Something For The Weekend (375)
It was a bit of a desperate week, as far as grist for the Villa mill was concerned, after Villa's home game against Bolton was postponed, because Fabrice Muamba had collapsed during their game with Spurs. This leaves Villa in the likely position, of entering the run-in, within a point or three of the relegation positions, and having to beat the likes of the Baggies, Sunderland and of course Bolton, under an increasing amount of pressure.
Its going to be tough unless Villa can beat at least one of the top-four, in the next few weeks.
So having concluded that the postponement was in fact a disadvantage to Villa, and detecting a strong stench of conformity in the air, debate broke out amongst me and my fellow scrotes about whether the country had gone a bit soft or whether footballers are just special.
Obviously, the result of the debate was a foregone conclusion, as each told their grisly tales of death, mutilation and callous indifference, experienced in a lifetime in industry.
For anyone who worked in the factories of old, collapse, serious injury and even death were not uncommon. Industrial sites adjacent to Villa Park, were very proud of the fact that they actually had their own operating theatre at hand, should someone inconveniently fall into a machine.
If someone actually died in an industrial accident, you would be sent home so they could investigate but you'd be back in the morning.
If someone just collapsed from heart-attack or stroke, things just carried on as normal. No one wore t-shirts suggesting we should pray for Sid off the power-presses.
Attitudes varied from the matter of fact to the downright callous.
This callousness verged on the hilarious, as once, as the person was carried out on a stretcher, you could hear the sound of the little bell, which indicated that the victim had just been clocked-out by some zealous foreman, to ensure he didn't get paid a minute longer than he had been on the job.
So there we all were sounding like Clarkson and Littlejohn, swapping bons mots, on what badges of honour missing fingers are to a working man, and how modern footballers are all drama-queens, when Fred the Marxist turned up and spoilt it all, as they always do.
He insisted that the whole issue was nothing to do with compassion at all, and never was. He reckoned that the only deciding factor has only ever been, whether the capitalist's right to confiscate surplus-value produced by the workers was in jeopardy or not. He said that the rights of capitalists supersede all other considerations, and therefore when their rights are threatened compassion is dispensed with, and when they are not, compassion is allowed to be expressed. Shutting a factory down because someone has a heart-attack, is expensive; moving a football match to another date is not.
Obviously, armed as we were with the erudition and genius of Littlejohn, Fred lost the argument. But when, the next day, the government raised the taxes of pensioners to give a tax-cut for the rich, I did think for a moment that maybe he had a point.
From this it can be seen the dangers which arise when working men are deprived of their football, and they are left to stray into dangerous areas like politics. Luckily, before I got to thinking what a bunch of rat-bags are running the country, I was acquainted with the news that Birmingham had been thrashed at Portsmouth, and Messi had broken the goal-scoring record at Barcelona. And, so the opium of the people kicked-in, the Monarch was once again safe upon her throne and the country was saved from anarchy once again.
Gladly, Villa have a trip to Arsenal to look forward to this weekend, and the game promises more than enough misery and angst, to lead me back on to the path of righteous political indifference and distract me from the bigger picture.
I have little doubt that there will be a substantial number of travelling Villans, who are willing to donate the arm and a leg, which an afternoon at the Arsenal costs these days. They will all be travelling in hope, if not in expectation, that Villa can suddenly click and produce one of those rare but precious away-days, which justify both the eye-watering expense and the considerable trouble.
Although, the two teams' present form suggests that a win is more likely for the home team than the visitors, it promises to be a very pleasant afternoon of Spring sunshine and summer thirsts. Should Villa defy all expectations and the bookies' odds, it could turn out to be a very memorable sojourn, for Villa's brave travelling cock-eyed optimists.
It certainly offers McLeish the chance to prove that his last positive London encounter with Arsenal, was not a fluke.
An unlikely away win, on a sunny Spring day at the Arsenal, certainly would make the list of my favourite things.
Keep the faith!