Aquae Sulis were in town and in the interests of chalking up some brownie points before Xmas work festivities dominate the diary I had booked a post-match dinner a deux for me and Mr TLF. And with his words of good luck ringing in my ears (or was it, “don’t p*ssed”?) I was off.
On the walk up I reflected that it had been a funny old week on the football front, with Lesta doing all they could to remain rooted to the foot of the Prem. The focus though was less on that perilous position and more on the language skills of our manager Nigel Pearson whose response to some less than constructive criticism from a fan was to tell them (allegedly), to “Pedicabo off et mori.”
Well if he spoke Latin that’s how it would have sounded…and then just maybe he would have got away with it. Assuming the fan that this was aimed at wasn’t a Latin scholar of course. Which seems about as likely as Lesta being off the bottom of the league by Christmas. Nigel is refusing to apologise on the ground that the fan was, unjustifiably, questioning the effort of the players. “Fecerut me fac”, said Nigel.
Anyway let us leave naughty Nige and his impending FA charge and return to my day at the theatre of light entertainment that is Clarence Park. To ensure that I was not swaying and singing for my dinner with Mr TLF, and knowing that I can be easily be led I had a cunning plan (so cunning that a Professor of Cunning at the University of Cunning would….Oh you get the gist), I would arrive a bit later than usual, get one pint in. Then for safety reasons eschew the bar at half time. Have a modest half post game, before arriving at dinner like the sober and modest lost fox that I can be, if I try very hard.
It all started well, met up with Hat Boy and his friend Mark, dealt with some flack about the Void, sidestepped a debate about whether we were playing Bath, Baaaath or Barth and got myself a Stella. Being a friendly type and there being a queue I also did the decent thing and got in the beers for the chaps who were a fair distance from the bar with kick off looming. Then outside for a very early Saints goal (GET IN!) and 45 minutes of hypothermia.
Back to the clubhouse at half time, to defrost not to have a drink BUT there on the table….another Stella with TLF’s name on it. That being the gentlemanly response for my pre-match queue busting purchase apparently. Now being well brought up I knew that etiquette dictated it had to be consumed. No problem, I am flexible and two pints is fine. Just no more. At which point Lee, esteemed editor of the programme of this parish went to the bar. No thanks I said, I am meeting Mr TLF later, I need to be good. The response was rapier like, “Don’t mug me off darling. You’re in a round.” What can I say except “Fecerut me fac.”
The second half saw St Albans down to ten men, the temperature drop, the terraces take on an ice rink quality and the linesman go down with an injury….Thirteen long and cold minutes passed by before a replacement was found and ‘warmed up’ (I use the term loosely). St Albans hung on and so did we…just. And then I’m afraid medicinal purposes and peer pressure meant it was time for a cheeky brandy before I lurched off to dinner. And what a nice dinner it was too. I was doing my best sober impression and the food was cracking. Until. He let it slip.
He had been unfaithful. He had been tempted. Jennings the bookmakers had a special offer on a “claret and blue Sunday double.” West Ham to beat Swansea and Villa to beat Lesta. What a negand es alega spurius! In the face of my StellaandBrandyandWine fuelled outrage his only response? Yup “It was Jennings’s fault, with an offer like that. Fecerut me fac.”
Villa Sancti Albani 1 Aquae Sulis 0
Cervisia consumpti: 3 Stellas
Friction lardum consumpti: 1 packet