Archive for June 2014
So Phil Neville responded to criticism of his monotonous debut in the co-commentator’s chair with the following:
“The feedback is that I need to show a bit more excitement, so I think you’ll see that more on Thursday night in the highlights show”
The promise of seeing ‘a bit more excitement’ is certainly enticing, but what on earth is it going to sound like?
CHRIST ALIVE! DID YOU SEE THAT! THE BALL WENT NEAR THE GOAL!
FUCK ME! WHAT. A. KICK. MUST HAVE GONE AT LEAST 40 YARDS! SOARING LIKE AN EAGLE STRAIGHT OUT OF PLAY!
WHOARRRRRRRRRGGGGHRRRRRAAAHH! IT’S A THROW-IN.
OFFSIDE! I LOVE THIS WORLD CUP! I LOVE FOOTBALL! I LOVE LIFE! I LOVE YOU GUY MOWBRAY!
IT’S A YELLOW CARD! YELLOW LIKE THE SUN AND THE DAFFODILS AND THE MARGARINE!
Word is that the BBC have recruited legendary Dutch commentator Jack Van Gelder, responsible for the demented outburst below, to coach Neville and the pair are currently having a one-on-one excitement training session by shouting at seagulls on Ipanema beach.
RAY LEWINGTON! RAY LEWINGTON! RAY LEWINGTON!
First an apology. This isn’t a thought about sport as the masthead promises.
I wrote a letter to East Coast trains to complain about an incident in which my head was caught in the doors. I could probably finish it there and it would be the funniest thing I’ve ever written.
They have recently sent me a standard class return ticket to anywhere in their network by way of compensation which means I can go to Inverness and back again for free if I want to. So they deserve the miniscule bit of good publicity I’m going to give them.
The letter was conceived as one of those complaint letters that you sometimes see circulated around the internet. I thought it might be looked on more favourably at East Coast trains, perhaps even responded to in kind. In fact I received a very long and humourless answer back. Some may argue that they did respond in kind.
Dear Sir or Madam
I am writing to complain about an incident which occurred while disembarking one of the 0835 from King’s Cross at Grantham station on Monday, 10 March. Around 50 of my colleagues and I were attending a ceremony to celebrate long service at a country hotel not far from Grantham and had travelled up from Kings Cross that morning.
The doors opened as usual once the train had pulled to a halt in the station. I was already stood in the area by the toilets waiting to step off the train. I allowed a lady to disembark first and then followed her off the train. To my surprise the doors closed as I was leaving the train and struck me on the neck. Gladly I was not decapitated by this as it may have put a dampener on my day out. If I’d have turned up at the hotel without a head then I would not have been able to enjoy the tea and shortbread that was served on arrival. Disregarding the shortbread and thinking more about long-term strategy, my head and body have worked well together as team previously and it certainly would have been a shame not to be able to continue with this arrangement.
It may also have had a negative impact on my marriage if I’d have returned home without a head. My head is one of the reasons my wife fell in love with me. God knows it wasn’t my body. I also think that my employers may have looked upon it dimly had I shown up to work without a head; it would negatively affect my capacity to fulfil my duties properly and also look a bit scruffy.
I’m being facetious. I can’t pretend that the impact of the door even hurt. But it was a shock. And I have a strong virile neck. If I was a little frail old lady with a little frail old neck then the ramifications could have been more serious.
Happily for me, the doors opened again and I was able to step down onto the platform. I was one of the lucky ones. Most of my colleagues were sat in a different carriage and had diligently gathered their luggage and queued to leave the train as it was pulling into the station. Unfortunately some at the back of queue were unable to leave before the doors closed again, this time permanently. 14 ladies made an unscheduled trip to Doncaster. I’ve heard that Doncaster is lovely in late winter, but when there is tea and shortbread promised on arrival at a hotel near Grantham then it’s not the ideal destination. Happily they were able to turn around and return to Grantham in time for lunch (rice, new potatoes, a selection of cold cuts).
Again I’m being facetious, but again there could have more serious implications. If a family had been disembarking and the children were allowed to get off first the doors may have closed behind them, temporarily orphaning them and sending their parents to Doncaster. The children would have been left to fend for themselves on the mean streets of Grantham with no-one to look after them but a little old lady with no head. Sorry, facetious again. Can’t help it.
When we remonstrated with the station guard he explained that there was nothing he could do. Apart from not blow his whistle perhaps. He offered nothing by way of apology. Perhaps he had a shiny new whistle which he couldn’t wait to blow. Or maybe he simply couldn’t conceive that 50 people actually wanted to get off the train to visit Grantham. He said that all passengers should be ready to disembark before the doors open – which is fine until 30 people want to step off the same carriage. They’re not circus performers, they can’t all get off at once.
One of the Doncaster crew spoke to the train attendant who explained that stations are fined if they keep the train in the station too long. If this is true then I would suggest that the guidelines are eased slightly to allow for common sense to be applied and to allow 50 people who just want to get off the train and eat a little bit of shortbread.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts