According Charlotte Bronte, consistency is the first of Christian duties. Well all can I say is if that is a duty then I am going to shirk it. You see I’m starting to think that the concept of consistency is a smidgen or a tad (not sure of the conversion rate between smidgens and tads but you get my drift) over-rated. It tends to be mentioned in a positive context but as I was contemplating life the universe and everything while waiting for a commuter train home to St Albans (consistently late) I did start to question the consistency that has been wending its way into the Fox’s life in the last week.
The Mighty Saints conceded another heart-breaking last minute equaliser at home. CONSISTENT
I spend 30 mins in a telephone queue to an energy supplier, only to find out that the advice they gave me last time was bobbins and I had wasted 30 mins of my life. CONSISTENT
An IT upgrade leaves me with email and internet misery. CONSISTENT
You get my drift.
But there was a glimmer of hope on the consistency front this weekend, in my newly established, temporary (fear not Mr Chairman, it’s not for real, it just makes the blog flow better) extra terracing at Clarence Park – the Snack Van end. Consistency of a happier kind was alive and well. Andy Olive, purveyor of the perfect bacon cob (we will leave the ‘cob’ v ‘roll’ debate for another day) and other fried comestibles is consistently at every home game and so sees every match from a certain angle, and generally between burgers. I thought it was time I took in that view, although I obviously skipped the cooking burgers element and stood just in front. (Could you imagine me in a small box surrounded by hot food, hot grills, having to be polite to people while watching football?…Nah me neither. A Health and Safety disaster waiting to happen.)
Accompanied by the gentle and comforting waft of fried food, the view isn’t bad, and while you’re not getting the same banter as if you were behind the goal, there is plenty to observe and it is all quite…CONSISTENT
The menu, with the bacon cheeseburger being a clear favourite, doesn’t change. No faffing about with ‘specials’
The inability of punters to spot the tables where the sauce and milk sit seems all pervading…..”OVER THERE FOR EFFS SAKE”, I wanted to shout. But I didn’t, I am saving my shouting for the apple store (and I am not talking a stall that sells braeburns).
The formation behind the counter only varies slightly; between the deployment of lone striker/chef role, (because it’s a school night or he doesn’t think the crowd will be big) or the dream team of him and his good wife Jo.
The constant flow of punters, peaking either side of both kick off and half time.
The average time Andy actually gets to watch the game – 2 minutes I reckon.
The patter – friendly, unassuming, perfectly pitched and probably more than we sometimes deserve. Queue jumpers get a friendly warning that they need to join the back of the queue, “I don’t want that lot tipping me van over” as he gestures to a group of small children and pensioners.
Plus the weekly brief discussion of the fortunes of Chelsea and our shared despair at the state of the modern game.
“Happy days” as the man who sells me my well done bacon cob and humours me when I ask him daft questions for this blog, would say. Well if my IPad is cured, I get the energy tariff of my choice without having to listen to any more effing hold music AND we make it through against Mansfield then Satday (as we say in Lesta) truly will be a happy day.
St Albans 3 Billericaaaaay 3
Bacon fries consumed 1
Lager consumed 2 halves (Friday was a big night, honest)
Raffle tickets purchased 10 Prizes won 0
Losing golden goal tickets purchased 1
Thing I Learnt Today
NEVER look at your golden goal ticket upside down. If you have no 6 and the goal was scored in the 9th minute, then your hopes will be raised and then cruelly dashed. And vice versa.
Consistently Grumpy Fox