Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Archie Gemmill’s Toffee Crisp

Six weeks ago I disclosed, via at least one literary pastiche, that I’d joined a local community choir. A move I’d taken after witnessing the collective joy on singers faces mid-refrain, as they tunefully accompanied my Marie Curie collection on Garforth Main Street. The groups attendance part of organised entertainment arranged for the massed crowds eagerly awaiting the arrival of Tour De Yorkshire cyclists.

The audience predominantly exhibiting as much pleasure from listening to the congregated warblers as the performers were delivering their melodic fare. Contemporary songs engaging young and old alike, apart from one young child in the crowd who refused point blank to sing along with the choir until his mother bought him a Toffee Crisp chocolate bar.

I’m assuming the child’s harassed looking companion was his mother; it could’ve been his child minder, aunt, grandma for all I know. However, in the absence of this deeply stressed lady adorning a badge advising ‘I’m Archie’s mother’, I’m taking a guess it was. Admittedly, a move that rightly exposes me to accusations of inept pre-essay research. That being said, I’d argue this lack of thoroughness doesn’t affect the overall narrative.

Naming the Toffee Crisp coveting boy as Archie is also an assumption on my part. For all I know, he could’ve been named Jack, Arnold, Greg, George, Nathan, Bert, Colin, Timothy, Bob, Julian, Zach, Winston, Bart, Creme de Menthe or Harvey Bristol Cream!***

*** – Other boy’s names and alcoholic spirits are available.

Some may feel the need to enquire why, if I’d no idea if it was his correct moniker,  I felt the need to name this confectionery seeking soul Archie. A valid observation of which I have no answer other than he reminded me of the 1970’s/80’s footballer Archie Gemmill. A diminutive Scottish international, whispy fair of hair and mischievous of demeanour.

Incidentally, my comparison of this little boy to the former Derby County and Nottingham Forest midfielder is based purely on aesthetics. I’d be lying by positing Gemmill was also prone to tantrums should manager Brian Clough withhold a half-time Toffee Crisp from the Scotsman. Allegations which may be true; however, in the unlikely event Gemmill’s reading this nonsense, I’m not prepared to make as informed comment.

I’d venture, though, that if he did indeed love Toffee Crisps as much as the misbehaving child, Gemmill would’ve been ok. Cloughie renowned in the 1970’s/80’s football world for his magnanimousness when it came to providing his charges with snacks comprising of biscuit, crispy cereal, caramel and chocolate.

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Archie Gemmill – Thought to be celebrating hearing news mid-match that hundreds of Toffee Crisps have just been delivered to Scotland’s World Cup team’s dressing room!! 

Anyhow, I digress; my penchant for wandering off subject striking yet again. Consequently, a narrative I intended to predominantly surround my joining of a choir, resulting in me going off on a tandem into how partial a former Scottish international footballer was to a popular Nestle made chocolate bar.

I’m unaware what my 30-40 choir colleagues think of the merits of Toffee Crisps. My relative newness to this musical crew currently robbing me of enough confidence to enquire about the confectionery preferences of my fellow warblers…… Mind you, as there’s at least one homemade cake brought to every rehearsal, I do know they’re fond of consuming fare of the sweet baked variety.

Categories: Blogs, fiction, humour, sport

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