Culture club

You can’t say Arthur Miller wasn’t on the money when he called one of his plays Death of a Salesman. It does exactly what it says on the tin. By the end, Willy Loman, our tragic, disillusioned and delusional hero is dead. BOSH. Job done.

I can only think that the extra writing on that particular tin, which says,” The harrowing, heartbreaking death of a salesman that will make you laugh,wince and is happy to snap your heart over its knee as soon as look at you” is written in VERY small font. Overwhelming, brilliant and bleak.

And sometimes that is how I like to spend my Friday nights. In the company of Mr Bleak. (Mr TLF having shunned the opportunity to attend and also lost out on the opportunity for a justified ‘left alone, again while you are away’ sulk by missing football the next day due to a hangover). I know you would have thought supporting Lesta City would ensure bleak levels remain at maximum capacity at all times but there you go; sometimes I like my bleak scripted.

Never seen the play before. It is a doozy and Anthony Sher the lead actor was bossing it right down the centre of the park/stage, with a performance that was the actor’s equivalent of a 30 yard curler that arcs gracefully into the very corner of the net past the despairing hand of the keeper.

If only he could have been at Clarence Park the next day as his metaphorical goal was the only one I witnessed all weekend. This time we were not foiled by a keeper playing out of his skin, but some pretty errant shooting. Mind you the keeper might have been keen to play out of his kit if not his skin. It was, as several of us noted, “another pink goalie.” What is it with kit manufacturers? Do some of them hate the custodian of the net so much that they feel obliged to dress them in pink? Pink is inevitably going to cause a bit of a stir in the macho world of football but if you are going to do it then please do it with a pink that whacks you around the chops and sings “I am a pink shirt being so very pink on a very pink day,” rather than the inspid washed out pantones that seem to be de rigeur this season.

Fortunately there was much to distract TLF from the pink shirts and the goal famine. I met a ground hopper. Coping with Knocky’s bad puns is par for the course at any home game but generally the next bloke buying a programme is not from Manchester. The lovely Alan Oliver, who was attending his 381st ground (as they used to do on the vidi-printer let’s write that in full; three hundred and eighty first). A small diversion from his Wembley date the next day for the FA Trophy final. He’d been to each round, following the winning team each time and was supporting underdogs North Ferriby Utd who were up against Wrexham. And they only went and did it. 2-0 down, got it back to 3-3 and then won 5-4 on penalties. I think that might have made up for his visit to Clarence Park coinciding with our only home 0-0 of the season. A top bloke and while once he did it for eccentricity’s sake now he does it to raise money for charity. Check him out

Clive could clearly teach Willy Loman a thing or two in the sales department. As I approached him with a fiver, mentally preparing myself for 3 pounds of change, I was drawn in by, “Five tickets is it then love?” I was putty in his hands…”Yep go on then Clive.”

My theatrical tweets had clearly been noted as Gaz quizzed me about my cultural shenanigans. I got less grief than expected as contrary to popular belief and as he pointed out, image, Gaz is partial to a bit of culture himself, and comes equipped with a classical music car playlist. As fellow culture vultures we have made a pact to have a last night visit to the Royal Albert Hall. Complete with a SACFC flag of course.

In addition to the usual banter and badinage I was grateful to find that my grammar grief with our erstwhile editor is over. It seems I narrowly avoided the equivalent of semi colon revenge porn on my programme page and for that I am eternally grateful. Culture, football, beer, no punctuation train wrecks, Mr TLF’s hangover letting me off the hook and some fine banter. What more could a TLF ask for?

Biff, son of aforementioned dead salesman, tells his Dad, when trying to convince him that he’s not special that he is, “just a dime a dozen.” Unlike Clarence Park.

Arthur TLF

Match stats
St Albans City 0 Staines 0
Attendance: 621
Futile goalden goal tickets FIVE!
Salmon pink raffle tickets (to go with the keeper’s kit) 10
Lager consumed 3 of the German
Traditional bacon snackage 1 cob, 1 fries

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