Bragging rights

Plural noun
Notional privileges that are gained by defeating a close rival.
What you earn when the person you live with, whom you begged not to bet on their football team to beat yours, as that would be profiting out of your misery, finds themselves tearing up their futile and pointless and LOSING betting slip.

And to think I almost missed the whole shebang.

It was definitely Lesta’s turn but following a fine lunch with my Dad and step-mum I confess I did start to think the unthinkable. I had a bout of disloyalbastardius. We had lunched well at Carluccio’s (other Mediterranean comestible outlets are available), I was full of lasagne and their finest vino and I did start to think that if I stuck to the plan of rolling down to Filbert Way post luncheon that could only lead to misery.

Maybe I could just slope off home? Pretend I was never going in the first place, “nothing to see here, lalala.” Did I really want to go and witness Mr TLF’s team humiliate mine? Did I need to watch a football match with 30,000 other people when 500 actually does very nicely thank you? Did I need that Premier League fancy-smancy presentation? Maybe I didn’t care anymore. Maybe my finely balanced dual-City equilibrium had tipped over towards my Roman residence.

The very firm answer from family members was YES I did have to go. They informed me that I have (gulp), “responsibilities.” Plus I had been given art, from Liz, a family friend who reads the blog. ART! Very lovely art with the colours of both my Cities. So it would have been churlish not to go and nobody likes a churl. Even though it makes for a good word. So like the non-churl that I am, I trudged to the ground, prepared for the worst.

Lost fox in sox

Lost fox in sox

I don’t like to say this often but sometimes it is amazing how wrong I can be. The wife, son and grandson of the dearly departed and much missed Pete were in attendance and seeing them is always a bonus. And then….that first early Lesta goal goes in and it’s like I have never been away and nothing can possibly go wrong now. Closely followed by the foolish, premature, have-you-learned-nothing celebration as we get a penalty minutes later and the despair as we miss it, watch our team drop their heads and invite the inevitable equaliser. Which still makes you feel sick when it does come. At that point all we can do is give generous guidance to the opposition fans as to where they should stick their bubbles…

At this point of I am remembering that I must be some kind of relegation masochist as I indulge in the usual hair-tearing-out-heart-in-the-mouth-that-git-will-never-shut-up-about-this-when-I-get-home-and-did-I-ever-tell-you-I-hate-football second half where we miss chances and West Ham contrive not to score (for which much thanks). Until the 86th minute when our sub stabs the ball home and we go bonkers. There is a group hug with Pete’s family and suddenly it is all worthwhile. Four minutes plus stoppage time during which we wait for our team to eff it up because life is like that. But we don’t.

Of course any fule will kno that this only delays the inevitable. It gives us hope rather than the good old slap of relegation reality around our “we-know-how-to-do-a-royal-burial” East Miglands chops.

Wouldn’t have missed it for the world though….AHEM.

After all that there is also the triumphant return a la Chez TLF. I am nothing if not magnanimous in victory. Honest. But apparently I do look more cheerful than usual. Mr TLF is of course more mature than I would have been had the result been reversed. He does not sulk.

He just tells me that my celebratory dinner is laced with ricin. I’m still here so I think he must have been joking…unless it’s a very slow working batch.

Lost and found fox
Match stats
Lesta City 2 West Ham 1
Attendance: 31, 863
Pre-match snacks: lasagne with a red onion & tomato salad
Pre match beverages: 2 glasses rose (ever the culture vulture)
Pre match art unveiling: 1
Grumpy and out of pocket Mr TLFs just the one…but that’s all a Fox needs

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