By Sir Hardly Anyone
Never have I seen anything like it. Not once, not ever! Upon finishing my nap upon the Saturday afternoon I took what I expected to be a gentle motor across England green and pleasant rolling hills from Imperial Rutland to the megalopolis of Leicester that home of the working man.
But what did I find? Not a metropolis busying itself with work and productivity but sheer and utter may-hem. And I don’t mean Theresa of that name. No!
I mean mayhem on our country lanes and and within Leicester’s mean streets. Approaching the industrial province while pootling along at the legal limit of 60mph I was overtaken by a vehicle with no exhaust silencer (a legal requirement in both our counties I believe) doing 85 on the wrong side of the road around a blind bend. Five minutes later, another. And not a gendarme in sight!
Of course a gendarme in Rutlandshire would have been pretty pointless since within the county the working classes only ride push bikes, the motor being reserved by ancient statue for us aristocrats. But in contemporary Leicestershire; well you never can tell what might befall.
And when I got to the city it was worse. Crowds in the streets, drunks meandering on roadways. It made life very difficult for one to reach one’s destination: to wit an air conditioned rock and roll emporium to the west of the conurbation. One gent of the city I observed was busy committing mayhem upon his own person – at least as much mayhem as can be committed by a man driving an open topped bus through the city centre at 89mph wearing boxing gloves. But such is the way in the urban midlands I fear.
Eventually I stopped and asked a passing stranger wearing brightly coloured underpants but little else what on earth was going on. “Where the effin’ ‘ell ave you been?” replied the fella in a shrill voice which suggested he had just been bitten in the leg by a personal friend, as he tried to commit mayhem upon my person. Fortunately I gained a blue in boxing at the University of The Rut and was able to put the chap out cold.
But then as others passed by, focused only on a vague attempt to stand upright and travel in a singular direction, I began to realise. England had won, and law and order had lost.
Then, to my alarm, out from a nearby house came one of those robust girls with the muscles of a welterweight and a laugh like the sound of the cavalry charging over a tin bridge. I beat a hasty retreat, but as I did so, slowly light began to dawn as the old brain shifted into gear and the scene of carnage and debauchery started to make sense. There were no policemen anywhere: that was a clue. There was rioting, fighting, drunkenness and unspeakable events in the street and no coppers on the beat: yes it must be an occasion of official celebration.
The light from the end of the tunnel shone on the scene and was not the express train travelling in the opposite direction. No! it revealed the big picture and I for once took a good look at it. Then I shifted a bit nearer and took another look. Then I went back to where I had been at first, because it hadn’t seemed quite so bad from there.
And now I got it: In-ger-land had won an association soccer match at the international level and the man in the street was literally, in the street.
Another man approached, with a lady in tow, attached to the rope undoubtedly to help her find the way home. “Wot you gawping at?” she demanded.
This, I realised, was one of the old school of England supporters. I studied the gent. His appearance suggested that for the past 20 or so years he had not let a day pass without his eight pints of rough. He radiated “bitter” as I believe it is called, had bulging eyes and popped, feet set at ten minutes to two, three chins, and a curving waistcoat which preceded him like the advance guard at the recent royal wedding (gawd bless her highness).
I looked at him intently. “Has Sir Alec Douglas Home been dug up and made Prince of the Realm and Master of Europe?” I asked hopefully. He looked bemused and I decided to try another tack.
“Are you an England supporter?” I shouted, summoning myself to my full height. He grunted and I took that for an assent.
And thus I realised. The nation was in celebration. The national assembly had won a match of some sort in one of these cross country tourneys they occasionally play. The police had vacated the sceptred isle, and mayhem was afoot. Johnson was still at large, the civil war continued, and anarchy ruled.
It was, in short, just another night in Blighty.
I proceed to my dance. Inside was rock n roll and the usual jolly crowd. Two nations, one within one without, and no means of communicating between the two.
Is there intelligent life after an international football match involving England? I doubt it, but then, I am not sure there was much in my part of the kingdom before the match either.
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