At Sixes & Sevens

I’ve just returned from a much needed odyssey to the barbers, where I underwent my third haircut on Planet COVID. As a pathogen protection strategy, the episode performed with both barber and I wearing face masks.

The presence of visage coverings resulted in the traditional stylist/customer banter playing out with muffled tones similar to those displayed by the villain Bane, of Batman movie fame.

The guy who cuts my barnet is a supporter of Manchester United football club. After yesterday’s 6-1 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs), understandably, he wasn’t in the best of moods.

That being said, as with individuals who’re about to prepare my meals, I endeavour to avoid antagonising those who within minutes will be removing my hair with sharp scissors.

Consequently, as a precaution from receiving a haircut worse than Boris Johnson’s, I tempered my ribbing of his beloved club’s humiliation at the hands of Spurs.

My empathetic approach even extending to affording him a comforting “It could be worse….. You could be a Liverpool fan!”…… For the uninitiated, the latter club was humiliated 7-2 by Aston Villa yesterday, in what turned out to be a disastrous day for both huge Lancashire clubs.

In response to my diplomacy, the barber complimented how my team, Leeds United (sworn nemeses of Manchester United), had started their first campaign in the Premier League for sixteen years. Relaying to me “You must be happy!”

FootnoteActually, I’m assuming his comment I must be happy was referring to Leeds’ encouraging start to life in the top division….. Not that he’d just mistaken me for the chirpiest of Snow White’s seven diminutive buddies.

Results in English football’s Premier League have gone absolutely crazy. Match score-lines starting to mirror those of 5-a-side games at the local leisure centre with work buddies. One week your team beats Macca’s accounts lot 8-3; seven days later they take revenge with a 6-1 drubbing of your boys.

Yours truly didn’t watch either of yesterday’s Manchester United or Liverpool games. My first awareness of their humiliation was later catching the results on social media.

As a fair man with friends who support both clubs, after witnessing the embarrassing score-lines, I didn’t know whether to laugh or……. well, laugh even louder.

If truth be told, these days I bear less malice toward other football teams. The years of borrowing US writer Gore Vidal’s observation of “It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.” diminished around a decade ago.

After the ageing process dragged me kicking and screaming into middle-age, my love of Britain’s number one sport decreased with the ability to sleep a whole night without requiring a pee.

Don’t get me wrong I’m chuffed to bits when Leeds win, and will always love and support them. However, the euphoria levels and desire to watch them (even on TV) have decreased markedly.

Similar to my late father on reaching midlife, I’ve far more interest in rugby and cricket than the game I adored whilst adorning a younger mans clothes.

Even the exhilaration of Leeds’ championship win, in July, and their presence once again amongst English football’s finest, can’t raise my football interest levels above a plateau called indifferent.

These days I’d rather write a blog, or sketch a caricature, than watch footy……. Actually, what a right boring b*****d I’ve become!!

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