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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"It was a big relief off my shoulder."

Today TDH Theatre returns with this classic vignette set in the waiting room of the chairman's office at St. James's Park....
At the end of a line of tattered Recaro racing chairs sit two men, passing a small bottle of South Balham Vodka between them.

MAN NO. 1 is emaciated, barely filling out a crumpled suit, with a bleached white beard. An electronic bracelet hangs limply around one of his ankles. MAN NO. 2 has on an equally crumpled leather jacket. His face is crumpled, too.

MAN NO. 1: Funny old game, innit?

MAN NO. 2: Yeah, funny old game.

MAN NO. 1 (bridling inexplicably): No, I mean, it's a funny old game, right?

MAN NO. 2 (shifting in his seat): Er, right.

There is silence for a moment as each man takes another swig of the turpentine. They are searching for things to say.

MAN NO. 2: Cold up here, ain't it?

MAN NO. 1: You get used to it.

Another silence ensues. MAN NO. 2 stares straight ahead. Finally, MAN NO. 1's face lights up.

MAN NO. 1: Who'd of thought there'd still be work for us in football, eh?

MAN NO. 2: Well, speak for yourself. I thought I'd be on the sideline right now. Must've been drunk when I started going on about the British Lions not being able to win a match in the Conference....

GRAEME SOUNESS walks through the room and both men offer a muted hello, their eyes not even rising to meet his.

MAN NO. 1: Still, it's not exactly what I had in mind.

MAN NO. 2: Yeah. But he's a clever bugger, ain't he, that Freddie Shepherd? I mean, putting an advert in the Daily Sport for a drinking buddy. Suppose he doesn't have too many local friends these days....

MAN NO. 1's predicament will have come as no surprise to those who have followed English football with more than a passing interest in the last decade. It probably wasn't much of a surprise to MAN NO. 1, either.

But MAN NO. 2 - well, he must have felt a bit like Neddy Seagoon trying to move Napoleon's Piano when Mandaric wouldn't pay up for his planned return to Pompey, after he'd already told Saints goodbye. TDH can just hear him now: "What-what-what-what-what-what-WHAT?"


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