SEASON’S OFF

19 Aug

The European football boot is afoot. Another season of rising suns and setting moons, Icarus metaphors and Humpty Dumpty crashes. Hope injections fuel the weak, soon it’s an addiction. Nervous disorders afflict the mighty, bravado the arrogant. The plain talk and the cliche are stripped, and on from the start. Thank God, football is back.

Here’s a true footballing story.

Many lagers ago, I worked in a posh hotel in Glasgow, as a bellman, room service chump. The mighty Glasgow Rangers Football Club stayed at the hotel regularly. After a mid-week game, several of the players drank heavily, in the hotel bar. Eleven o’clock came. The bar closed. And the Rangers entourage went on the attack. I was summoned.

“Get that fucking bar open,” said a man with orange hair.

I explained the impossibility of such a request. He stuck a lit cigar to my face, close enough to smell the hatred from this man’o’football.

“Do you see that fucking Rolls Royce in the car park?” he said. “It’s mine! I’m on the Rangers Board of Directors. Get that fucking bar open!”

His gaze ready with low intelligence, and high success.

A hand intervened, a player, indeed, a Rangers legend, Ally McCoist.

“That’s enough,” he said, slipping me a twenty pound note, leading away the Board member. He ordered the party over. Several of the players disappeared upstairs with the hired women.

Leaving at sunrise, the night shift mine, I keyed the Rolls Royce. It was Orange colored, like lager soaked piss.

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