I have never been interested in football as I was put off the game at about the age of five. Before World War II, my father had been a Scottish footballer of some renown and he had kept his skills up to scratch while in the RAF during the War. By the time I was a toddler, he was working so hard that football had become a hobby of the past; however, he did dust off his skills occasionally to engage in a “dribbling” exercise with his first born son. This involved the two of us, a football and one pair of feet (his) flying about in circles, stepping over the ball, flicking it in the air and all the other skills demonstrated by skilled footballers. The result was that I never ever managed to deprive him of the ball and, being fairly intelligent, I soon realised that football was not the game for me and I lost all interest and went off on my bike.
As the years wore on, Saturday evenings became a bit of an issue. Wherever we were, we had to get home in time for the football match results so Dad could check his “Pools” coupon. This involved great concentration for a great deal of time and we all had to keep very quiet. Initially, I amused myself by trying to second guess the second half of each score by listening to the inflections in the voice of the poor man who had to read out the results. During later weeks, I amused myself by making ‘bus signboards out of old wooden cigar boxes or, if pushed, oblong tissue boxes. In those days, there were two direction boards on the front and back of ‘buses, saying stuff like HESWALL via PENSBY on Crosville ‘buses or, if we were in Scotland, SMT (Scottish Motor Traction) buses might have GLASGOW CENTRE via LESMAHAGOW. The trick was to cut two oblong slits in the front of the box and then insert four rods (eg bits of garden cane) through the box from one side to the other, both sides protruding a couple of inches. Two paper blinds were created listing all the places to which the ‘bus might go and these were then wound over the rods. By turning the protruding ends of the rods, the blinds would roll behind the cutout slots giving tantalising glimpses of places my bus might one day visit. The ‘bus conductor always had a lovely chromium handle to turn to move the blinds to the correct destination and I used to love watching him. If all this is confusing, talk to my old friend Robin Hood who has such a ‘bus, still with blinds intact, or google “Collectable Bus & Coach Destination Blinds” which will show you lots of unrolled examples. I was also upset because I could not watch Quatermass and the Pit which I used to do from behind the settee and covered by cushions!
Sorry for the slight digression. The point of the story is that I have never had any interest in football. Fast forward to last month. We are in Madeira with Calum and his family and Calum’s son is an avid Ronaldo fan. Ronaldo is a 33 year old footballer, born and raised in Madeira, signed by Alex Ferguson for Manchester United in 2003 at the age of 18 for about £12 million and signed by Juventus for over £100 million a couple of months ago. He is arguably the best footballer in the world and, in Madeira, there is a massive museum dedicated to all his cups, golden boots and so on. Calum’s son always makes the pilgrimage and, this year, it was my turn to accompany him. Oh Joy! One of the highlights of the museum is a full size Madame Tussaud’s type effigy of Ronaldo on a plinth. A queue of adoring fans waits to take turns to stand on the plinth and have their photo taken with Ronaldo. We thought it would be cool for me to join the great man for a picture so I went to get up on to the plinth. Since all the surgery, my balance is rubbish; I tripped and fell onto the great man, nearly knocking him off the plinth. A horrified collective gasp arose from the queuing fans and I have since had nightmares -what if I had knocked him to the floor and broken his head off in front of the fans? In the end, all was well and I would be happy to show you the resulting picture.
Two young ladies were walking through a graveyard on the way home from a boozy night when they both felt the call of nature. One dried herself with her panties and then discarded them. The other had new panties so she used some ribbon from a nearby wreath. Next morning, the husbands were talking and one said “We have to be on the lookout, I think those two were up to no good – my wife came home without any panties”. The other replied “That’s nothing – my wife came home with a card stuck to her bottom saying We will never forget you”.
Two studious friends were at university. One noticed that the other had a new bike and enquired how is friend had come by it. It transpired that a beautiful girl, who had been hanging around his friend, had ridden up to him, jumped off her bike, taken off all her clothes and said “You can have anything you want!”. “Good choice” says the first lad “Her clothes wouldn’t have fit you anyway”.
Blond girls have had a bad press so here is a blond bloke joke: A blond bloke gets home early to find his wife naked on the bed, sweating and panting. “I’m having a heart attack” she says. He rushes down to call the ambulance when his son comes into the room and says “Daddy, Uncle Ted is hiding in your wardrobe and has no clothes on”. Our hero rushes upstairs, flings open the wardrobe door and shouts at his naked brother “You rotten ******* My wife is having a heart attack and you are running around the house scaring the kids”. Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet