Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Friday, October 15, 2004

Smelly Toilets And The Gentle Side Of Football Hooliganism

I’ve got that Friday feeling again and it’s doubly good because today is also pay day! Unfortunately I can’t celebrate this coming of cash because Gail already had the night booked out with her pal (same one from last night). Not to worry though, for tonight me and Laura are having a pizza making night with a DVD of The Simpsons on. Sometimes the simple things in life ARE the best!

The toilets in my work are an absolute disgrace. It’s well known that the Company deems business areas more important as they are customer facing and are involved with bringing all the millions in. As a result, we here in the I.T. department have our own shabby little building that has not been updated since the 70’s. The toilet has three traps; two have broken lids, two have blocked sinks and one has a blocked toilet. They have been like that for weeks now and nothing is getting done. Downstairs we spend millions on mainframe computers and paying us mugs to support the damn things, and they can’t even supply us with a decent place to take a dump!

[Note from the editor: My apologies for the language used in that last paragraph, but that outburst has been on the cards for a while.]

So the wife went out and me and Laura enjoyed our pizza, ice-cream and Simpsons DVD. When she was off to sleep I set about HJ. I wrote up to about half way through Issue 21 and stopped. I reached a point where Jackie has to collect his belongings from an “institution” and one of which is his passport. And then it hit me: 16 year olds can’t get UK Passports!

There is no going back now because it was mentioned in the first issue. I swore a lot, banged my head and eventually sent a text message to my sister (she used to work there). She confirms you have to be 18 to get a standard ten year passport. Typical. I am going to have to work this in somehow because even though I have no immediate plans for Jackie to go abroad, it might happen somehow. I mean, how am I to know – I’m only the writer – not the protagonist! I just thought at the time a passport would be a good thing to have on him as it would leave the door open for plenty of plot opportunities.

I closed my laptop and opened a bottle of Miller High Life from the fridge. (Yes I know, but it was all that was there. Someone brought it to a BBQ a while back, and yes – I found the name ironic too.)

I settled back with my beer and put on a DVD my sister Lindsay had given me for my birthday last month; The Football Factory. It’s based on a novel by one of my favourite authors, John King. It's about Tommy Johnson, a football hooligan who likes his beer, cocaine and casual sex. But it isn’t your stereotypical film made for the sales that football violence will entail. Nope – it is actually a deep analysis of the young male white psyche in Britain today, and how he comes to term with his own life. It is an excellent book, and is actually the first in a series of three novels concerning Tommy and his mates, the other two being Headhunters and England Away.

I really enjoyed the film, and was glad to see they had captured the spirit of the book and the parallel comparisons with the disaffected white youths of today and their Grandfathers who fought the Nazi’s. There is one fantastic quote from the book that is the only one I can remember being highlighted in the script, which was: “We are an island race, pure and simple, and that’s why we have to fight.”

Colin 8:11 pm


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