Sunday, July 03, 2016

I’ve just received my copy of Right Back the bestselling boys’ soccer mag (rival publication to Outside Left). Amid all the goodies on offer this week is the latest installment of Billy’s Magic Boots entitled Bend It Like Boris. Here’s a taster ...

“ ... Billy was walking towards the touchline shaking his head. Somehow his skills had deserted him. England v Rekjavik Prep, nil nil and only a few minutes left on the clock. What a humiliation lay in store! They’d be the laughing stock of the dorm. Something had to be done and quick.

“Get your track suit off, Johnson,” barked beetle-browed Bodgson the games master. “You’re on for Billy.”

“Crikey! I mean – me?” spluttered Boris. But he required little further encouragement. What an opportunity to show what he was made of. “Cometh the hour, cometh the man” he whispered under his breath. After all, it was what he had been waiting for all term.

“Here” said Billy dispondently “try these”. He held out his magic boots. “Who knows, maybe they’ll work for you.”

Mater had always said you don’t wear other chaps’ shoes, thought Boris, but needs must. In any case, second hand shoes, second hand ideas, he’d been getting by on those since the Juniors. He hurriedly laced up the golden sandals and entered the fray.

A cheer rang round as the doughty Englishman took to the field. Chants of Land of Hope and Glory mingled with Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

“There’s pluck for yer” quoth old Gubbins the caretaker, a tear in his eye, as he doffed his cloth cap to mop his working class brow with a Union Jack. 

There was no time to waste. The minutes were trickling away as fast as Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet. These herring smokers needed to be shown a thing or two.

Strangely the boots seemed to be speaking to Boris, inspiring him, urging him on. He could feel the energy tingling in his ankles and surging up his shins. Yes, he was Pele – no, hang on, can’t have one of those Samba Johnnies. He was Georgie Best – no, that wouldn’t do either. Who did Papa go on about? Stanley? Yes, that chappy out there in Africa discovering waterfalls and things. No – another Stanley. Morgan Stanley – that sounded familiar. He could see him now in footer bags running down the wing.

But what was this? His mind had been wandering. The ref had blown for a free kick. Rekjavik Prep had cut someone short just outside the penalty area. Farage, was it? England’s master dribbler! How dare they! There he lay sprawled face down on the battlefield (turf, Ed.).

The dastardly Norsemen were forming their wall. Who, then, was to take the kick? Who could be entrusted with his country’s hopes in this Time of Need?

“Boris! Boris!” that’s what the boots were telling him and – now as he listened – so were the crowd.

He placed the ball and looked around.

If he gave it a bit of swerve – and let’s face it he was good at that – the ball would be in the back of the net before you could say Jacques Delors. He stared at the serried rank of boys in front of him sizing up the wall when ... Boris blinked and rubbed his eyes. Things were going decidedly funny. All squiffy somehow. Faces started to blur, the pitch began to sway and buckle. What was going on? He hadn’t had a swig of matron’s gin for weeks now.

Boris blinked again trying to focus his eyes on the goal in front of him. Now he could make out the features more clearly ... there was Heseltine ... Cameron, too ... what were they doing there in the wall? And – wait for it – O God ... no ... that little toe rag Gove who should never been part of the team ...

Blindly, Boris struck the ball and watched as it traced an arc over the heads in the wall and into the back of the net.

A roar erupted from the crowd as deafening as  Eyjafjallajokull. 

“Goal!” shouted Rekjavik Prep (or whatever that is in Icelandic).

But why were they so happy? ... oh no, oh crikey ... he’d just kicked the ball into his own goal!

“Bad luck old chap,” smirked Gove, patting him on the back ....

...

Boris woke in a cold sweat. He’d just had the most dreadful nightmare.

He sat up in bed reliving the horror when he felt a cool hand rest upon his shoulder. A soft female voice was whispering in his ear telling him it was going to be all right ... government wasn’t a game ... she’d sort it all out ...



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It seems my crystal ball was not so grubby ... ... resisting the temptation to say "told you so".