Monday, December 17, 2007


I am developing the opinion that twins should carry a health warning.

I know the whole concept offers endless comedic possibilities for Hollywood, and how we laughed at school over naming the German teacher's twin boys 'The Two Ronnies' on account of him being called Ronald.

But the whole mistaken identity thing is a total can of worms - and not in a good way.

One of the mothers of Tiddler's team mates at football is an identical twin. It came up in conversation one day, although I can't for the life of me remember how. She's also a City fan (although I'm glad to say her son is a Red, like mine).

Anyway, moving swiftly on. They live near us and I have spotted them over the top of my Guinness glass in the Local Pub from time to time.

Recently, I spotted Football Mum in the pub, but didn't recognise the man with her. I smiled and waved at her, but she didn't acknowledge me in return. In fact, she didn't look happy at all.

Aha - I deduced, in a flash of brilliance - the identical twin.

So at training last week, I mentioned to Football Dad that I'd seen Football Mum's twin in the pub with a man, and how funny it was that I waved, thinking it was her, but that she didn't recognise me. The whole hilarious, mistaken identity twin thing. Ha ha ha.

'But she doesn't go into pubs' he replied. 'It can't have been her.'

'Oh.' I said.

Followed by 'Ah'.

Just to punctuate the expanding silence.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Love Changes Everything

It's Fulham and I'm feeling vocal. As part of the ritual, Fellow Fans and I have greeted each other and the referee signals kick off with his whistle. Pete Boyle conducts the crowd.

U. N. I.
T. E. D.
United are the team for me
With a knick knack paddywhack
Give the dog a bone
Why don't City fu..

It's then that I notice it. Our block in the North Stand is strangely quiet. Mine is a lone voice.

Now this doesn't bother me per se, but I know my singing partner, two rows back is here.

He plays on the left
He plays on the ri-i-i-ght.
That boy Ronaldo
Makes England look shi..

Same again. Just me. I fish in my pockets for my blackcurrant Lockets. He must have a sore throat.

Then I spot it.

The reason.

He has brought a girl.

She is wearing a pink hat and scarf and is gazing at him, oblivious to the goings-on pitchside. He is sitting upright in his seat. Self-conscious. Knee to thigh intimacy is unavoidable in the packed stand. She snuggles into his shoulder.

A couple of times he forgets himself and sings the first few bars, only to tail off awkwardly.

In the second half, Ronaldo is denied a clear penalty, which could have seen his first hat trick for the club. 75,000 voice their disapproval of the referee in time-honoured fashion. Poor Fan. His dilemma is agonising.

Stay silent to impress the GF or be himself and let rip, risking what is clearly a new relationship.

I sing twice as loud to compensate and reflect on football and love.

They leave 10 minutes before the end - her leading him by the hand.

Somehow I don't think he'll bring her again.

Monday, December 03, 2007

That's very nearly an armful!

I'm definitely getting geekier. Mention the word upgrade and my ears prick up.

So far I've resisted the temptation of the primary object of my affection - it's only a matter of time before I succumb.

But this week, after 25 years and many more pints, I have been invited to upgrade to Platelet Doning instead of your everyday Blood Doning.

They've buttered me up with flattery about my excellent veins and blood flow*, the shortage of A+ donors, so with my ego sufficiently boosted, I've agreed to a test. They're going to count my white cells and get back to me. I need a score of 220 for a pass.

Here's the deal.

You get a special bed at the blood centre.
You can play your iPod.
You get food, drink and 1.5 uninterrupted hours with Michael Palin**.
You don't have to avoid hazardous or strenuous activities or alcohol *** afterwards, as they pump the blood straight back in after taking the white bits.

Now I'm not saying I'm competitive, but I feel like I've taken an entrance exam for an exclusive club and now I'm desperate to be accepted. Watch this space.

*(7 minutes 11 seconds for a pint last week - a new PB)
** insert your choice of author here
*** I have always considered the lower blood:alcohol ratio when drinking after doning to be a perk.