Here we are again: La pièce de résistance. Così fan tutte. Bodas de sangre. Céad míle fáilte. Vorsprung durch technik. The meanings of all these phrases were lost with the destruction of Atlantis, but they still evoke feelings and stuff, sometimes towards football. It’s been a long season, and it’s one I’m definitely glad to see the back of. Even without European games, I’ve written more words for less money than I ever got at school for inventing the typewriter. One game left. One game to get the fifteen points needed to win the Premiership League and also hope that Chelsea lose to whichever team they’re playing… *Googles fixtures* … Next year, lads?
Prediction: Vangle to get the whole team drunk and send them out to have fun. Luckily, Steve Bruce has had the same idea, and the scheduled match quickly turns into the greatest game of Wembley Doubles the world will ever see. The Falcao/Young pairing is the early favourite after some questionable, but good-natured, penalties and they are closely matched by Jelavic/Huddlestone. The dark horses are the Jones/Fellaini combo, who muscle their way through to the semi-final because the referee can’t find his whistle after four tequila slammers and some cheap whizz. The eventual winners are Mata and Herrera with the winning goal being a perfect demonstration of Juan nicking it by getting his bootlaces to touch Fellaini’s perfectly timed volley into the top corner. 1-0 Football: It’s the real winner.
To celebrate our invincible season, I am delighted to be able to offer a limited run of prints to immortalise our finishing fourth. These will be available in matt or gloss and are currently on sale in Madame Tussaud’s until they kick me out:
Off to Wembley to watch my new team, Presbyterian Southend. Tell your disappointment to suck it.
Prediction: Whatever the score is that sends Villa down.
The lights go out. Brett places the last chess piece. Gazes up
at Racquel. Smiles. Pulls the rope from under his pillow.
He stands and unbuttons his prison shirt, revealing Norton’s
gray pinstripe suit underneath. A FLASH OF LIGHTNING floods the
cell, throwing wild shadows.
The storm rages. Brett, naked, carefully slips Norton’s folded
suit into a large industrial Zip-Lock bag. Next to go in are the
shoes, chess pieces (already in a smaller bag), black ledger and
files. Last but not least, a bar of soap wrapped in a towel.
Brett, again wearing prison clothes, inches down the tunnel.
Brett squeezes through the hole head-first, emerges to the waist,
He reaches for the opposite wall, manages to snag a steel
conduit with his fingers.
Suddenly, a huge rat darts for his hand. Brett yanks away and
almost plummets head-first down the shaft. He dangles wildly
upside-down for a moment, arms windmilling, then gets his
hands pressed firmly against the opposite wall. The rat
scurries off, pissed.
Brett snags the conduit again. He contorts out of the hole and
dangles into the shaft. We now see the purpose for the rope: the
plastic bag hangs from his ankle with about two feet of slack.
He kicks his legs across the shaft, gets his feet braced. With
his back against one wall and feet against the other, he
starts down the shaft. Sliding dangerously. Using pipes for
handholds. Flinching as rats dart this way and that, scurrying
in the shadows. He drops the last few feet to the bottom.
He approaches the ceramic sewer pipe and kneels before it.
Pulls out the rock-hammer and says a quick silent prayer.
Raises the rock-hammer high and swings it down with all his
might. Once, twice — third time lucky. An enormous eruption
of sewage cascades into the air as if rocket-propelled, the
Mount St. Helens of shit. Brett is instantly coated black. He
turns away and heaves his guts out. The shit keeps coming.
Brett peers down through the hole, playing his penlight around,
The inside diameter is no more than two feet. Tight squeeze.
Coated with crud. It seems to go on for miles.
No turning back. He wriggles into the pipe and starts
crawling, plastic bag dragging behind.
*Benno and Tom Voice Over*
Brett crawled to freedom through
five hundred yards of shit-smelling
foulness us can’t even imagine. Or
maybe us just don’t want to.
Rain is falling in solid sheets. Shawshank is half a mile
distant. BOOM DOWN to reveal the creek…and PUSH IN toward the
mouth of the sewer pipe that feeds into it.
*Benno and Tom voice over*
Five hundred yards. The length of
five football fields. Just shy of
half a mile. wdgi.
Fingers appear, thrusting through the heavy-gauge wire mesh
covering the mouth of the pipe. Brett’s face looms from the
darkness, peering out at freedom. He wrenches the mesh loose,
pushes himself out, and plunges head-first into the creek. He
comes up sputtering for breath. The water is waist-deep.
He wades upstream, ripping his clothes from his body. He gets
his shirt off, spins it through the air over his head, flings
the shirt away. He raises his arms to the sky, turning slowly,
feeling the rain washing him clean. Exultant. Triumphant. A
FLASH OF LIGHTNING arcs from horizon to horizon.
Prediction: Brett wakes up unconscious in the shower. It was a dream about that film with More than Freeman. And whatever the score that makes Newcastle dead.