Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Day Wade Stoat Ate My Chocolate



Saturday, November 6th 1999 — a day I’ll never forget.

I’d gone to see Curvaceous Stilton play Sporpington Whippet with some of the lads from The Ruptured Stallion.

The whole of Stilton Park was heaving, and as the wind kicked up and blew the raucous cheers of 65,000 beer-filled fans around the stadium (along with the smell of Mega-Burgerz), we knew we were in for a treat.

The Whippet had got off to a good start that season, and with half our midfield ill with a stomach bug picked up in a sleazy Spanish hotel the week before, we were looking to Stoat to score an early goal.

From our armoured barricade next to the toilet exit, me and the lads watched as wave after wave of Stilton attacks were beaten back by the resilient Sporpington defense. Midway through the first half it looked as if the balance of play was about to shift against us.

Then some useless right back brought Sly Rivilla down ten yards outside the opposition box and Wade Stoat stepped up to take the free kick.

He was barely twenty feet from us when Mike Oxbent rolled him the ball, and as I joined in with the chants of Stoaty Stoaty Stoaty-O, I knew I had to throw him a bar of chocolate for good luck. To this day, I have no idea what came over me, but you know how it is sometimes — you get a flash of inspiration you simply have to act upon. So I yacked a Mars bar in his direction.

‘Wade,’ I shouted, ‘here’s some chocolate for you, mate.’

It landed right next to his feet, and while the referee was sorting out some fisticuffs in the Sporpington wall, Stoat picked it up and bit a huge chunk off the end. Not kidding, he was so close to us, you could see the toffee go all stringy. And you know that advertising cliche about chocolate bars being satisfying? I’d never believed it till that moment. Yeah, they taste all right and that, but they’re hardly satisfying. Stoaty really appreciated it, though. I could tell. By the time he was halfway through it, his cheeks had gone all rosy and he was rubbing his stomach in a circular motion and licking his lips. Then he looked over to us and gave us the thumbs up.

‘Great chocolate, lads,’ he called. Just like that. Great chocolate, lads. That’s what he actually said. To us. About our —my — chocolate. Can you believe it?

Sadly, the free kick sailed past the left post, but I reckon that Mars bar changed the game for us because we went on to win 3-0.

When we got back to the pub after the match, me and the lads sat in the bar till closing time analysing every millisecond of that magical moment. What if it had been a Milky Way? What if it had hit him on the back of the head? What if he’d been allergic to chocolate?

Anything could have happened in those fateful few seconds — but fortunately for us, it didn’t.

84 comments:

Kiersten said...

Hrm...I never know what to make of these. Totally false? Partially fabricated? True-but-names-have-been-changed-to-protect-the-innocent?

Regardless, your life always sounds cooler than mine.

Whirlochre said...

Bet you're closer to a decent beach than I am...

Kiersten said...

Five minutes.

But the beach with a two-year-old who's afraid of the water = no fun.

Robin S. said...

True story? I can actually picture you doing that - and yet, this is filed under imaginary...so...?

Hey- and how did you get that Herman's Hermits screwy/funny rewrite on here? I love love love that.

writtenwyrdd said...

Your voice is so amusing. I now want some gooey nougat-filled chocolate. Damn you, Whirlio!

Whirlochre said...

I never told my Gallic beach Of Death story, tsk tsk.

I'm guessing you spend your tanning hours building sandcastles of 'solid solid non-watery earth', hey, Kiersten.

I had a similar problem — until I bought a hosepipe.

And, Robin — clue me in on the Herman's Hermits ref before I start using Elvis lyrics, unwittingly claiming them as my own.

As for chocolate, the trick is to lie down with your head on a pillow at an angle of 20 so degrees, slap a chunk of your favourite soft centred yumminess onto your forehead and wait till the heat of choccy desire melts it down to the tip of your nose and plops it, scrummily half liquified into your...no, wait a minute, that's sushi, isn't it?

Kiersten said...

Gallic Beach of Death? Please share.

No tanning time for me. Two sisters who work for dermatologists and cut cancer off of people every week. I'm cool with pale.

Whirlochre said...

Hmm. I've rather hyped this up,haven't I?

Suffice to say, major undertow, big surprise wave and Whirl au beach trunks dashed against crustecean husks. For the next couple of days, my legs looked like a Rorshach test.

Kiersten said...

Oh, ouch, you poor thing. And I'm not sure what au means, but pretty sure I don't want to know.

That's why I don't swim in the ocean--the waves and their random knockyoudownability scare me.

Whirlochre said...

Beats tanned surfer boys. Literally.

Kiersten said...

Quote from my daughter as she looked over my shoulder:

(giggle) "What are these crazy eyes?"

Whirlochre said...

That's cute. Just don't tell her I can read six books at a time. She'll be spooked.

Kiersten said...

Or jealous. I certainly am.

Kiersten said...

(Dear sir, do you ever sleep? Does Gnorff, the Feral Imp need to come club you gently in the head until you are unconscious?)

Whirlochre said...

I'm already there.

As for the clubbing gently thing — is this similar to shooting someone softly to death?

Kiersten said...

More akin to kindly torturing.

And if you are unconscious, who is typing these replies?

Whirlochre said...

Ah, that old mind/body dualism thing.

Perhaps I'm a zombie.

writtenwyrdd said...

Wow, I now have a story title that must be written: Dying Softly, or perhaps As I Lay (Softly) Dying.

Neither of you would like the beaches in Pipeline or North Shore (Oahu, Hawaii) then. They average at least a broken neck a month on North Shore because the ground slopes at about an 80% grade. As the wave comes in it's aiming at a wall of wet sand that it barely covers as it gallops up the shore. Major undertow and risk there. I only got in the water once.

Got trapped in an undertow once as a kid. Thankfully, no barnacles. You must have *cough* loved that experience, Whirl.

Whirlochre said...

WW

I'm sure the waves in Hawaii are more life-threatening than the curly cocks of the dudes who surf them.

But, yes, it was exactly as you describe it. To look at them, the waves themselves seemed innocent, and not a patch on the foamy torrents we'd swum in the day before. On that occasion, the waves, though fairly big, arrived in a series of regular pulses, and since the sand was practically flat, presented no problem, especially for the surfers. In contrast, the waves on the GBOD seemed to break whenever they wanted and didn't look dangerous at all. I was barely ten feet out when it happened. The water sucked from beneath my knees and reformed itself into a wall while my feet stayed stuck to the sand.

The moral of the story? If you see waves but no surfers, think twice about going in.

Robin S. said...

So you were nekkid in the surf, huh? Now that's a vacation picture I wanna see.

Words:

There's a kind of hush
all over the world, tonight,
all over the world
(blah blah blah blah)
are falling in love...

How did you get that on there, Oh Mighty One?

Whirlochre said...

Not nekkid, I'm, afraid.

Nekkid was a further 50 yards down the beach where Impending Hormone Boy kept trying to train the binoculars.

As for the horse,* go to Settings, then Comments and you'll find a box marked Comment Form Message.

Other news just in is that I've discovered a clutch of juvenilia in an old box in the attic that probably hasn't been opened since my skin did that lovely springy retracting thing when you pinch it.

I'm currently looking at half a school exercise book of cowboy story, written when I was 16.

It's toe-curlingly awful — but how about this for an opening line...

The sun rose slowly over Kenwood Pass, then fell on a coyote and squashed its brains out.

I'm in for a long night, I think...































*whinney

Robin S. said...

Oh, crap- that is absolutely (and truly) vintage you, isn't it?

I'm sitting at my laptop in my favorite writing chair- and I'm trying my damnedest to get going on some edits. As you can see, it's going oh, so well...

Whirlochre said...

Robin

Hope the edits are going OK. Personally, I hate 'em. It's like mopping up sick — a curry. You remember how good it tasted at the time but it doesn't seem much consolation when you're down on your hands and knees plucking swollen grains of rice from the carpet one by one with a pair of tweezers.

I have the luxury at the moment of generating new stuff — the smacking of stones into sparks thing — and though I have numerous thorny plot twists to reconcile, I'm happy my brain appears still to be capable of directing my hands to muster unexpected rocket showers.

It's been a good day. I may even shave.

Robin S. said...

Wow. Now that is the hallmark of a good day, that shaving thing.

My family just got back from running errands, and I left my quiet place to go out and visit with them. i'd just finished reworking the last paragraphs of my novel, and I was in tears (from the content, not from finishing. And i'm not finished - just finsihed with that section...)
My husband says to me "Wow. You sure look good." and laughed. I was not amused. So, maybe I'll go take a hot bath and I'll shave my legs here in a little while. If you say it makes a person feel all good to shave, then it must be true.

JaneyV said...

I though There's a kinda Horse was The Carpenters!

Loved the story - I believe that chocolate can heal the world!

BTW Nov 6th 1999 was my 33rd birthday - I don't remember anything about it, so I'm glad someone does!

Kiersten said...

Oh, WOW. Please, please post some of them? Brilliant. I'm so happy to see that Whirl has always been Whirl.

And someday I'll have to tell you my nude beach story. (Disclaimer: there was no nudity on my behalf.)

Kiersten said...

Of course. I hang out here, talking with your imaginary friends. It's like a bar, minus actual people, and alcohol, and place, and, well, let's face it, I wouldn't know what a bar was like, anyway.

And what do you mean, horrible? That sun line was great.

As far as your punctuation, oh goodness, I certainly don't care. I'm not being paid, you're not an editor, I don't judge.

I can't remember the last time I took a bath. Scalding showers with kids playing peekaboo in the curtains are my only semblance of luxury these days.

Whirlochre said...

A flurry of wibbly-wobblies — truly the angels do amongst us descend, scooping from our moments all they can with their sieves of haloes.

Shaving aside, Robin, I do love a good soak in the tub — preferably in the company of Whizzy the Waterproof Clockwork Donkey. Typically, I lie for a while, reading the paper or some book I don't mind soggying with condensation, until Whizzy runs out of whirr power and I realise it's time to haul my shrunkenheadesque chapped flesh into the horizon of what month is this? It's luxury, isn't it? The all-singing all-dancing dwarven formation shaving troupe is a bonus.

Janey — November that year, I got to be 36 and just over a half. Seems like a quirk of treat now and I can't believe I spent most of my 20s sleeping in till noon. I realise now — like your flash of fireworks: only ever once. (Check my punctuation, Kiersten. Truly I am clueless how to resolve all yearning gaps into 's and ;s and :s and —s. We should be like the Eskimoes, with their lots of words for snow.)

Kiersten — I'll see what I've got, though on first reflection, it's so horribly awful it makes the sound of nails dragging across a blackboard seem like the hit single from Krishnamurti's Relaxation Favourites. Maybe I'll post. Maybe I'll crawl into a hole and hide for a thousand years with a bag over my head.

A long post, I know, but the comments trail is where this blog appears to be at.

Happy with that?

Robin S. said...

I love your comments trail.

Whirlochre said...

And I love that you swing from its dangliness like a gibbon somersaulting between vines.

And if you think this isn't a compliment, pity poor Julie Weathers, who I once (in my witlessness) compared to a bear.

Robin S. said...

As long as I can pretend to be a long, lean, lithe gibbon, I'm good with it, you little gorgeous-eyed cutie.

Whirlochre said...

May you pole vault over the bubbles with a loofer of shining gold.

Robin S. said...

And may you get a good night's sleep, and if you aren't gonna, may you have some good company along the way.

Whirlochre said...

Stripey socks and a mule named Hypnotised At Gunpoint.

Nope, seriously — today I've emerged from the swirl of many conundrums and still been able to spell my own name.

And autumn beckons.

Robin S. said...

And may you already be a snoozin'...

freddie said...

I love Fall. It's my second-favorite time of the year.

The first is that first day I look up at the trees and it's warm and I realize Chicago is finally in the full bloom of summer.

Whirlochre said...

Autumn is probably my favourite — all the flush of spring, but with hard-won nuts rather than esay sneezy sunsets.

I have no idea about the weather in Chicago, but where I am, 'global warming' is spoken about in hushed whispers, like it was a myth.

Anonymous said...

Gimme summer, people. Hot and sweaty and sunny.

Robin

McKoala said...

You know that wave was out to get you. It had 'Get Whirl' stamped on its foamy bottom.

Next time wear a crustacean-proof body suit. It's all the rage on the Cote d'Azur.

Kiersten said...

I miss seasons. Nice weather year round is a blessing for a girl without a car, but give me the comfort of Autumn or the thrill of spring after miserable February.

Of course, remembering Februaries kind of changes my mind...

Kiersten said...

(Two more notes: 1. Why do you have the coolest comment threads of any blog I know? and 2. Why has there been no progress on the WIPometer? I'm fully prepared to turn it into a WHIPometer, but I'd hand those duties over to Robin, as they could be misinterpreted.)

Whirlochre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kiersten said...

I'd be more terrified of whatever the cat found than anyone your fellow inhabitants might be visiting...

But good, as long as you're working, that's fine then.

Kiersten said...

Oh gosh, not even just no progress, you actually went BACKWARDS.

Harumph.

(Also, thanks for that note you left on my blog post about risk avoidance...who knew you had it in you? Oh, wait, I did. It just doesn't show up very often ; ))

Kiersten said...

Wow! Makeover! You're good with graphics.

Maybe I should just keep commenting and have whole conversations with myself...

Oh wait, that's pretty much my life.

Whirlochre said...

Yes, I was pretty cheesed off too.

Grllnnx, the truculant troll said...

Boring. Grunt. Must find better blog. Too much sense.

Whirlochre said...

Maybe you should try the following websites,,,

www.coiputelepathymismatch.com

www.freshairheckitsmellslike thewaftoftheouterhebridescoddisembowellingindustry.fin.com

www.blogspot.altteregocomplaints.com

www.obscenewrestlershavingitoutwiththeirhaplesspetsbeneathamoonofpuresttranquility.org.studdedleotard

www.origaminightmares.foldfoldfoldamnyou

and

www.porpoisechorus.com

Kiersten said...

Are any of those real? I'm too scared to find out.

Whirlochre said...

If you're in any way concerned, K, I suggest you check out, www.whirlospurio.com.

Robin S. said...

OK- I tried that whirlo dealie and couldn't find it. Were you just messin'?

Kiersten said...

You bum.

Whirlochre said...

I'm a bum
and I was just messin'
but here I am —
look —
I'm confessin'
Maybe it's the way
I'm dressin'
Covers and books,
so differently 'fessin'.

Kiersten said...

At least we got a poem out of it. Hmph.

Whirlochre said...

Yes, I did think of chopping my arm off and mailing it to you as a potential spare for use after a nuclear holocaust — but I couldn't find anything as sharp as your barbs to saw it off with.

'W'

(I'm no good at smileys, but I think this is Spock saying 'live long and prosper' Gowan — just look at those ears)

Kiersten said...

Yes, "You bum" is quite stinging.

And trust me, your arm would look ridiculous on me. It would probably hang down to my knee. I appreciate the thought though.

Bob, the Discount Murder Weapons Superstore Manager said...

Did someone need sharp tools for dismemberment?

Vlad, Impalers 'R' us said...

Don't buy from that guy. Come on, Bob? What is anyone with a name like Bob doing in the murder weapons industry?

Trust me...you want to buy from me.

10..9..8..7... said...

Why kill two birds with one stone when you can nuke the whole planet with our new range of That's Final* ballistics kinda pointy rockets of certain doom?

*TM (Not that we fear any kind of lawsuit. Heh.)

The Overlord Of Descent into Named Anonymi said...

Auuuuggghhh!

Kiersten said...

Sorry. I'll go back to Kiersten.

Sometimes my life is a little lame though.

Whirlochre said...

Suddenly, a sparrow appeared, beckoning all towards a rainbow with fluttery flippity beats of its wings.

'Crikey', it sang, 'for a moment there I thought the entire world might be devoured by the worst kind of sparrow-unfriendly darkness.'

Kiersten said...

That's a very articulate sparrow.

Whirlochre said...

Lame?

So how come the deft pirouettes?

Kiersten said...

(I thought of several responses to that, all of which Robin or McK or WrittenWyrrd would have made dirty. This was the only one that was unassailable...I think.)

I snapped my leg in half when I was in fourth grade. No pirouetting for me. (Oh, it doesn't actually have anything to do with the break--that just left me with a gnarly scar and one leg slightly straighter than the other. But it sounds cooler than saying I'm absolutely lacking in any natural grace whatsoever.)

Whirlochre said...

Funny, but when I was on holiday in France, I saw loads of birds of prey.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but they don't tend to hover o'erhead in flocks (yer kestrels and hawks), do they?

But that's what I saw.

And only yesterday, my cat looked on idly as I scared away (on her behalf) a winged creature marginally more ferocious than a pigeon.

I'm watching Hitchcock's The Birds again.

Something's going on.

Kiersten said...

I'd be worried, if I were you.

All we have here are big, black crows. When you ask my kids what birdies say, none of this "Tweet tweet" nonsense. They burst out with loud, "Caw! CAW!"

Let's hope nothing's up, because I don't fancy my chances against those monsters.

Kiersten said...

(Also, please bless that someday I'll be able to casually drop in, "When I was on holiday in France...")

Whirlochre said...

Hey — when I'm stood with both feet planted firmly on the floor, in spite of my actual height, my left ear barely clears the ground. In my right ear, I regularly hear cries of 'Pisa Guy Pisa Guy Ha! and although I've tried to ignore it by stuffing my fingers in my ear, I have the wrong arm a foot longer than the other to save myself.

Kiersten said...

I can find absolutely no coherence in that last one. You'd better go to bed.

Whirlochre said...

France is spectacularly understated.

For many years here in the UK, every last paving slab has been embossed with 'King (zzzzz) died/was born/developed syphillis here — yet in France, you can blunder into the most 'is this actualy here, now, in the modern world' kind of architechtural splendour, all tourist heralds trampled under the feet of blind luck.

Don't like the snails, though. They do eat them, the French, and it's revolting to watch. As, maybe, having some witles English tourist ruin your dinner by throwing up on the waiter.

Cultural differences. Huh.

Kiersten said...

I think Greece, Romania, and New Zealand all take precedence. But I'd like to visit the UK and France.

Someday.

Gazes off into the vacationless and moneyless distance.

Whirlochre said...

Am I delerious?

Thanks for being a mirror.

Kiersten said...

Well, sometimes you make no sense even when you're perfectly lerious, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. But really, you stay up too late.

Whirlochre said...

What about Birmingham?

No-one ever mentions Birmingham, despite the lifetime supply of free chains.

But..on my list:

A New York diner for breakfast.

Somewhere decent to skateboard in
California in the sun.

Anywhere in Norway.

Actually, it doesn't matter.

Kiersten said...

Santa Barbara, CA is just beautiful.

So's San Diego.

Birmingham Alabama?

Kiersten said...

(Oh, clearly you must have been referring to Birmingham, Michigan.)

(Birmingham, England, is the fourth most visited city by international tourists.)

Whirlochre said...

Hey, you're right.

I'm not he best of night owls — more of a morning slug.

Time to prepare the vats of slithery fluid for the pulse of my raw underside.

Good night San Diego — and enjoy the sun.

Kiersten said...

Enjoy some sleep.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear, bad punctuation and grammar included, the first 250 words of the cowboy story. Especially since you are across teh pond from the formerly Wild West and several generations of my ancestors hailed from that region.

ww

Robin S. said...

Are you sleeping yet?

Whirlochre said...

Birmingham, England, is the fourth most visited city by international tourists.

They come here to die.

As for the cowboy story, it really is so awfully juvenile...

The sun rose slowly over Kenwood Pass, then fell on a coyote and squashed its brains out.

A hero was to appear on the scene.

A murderer murderer, a good guy, and his horse, of course.

He was the Mucus Kid, blonde, blue-eyed and tough as a donkey's kneecap. His steed, Palitoy, was his best companion. Nothing could harm him as he was made of indestrcuctible pink plastic.

The kid was headed for a small town called Moonshine City. He had been sent by his boss, Bugbear, to clear up a problem the townsfolk were having. The kid thought he meant spontaneous diarrhoea — but no, it was the scourge of the West, the real bad guy himself, Kid Bullrump...

This is almost certainly post-Blazing Saddles. Gets much worse after this.

writtenwyrdd said...

Oh, that is so funny-bad, and yet not all that bad, Whirl. I can see that you have improved on the zany descriptions AND that they come naturally to you.

Whirlochre said...

Interesting.

A lot of it is very wasy and, in places, reads more like a chemistry experiment, with passive accounts of things happening.

If I find any more passable shriekers, I may post 'em.

I'm moving on up to the Cat trail, now.