Stopping and watching the world go by, as I have said before, is a fascinating pasttime. To this end I am back in one of my favourite haunts, the one where you get served coffee by effortless cool twenty-somethings with fantastic accents. Being match day and the coffee house in question located on the thorough-fare between the train station and the football ground there is a heavy police presence outside. I make my coffee last to watch the antics. There is always antics. Sometimes even shenanigans! Let’ hope that we don’t get any chicanery.

I don’t really do sport. Not any more. There was a time in my formative years when I did. In fact I represented my hometown in two sports and had county trials for a third. But that was a few years BBE. Before the Beer Era. I get playing sport, I don’t really get watching sport. But of course the ones here for the antics, and possibly even the shenanigans, are not really here for the sport either. That’s why there is a heavy police presence.

I have probably missed the main pack’s arrival, they are already in the pubs, judging by the sirens ricochetting down the streets, but I do get to witness the rearguard’s arrival and the sight of, mainly, 50-something, bellied, balding men having to be escorted between station and stadium but 30 year old police in riot gear (in case of chicanery) is amusing to say the least. “I appreciate the overtime but I didn’t really get into policing for this,” is, I surmise, going through many of the officer’s minds.

It’s at this point I like to play a game. Obviously I can’t hear any of the conversations and exchanges taking place outside. I can only hear the coffee shop soundtrack, one comprised of inoffensive, middle of the road music, the choral chaos of 24 separate conversations taking place and the staccato beeps of cash tills and timers. But you can put your own script to the moronic melodrama as it passes by.

Today’s cameo featured a baldy, belly-bloke (BBB) and a playground duty policeman (PDP) and an encounter that seems to be about the BBB’s right to wander off the beaten track as he is being herded towards his destination.

Perhaps…

PDP: Excuse me sir, can you keep heading down the designated route.

BBB: (shouting, pointing, making sure his friends are watching) How dare you victimise me, you almost touched my arm. If I want to head off down a side street and smash a window then that is my right. I’ve seen many documentaries about people who died for my right to be an arsehole.

SUBTEXT

PDP: (Can you stop acting like a 8 year old, hopped up on an orange squash sugar rush and act like the grandfather you are. I bet the kids are so proud.)

BBB: (I am a legend. My tea better be ready when I get in this evening or there will be trouble.)

Maybe not…
Still, I am home now. But I do live a stone’s throw from the ground, and let’s hope that remains just a metaphor, so at least I get to sit and work with the dulcet tones of “hoooarrgeunnnrendooooon” and other such anthemic gibberish, probably involved mass questioning of the identity of the opposing fans, floating through my window. Who are they indeed?

Sport, it isn’t really for me.

PS: No gross generalisations or hyperbole were harmed in the writing of this rant.