When the wheels fall off (26/09/2006 21:03)
I awoke to the sound of thumping. My head hurt in an extremely monotonous way. I could feel a small burst of agony on each rush of blood through the veins in my temples, each one dragging after it an all to brief period of relief and the hope of the end of the pain, a hope swiftly dashed with the next hear beat.
It felt like a bongo player was using my head for practise and the tune was heavy on the percussion.
I asked him to stop, but it was clear he was happy to continue to be unreasonable. What was worse was that someone was yelling at me. I tried to remember the last time i had woken and that hadn't been the case, the last time i hadn't passed out drunk in my office, but my brain hurt to much.
"WOJTEKER!" screamed the voice.
"Please, not so loud - can't you see i'm sleeping?" It was out before i realised who was yelling. A string of profanities too long to mention entirel, but largely centred on things the voic planned to do to members of my extended family sprang back at me at a higher volume. I winced and then realised that my face was in a pizza.
"GETTA YOU UP, LAZY SON OF A DOG!" - The Colonel howled at me once he had finished swearing. We'll pause here breifly, whilst i explain a little. The Colonel was my boss, the club owner.
My astute people reading ability told me as fast as lighting he was not best pleased with me.
"What can i do for you sir?" i asked matter-of-factly.
"GETTA YOU FACE OUTTA THA PIZZA!" - He spoke with his strange Patalonian accent. I don't know why really, as he was born in Barnstable. I calmly pulled my face away from the pizza.
"For my next trick...?" I asked
"WINNA ME SOMMA MONEY!"
"Look, Colonel, if you insist on the ridiculous accent and talking exclusively in capital letters I shall return to my pizza. It may wash with the players but it doesn't wash with me. Besides, it's annoying to have to keep hitting caps lock every few sentences" I picked up slice and hoped he would back down before i had to eat it. I was not dissapointed.
"Ok, ok my friend, i'll stop. But we need to talk, seriously"
"Then let's talk. What's on your mind?"
"We're fourth, my manager is lazy and my club is hemorrhaging money. Anything else you can think of?" he sat down and lit himself a cigar.
"Not off the top of my head, no. But on the points you raised, allow me to respond. My answers would be that's true, i am not lazy but dilligently at my desk late at night and early in the morning-"
"Because you are drunk in your office!" cut in The Colonel.
"Besides the point, sir-"
"NO" he yelled, banging his fist on the desk "It is EXACTLY the point. A manager should be out there on the training pitches, in the dressing room, in short MANAGING! It's what you are paid to do!" I raised my eyebrows at him.
"Ok, alright, i know i don't pay you, but still, could you maybe take more of an interest? You got them working before, Calabas at he 8-1. Where's the old magic?"
"It's painful, believe me i know all about it" I do. as you know if you've strayed over here before. "but until i get that hairdryer button my hands are tied!"
"It's like capital letters for team talks. You know, yelling at them" I explained
"Ah, I understand" It was clear he didn't, but he continued and i let it go "But for all that, all the money i've spent and all the chances i've given you, i'm not so sure we'll continue with you for much longer..."
He left that phrase hanging as he drew out a newspaper from under his arm and dumped it in the pizza box. It was the sports page of the Patalonia Express (they don't like me over there by the way - fascists) and on it was my picture. Again. The headline read WOJTEKER OFFICIAL and was a report on my being apparently bought of by the league officials in order to end my suggestions of conspiracy.
"As you can see, my friend, i'm not sure i can trust you anymore" I looked up from the paper and found myself staring into the black business end of an M9 Pistol. (believe me, that is what it was, i coud read the name off the barrel...)
I felt the sweat gather on my fingertips.
"what are you doing boss?" i asked nervously.
"Retiring you. How can i trust you after what i read in the paper" he pulled back the hammer
"Seriously, Colonel, you can't believe what you read in the paper. They hate me over there anyway because i'm too left wing for them!"
"So you've not been made Official?" it was his turn to raise his eyebrows.
"I'm not going to be swayed by that! It's not going to be like they say. My first responsibilty is to the club. It's not that simple!" I stammered, trying to say three things at once and aware the sweat was pouring down my face was making me look guilty when i wasn't
"ARE YOU OFFICIADDAD, ESSE, YES OR NO?" he screamed, back in capitals and accented. he rose to his feet holding the gun at arms length.
"YES" i yelled back . Well, i was wasn't I? What else could i say?
The gun fired.
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