By Jonathan Blaustein
It’s Monday morning, just after the Thanksgiving holiday. Here in America, that means most people have woken up in a fog. Not the heavy, moist kind you get in London, driven by water in the air.
This fog is propelled by a combination of turkey, pie, turkey-leftovers, pie-leftovers, wine, beer, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and an extra dose of family drama.
Every year, same cycle.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
The drama was mild this year, thankfully. The worst moment, and only close call, came when my brother kicked an oversized-yoga-ball into the back of my legs as I chased his son in the other direction. He knocked my slippers clean off my feet, and nearly sent me crashing to the concrete floor head first.
Luckily, it didn’t come to that. Crisis averted. But that doesn’t make my brother any less of an asshole. Only that the circumstances could have been much worse. So I’m “thankful” that they weren’t.
Such was the case in that horrible loss to Manchester United the other week. Also known as the only team I’ve not seen Arsenal beat yet. This, in my fourth year of addiction to the Gunners. I’ve heard it is at least theoretically possible, to beat those wankers from ManU, but I’m dubious.
That loss was terrible, sure. But it could have been much worse. What if Van Persie had gotten a goal? Or a brace? Or, God forbid, a hat trick? Can you imagine? Arsenal fans the world over would have pulled their eyebrows out, one hair at a time.
O. U. C. H.
I’ve got to say, I hate that guy now as much as I loved him my first year watching the team. His Dutch legs were classier than a big joint of Royal Cream blonde hash from the Cafe Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.
Oh, the thrills.
Now, he’s dead to me.
But believe it or not, living as I do in a horse pasture in the Great American Wild West, I do have a bit of gossip about the whole departure. Turns out, I had dinner at a friend’s house right off Holloway Road in early March of 2013. It was just after the Tottenham capitulation, just before the Bayern Resurrection.
At the dinner, coincidentally, was a Spurs fan, and his blonde-haired-sports-agent girlfriend. (Who roots for Southampton.) Her agency was massive, her client list even more so. She dropped Cristiano Ronaldo’s name as casually as if she were ordering a Bellini in Venice. Then she told me they also represented RVP, and that the truth was that Arsenal made him NO OFFER WHATSOEVER.
He was told, so I was told, that the time had come to be sold. Because, sadly, he was getting old. And Big Stan needed to be bold, and cash in before his… value disappeared. They didn’t want to be left out in the cold. (Sorry, I told you I was foggy this morning. Couldn’t help the impromptu poem.)
Now, this info came to me well-before I was a part-time Arsenal blogger. But she never said “off the record,” so I’m free to share it here.
I swear, this was someone who would know what she was talking about. How might that change the narrative we’ve all come to know? Not much. Because I’ve known that for almost 2 years now, and I still hate the son-of-a-bitch. Entrenched narratives are tough to break. (Just ask Arsene Wenger. He practically invented them.)
Given my enmity, and juvenile sense of humor, how could I not take this picture of RVP picking his nose during that game. And how could it not be the Match Day Photo of the Month? Yes, it was inevitable. No one said I couldn’t enter my own contest…
What’s that, you say? That’s not RVP’s finger?
Oh. Right. I did it. You got me. But he deserves it, the slimy bastard.
I did it because I had the idea to do it. Make a silly, creative photo for no other reason than to be ridiculous. That’s the point of this column?
Next month, you try.*
I didn’t have much choice, though, as the only submission this month was from Jeff, who’s a Gooner just outside of Washington, DC. His picture was worth showing as a runner up, so here it is. He watches the Champions League matches on his Ipad at work. But it wasn’t good enough to win. (Sorry, Jeff.)
Frankly, I got another email from Jeff, and hoped it would contain a killer picture, to spare you the vision of me picking Robin’s nose. But instead, it appears Jeff’s email was hacked, so it was only a link to an advert from Russia. And I’m way too smart to click on something like that.
*Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Russian spam translation service available on a fee basis.