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2008/09 - at the White Horse November 1st, 2008


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Shed End 08/09 Piss Up

wine.jpg Courtesy of our planning being on a par with the American banking industry's risk management nobody had a camera at the 2008/09 piss up and therefore you will have to make do with a handful of images which I will attempt to shoe horn in as relevant! This year’s piss up started very differently from previous years. Normally I have great intentions to take it easy on the Friday night but end up downing a skin full and wake up early on the Saturday and make my way to Glasgow airport cursing my idiocy. This time I managed to put a stop to my Friday night drinking after a bottle and a half of red wine – I am finally maturing to the point of being a child.

0600 in the morning showed me as much pity as Geezer does to his dog when it is just trying to catch 40 winks on the couch. Couldn’t find my bloody keys, damn wallet, frigging ticket and to make matters worse my underwear was on back to front and I was dying for a piss! Never mind though, there is nothing like a speedy and manly drive on the open road, cutting through the hills and bordering the banks of Loch Lomond to put a man out of his misery… well if works for Bond but as far as I recall he has never had to do it in a Skoda!

Now if there is one thing I have learned from the whole weekend it is that the Guinness at Glasgow Airport must be stored in an old bath and I swear whoever has used that bath in the past wore Old Spice. Slightly better was the Stella other than it being flatter than Keira Knightley. However as breakfasts go I have had worse, after all I have eaten my mother’s cooking.

saucy_detective.jpg The next couple hours involved ‘in’, ‘up’, ‘bumpy’, ‘down’, ‘out’ ‘in again’, ‘rumble rumble’, ‘back out’. That magazine entertained me throughout the flight and train journey.

By this time I had already heard from Bluebeard who sadly couldn’t make it (‘I’ll get you next time Gadget’ he said in his best Baron Greenback voice) and gullit4 who was already in the White Horse wondering if the whole thing was a wicked rouse designed to make him feel like a billy no mates.

Midday, Victoria Station, Wetherspoons. Tim W had already met up with a band of wandering minstrels earlier in the day however they had made haste to Shoreditch to drop off their belongings – we would be hearing from them again.

Now with G4 sitting around on his lonesome, drinking soda water and lime, any decent human being would have hurried Tim along and got straight on the tube. I am not a decent human being.

‘So Mr W do you expect me to talk’ ‘No Loz I expect you to drink’ ‘Okey dokey then, Guinness please.’

After that we headed over to Parsons Green where we found Geezer at the bar bemoaning the lack of Magners, ethicalstrategy trying to counsel him through the dark times and G4 sitting on his own totally oblivious to their presence.

water.jpg Geezer would later admit to me that he knew G4 was there but was not prepared to own up to a man wearing a vomit yellow Moscow 1980 Olympic t-shirt under a blazer last seen on the back of Harold Steptoe. We were soon joined by Andy and his much better half (who wins a special award for putting up with us all day – she isn’t even a football fan but was still there at the bitter end – unlike Valerie as you will soon hear). First full round of the day was courtesy of absent landlord moi who had put cash in the Shed End bank account to buy everyone a drink. A doff of the cap in her direction although she still owes G4 one as by this point he had only progressed to a pint of ice water with a slice of lemon in it.

Next to join us was Valerie, Bonetti, then half the cast of Ballykissangel walked in and introducing themselves as Liam, ‘brudder’ Hugh and ‘brudder Hugh’s’ mate Mark. This is the second time I have met a brother of Liam and the second time he has made me wonder why we got stuck with the peroxide one.

Liam was good enough to explain a further time why Mikel is nothing more than a hod carrier and I was reminded of Pauly’s description of Drogba as a farmer. This moment of clarity only came after he got over the fact that Tim hadn’t brought his 18 year old daughter with him (who turned 19 the very next day so blown out candles to her). To be fair to Liam he at least did get over it, Geezer is still wandering what could have been.

yoda%20drinking%20guinness-thumb.jpgThe drinks flowed, Guinness for the men with hair on their chest, bottled lager for those unsure of their sexual preference, something resembling colostomy bag seepage for Geezer and finally G4 with another drink decorated with one piece of fruit of another.

Kick off time approached and farewells were said to Geezer, Bonetti and ethicalstrategy who weren’t able to make it afterwards. Off to the match, 1-0, 2-0….. 5-0, full time whistle and back out.

Hastily made arrangements in the White Horse had resulted in a plan to meet up in the Pelican before moving on to a pub which would be showing the Tottenham Liverpool game. As I was making my way out back onto Fulham Road I saw a man in front of me walking gingerly and holding his bag over his head in a somewhat effeminate fashion to protect his hairdo from the evil of rain. I jogged up and tapped G4 on the shoulder. It was the furthest I had run in 12 years but it was worth it to mock him.

In the Pelican I met up briefly with Tea Bar Boy with whom I held a meaningful and thought provoking conversation about the merits of hating Tottenham and West Ham – a topic on which I believe we concurred. After that we (we being Tim W, Valerie, Andy and his good lady, Liam, Hugh, Mark and myself) headed off to Brogans to watch the game between two of the most despicable teams in the history of despicableness. We got there to find that Dirk Kuyt (a man whose family were clearly dyslexic) had put Liverpool one up and, to be perfectly frank, we expected that to be the final score. To put is out of our misery we drank more (that, of course being the only reason).

judas.jpg Then Carjacker struck to draw Spurs level. Andy described it as like seeing your car being driven over a cliff by your mother in law. We, a pub of Chelsea fans, were supporting Spurs – it was like teenage pregnancy getting into bed with the coil. Just as it felt like our shame could not get any worse it reached new heights when we celebrated a Tottenham winner and the cries of ‘We are top of the league, we are top of the league’ resonated around Brogans. To celebrate we drank. It seemed like the right thing to do.

I got a phone call from Liam’s absent brother Donal to tell me that he could hear Liam’s stomach rumbling all the way from Germany. We left the pub and crossed the road where cheap and cheerful Chinese takeaway/eat in ‘Chop Chop’ had caught a few eyes.

Before this was the little matter of Val who was beginning to do an impression of Lady Penelope without the string. Chivalry was the order of the day and Andy hailed a cab and we sent her home to what I trust was a very very very deep sleep at the Ibis hotel in Earls Court.

Andy, feeling somewhat Lordy after his mad rush of responsibility, dismissed ‘Chop Chop’ and took us off in pursuit of alternative eats. A turn or three later we happened upon a somewhat ‘poughsher’ looking restaurant who welcomed our ravenous bellies with open arms. Orders were made with the order of merit for gluttony being won by Mark as the only person to order a starter and a main course. A starter which he then had to share around! I say share however that does suggest a degree of co-operation on Mark’s part and that would be a falsehood on the part of your story teller. If truth be told he had little choice in the matter as, the moment his prawn toast was placed in front of him, Liam and Hugh’s gyppo fingers were all over it faster than Russell Brand on Andrew Sach’s granddaughter. There then followed a fascinated discussion about the ratio of bread to prawn – this, my readers, is what you were missing

Main courses came, all, that is, except Andy’s.

3-japanese-spider-crab.jpgAbruptly the sound ceased. The whole of London came to a stand still. Andy’s crab was here. Visually? A remarkable spectacle. Substance? Less meat than a gnat’s penis. Andy had the look about him of a man who had won a night of rampant jollies with someone called Stephanie only to find out he had misread the prize and it was actually Stefan.

Tim W did his best to cheer Andy up by doing his finest impression of Jim Davidson whilst G4 played the part of the unwilling victim. Just as it couldn’t get any worse for Andy everyone else declared their meal tasted great!

Everyone had finished - except Andy. Some had coffee - Andy hadn’t finished. Tim W then fessed up to a chocolate addiction and begged for all the chocolate sweets that had come with the coffee to be passed down the table to him – Andy was still eating. Some of us started whistling – Andy stared at his crab, willing more meat to appear. We checked the calendar to see if we had crossed a time zone – Andy finally gave up on the crab and turned to his noodles but his patience had snapped and he declared the meal over.

lep2.jpg Liam, Hugh and Mark hailed a cab and made their way back to Shoreditch and the rest of us started trooping toward Fulham Broadway. It was then we realised Andy was actually a timelord. One moment I looked behind and there he was, a few yards back hand in hand with his good lady and 15 seconds later G4 looked back and, just like that, they were gone. Vanished into thin air.

I registered a missing persons notification with the local constabulary and they received unconfirmed reports of a man matching Andy’s description carrying out random attacks on crab fishermen (what do you call them? Crabbermen?) along the south coast of England.

Tim W and I said farewell to G4 at Earls Court (where Tim got very confused about which platform to stand on) and then eventually we got back to Croydon just after one in the morning (not before being ‘entertained’ by a rich lad on the train dressed in fish net stockings and high heels talking to his friend ‘Olly’ on his mobile at a volume that equated to a jet engine. This was not the entertaining part, the entertaining part was when he tried to get off the train and found that booze and heels don’t mix well!

And that was that.

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