Wednesday, April 20, 2011


photo by gnatvia PhotoRee

Columnist Ed marks his return to our pages with an attempt at a light-hearted joke:

So there I was at the bitter end of the so-called “Fleet Review” at the seaside offices of our obnoxiously profitable sister site (I'm seriously starting to hate those guys), and I’m pretty much just floating like the rest of the fleet from all the vodka-somethings, when I decide it’s just a great time to tell a little joke that I like to call “the Magician and the Hot Tub.” 
And so there I am in my handsome new seersucker pants, churning and crunching my way through the build up and brushing aside some winces and “ughs” and “ewws,” and I’m about to just drop the hammer on the punch line, when out of nowhere he (the unmentionable) stands up, loudly kicks his white folding chair aside, and screams it out himself in what can only be describe as an hysterical bleat:  “Ta Da!!!!!!” – and then turns and runs from the scene in tears.
I mean, talk about ruining a killer line!!
And so afterward, the boss-man himself calls me up and tells me that while he kind-of “liked” the joke, and that while he was as surprised as anyone at what happened, that Mr. "So and So" has a fracking lot to do with our fracking bottom line, and so unfortunately HR has once again requested that I be banned from the corporate offices for five days.Five days. 
Well, I can’t help but notice that this ban is eerily similar to a ban put on the boss-man’s favorite manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.  Of course, there was no magician joke at the center of that ban, only some sour grapes over officiating.  But fortunately for Sir Alex, unlike bans at farlieonfootie, somehow being banned from coaching in England means you can still . . . coach!  Sure, you can’t do it from the sidelines, but you can sit a few rows back in the stands with some crazy headset on (seriously, Sir Alex, have you heard of Bluetooth?) and bark out orders.
That said, the ban did seem to have some effect, albeit it was on Berbatov rather than Sir Alex, as the gangly Bulgarian somehow missed both a breakaway AND managed to pop the ball over the top of the net a few seconds later from about 3 feet from the line.  Well, that’s not quite fair, as the first miss was actually due to some impressive work by the EPL’s best keeper, Joe Hart, who despite his partying continues to impress. 
Is it just me, or does anyone else remember City before the spending binge?  Sometimes I flash back with some fondness to the days of Shea Given and Steven Ireland.  Given has, of course, caught the injury bug of late, but I always found him to be an accomplished 'keeper and a good leader.  I’ve also thought he’d be a good fit for Spurs, especially this offseason when the price might just be right.  As for Ireland, I don’t know what happened to City’s former player of the year.  He’s just faded slowly away. . . .
Elsewhere in London, Liverpool and Arsenal played what had to be one of the strangest games of the year.  Neither team looked particularly good, and neither team was good enough to put one into the net until about the 8th minute of stoppage time when Arsenal was able to convert on a semi-lucky penalty kick and keep their hopes for an EPL championship alive.  Unfortunately, the joy at the Emirates lasted only about 2 minutes, because in the 10th or 11th minute of stoppage time Liverpool was able to convert on its own penalty kick. 
I was disappointed particularly in the play of Suarez.  His energy reminds me of Van der Vaart’s when he first joined the EPL.  Unfortunately, though, I think his frustration at not scoring with the frequency he did in the Dutch league has gotten to his head.  Against Aresenal he took several poor shots, and while he ran like Tevez in the first half at least, his movements often seemed aimless to me.  Regardless, Liverpool continues to be a different team from the one that lost twice to the Blackpool Tangerines. 
Finally, as all of you Spurs fans know, the really Big Game is this Wednesday when Spurs take on their most hated rival Arsenal.  I am predicting right here and now a win, and not only a win but a convincing win.  The reasons are simple:  (1) Arsenal are playing like a team that is just limping toward the finish.  Fabregas is either exhausted, uninterested, or both.  Nasri hasn’t put one in the goal since the storming of the Bastille.  The only guys still playing hard for Arsenal are Wilshere and Van Persie; (2) Spurs are actually healthy for the first time since the beginning of the season.  With Lennon on one side, Bale on the other, and Modric and VDV in the middle, the team looks to be in good shape, no pun intended; (3)  Spurs have more to play for, while Arsenal’s season effectively ended when they lost to Liverpool.  Arsenal have little to no chance of winning the league, and are a lock for a top four spot.  Spurs, on the other hand, are within striking distance of City, and this is all they have left to play for.  If they don’t do it – make the top four and the Champions League, that is – the owner has already told them they will probably have to sell Gareth Bale.  This kind of ultimatum upsets me too much to even think about.  Though for some reason, it also reminds me of this joke I like to call “the Clown and his Friend.” 
Ah, never mind.
This is farlieonfotie for April 20.

1 comment:

  1. The owner used the term "streamlining." I prefer to think he meant Bentley, Woodgate, and Robbie Keane (and the rest of the strikers for that matter) and not Bale. So, I will keep telling myself that. Not Bale. Not Bale. Not Bale...

    Correspondent James