Thursday, 19 February 2009

We got there in the end

So, another week, another series of dates. And personal catastrophes. Another typical week in my life, really.

Where were we? Ah yes. Last weekend. Valentine’s weekend, so it was. It’s not a good start when the postman delivers you nothing but a council tax chaser and even your mum forgets to send you a card (or a text. Shit, I didn’t even get a phone call. Maybe she DOES prefer my brother).

Still, at least you are safe in the knowledge that you received a text message from a horny and single ex-girlfriend the night before basically offering you sex on Saturday evening providing you’re happy to stay at her place in Finsbury Park. Winner! Maybe Valentine’s Day WON’T be a washout after all! Football in the daytime and rampant, no-strings-attached nookie with a girl you know can do that thing with her pelvis that makes you cluck like a chicken.

And so off I set on Saturday morning to deepest, darkest south-west London to play footy for my Uni Old Boys’ team with a spring in my step and the theme tune to ‘Shaft’ in my ears. Ooooooh yyeeeeaaaahhh...

Would I be blogging this if everything went smoothly and according to plan, though? Would I be writing if we won 5-0, I got man of the match and was then carried on my teammates’ shoulders across London back to Hackney where a taxi was waiting for me to take me to the horny-ex’s place (no charge to YOU, good sir!), and we made the beast with two backs eight times?! Would I?

Of course not. It was a wash-out and a disaster. And this is why you love me and why you read these inane mutterings.

I get up and out the door and make my way across London. It is freezing cold, the pitch is on a 45 degree angle, and covered in sand. It does NOT look like a field of dreams. Our lads turn up on time and we get changed and warm up for the best part of an hour because the opposition are late. We then we play terribly and lose 3-0.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it was made even worse when some overweight cwnt on the other team went straight through my knee and left me having to hobble off to East Putney station and then back across London on my own because the rest of the team are going out with their girlfriends and wives. Tears would not do it justice at this point and it is safe to say that the fat lady was warming up.

I get home and collapse across my sofa in complete agony. I jump in the shower, take 4 painkillers, cover my knee in ibuprofen gel, stick it up at a weird angle and put a bag of peas, hoping and praying that I will still be able to fall onto the bus and make my way to the filthy ex’s house for some carnal gymnastics.

Time ticks away. To try and take my mind off the pain I continue with my quest to conquer Lego Batman (seriously, I’m not a huge gamer by any stretch of the imagination, but this game – PURPORTEDLY FOR CHILDREN – is proving to be my Everest. This will be the making of me as a man and will rank as one of my all-time great achievements as a man. Well, that and getting off with one of the Pogues’ daughters, and having tops off and fingers with Pauline Quirke’s step daughter), but still the searing pain in my knee is nagging away at me.

Horny ex-gf rings and asks where I am and if I am coming out to play. Now, by and large, I don’t have many regrets in life. Not pursuing my teenage acting career? Sure. Not taking up the offer of a Champions League Final ticket in 2006? Definitely. Moving in with Dirty Harry and Luke the Compulsive Liar? Probably. But this is DEFINITELY up there. I wanted to come out and play. More than anything, but I could not move. I was struggling to raise a smile, let alone anything else. So I cancelled and told her I couldn’t come out owing to knee-knack. She sighed, seemed understanding and then rung off, presumably to go and hop on the good foot and do the bad thing with some other guy. I was left on my sofa with regret and a manky leg. Epic, EPIC fail.

The only joy I did get was the occasional text from Kinky Steve who appeared to be on a date with Lorraine Disgustington and needed a get-out. I couldn’t even provide that, but he did appear to be in dire straits. Apparently she was the equivalent of choosing your package holiday from the brochure and selecting a double room with a view of the Bay, and you get to the resort (after a delayed flight, losing your baggage and some Portuguese guy abducting your toddler) only to find the view is of a building site and your ‘double room’ is a fold-up bed on someone else’s balcony. She had Barbara Windsor’s voice only with a lisp, gammy eye and apparently had a habit of just getting up to go to the toilet whenever she felt like it, rather than first alerting you to that fact. Two fails do not make a win.

So, the next morning I wake up and my knee feels absolutely fine. ‘Mark Phelps’ 8 gold medals is a piece of piss’ levels of fine, almost as if I had been the subject of an elaborate practical joke. But with Jeremy Beadle dead and all of the jokers in my life out on Valentine’s Day shenanigans, it turns out that it was just the way my particular cookie had chosen to crumble. And in any event, it at least meant I could get out of the flat and turn up for my dates with Theatre Girl and le Femme Fatale.

As a brief aside, it is prudent to tell you here and now that I am a huge believer in ‘signs’. For example, you get to the point exactly halfway between your house and the bus stop and the sun disappears behind black clouds and a monsoon ensues. This is a sign that you are going to have a bad day. So imagine my thought process when this happens...

I get to the train station in plenty of time, and my knee feels great. There is a train due along in 5 minutes and I stand on the platform with my head bobbing along to ‘Float On’ by Modest Mouse. The sun is shining and it’s a good day. At that point, I happen to catch the platform indicator in the corner of my eye and note that the 14:29 train has disappeared and has been replaced with the 14:48 train. I panic. I am going to be heinously late, and where the fucking hell has my train gone? I look over and there is a train going in the same direction nestling into the other platform – they’ve switched it at the last possible second, the rascals.

I sprint. Sprint like Benny Hill chasing after a busty lovely. Down the stairs and across the under pass. I run straight into a cyclist (well, a Chav with a BMX. What is this? Nineteen eight-fucking-five!?!?!) and the front wheel of his bike goes straight into my bad knee. I feel the scab break under my jeans and the searing pain from last night returns. I bite the inside of my cheek, turn like Johan Cruyff and make my way up the stairs, past the prostate and irate cyclist. I get to the top of the stairs and hear the doors’ ‘beep’ to indicate their closing. I dive for the doors (well, trip on the last step leading up to the platform) and fall into the train just as the doors are closing. Well, my head makes it onto the train. There I am, my limp, damaged body hanging out of the train as the train doors open and shut three times on my head before I shamefully get to my feet and take a seat on the train, blood seeping through my jeans and black marks on each cheek from the door caressing me. This is a sign.

I dust myself down in a bathroom at Liverpool Street and manage to make myself look a bit better. I then hop on the tube and go and meet Theatre Girl.

For the first time in months it is a great date. She’s very attractive, funny, intelligent, speaks languages, and we get on like a house on fire. Nothing funny to report, sadly. It was all good and second date was eagerly pencilled into our diaries. Woo-ha! The only down point was that we both had to skedaddle. Her to see a film with her buddies, and me to see le Femme Fatale in North London. We get to the tube, do the polite not quite on the cheek / not quite on the mouth kiss, and I have a bit of a skip (well, spaz-skip owing to my still dodgy knee) in my step again and I hope on the Northern Line with a grin across my chops and a lob in my pants.

I get to our agreed meeting point and she is running late. However, I find a table in the pub, there is the Observer Music Monthly and the News of the World, and the draw for the FA Cup 6th Round on the gogglebox. I accept her tardiness and am secretly happy. She eventually arrives, and I have ANOTHER perfect first date. She’s witty, attractive, fiendishly clever, French, sexy, VERY showbiz, cool job, and lives locally. Aside from lighting a cigar and turning to my accomplice, ‘The Face Man’ and telling him that ‘I love it when a plan comes together’, I could not have made my contentment any clearer. Her only down point is that her job is so international that she is never around and I have to wait until the middle of March until I am allotted time with her. Harrumph. However, she did have the decency to text me three times the next day to express her apologies and to promise that this is not a stalling tactic. So I shall give her the benefit of the doubt.

The only other matter of interest this week was at work where my job turned into a bad joke. I got a phone call from Fucknuts (see below) which basically said “How do we get 8 fatties into a white water raft?” The weight-loss show is doing a task where the large contestants are going rafting and the activity centre is somewhat apprehensive of letting these guys on together, so apparently I had to phone the centre up and sort it out (by sort it out I mean bully them into buying a new insurance policy and raft just for us). We reached a compromise and the fatties are now going abseiling rather than rafting. Wonderful.

Two more dates coming up next week, blog fans so I am sure there will be more than enough to keep you entertained when I write again. In the meantime, keep smiling and have a fun weekend xx

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