“…Random Drooling Oaffage…”

Justice.  A tiny word but a powerful one.  It resonates globally.  We all want justice….we want what is right.  It’s a basic right of the people…

I’ve just witnessed justice get a good shoeing.  Months in a room of highly paid public, jowly schoolboys wearing wigs only to find that the 12 random, normal people are thicker than suspected and acquit the bad guys. Even the jokers awaiting their fate look shocked and the Big Wig just slumps in his chair..

Hmmm… an analogy of the magnitude of the error might be required.

This isn’t the actual scenario or indeed anything remotely close to it as any specifics discussed on here would be highly unprofessional but it will give you a flavour of the stupidity of the situation…

  • Man walks into a bank with a shotgun.  He walks up to the cashier and blows her head off.  He then empties the till and leaves after writing his name and address on a piece of paper which he leaves on the matter splattered counter top.  He looks up at the CCTV points at his face and says “It’s me… I’ve left a note”.  Polis read note and cruise round to the address.  The door is open and they find the man counting the bloodied money.  Polis get the man to court where the chosen 12 insist he didn’t do it and say he can keep the money. Man leaves with his liberty intact to commit more crimes and spend filthy lucre.

Thirteen years I’ve been doing this stuff and this is the worst professional defeat. I can take defeat, I’ve lost lots of stuff in real life and generally you move on but this is different. The dim appear to be in charge.

Anyway…there’s always another bad guy and another jury….so, from 12 idiots to one special Oaf in three Oafs I encountered in a crowd of 60,000…

For my sins I attend a soulless concrete football stadium on a regular basis to witness millionaires ponce about in order to fall over a lot.  I love it.  It’s a hilarious all day event and on some occasions the actual football is peripheral to the laugh to be had.  Don’t get me wrong, I love football… I always have and I always will but it’s never going to ruin my day…. Unless we lose to the runt club of London wearing Blue…

Match day starts in a fantastic Irish public house en route to the ground. Best Guinness in London without doubt.  This is where I meet the mature art student I attend with.   We play a game where we try to beat each other to the pub.  I’ve never been one for drinking alone but I quite like the quiet half pint before we meet up… it’s calming.

This precious moment is shattered by some random Irishman who decides that he wants a chat with me about some woman he knows.  He decides to tell me that he has a date later and would I like to see a photo. I decide to humour him even though I was brought up to tell strangers to ‘fuck off’ and let him show me the photo reel on his phone which contains a rather graphic photo of his brother having sex with a Brazilian woman he met on holiday….hmmm… I know…. It could be anyone and he sounds like a nut nut but I’m killing time and he clearly assumes he’s in a Galway bar where you speak to strangers in that twinkly eyed Irish way.

I let him ramble on about a brothel he uses locally until he crosses the English line by attempting to pay for the Guinness I’ve ordered for myself.  I stop him there and inform him that we aint in Dublin and he aint my mate. He moves away…. Harsh maybe but this is London… we are animals.

My associate arrives and we remain at the bar to sink another couple of pints in the shadow of the Irishman who’s itching for interaction… we speak no more.

We head to the ground 25 minutes before the off.  The walk takes us past a travellers wedding dress shop directly opposite a pub of such poncitude that I refuse to be seen in it.  It serves East European beer in tall glasses and you need a beard or a record bag to enter.  If a building needed a good shoeing this would be it.

We get to the ground and head straight to our seats.  I’ve had the same seat for nine years and so know everyone around us.  They are all good people and we are lucky that they have a good knowledge of the game as being surrounded by idiots would test me.

Behind me are the two Johns.  They know their stuff,  particularly John #1.  Next to them is a guy who sings with the gusto of a man used to knocking out hymns prior to delivering some new age sermon.  To look at him you’d never think a song was in him.  He’s neat and tidy in a “local church helper slays nine” kind of way but I imagine some kind of pampas grass effort is going on in his front garden where new neighbours are encouraged to enjoy his wife.  He’s perfectly polite so what he does in his own house is his business.

Directly next to me is a bank of five seats which are filled with the same blokes 80% of the time.  The other 20% of the time I get to share the game with some two-bob randomites.  It’s two minutes before kick-off and the seats next to me are empty.  This is the ultimate sign that a bunch of strokers will be sitting next to me at any moment.

Randomites tend to drink until the last minute…They also leave at half time to drink again and stay after the whistle to applaud, chant and sometimes boo.  To a randomite it’s a singular day out and they will relish it the max.  They take lots of selfies which prove they are in the ground and look around in shock when the regulars don’t involve themselves enough for their liking.

…Here they come…. Three of them… 19 years old and covered in colours…  Oafs… Not THE Oaf…he’s in the North Bank being Oafy….just random, everyday Oaffage…

Oaf #1 strides down the row.  Cocky, puny, wispy ‘not old enough yet’ beard, skinny jeans tucked into BK Knights high tops… He also has that massive hole earring in both ears.  The type you could get your finger in to gain his attention… this crosses my mind but I’m distracted by his mate…

Oaf #2 appears… he’s the least problematic at present.  Retro shirt from an era he wouldn’t remember, longish hair and once again the obligatory beard only this time it’s mostly neck orientated.  He’s wearing ‘no arse’ jeans and skater shoes…. He speaks in a ludicrously high pitched voice for a bearded individual… I’m thinking Barry Gibb so he will cause no significant issues.

…and then I see it… moving to the seat directly to next to mine… I sense John #1 behind me smile as he knows this will be a challenging 90 minutes for me…

Oaf #3 lumbers his way towards me.   He’s a good 17 stone and is wearing the latest shirt with ‘Alexis’ on the back.  He’s a big old unit but the sight of a thick bright orange mop of hair calms me as I never find that intimidating.  He’s a pale boy…almost translucent and sickly but freckly with ginger eyelashes and yellow teeth… He plonks himself down next to me but immediately stands up to applaud his heroes as they enter the arena.  I reckon there’ll be a lot of up/down action which generally gets up my snotbox.

I look at John #1… he’s smirking and then laughing… He’ll love this, he’s a dirty rotter.  I turn to the mature Art student.  He’s known me a good 28 years and he knows that this is my Hell… He loves my pain… Schadenfreude-tastic…..

We all settle in and the ref starts the match which seems to be the cue for this triumvirate of stupidity to stand and start a chant.  They are up at an alarming speed, arms extended in a V skyward. They sing something offensive about a team from Middlesex who don’t even count let alone deserve my ‘hate’.  They finish this standing rant and immediately sit as one…. It’s got practice written all over it.

I’m close to Oaf #3 so I sit back and study the subject.

He’s a big old lump for a boy.  Wide yet squidgy… I’d imagine after three pints of piss poor cider he’d be a handful. This kids head is big… a big ginger head.  He appears to be constantly smirking, slightly drooling and partially giggling under his breath.  I always find the hands say a lot.  He seems to be short a knuckle on his thumb… hmmm… this is a new one and is bound to cause a serious issue when engaged in using rudimentary tools.  He ain’t no brain surgeon so he could be in trouble.

I look down the wrist and see the sign of ultimate filth…The rotting festival bracelet.  This plum has six or seven of these festering on his tree trunk wrist.  I notice that they are frayed a bleached and state ‘Void if Removed’ an instruction that he has taken literally as if removal will mean death or even worse, dull normality.  At least he’s young.  These things on anyone over 17 should mean instant incarceration or a swift open hand slap to the cheek.

On the inside of his other arm he has a poor tattoo which says ‘Alexis’ surrounded by wonky stars.  It’s a weak tattoo with blurred edges rather than clean lines… There’s nothing wrong with tattoos but there is something pretty thick about having the name of a player forever cut into your arm when he’s unlikely to be around in 3 years and has only played 25 matches.  His only out of this faux pas is to track down a willing or sedated women with this name to spend the rest of his life with but judging by the drooling grin this seems a long shot.

We score.  Cue Oaf-Explosion… Oaf-Carnage…

Chaos engulfs me but I remain seated.  I haven’t forgotten the previous debacle and so will not join in with the celebrations at this point… The Oafs are overjoyed… They go crazy.  I check my phone to see if this game is in fact the World Cup final and not just another league game against substandard opposition.  It’s not the World Cup final… it’s nothing….

The game is over as a contest.  The opposition are broken and as expected crumble over the next 45 minutes.  The Oafs don’t crumble, they revel, go mental, and lose their tiny, tiny minds.

Number 3 screams at a player from our position in an upper tier a good 50 yards away.  It’s full of swearing and the crowd below look at me as if I’m with the prick.  He follows up the rant with another about bad throw in’s… he’s a lost cause… I switch off…. It’s over… This country is producing thicker Oafs on a yearly basis and they are seeking me out.

The game is over and we head back to the pub to watch a more cerebral, brutal sport…. Rugby… Ireland are on and the pub is crammed with red faces and thick necks…

I’m wedged at the bar next to a bloke in a heavy rain coat and a large trilby cocked at a jaunty angle… I can see the game on the TV through the necks and bald heads ahead of me. Hat man turns to me.  He’s surprisingly younger than the hat/coat combo would suggest but he has the look of a thousand Bushmills chasers…

“What’s that blue stuff?”… he points at a large rugby player on the screen in a white shirt with a blue smear on his arm….”Is that Woad?” he shouts in a thick Dublin accent…

“Woad?” says I, “Woad as in ‘Braveheart’?”… He sees that my face thinks he’s an idiot but he continues…

“Aye… Woad… have they put Woad on….for the battle?”

I explain to him that the blue is the dye from the RBS logo on the pitch, this isn’t a Tavern in the 11th Century and the shiny box with the little men running around isn’t some form of Alchemy….

“Jaysus” he says… “sorry about that….of course it is…I’m going feckin’ mad…”

I’ve always attracted the nut jobs, as my relationship in the mid to late 90’s proved… but that’s another story…

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