Wednesday, May 17, 2006

London: Aaaaarrrsenallllll

Just after I left school I worked with Digby, a guy who had returned to Australia from the UK an obsessive Arsenal fan. We were moving office furniture and files and it became our mission to write Arsenal FA in ridiculously inaccessible parts of the items we moved - a calling card, if you will. And so it was that, for about a decade, when the MCS Partners at Price Waterhouse, Sydney opened a desk drawer, opened a filing cabinet, reached into a cupboard, or drank from a suitably inscribed mug, they inadvertently exposed a small Arsenal FA to the light. Our challenge was not to write it, but to write it somewhere wierd - like the top of an office door.

To me this was but a merry jape, something stupid, invented by a couple of bright lads to occupy their minds while doing manual labour. Digby, on the other hand, saw it as a vocation. At the time, and until today, I thought that perhaps Digby's devotion to the great club involved a little more affection than that of the average punter.

That was until today.

You see, my office is above a popular London nightclub. And the popular London nightclub is on a popular London road. And today - right now, in fact, as the hometime traffic is thickening up - the popular London nightclub on the popular London road is hosting an event for Arsenal. There are people in Arsenal shirts queueing outside, and there are Arsenal flags on the front of the building.

Well, the commotion! You see, not only are Arsenal fans driving past and shouting brief messages of support to their fellow gunners, but fans of every other team are also driving past, and they are shouting messages of, well not support, to the same gunners. These messages, shouted as they are from moving vehicles, tend to sound alike, and the closest comparison would be the noise a donkey makes.

Meanwhile, beneath the window we have bouncers chatting to echother, gunners chatting to eachother, gunners and bouncers arguing, one man crowing like a crow. I can hear a lot of Anglo Saxon language, particularly from one man who seems to have a problem with his ticket.

It's a very passionate scene and I suggest that anyone who accuses the Brits of being dispassionate and aloof should first sit above the entrance to a popular London nightclub, on a popular London road when it is hosting a football function.

Uh oh! I hear sirens....


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