I was so looking forward to my first home match of the season and seeing people I hadn’t seen since May. I had heard good things about how we were playing and although we lost at QPR last week we looked promising there too.
So, I park in my usual place (ie the place I have parked for the past ten seasons) (yes, where I parked IS important!) and go to the match.
It would not be accurate to describe the match as incident free. Before half time we had taken the lead, seen them equalise with a penalty that was not , on examination of television replays, a penalty, and watched in amazement and mirth as one of their players got sent off for attacking one of his own team mates. We just KNEW that we were going to be ‘all over them’ second half.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Second half we were simply useless and conceded a soft goal to them, missed umpteen golden opportunities to score ourselves, and in injury time sod me if the referee did not give them yet ANOTHER penalty which was never a penalty in a hundred years. Even the player who dived for it will surely be embarrassed when he sees that replayed? So anyway, we lose a game we should have won easily 3-1. I was not happy. I return to my car, parked as anyone who is still awake reading this will recall in the same place that I have parked for the past ten seasons.
I have a parking ticket informing me I owe the private parking Nazi’s £100, but if I pay up within 21 days ONLY £50.
Now I very rarely lose my temper. The last time was when the cat did not wet my bed about two years ago when I did in fact - having only very recently purchased a brand new mattress - go completely berserk when I saw the patch on my bed which I identified as cat wee. Had I managed to catch the cat on that occasion the cat would have been toast. It was lucky all round that I did not catch the cat that time. Especially so because having failed to catch the cat I flew back into my room to strip the bedding off and then noticed two pertinent points. 1) The bed was not wet. 2) My bedroom light cast a shadow on to my bed which from a distance resembled a wet patch. I digress.
When I saw that parking ticket I went completely mental with rage. Had I got hold of the parking attendant responsible I would have been facing a murder charge this morning. I went running round the car park looking for a sign saying that there were now charges for parking there. It took me a good five minutes to find one and when I did it was like the ones newspaper sellers have…only with smaller writing. I was so mad I am ashamed to admit I actually kicked the thing over. I was swearing and shouting and generally acting like a complete moron…but I really was ‘awfully cross’.
So D and I finally get in the car with me swearing blind that I will go to hell before I pay that fine and the local radio is on. There is an interview with the leader of our Borough Council who is announcing that a decision about the much needed expansion of our football ground, a decision we were promised in 2004 will actually not be made until 2009. TWO THOUSAND AND NINE. Back in the 1980’s our club nearly went under and some of us supporters got together to campaign to try and save the club (though why we bothered given displays like yesterday’s god alone knows.) We set up the first Supporters Trust which has since been copied by many other clubs threatened with closure. I suppose that partly explains my emotional attachment to the club. Move forward 15 years or so and we have a chairman who is actually putting money into our club but if he does not get the expansion plans approved we seriously fear he will walk away because it is costing him a fortune at the moment and he needs to see some return on his investment. So suddenly hearing this w****r saying no decision for a further three years when I was already incandescent with rage…well, I think D was afraid I was going to have a coronary. I was screaming my head off at the flaming radio and using swear words I didn’t know I knew…like that would make any difference???
By now I just wanted to get home and have a stiff drink. So needless to say, the council in their wisdom had decided to do road works near the stadium which meant they closed the road I needed to drive down, created massive traffic jams, and gave us all a ridiculously long and convoluted diversion.
So did I have a good night last night?
I’ve had better.
I have just been to ‘see about’ that parking ticket. After I put my case in an entirely reasonable way – ‘See here you complete bastard….’* it was cancelled.
* No not really. I tried the ‘I will burst into tears if you do not cancel this ticket and embarrass you’ approach. It worked.
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