Musings From The Padded Cell

They Did Say It Wouldn’t Last

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”
Norman Vincent Peale

Old Faithful

There was a reason I’d resisted the lure of modern technology for so long; in fact there were many. Despite ridicule and incomprehension, I’d clung to my battered old Nokia like Norah Batty and a pair of slippers.

Eventually, after years of resistance, I crumbled to temptation and a svelte younger model called iphone.

True, an embarrassed friend gave me the phone having got to the point where lunching with me and my Nokia was simply too much for her public image. In keeping with my true Yorkshire values, I had no moral compass about to refuse a freebie.

I did however struggle to comprehend a pocket phone costing more than my first car, paid for by Grandma Ada after years of hard saving and now available to anybody happy enough to sign a direct debit.

Live moves on and much quicker than Grandma’s old Mini ever did which was a good job as the brakes never worked.

Back to the phone and our early days resembled a new romance; there was so much to discover, so many hidden surprises, so many late nights playing under the sheets.

All the time though the doomsters warned me; soon be the cricket season, it’ll never last!

Sir Alex Ferguson

In truth how could it survive and what would be it’s fate? Drowned in a can of white paint? Crushed under the roller? Or smashed against a wall having launched it at one of my juniors a la Sir Alex?

Who could imagine it would end up down the pan and how poetic?

I’d watched my young team flayed to all parts once again before taking a mid-innings comfort break in the sanctity of the one available cubicle, seeking momentary peace from alien breeds known as kids.

Tempted as I was to lock myself in and avoid the second half, my responsibilities came calling.

Dressed in Villaswear from top to toe like a proper coach (all the gear no idea?) I honestly have no idea which of a multitude of pockets my new love fell from, tumbling down into the murky yellow waters like a desperate passenger from the Titanic.

“Did you save the iphone?”

I let out a cry – “No!” – and plunged my hand into the steaming pool to try save my love but to no avail. There was little prospect of mouth to mouth.

I watched my team in a greater cloud of misery than usual, hoping the opposition coach would not object if I resisted shaking his hand.

Several hours later I would be studying You Tube videos; apparently all I needed to do was lock it in a bag of rice and a miracle cure would occur. It was all bollocks.

It was then I realised I was and always would be Nokia Man; why pretend to be anything else? The iphone had just been a dirty weekend.

Naively, I’d wasted enough rice to feed a family in Bangladesh for a month in my slavish devotion to You Tube, conveniently forgetting that, even if a cure came, it would still smell like a public toilet.

The following morning I bought my visa and made the trip to Bradford centre, prepared to be humiliated by the whizz kids at Vodafone.

The lady listened in part interest, part disbelief and simply offered to relieve me of £360 for a newer model.

“Can it swim?” I asked to her blank look.

Walking back up town defeated I passed several of the phone shops so typical of our times. Owned by dyslexic Asians they have titles like “Fooked Up Fones 4 Sail”.

Willing to be humiliated even more I walked into one, only to be pounced on by three generations of the same family. In keeping with the last 12 hours of idiocy I asked if they sold phones.

Pick a card?

In an instant the young man had produced more variants than there are fish in the oceans and quicker than a casino croupier. This was not getting my day onto an upward curve at all.

Realising I did not want a phone with links to a Mexican drug cartel and my house being a magnet for VW Golfs from parts of Bradford with postcodes starting NOGO, I politely made my excuses and resolved to get out of town.

I arrived home with Tuna Man again nailed to the sofa watching South Africa take a panning, so tried to breath life into my lost love one last time.

Not a flicker came back, it was time to turn off the life support, discarding a badly smelling bag of rice, resisting feeding it to Tuna Man.

Stick to what you know, so they say?

Brown Envelope CC

For the last two weekends Villas’ Stiffs have played at two grounds where it is common knowledge – HMRC apart – that money talks when attracting players.

I am not suggesting money is paid to their two respective Stiffs teams – although the idiots who pursue this approach are clearly gullible and stupid enough to do so – but the knock on effect is plain to see.

This photo bears no resemblance to anybody at Ol….(Stop! Too old to be banned! Ed)

Apparently there is a league policy on social media use though not one on brown envelope abuse. You can’t insult anybody but you can take the piss out of something called the Spirit of Cricket.

What has been interesting to witness has been the appalling states of the two opposition grounds when the money boys are away from home.

In both cases it appeared nobody could be bothered to mark a white line out depicting the boundary nor mow the grass the other side of where the line should be.

There was as much danger of losing the ball in the rough as playing golf; if only I had packed a driver instead of a bat.

Clearly, Stiffs’ cricket really is second class here.

So it was lovely to hear comments from visiting junior parents the other morning as to the beautiful ground we work so hard to maintain.

“They don’t even let us play on the wicket at home” said one dad.

Pride costs nothing so they say.

A Message To You Rudi

Bradford’s Town Hall

Just when I’d convinced your boy that the mean streets of Bradford were safe, take a look at extracts from just one day in our city.

For instance, here’s news that your are more likely to get run over here in Bradford East than anywhere else. We must be on the local drug runners’ preferred route.

Or how about this describing just another day on our arterial routes and the clear belief that driving licences and insurance are not for everybody?

Still, at least your boy is not staying with Mr Kazi!

However, if he wants to get home after a night out, best to walk?

And finally, best stick to the tuna?

100 Years Ago

A fascinating tale here of a cup match between Idle and Saltaire attracting over 8,000 spectators to watch two of the world’s best batsmen. In the days when talent money actually bought talent.

Romance Is Not Dead Yet?

Local tycoon Patch decided to take his high-living wife Paula on a dirty weekend.

“I’ve decided to treat the old girl to a bit of luxury!” he told us at Sunday Prayers. “Pontins at Prestatyn…that should get her juices going!”

Indeed it did!

The multi-coloured bathroom suite complete with free cockroaches was an endearing feature.

After threats of a quickie divorce, Patch attempted to save his marriage by escaping to a nearby hotel which his technology told him was a mere four miles away from Stalag Pontins; never trust technology so blindly. It was forty miles.

Room with a view?

Perhaps I am better with my old Nokia?

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