion tablets”, the pharmacist replied, shooting me a suspicious glance worthy of Poirot.  Can’t win ‘em all.

When Laraine finally got her prescription, they gave her the wrong one so Simon had to go back a couple of days later.  It took him three hours to get to the window!!  Don’t misunderstand … there was no queue …well, we all know how long it takes him to get upfield on the pitch!


Last Saturday did not start well.  I was not in good humour anyway as I should have been preparing to drive to Brighton for the football.  I got up and stumbled into the living room.  Awaiting me there was a strange device that blocked my way and caused me to crash through it and down to the floor.  On my way down I ascertained that it was something that had come from the set of Star Wars or Dr. Who.  There was a cylinder that could have been a rocket device, a long tube for aiming at things and a strange, single flat foot. Having come to rest on the ground, I saw, next to my head numerous nozzles and guns that seemed to belong to the rocket.  Also, there were a couple of spray cans bearing strange names like ‘Pledge’ and ‘Beeswax’ plus some fluffy, bright yellow squares of cloth.  All very alien.


All was revealed by a large piece of paper on which were listed multiple instructions, nay, orders.  (Those issued by Eisenhower on D-Day were shorter!)  It appears that the rocket is something called a vacuum cleaner, (who knew?), and the other accoutrements were to assist me in my morning’s task of cleaning the house.  I did come up with a Basil Fawlty line which he often used when confronted with ‘jobs’ or a compromising situation - pleading a war wound and clutching it whilst wincing in great pain.  In my case, the notorious and fragile hamstring was unfortunately re-aggravated in the fall and, so sorry darling, I’ll have to remain on the sofa all day.  Unsurprisingly, I was as unsuccessful as Basil.  

Bloody coronavirus, Saturdays are for football!!  (And Fridays.  And all the other days of the week.)

I have had disturbing reports from colleagues of similar experiences.  I received a plaintive text from Steve M saying he was, at that very moment, pressure-hosing the patio with numerous other jobs on his list.  I had a vision of him in the garden with a lawnmower in the right hand, a hedge trimmer in the left, a paint brush in his mouth and the pressure washer handle up his …!


Jonathan, on the other hand, rather dropped himself in it.  Gazing out of the kitchen window he casually remarked that a tree could do with a bit of pruning.  In the time it takes to say ‘plonker’, he was ordered up a 30ft ladder, saw in hand.  Now, for someone with his predilection for touring the fracture clinics of East Kent, this was rather unwise but, he said, “It earned me some brownie points!”


I hope you are all keeping yourselves fit!  We don’t want to arrive at the ground for our first day back and find our limbs have seized up.  We’ll have Lance and Dave to ease us back in, of course, but I have a vision of them, even now, on the phone to each other. They are sitting in a giant armchair in their respective homes, stroking a large white cat, discussing in sinister, maniacal tones the hideous torture they intend to inflict on us.  They are both in white suits and have a patch over one eye, of course!  I will try to play the, “But I’m a goalkeeper …” card but I suspect I might end up in a pool full of sharks!


Take care and stay safe, my friends.


Jan




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