The getting-rather-weird view from the Vale steward - #5
"Hi, mum. Meet Brian. He can smoke a fag with his head half-way down a toilet at the Vale!" “I want you in the toilets at half-time.” “I beg your pardon, boss!” “I mean, can I have you in the toilets at the break.” “It’ll all end in tears, you know.” Turns out what my boss was struggling to inform me was that I will be on patrol in the Gents toilets at half-time. Why? To watch out for violence? To ensure no graffiti? To stop al-Qaeda from celebrating the anniversary of 9/11 by blowing up some Twyford’s toilet bowls and a long metal urinal? No, apparently it’s to stop supporters – particularly the cocky ones with roll-ups behind their ears (the ones the cameras are all focused on for most of the game) – from lighting up in the bogs. Now, I personally am not actually against the odd cigarette smoker in the Gents for the following reasons: Firstly, the toilets STINK, so the odd cigarette (or the lighting of a match) can only improve the stench and disperse the methane and ammonia. If I’ve got to stand in the gents risking my health inhaling god-knows-what (I’m thinking of…sewering. Geddit?), I could at least do with several of those perfumed candles burning away, the ones women put around their bath when they’re having a soak. I could do with having the naked women in the bath there as well, but beggars can’t be choosers, and standing in the toilets at half-time certainly labels me as a “beggar”. Secondly, anyone who is SAD enough to want to go to a filthy, crowded football toilet…to get some pleasure from smoking a sneaky fag…is welcome in my book, albeit disgusting and a fair distance down the gene-pool. Apart from demanding our pity they are in serious need of psychiatric help. What will they be doing next? Licking the floor with their tongues? Hardly boyfriend material, as you can imagine: “Hi, mum & dad. I’d like you to meet Brian. He can smoke a cigarette with his head half-way down a toilet at the Vale!” Anyway, after another blistering first half against Aldershot, and a cracking Roberts’ goal, I was standing at the entrance to the toilets, and noticed that there were state-of-the-art industrial strength shutters above the doors of the Gents. Bet you’ve never noticed them. They’re not on the other doors, not the Ladies, not the exits, just the Gents. Why? I’ve guessed that this is a safety issue. If the men create enough gaseous compounds in there, and then someone lights up, it would blow more than the bloody doors off. Well, from now on I’m not hanging around to find out. But then what do I know.
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