I went along to the pub to watch a match on television yesterday, Sunday, afternoon. It was half time when I arrived, the score on the screen was 0-0. I was quite pleased with that! For me the match would just be starting. I might have missed the dramas of offsides, shots scraping the woodwork, disputed non-penalties, and other referee antics. But I had not missed any real meat. In the pub the sound track from the television is unhearable above the more urgent banter of the customers. There was no chance of finding out what had happened in the first half. But it didn't matter much.
The teams come out, the home team in blue, the away boys in black. I rub my hands, here we go. The boys in black must be up for it to justify their transfer fees and huge wages. In the 12th game of the season surely the next 45 minutes would see them really gel. A sip from my beer and I settled down to enjoy myself. Soon there's a penalty to the underdogs. 1-0 will really make the expensive boys in black step up the pace; bring it on. A veteran penalty-taker for his country, McFadden struck the ball. Too close to the keeper, Given dived to make an easy save.
And that was the end of the drama. Nothing else to report. Except, very near the end, a blue player who must have been lying on the field near the touchline suddenly sprung to his feet and raised his arm to a throw-in by an opponent. Hand-ball. Red Card! Off goes the Birmingham player. Poor guy must have been so bored he lay down and then felt he had get up and do something. The final whistle went. Birmingham 0 Manchester City 0.
'Why am I still here?'
I finished my half-pint.
At the ridiculous price of £1.50.
Is there any way I can get my money back?