The pantomime season

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The pantomime season

Postby Up the Junction on Wed Jan 08, 2003 10:42 pm

Poster: mightymouse
Posted: 8th January 2003

Yes, folks, it's that time of the year - the pantomime season.

Christmas is gone, all the presents have been given (including several
unnecessary points
by the Liverpool squad to teams who didn't deserve them) and all across the
country theatres are abandoning their usual fare in favour of a good
old-fashioned British pantomime. The Southport Odeon will feature Bernie
Clifton, The Krankies and Thora Hird, whilst the Crewe Alhambra's seasonal
production will boast the dubious talents of Stan "The Geeeeermans"
Boardman, Keith Chegwin and Her Off Emmerdale With The Big Knockers. The
Formby Savoy has Brian Tildesley off 'Coronation Street', Trevor Brooking
and the Right Honorable Tony Benn, former MP for Chesterfield North.

Yes, you can't beat a good pantomime and, not to be outdone this year,
Liverpool Football Club is featuring its very own, with players and staff
appearing in all the starring roles. It was hoped that they could persuade
Lee Bowyer to participate, but he's already done Aladdin.

Allegedly.

But no ordinary pantomime, this. Instead of one good old-fashioned
fairytale, the Liverpool Football Club Pantomime will be a mixture of all
the most famous and traditional ones. Jamie Carragher and Didi Hamann are
to play the Ugly Sisters (no make-up required there) and Emile Heskey will
appear as both ends of a pantomime donkey.

Gerard Houllier plays a poor boy desperate to become big and famous and
powerful. He wants to grow up big and strong and plans to kidnap the
Championship trophy from the evil Scum Castle....

Meanwhile, in some palace not far from his home in the woods, the Wicked
Stepmanager (Phil Thompson) is standing in front of a large looking glass
on the wall. "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all,
like?"

"Not f***ing you," says the mirror. And shatters into a thousand tiny
pieces.

"sh*t," says the Wicked StepThommo. "I'll fix that Houllier once and for
all."

One day, when Gerard is poorly, the Wicked StepBigNose, disguised as a
former England central defender, persuades Gerard to do something very
stupid. He persuades him to sell his family's prize Robbie Fowler for two
magic beans.

Coming home from the market, Gerard is pleased with himself. But when he
gets home his father is less than impressed. "What?" he booms at the poor
pop-eyed Gerard. "You've sold our prize Robbie Fowler for a couple of magic
bloody beans! You're off your b*stard trolley, son."

"But, Father," pleads Gerard, "these are no ordinary beans. They are magic
beans all the way from Africa. Senegal, in fact. You see. Once I've put
these in the team...I mean, planted them in the ground, they'll grow into
something really special."

The next day Gerard takes the magic Senegalese beans and plants them in
the Anfield turf. And he waits. The very next day when he looks out of his
window he is astonished by what he sees growing on the Anfield turf.
Nothing. A great big fat steaming pile of bugger all. No growth
whatsoever has happened at all. But a patient man is Gerard. He waits
some more.

Eventually, a couple of months into the new season, there is a huge
beanstalk that climbs all the way up to the top of the league table.
"Wow! Look at that!" goes the audience, unable to believe it. "We could
climb all the way to the top of that and be above everybody else."

"Right," says Gerard. "So it shall be." And off he sets. He climbs and
climbs and climbs, and soon he is actually there, right there at the
very top of the league table...er I mean the beanstalk. "Brilliant! cries
the intrepid Frenchman. "I've done it. And now I'm at the top I'm going to
stay there and capture the championship trophy from the Drunken Tramp and
that b*stard Arsene Wenger."

"Oh no you're not!" cries the audience."

"Oh yes I am!" cries Gerard. But he must be careful. He must be careful,
for there lives a terrible giant. A terrible sleeping giant that will eat
him all up. And the name of this terrible sleeping giant is "Liverpool's
Championship Aspirations". It has been slumbering soundly for nearly
thirteen years and mustn't be disturbed under any circumstances.
Nevertheless, our hero is not afraid. He is not afraid because, from high
up there, he can see all the other towns and cities far down below him -
Manchester, North London, West London, Everton, Newcastle and Leeds.

He becomes so excited by the fact that he is on top of everything and
everyone else that he forgets all about the sleeping giant.

"Fee-fi-fo-Fulham...er, I mean fum. I smell the garlic of a pop-eyed
Frenchman!" The sleeping giant is angry at being awakened by the sound
and fury of six pathetic defeats and a handful of sh*t draws. "What the
f*** is going on? Who woke me and ballsed up my nice dreams of finally
lifting the championship for the first time since 1990?"

And soon poor Gerard, startled by what he has done, is falling. Down,
down, down and down he goes, all the way down the beanstalk, past Arsenal,
Chelsea, The Scum, Newcastle, Everton and probably Southampton as
well, I shouldn't wonder. Down, down and down...

The audience holds its breath...

"It's only a blip!" they cry.

But soon Gerard is at the bottom of the beanstalk (or near enough, anyway)
and has landed in a big pile of sh*t. His own sh*t, because he's made it.

"What happened?" he moans. "Everything was going fine and now this. If I
don't turn things around and soon, that wicked Stepmanager will take my
place, after stabbing me with the poisoned tip of his long snout. What am
I going to do?"

"Never mind," says a voice to his left. It's the Tin Man from the Wizard
of Oz, played by Steven Gerrard. "We'll help you."

"What? You?" says the miserable Frenchman. "You've got no heart. How the
f*** are you going to help? Go on. Piss off."

"I can help you, too," comes another voice. It's the Scarecrow from the
Wizard of Oz, played by Jerzy Dudek. "Well, I would help you only...you
see, I haven't got a brain. Er...what day is it?"

"We can all help you," goes a third voice - the Cowardly Lion played by
the rest of the frigging squad. "Well, we would help you if we knew what
team you were going to play. You see, we don't think you know what you're
doing.

I mean...one minute you're playing five in the middle, the next you're
back to the old 4-4-2. And why do you keep playing the pantomime donkey up
front with Owen?"

"Hee-haw!" goes Heskey the pantomime donkey. And is promptly booted up
the arse and sent to sit down on the bench...where he belongs.

Suddenly there's a puff. No, not that kind of puff. And the Fairy Godmother
appears. "Never mind, lads. I am here to grant you all three wishes. What
shall they be?"

"Great," says Gerard. "First of all I wish we could win a game. Just one.
Second, I wish we could stay in the Championship race. And last of all,
I'd like to have my job this time next year."

"You drive a hard bargain," sighs the Fairy Godmother. "I'm used to turning
people into animals, spinning gold from thread and making horse-drawn
coaches out of pumpkins. Sorry, but you've got me beaten this time. I'm
off." And in a flash the Fairy Godmother is gone.

Just like everything else this b*stard season.

"Never mind, Boss," soothes the ever-loyal Buttons, played by Danny Murphy.
"There's always the future."

"What future?" moans Gerard. "I don't see a future."

"It's behind you!!" cries the audience.

"Oh, no it isn't!!"

"Oh yes it is!!!"

And so the poor pop-eyed Frenchman, who harboured such hopes of greatness
when he came into the job only a few short years ago, sits back on his arse
with his head in his hands and does nothing. Nothing at all. All hope has
abandoned him and no-one trusts or believes him any more. There are no
magic
beans, no fairy godmothers, no three wishes, no magic lamps and no yellow
brick road.

"Ah well," sighs Monsieur Houllier, "I suppose I could always run away and
seek my fortune elsewhere."

And so the curtain decends on another pantomime season.

Now behave yourselves.
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Up the Junction
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