Thursday, 1 September 2011

Two Left Feet

It's now September - the time when the children return to school to acquire fresh supplies of ignorance from the pedagogues of the Northumbrian State; the season where the dew lays heavy on the ground, shadows lengthen and sunlight withdraws stealthily from the span of the day.

If there are two things that cheer this Cat at this time of the year, it's the recommencement of the Football Season and the Annual Unfortunates' Outing and Picnics - also known as the Political Jamborees. I've never known such a potent concentration of excitement. Whatever.

The Northumbrian Football Corporation - which controls the noble game from lofty heights (some actually believe it's the real power behind the Kingdom) has issued a diktat throughout the world to declare that the opportunity for Transfers is now closed. The day of grace has ended, people. Rend your garments. At such a time, the humble denizens of the Realm engage in what they refer to as a Fantasy Football League. Each participant assiduously chooses the players for his Dream Team from among the top teams, who've either displayed the best potential for achieving the coveted goals - or who've abundantly proved their worth by their dribbling and passing skills. (Caedmon has informed me that this doesn't include infants). The idea of this imaginary league is to monitor each chosen player's progress and performance; points are awarded for each one's successes; great earthly rewards await those who achieve the highest number of points by the end of the season.

In the ale and mead-houses of the Kingdom and in the workshops and fields, a great deal of heated debate takes place between the (mainly) men who participate. Drunken opinions are frequently exchanged along with pieces of tactical advice for the novices.

One opinion that has become a cliche is that such-and-such a player isn't worthy of inclusion because he has two left feet on encountering the inflated bladder. I've also heard this same expression applied to those who engage in the pointless sport of dancing.

Two left feet. I've never seen a human with such a feature - but most animals do have them - so that they match those on the right; it helps them to walk and make their way. I believe that this expression is intended to suggest clumsiness and lack of co-ordination.

Which brings me neatly round to the topic of the Annual Unfortunates' Outing and Picnics - also known as the Political Jamborees, which also infest this time - and consume the attention of the tedious Soothsayers. The fly agaric-led Redistributionists - headed by the Beloved Despot Edweird The Milliner - will soon be holding theirs, followed by the Trees and the Liberationists. These are times of exaggerated posturing and over-acting. Ah - the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd...

There will be a great deal of windy argument and heated rhetoric in the next few weeks, and orators of each Faction will pour slander, bile, derision and odium on the other two factions. Other noxious toxins will also be served. There will be a lot of drunken cheering - and sore heads the following morning. This process will be repeated until the window-licking acolytes of these factions goes home to either recover or die from alcohol poisoning...

And thus the illusion of political progress is maintained. If there were ever a Fantasy Witangemot League, all the participants would have two left feet - if not beforehand, then certainly afterwards..

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