Monday, July 12, 2010

A Locked Bathroom And A Sober Night In


I had everything prepared. I like to have everything prepared for the World Cup Final. It's a bit of a tradition which started in 1974 when I eagerly prepared to watch the Netherlands play Germany in the final of that year. We were living in Wimbledon at the time in the wonderful house owned by Jane's parents. Jane's father had specially ordered a crate of brown ale for refreshments during the match. I decided to have a celebratory bath before kick-off and retired to the fine old bathroom which for some reason had iron bars to the window. Bath completed I was about to take my seat and pour my first glass of brown ale when I discovered the lock to the bathroom door had somehow failed. I was imprisoned in the bathroom, completely unable to make my escape. I could vaguely hear the sound of cheering coming from the television room but all I could do was to bang on the door in the hope of eventually attracting someone who would rescue me. Finally, Jane and Issy (the Good lady Wife) noticed my absence and traced me to my prison cell. They found the situation highly amusing and made wonderful suggestions like a promise to feed me spaghetti through the keyhole to stop me from starving. Various keys were tried but the mechanism had seized up entirely and the door was of considerable vintage (and therefore stout timbers) and was resistant to the most desperate shoulder charge. I was eventually freed - late in the first half as I recollect - by Jane's mother who smashed the door down with a fourteenth century battle axe that had been in the family for generations and had been awaiting just such an emergency as this. The episode made a considerable impression on my young psyche and I have always prepared for World Cup Finals with a mixture of care and trepidation ever since.

This year I had managed to acquire a six-pack of Spanish beer (San Miguel) and a six-pack of Dutch beer (Amstel) and in expectation of a thrilling and high scoring final I had promised myself a bottle of the appropriate brew each time a goal was scored. As I watched the match my thirst increased in inverse proportion to my enjoyment of what was a pedestrian final. By the time the one and only goal was scored - after 115 minutes of play I was seriously considering transferring my sporting allegiances to an alternative high-scoring came (just think what you could do with the same approach to cricket). It was a sober night in - but at least I didn't get locked in the bathroom.

20 comments:

  1. Spanish and Dutch beer at the ready...and sobriety rules?! LOL

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  2. I guess you're lucky that the score wasn't 0-0. Still, maybe basketball is a better choice.
    That bathroom story is very amusing!

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  3. What a delightful story you share Alan! Your words so clearly make me able to see the whole scenario in my mind's eye. These are the type of blog posts that are so enjoyable -

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  4. Christine H : Ahh - if it had been 0 - 0 it would have gone to penalties and then the final score would have been something like 6 - 4. So you see how disappointed I am.

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  5. Unfortunately, though the octopus correctly forecast the winner, he has not yet learnt to forecast the score. If he had you might have had a different approach, like one bottle for each yellow card.

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  6. The older woman taking a battle ax to the bathroom door is an image I shall remember for a long time! What a story. Didn't see the game, but from what I heard, you must have been thirsty.

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  7. Hey, this reminded me of the Dorothy's escaping the tower with help from the Tinman! Did she yell, "Dorothy, are you in there?" before she started hacking? -J

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  8. Hi Alan, I just included a link to this entertaining post including my impressions of soccer. All the best.

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  9. That is hysterical!! I've got giggle fits here at the bank. Both at the imagery of you being locked in a bathroom and being saved by a woman weilding a battle axe (my jaw dropped in astonishment at how cool that would have been to see) and at the fact that you were waiting to drink your beers for each goal, only to be met with a scoreless match for 115 minutes! Thanks for cheering my day by sharing these amusing stories. I know they should be met with sympathy, but I can't help but grin.

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  10. I've been locked in a bathroom, myself... thanks to a skewed door frame.

    Unfortunately, I had no alcohol for company... but then, all I was missing was work. Hah!

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  11. We watched as Spain kicked the ball around and the Netherlands kicked the Spanish around.

    Let me get this right. The bald man with the whistle was the referee, wasn't he?

    Being locked in the bathroom on this occasion might have proved a tad more entertaining.

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  12. COMEDY HA HA! Rescued by a hatchet bearing woman in Wimbledon, and then

    TRAGEDY!
    All that great beer, and only one opened-

    terrific post!

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  13. You should have been drinking for every yellow card; you would have been legless in no time!

    I started out with an allegiance to the Dutch, but by the time De Young had karate-kicked Alonso in the chest, I changed my pick.

    Lacklustre and vicious, I'd say it was. On the upside: no more bloody vuvuzelas!

    Hilarious story about the bathroom (for me, anyway). Your wife sounds like she has a very good sense of humour. (spaghetti through the keyhole - very "As Time Goes By")

    Kat

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  14. Oh, right - forgot to mention the battle ax. Can't help but think of Jack in "The Shining".

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  15. Oh, Alan what a wonderful story and what a grand blog it makes.

    I hope you will forgive me, but it reminded me of a Locked-in-the-Bathroom story of my own and I am going to rush to my own blog to tell it. Do stop by and check it out.
    (I think yours is funnier)

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  16. The locked in the bathroom story is a classic! I'm with John Hayes - the image of a little old lady taking a battle ax to the door is one that'll stay with me for a while.

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  17. The mother-in-law wielding a battle ax and breaking you free is an image I won't soon forget...I'm glad she liked you!

    I was sorry to miss the final match this year.

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  18. Ah, now if you only had a home video of the event! Pesky bathroom doors. I like to keep a battle ax handy for just such occasions.

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  19. I stopped looking when Germany lost...I could care less about 3rd place!

    WV=hytocra?

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  20. A sober night indeed although from what beer drinkers tell me, you missed out on little with your choice of ale. Such discipline is to be admired. One of my mates was locked in our toilet once. We were having such a good time, he had to break the window to escape, nobody missed him.

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