I'd been getting a lot of stick from my daughter, Parker, about not attending any of her school matches. She is captain of the under-nine hockey team and was very keen that I should see her in action. Normally, all I heard of her exploits was in the "match reports" read out by pupils at school assembly. I was about to remind her that I had made the effort to go and watch an "away" rounders match but then I remembered that I had got a little over-excited on the touch-line.
I had presumed that she would want me to be enthusiastic about the goings-on but, apparently, I'd "overstepped the mark" when I rushed on and accused the opposing school's coach of being a cheat. As it happened, she was a cheat and clearly calling every ball that Parker bowled as no balls. We had a blazing row and I was asked to leave and it was all very embarrassing, especially when they found out that it was me who had punctured all the tires on the opposing school's bus.
Fortunately, all this seemed to have been forgotten and I was clearly no longer a persona non grata on the hallowed playing fields. I decided to go to Parker's next match and write my own match report. She was off to play hockey at a school that is not too far from where Prince Charles lives and talks to his plants. I love going that way as I always take the opportunity to turn off and drive up his driveway until nervous security guards flag down the car. They always ask me to leave and I ask them who lives there as I've got a delivery of talking sunflowers. They are not allowed to say so we have a little verbal dance – it's like when you turn up at the headquarters of MI6, they simply won't admit that this is what the building is for.
After 10 minutes of this tomfoolery my wife Stacey was losing her rag and ordered me to drive off towards the school. It was an imposing place – another huge statement house built by some millionaire whose heirs then got shafted by inheritance tax. A very jolly-hockey-sticks type lady, whose voice never dipped below 11, told us (and the rest of the county) where the hockey pitches were. Off we trooped and arrived to find that the home team were already on the pitch and involved in some quite serious drills. This looked ominous.
I tried to eavesdrop on some of their corner calls so as to tip off Parker's team, but their codes were way too complicated. Their coach was screaming tactical nonsense at them and I started to worry that this might be a different league to Parker's team.
Then our lot arrived and battle commenced. Bully-offs have now been removed from hockey and replaced by a "push-back". I have no idea why as this was always the most exciting part of an otherwise pretty dull game. The opposing team were awesome and soon Parker's lot were three goals down and morale was sinking. Some of the parents started to get really agitated and very vocal but I tried to bite my lip. I didn't want to face police questioning again, like the last time. Then things got ugly.
One of Parker's team got a stick in her mouth and lost a tooth. She staggered off to the side but was back on the pitch in three minutes, blood pouring down her chin. Parker then got whacked on the knuckles. An icepack was brought on but she refused to go off and two minutes later play resumed. I was so proud of her, even though they were now 5-0 down – this was Battle of Britain stuff.
Minutes later Parker got her revenge as the offending player collapsed to the floor after a particularly hard challenge. She was taken off and a tiny replacement came on in her place. Sadly this did nothing to stem the tide and they scored again. They were now 6-0 up. With one final rush our girls assaulted the enemy goal and finally managed to score. We went mental on the sidelines.
The game ended 6-1 and we all trudged and hobbled back towards the main building past a vicious game of lacrosse. It's a terribly violent world this subculture of girl's sport. I can't wait for the karate match in two weeks – should be some fireworks.
What's Rog hiding?
I love the "Curse of Gillette" that has affected both Thierry Henry and now Tiger Woods – surely it can only be a matter of time before Roger Federer is exposed as having huge barns on his property where he secretly indulges in his evil passion of watching cuckoos, cruelly removed from clocks, fight each other to the death.Reuse content