Posts Tagged ‘Ra’

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Interim Friendly Report: England v Egypt


When one contemplates the perfidy of the Egyptian race, it reddens the very corpuscles with rage. Our young men, most notoriously in the 19th century under the command of Sir Garnet Wolseley, put their more rebellious and querulous element to the sword, thereby reducing the overall hotheadedness of their stock. Our middle aged men have attempted to instil in them the values of sensible borders (straight, not too squiggly) and of a good civil service, a social system in which each man knows his place, however lowly. Moreover, if literature is to be any guide, even our women have paid their part, both devising and then solving their murder mysteries. And yet, time and again, like the mangy, pestilential baksheesh hounds that they are if the truth dare be known, they have bitten the hand that has fed them scraps from the imperial high table.

What, after all, is the Egyptian legacy? A handful of glorified, oversized sandcastles, a propensity to worshipping small animals and the mistaking of plantpots for headjoy. A poor haul, old told, especially when contrasted with the spoils of Empire, our own, proud heritage as displayed at the British Museum. We are very different animals, we and the wild-eyed wearers of the tarboosh, and so it proved this night. Bulldogs versus camels – and it is abundantly clear who is the superior of those species.

The national anthems told the story, so much so that, looking round the stadium, it was clear that many of the crowd had left their seats and departed once they were concluded. Ours was bellowed with such vigour that even in the unlikely event that the Supreme Deity were a little hard of hearing, he would soon get the message via his ear trumpet and set at once about the business of saving Her Majesty. As for the Egyptian effort, well, doubtless FA officials obliged by pouring a pathway of sand in front of the line of players in order that they could perform their traditional dance; instead, however, they produced some ponderous, pseudo-martial dirge, which in its duration seemed to outlast one or two or the wars Egypt has fought and lost in recent times.

One did question the selection of officials – South American? With their hides still red raw from the thrashing we gave them in the Falklands? This was perhaps the one and only occasion on which I would have trusted a Hebrew in a position of responsibility, to run the line, at any rate.

The game began at full pelt, with the Egyptians clearly ruing their importunate impetuosity in agreeing to this fixture as England at once asserted their authority, if only in the redness of their shirts – the colour of Empire, in contrast to Egypt’s white, the colour of surrender. I was distracted when John Terry, our Captain, the very heart and loins of our defence, took receipt of the ball unchallenged and immediately passed it out into touch for an Egyptian throw-in, thereby averting any greater danger. I become aware of a rather queer droning sound. It recurred, the second time he touched the ball. I summoned my man, Seppings. “It appears, Seppings, that there is a nest of wasps in the offing, perhaps up in the guttering. Fetch a stick and the long ladder from the potting shed and investigate at once, man.” The retainer attempted to burble some response, pointing weakly at the television set, the crowd and the personage of Mr Terry but swiftly thought better of it as he met the full heat of my glower and departed to set about his chore.

England dominated the opening exchanges. Steven Gerrard was, as ever, excellent value for his haircut. Wayne Rooney played with the measured self-control of a man who has just shot himself out of a cannon, trousers ablaze. The only thing faster than Theo Walcott is the ball following his first touch, which is certainly saying something. Robert Green was so cat-like in goal that it is a wonder the Egyptian players did not fall to the ground in abasement and present him with burnt offerings. Frank Lampard, meanwhile, offered a masterclass in how to play the game (that is to say, book one, page one – assuming the basic standing position onfield). Wes Brown, was as ever, extraordinarily orange in defence.

And yet, to the shock and disgust of the world, it was Egypt who took the lead, their striker ungallantly taking advantage of temporary English indisposition and rifling home past goalkeeper Green, who had quite rightly not expected any such audacity. This was reminiscent of the insolence of Colonel Nasser in 1956 (one has to ask, as with Gadhaffi, why the generals in his army did not pull rank on him at the time). Sir Anthony Eden was doubtless turning in his grave, as indeed he did at the time, when a certain seniority was expected of British Prime Ministers.

Come half time, and the media reported feverishly on events thus far, the British correspondents with their telephones and laptop computer machines, the Egyptian with his hammer and chisel. As I took stock, I noticed outside that some damn fool had left a ladder placed adjacent to the window, a sure invitation to footpads. I duly strode over and with one smite of my cane, sent it clattering to the ground. Meanwhile, as mascot Signor Capello was dispatched to sell ice cream to members of the crowd, English members of the management team hatched a plan to confound the opposition. Using the element of surprise, they removed from the field our best player, Frank Lampard, leaving the Egyptians puzzled as to why we would make such a bizarre tactical selection given that he hadn’t played like an inert, useless, spacewasting crock even by his own staggeringly fucking twat-high spacewasting standards in the first half.

The plan worked and in the second half, England ran riot, the Egyptians swiftly capitulating under the English assault, reminiscent of Sir Garnet Wolseley suppressing the Urabi Revolt, the stadium resounding to cries of “Aaaeiiiieeeeeee!!!!”s as Peter Crouch in particular applied the length of cold steel to which the peculiarly constituted North Africans are so inimical. The Egyptians prayed loudly to their dog gods, Ra, Allah and suchlike, in vain. I called for Seppings to recharge my brandy tumbler only to hear a low moan in response – looking out the window, I saw that he was lying in the courtyard below in a pool of his own blood, bones broken, as if having fallen from a great height, But even the bumbling clumsiness of a manservant could not cloud my satisfaction at yet another superlative England victory.

If there was one blot on this performance, I will concede that it was defensive error on England’s part. It was an error by Wayne Bridge, at left back, not to put his wife or partner at the pleasure and disposal of our good leader and true John Terry. This breach of established protocol may have sent a ripple of disquiet through our back four which benefited the Egyptians. For John Terry’s heroic reputation has only been burnished by certain stories that have recently emerged. He is what in my day was known as a Rutter. He ruts, ruts, and ruts again, for team, for country, for Queen, sending each thrust victorious, happy and glorious. I envisage his fellow players forming a guard of honour with their involuntary salutes beneath which he ruts each of the players’ wives or girlfriends in turn, for duty, for pleasure, for God, oh God Almighty . . .

As for the Egyptians, their ambassador will be summoned in this morning and, be summarily demanded the handover of the tribute due us following this glorious victory. Egypt, you owe us the following;

1. The wife of your left back.

2. One canal.