I know what you’re thinking, but I can confirm that your fears are completely unfounded. I am not going to sign for Liverpool to replace Fernando Torres. Just putting that out there. I am writing this at the end of what the Sky Sports hype-sters call “DEADLINE DAY”, where English football clubs do the last of their mid-season transfer deals.
The thing that amuses me most about this most hyperbolic of sporting days is the reporting, as Sky Sports News shamelessly peddle tiny droplets of information like Justin Bieber naked pictures to a gaggle of tweenage dreamers. While this particular transfer window has been a reasonably exciting and active one, the real interest for me comes from the times when nothing is happening. Nothing at all. The genius behind these lulls in activity, sometimes days at a time over the month-long sales period, is how Sky Sports can quite literally make something out of nothing. There will actually be specifically-designated reporters stationed at locations all over the country whose job it is to reply “Nothing much happening here, back to you” every time the anchorperson tries to coax the slightest glimmer of interesting information from them.
While previously football fans thirsty for knowledge of potential ins and outs at their club would have to wait until the morning newspapers were dispatched, but now the whole transfer process is fetish-ised. No longer a case of “he’s signed” or “he’s not signed”, now all new stages such as “in talks”, “interested” and “linked” are used to describe just what stage in the emotional tightrope walk of football negotiations we are at. And of course in this 3D, HD, LSD, VD era these psychological minutiae are afforded their own set of natty graphics.
I am thinking of perhaps employing my own set of journalists to chart my journey to a socially-acceptable waistline with the barely-contained excitement of the SSN crew. “It has been confirmed by my sources that Joey did spend 13.8 seconds perusing the Kit Kat range at Tesco at around 10:00am but I’m pleased to say he steered well clear. However news is reaching us now that he might have been tempted by the Freddos being sold in the petrol station on the way home. We should have more on that in the next hour. Back to you”
If you have the same jogging route every day, you end up seeing the same collection of sights on a regular basis. Careless motorists, dog walkers, other joggers and of course farmers steering quad bikes with one hand while holding a double-barreled shotgun in the other. I sense your confusion, but to be honest that last sentence is probably the only part of this blog I haven’t embellished.
I seem to have befriended this farmer without ever really trying. Not in a “come round for a drink” way but more a “if I smile at you, will you spare my life?” fashion. Allow me to explain, for those who may not be from Britain. Over here farmers are kind of like drug dealers are in America. They are allowed to shoot anything that infringes on their turf, because it saves the police doing it. You see otherwise the police would have polyester-short wearing blobs of ne’er-do-well waddling through the village under the pretence of exercise to deal with every day. So farmers ride around on their quad bikes with guns, policing their turf and keeping us lard-fests in check. I think they milk animals and stuff as well, but that is just a rumour.
I see Tupac Sheepkur on his quad bike pretty much every day, flying down the road with more fingers on the trigger than on the steering wheel. He seems a friendly enough chap actually, like I say he always flashes me a smile and seems mildly amused by the persistence of my running efforts despite the deep shade of purple I have normally turned by the time I meet him. Very friendly actually, for a guy armed to the teeth. I wouldn’t date his daughter though, let’s put it that way. She might have fleas. Oh yeah, and the gun thing.
I was confronted with perhaps my greatest challenge to date yesterday: another jogger. As this athletic-looking middle-ager approached my creaking frame along the winding country road my mind raced with what to do. Are joggers like Eddie Stobart drivers, do we have a ritual? A hug? A fist bump? Maybe we just shout “JOGGERS ASSEMBLE!” at each other? I decided to keep it low key and give him a nod, a little show of solidarity that we together were active people improving ourselves. And he could not have looked more revolted. The look of pure disdain that wracked his face will live with me forever. Then I realised that jogging is an elite sport, and I’m not meant to be here. He was Ted Knight and I was Rodney Dangerfield, and this ladies and gentlemen was Caddyshack.
I have surmised from this that running is not for people who want to get in shape. According to my uppity friend, who turned his nose up so far he looked like Daniella Westbrook pre-op, running is not for the fat. Once we have eaten enough to leave Puppy Fat Station and arrive at Obeseville we are actually no longer allowed to exercise it seems. Think about it, when have you ever seen a jogger who looked like they needed to jog? Fat people don’t jog! They sit at home and get fatter while people who are already in shape make themselves more magnificent on their daily run.
Well I will stand for this no more, as perhaps the only real fat person who has ever ran I’m taking a stand. Or at least a very passionate sit down (still very tired from my controversial run).
I have a dream today. A dream that one day, fat people and thin people will run together! I have a dream that fat children will not be mocked for their tight PE kits that make them look like the result of a malfunction at a sausage factory! I have a dream that being a fat runner will be a source of pride! I have a dream today, fat people! Oh I have a dream!
Okay, that might perhaps have been the biggest historical event I have yet compared my fat-fighting antics to. What to go for next? I’m thinking either the Titanic sinking or Apollo 13.