Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Is Football Tart? - file

Which should swiftly be distanced from other, similar but (equally) preposterous, questions such as is football a tart? Are footballers' tarts? Or even is football art?

Is it sour is it sharp, is football tart?

Each game is its very own TV dinner portion of sweet and sour stir-fry pineapple and bitter capsicum, plump chicken breast and sharp spring onions. Each tackle, each, cross, each goal, each mouthful is both dolce and amarone in the mouths of the be-eaters, one mans nasty is another mans nectar depending on their faith in Ronaldo or in Nesta.

Every season is a swashbuckling smorgasbord of perceived and individual delicacies and this one has been no different. The salty caviar of the MU Roma win, the dry and grassy Sauvignon Blanc of Steve Coppell, the wafer-thin slices of pink Sir Alex garnished with tangy Rooney horseradishes, the frankly bizarre smokey bacon flavour goings on at West Ham.

How was your season? Cod and chips and a Cornetto, smoked salmon canapés and papillote of rascass, or sushi and steak tartare? When you burp now what's the overriding flavour? Is it tart?

Sometimes I feel as if I can really taste peoples gastronomic auras, every time I listen to Wourinho I get the strongest bite of green gooseberries, Wenger – prunes, Mark Lawrenson – Heinz tomato soup

I've even started to categorize, it's important because the saccharine experience of a Stevie G volley for a 'pudlian is different again from the thick syrup of an Essien recovery for a pensioner. If one event smacks of ripe mangoes then the other is surely molasses. One Pompey fans gritty trip up to St James's Park is altogether other than the saltiness of a trip across Landan to watch your former manager's new and present manager's old team beat you 4-0. Ready salted crisps and anchovies seem to have been seperated at birth.

Some folk have slipped down the bittery slope of resenting those lucky rich clubs and to them everything they do tastes of cold black coffee and cloves and while it's true that the capitalist gorgon has turned all those unsuspecting blue meanies to stone it is also true that they are as happy as pigs in shit with their eels and mash. But when will they, and all of us, taste freedom from economic servitude? When indeed…

Dave Whelan might argue that footie is not tart enough on rule breakers and it may be true that South American contractual flavours have yet to hit the Lancashire greasy spoons, but it will surely leave a sour taste in his mouth. Can't see how the EPL (Duck Stew) can override an independently commissioned QC (Duck Liver and Port Pate) or how public courts will rule on Premiership points or regulations (Duck Fricassee).

What taste was in De Nilsons mouth after Fererros dainty amuse bouche on Sunday? The sweet peachiness of a run out at the Emirates or just raw rhubarb. What about Alfe Inga Haalands palate or Roy Keanes, cold quiche or vicious vol-au-vent?

How exactly does the Dennis and Ken on-again, off-again romance fit on the menu? Dennis Wise reminds me most of a sociopathic Bangkok motorcycle taxi driver of my acquaintance but if I really had to taste him, at gunpoint for example, then mouse-shit chili's wouldn't surprise me. Ken Bates should naturally be kept in cold storage with the other tubs of I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter. Leeds is definitely my Pernod. There were, truth be told, some good times but I can't look at them anymore without feeling nauseous.

You've sat at the last supper of the feast of football on the eve of Armageddon, you've eaten the food and drank the wine, some of it was good and some of it was Jean-Alain Boumsong but what was it? Roast beef and yorkies with lashings of English mustard or Meurguez and Harrissa? Sticky rice and tofu or champagne and oysters?

For me its whisky sour with cherries and tequila lime slammers from rusty baked bean cans – tart.man, tart.


offside said...

Has anybody kept the files from "Offside's Definitive Guide to Premiership Cocktails"?

Non? Pas de problème, je vous apporte la carte des vins immédiatement, Monsieur.

Ebren said...

Sadly, I think I do have those files.

There were a few you missed.

file said...

bof, evidement c'est deja passe

just wait for Hong Kong Foo Foo

gg said...

Grand writing - I feel deliciously gorged.

To my mind, the msot important issue is: is O'Shea a Guinness, or just a mere Murphy's like the rest of us?

(Sound of foghorn)

That's one question answered: footy is fart.

marcela said...

don't you mean tootball is fart?

or even tooty?

tooty is fart.

guitougoal said...

the menu is tarting up.
sonny lease tons of bricks.

gg said...

file -
excellent writing, but only 6 comments as yet!
I hope that people are reading this -
for their own sakes!

file said...

gg, thanks man, you know how it is; tart for tarts sake, money for dog's sake

offside said...

Maybe people are just not hungry? They had too much civet at the other place. Tout ça est pourtant fort appétissant.

I still have to put a wine list together to go with that. That takes some thinking. Burgundy for Man Utd obviously. Deep red, belle robe, nez puissant et beaucoup de cuisse. Guitou, any ideas for the rest?

file said...

if I may be so bold as to suggest that the stout shouldered bottles of La Gironde are mo akin to the traditions at Old Traff, the intensity and powerful depths of Petrus perhaps

for me the finesse of les cotes du beaune, the liquid grace of Romanee Conti for example, is closer to the Arsenal

Newcastle always seem to represent the impenetrable mysteries of a young Barolo, Chelsea are as immature and expensive as the napa vines of Opus One and unfortunately their manager has all the class of Mateus Rose

Liverpool are so much more than Leibfraumilch, Armagnac?

offside said...


we're obviously not on the same budget. Petrus? I wish. Still, I suppose nothing's too good for the champions.

Funny, I had Arsenal down as a sweet Sauternes.

file said...

all that pourriture noble huh?

feck the budget, I am more than happy with a Cotes du Rhone (Preston) or a simple Cotes de Ventoux (Cardiff) and a morcelle de Roquefort

offside said...

Pourriture noble, of course, but I was thinking more of the vendanges tardives...

Shit, that's making me thirsty.

file said...

tell me about it, wine is really expensive here

vendenge tardive is right, tirer tardive?

offside said...

French Football Slang 101:

Vendanger = to miss a sitter


file said...

apt, ta

and to be then 'sick as a parrot'?

or is it that far too advanced?

offside said...

Nothing that colourful in my database. Malade comme un chien? Not quite. Dégoûté? Not very original. Careful that parrot doesn't go next door, he'll meet a fowl's fate.

No red wine here either. The heat kills it. Very sad. White fares better but anything nice is prohibitive pricewise.

Ebren said...

"défectuosité en tant que putain qui a sucé le bites faux?"

Or is that wrong?

I've always thought it's rather indicative of footballing cultures that the English shout "Go/Come On" at the player while the French shout "C'est beau".

file said...

the inconsistancies of a free market economy, tish! and the sacrifices we make for living the dream

here absolut vodka is half the price of martini rosso, but it means I'm hors service before the food hits the table

file said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
file said...

y r we talking on two different sites?

I'm mightily impressed with your Thai, Sabai dee mai?

file said...


offside said...

Ebren, I wonder where (and how, with whom, etc...) you've learned your French. I'm sure there's a tale there.


my thai (Mai Tai?) is non existent and whatever is left is very rusty. Remnants of a wonderful voyage in 99. Great memories.

*join palms - touches forehead - bends over respectfully*

Sawat dee (scuse me accent)

We can talk here, there, everywhere or even comme ça olivierrothster@gmail.com

offside said...

Sorry, I could never read them noodles.

file said...

ืnon-existant rust, sounds like Harvey in the rain

I'm sure you've had enough of islands, was it a Patpong/Nana visit?

file said...

and anyway if I don't post here my comments will never get into double figures

had you already done football food then?

file said...

sorry ebren missed yr post, apart from poutin qui a suci thats all Greek to me, though it sounds piquant

in the interests of French Football Slang 101 can you/osid translate?

offsideintahiti said...

I was living in Ireland at the time. And no, I stayed well away from PatPong.

Bangkok, Surin, through I-San (amazing) and up the Mekong, Chiang Rai, back down to Pakbara and a grand finale on Koh Bulon Lae (near Tarutao). Brilliant. I feel very nostalgic actually, just reminiscing.

And the food...

Ebren said...

Translation runs something like ill as a putain who was intimate with her mouth to the wrong phallus. Or something along those lines.

Interestingly Inanna/Ishtar was taught kissing of the phallus by father Enki while he was drunk. It made Dumuzi happy till she sacrificed him to death (he escaped).

This was at some point around 3,000 BC.

BlueinBetis said...


You're a funny bugger!

I can't think of anything intelligent to write to this food as footie debate, and wine, PAH! vinegar. (I've got no class, me, beer, all the way)

I'll have a Singha!!

Was in Ko pan ngan when Senna died, when was that?

Off my trousers!

Fine place.

offside said...


nice to see you back. Have you drowned your sorrows? That was 94, by the way, I think.

file, are you actually in Bangkok?

Ebren, more please.

Ebren said...

Offside - my knowledge of Mesopotamian mythology is not what it should be. Especially as I became dizzy and drunk after being given Very Fast Cars to drive around a track As Fast as I Could (I only broke one of them) and then was taken to a church in London to watch the Swedish entries for Eurovision compete to make the finals (which are on Saturday pop fans). Then I went to the pub for a few hours. Then I realised my Innana book had gone.

It was an interesting day.

This is a good book on it

This and this are good too.

gg said...

Just popping in for a quick one. Barolo is far too clear for misty Newcastle - give them a Nebbiolo.

file said...


the whole chabang then, what a tour! Nowhere near Bkk thank Buddha, in the mountains between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, if you remember that bit, moved here from Ko Samui 2 years ago


y thanks that sounds marginally better than buggy funner, Singha it is, Chock Dee!

Ko Pan Ngan is a real froody place, were you subjected to a full moon party?


thnx for the French

Ishtar was around at about the time that Isis was sucking out the eyes of Ra for Horos then, I wonder if it's significant

MotM said...

Loved it.

Always feel that German teams are like German wines, reliable, but too much and they make you nauseous.

Sam Allardyce is pork scratchings; Kenny Dalglish a Macallan; Steve McClaren leftover semolina pudding; Mourinho best bitter; Zola tortelloni in cream and truffle sauce; SAF a vintage Port; and James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe just bursting popcorn.

BlueinBetis said...

Full moon party? Check.
Mushroom omelette, (Strong)? Check.
Wandered around for five hours, looking for sunglasses, whilst wearing them? Check.
Laid upon bed, having conversation (two-way) with chit-chat on mosquito net? Check.

Happy, happy days!

file said...

thanks motm,

leftover semolina pudding in the first flushes of mold but with good TV hair?


aah halcyon days, I survived 3 of them, apparently dozens of farang on mushies die every year while trying to swim back to Samui or finding 'the beach'

bluedaddy said...

Most enjoyable File. Sorry I didnt catch it earlier. Not much to add, but I'm really bloody hungry now.

As for halcyon days, part of me would quite like a little drug induced holiday from my universe, back to the good old days of mushies and hot knife chasers (cue walking statues and a two hour long fascination with poodle shit: "Feel how crumbly it is, like Cheshire cheese").

But I reckon the old noggin cant cope anymore. In fact it didnt cope all that well in the glory days. But it sure beat working for a living.

file said...


glad you enjoyed it, sorry to hear that things are not halcyon as they are with you

it probably doesn't help much but you provided me with my first 'snorting-coffee-on-keyboard' moment of this blog - 'like Cheshire Cheese' indeed!

as a responsible (non-blue)daddy myself these days I can honestly say that I don't go anywhere near Buffalo-shit mushrooms anymore, tho it would just be plain rude to turn them away if they came knock-knocking...

offside said...

Feels like a meeting of reformed drug fiends turned daddies.

Hi, my name is offside and I haven't done any serious hallucinogenics since my daughter was born nearly six years ago. Dog, how I miss it.

But I wouldn't swap.

file said...

marnin' offsid

one day at a time man, one day at a time

swap? not likely, it's like livin' a trip these days!

marcela said...

beautifully sandwiched between the pakalolo rabbit stew and the soviet onion this thread has become the natural home for this:


offside said...

Gracias, Marcela, you've just stirred old cravings. Hopefully, a good, punishing rowing session later on today should take care of that.

bluedaddy said...

That was, like, cool, marcie baby. I love that song.

I actually ordered a Gong CD the other day (turns out to be deleted. Six quid for a triple album! I knew it was too good to be true). My non-hallucinogenated friends used to take the piss out of me for liking Gong, but I couldnt get over the fact that these guys could play the shit that was going on in my head walking around fields in the middle of nowhere when I was tripping.

Maybe it would be best not to hear it again.

I often ponder the whole "How precisely do you explain to your kids that drugs are cool, yet potentially uncool" conundrum. As Bill Hicks so succinctly put it, 'I had a great time doing drugs'. But I very nearly bought the farm too, in quite the worst possible way.

I know in the end that it will be up to my kids to make the judgement when it comes. But I have no idea what to say about it. Maybe it will depend on my assessment of how my kids are doing when sweet temptation comes a'calling.

(Of course in real life I'll almost certainly be the last to know).

Thanks for the concern File. Head is reasonably grand actually, but tripping is a no go for me now. Luckily my capacity for rapture from eating knows few bounds, but it's not as easy to find someone to talk for an hour about balsamic vinegar or parma ham or chutney, as it is to find a cokehead willing to talk about him/herself.

offside said...

Hey, bluedaddy, I still have "Downwind" by Gong. And no, I'm not ashamed.

Dog knows what kind of synthetic stuff will be available when our kids reach that age. I feel out of touch already, there's new stuff out there that I've heard of but haven't even tried.

The classics I can discuss with little Offspring, but what if she goes for the new stuff and I don't even know what it's like? So, in the name of science and fatherhood...

bluedaddy said...

Then there's the flipside where you fear the day will come that you are just deeply disappointed that your kids havent tried any of it, and you'll be forcing it on them like some demented leering, left leaning Learyist, while they mop up your dribble and talk in hushed tones about that nice place they saw last week ("If we sell Dad's shares in Pseuds we could afford to have him stay there Mon-Fri 24/7")

offside said...

What? You have shares too? Ebren had promised me his offer was an exclusive. The dirty capitalist bastard.

And I'm not worried, I promised my daughter I wouldn't sell any of her organs in the next few years if she signed that paper saying she'd take care of me in my old age.

file said...

my take on this is that those difficult teen years are mostly about rebelling over whatever is in front of you, logic being that if dad is a giggling box of frogs then they are most likely to become safe but dull accountants or some such

file said...

sorry marcela, would love to get my teeth into your little sandwich filling but YouTube is presently unavailable to those of us on Thai servers, I think they aired something fishy about Tom Yam Kung

going, going, gong

Georges Brassens said...

Philistins, épiciers
Tandis que vous caressiez
Vos femmes

En songeant aux petits
Que vos grossiers appétits

Vous pensiez : " Ils seront
Menton rasé, ventre rond
Notaires "

Mais pour bien vous punir
Un jour vous voyez venir
Sur terre

Des enfants non voulus
Qui deviennent chevelus

file said...

sante georges et merci mille fois pour ca!

I'll have a bash for the benefit of non-French speaking cyberkind who can't wait until guitou, offie or ebren get here with a fairer translation:

sans titre?

Philistines, grocers
Wait before you caress your women

In dreams of little ones
That our big appetites
Bring to life

You will think 'They will be
Clean shaven, pot bellied

But to punish you well
You will come to see
On earth

Your unintended children
Will become hairy

please improve but don't be harsh, it's been a long night

Vive nos chevelus poetes!

file said...


may 11 is Salvador Dali's birthday and my son's

a very hairy birthday to all!

bluedaddy said...

Happy Birthday to File Junior

offside said...


a fine effort! I might have translated "chevelu" by "long-haired" (more literal) or "scruffy". Faithful to old Georges otherwise. Gare au gorille is next. Get ready.

Happy birthday to little file. Did you call him Salvador in tribute?

offside said...

ps: the title is "Les enfants non voulus"

file said...

thanks all for bd greetings

offline, thnx for advice, I did think about long-haired (layabout) poets but in the end it was a personal affection for the slightely other image of 'hairy poets' that drew me onto the rocks

may 11 is also l'anniversaire de Renaud Sechan, penner of the song 'Des que les vents soufflera'; something like 'Those who the wind has blown in'

it's an ill cyber wind that blows in no good....

MotM said...

Bluedaddy - Re the what happens when your kids etc, I'm going to give them Brian Wilson's "I just wasn't made for these times" to read and Pet Sounds to hear. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

byebyebadman said...

Happy birthday to your little lad file.

Ah Jefferson Airplane...if you think they took a lot of drugs then, I can't imagine the level of consumption that inspired them to plop this out in the eighties...


file said...

thanks badman

Tweet it, digg it