The dawter must have been about three. She was given a pink helium balloon, magical and girly. We expressly told her to hold onto the shiny string because if she let it go it would fly up, up and away. Her little fingers grasped that string with the might of a thirty three year old. Into the car, her grip unwavering, out of the car, her grip as firm as a vice. Up the driveway towards the cottage door and she forgot – her grip loosened and without a care in the world she let the string go. She watched the pink balloon float over the hedge over the field and into the air. She asked for it back but neither the old git nor I have mastered the art of flying so that three-year-old stood forlornly watching her pink balloon disappear over the hills and faraway.
She cried, of course she did, and I watched as this mini adult crumpled then mastered her disappointment. It was horrible. Her first taste of loss which we discussed over stewed carrots, various combinations of broccoli and pureed mango. In the bath we discussed what disappointment felt like, as she buttoned up her pyjamas she re-ran the horror of the lonely pink balloon. As the 7.00 Uckfield train clattered in the distance we put her and ‘it’ to bed. Over the years that incident has come up in conversation. Disappointment is what it is and there’s bugger all you can do about it. It is as nothing compared to the loss of food, freedom or even a football match but when the heart breaks loss is loss whether you are in Idlib or Isleworth.
The disappointment I felt when it became clear to my teenage self that my parents were fucked, the disappointment when I lost out on getting into The Central School of Speech and Drama because I loaned my leotard to a pushy twat from Jericho – thats Jericho in North Oxfordshire not the other one on the West Bank. The disappointment when I lost out to Sally James on ‘Tiswas’, the disappointment when I found out that our flat in Wapping was up for sale after we’d given it back to the Co-op. My list of disappointments span seventy two years of courageous/brainless living. Luckily I am surrounded by sympathetic humans who after yet another AFGO, listened carefully, rubbed my back, stroked my ego, poured me drinks, and assured me that AFGOs are just part of life’s tangled tapestry.
A naughty boy I knew was arrested for doing outrageous things in bushes with other naughty boys. As a therapist he was terrified of losing his status in the community, his reputation and all his clients. He went to his therapist who listened to his unfortunate tale, clapped her hands together then said dismissively
‘Don’t worry it’s just another AFGO’
‘AFGO?’ said the trembling mite.
‘You, a therapist, and you dont know what an AFGO is?’
The boy beside himself mumbled ‘Nooooo.’
‘An AFGO’ said the shrink ‘Is ANOTHER FUCKING GROWTH OPPORTUNITY.’
For isn’t that what a disappointment is; an AFGO lurking in the wings hoping to move us on?
Thankfully most of us don’t have our disappointments beamed out over the air waves to 30.95 million people. Thankfully most of us are not in the firing line when a fucking football goes awry. Mercifully most of us aren’t stopped in the street, harassed, abused, spat on or generally mistrusted. Thankfully most of us don’t get cyber bullied, or fucked on Facebook, tormented on Twitter, intimidated on instagram, or tyrannized because we aren’t the colour of Boris’s johnson.
Educate the bastards, lock ’em up, ban ’em, expose ’em, put ’em in the stocks, all of which is legitimate, but if thems that are in charge are as despicable as those with mouths and thoughts like latrines, then what is going to change? China made it illegal for men to beat their wives, laws were passed to ban smoking, smacking and driving up the M1 without wearing a seat belt. So if the Priki Patels, the Enochs’, the Nigels’ the Tommies and the rest of that entitled mob who couldn’t care less about diversity, make shoddy statements then how are the feeble minded amongst us ever going to learn.
No more fannying around just stop with the excuses, finish with the condoning, the sanctioning the turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to unforgivable racist bastards whether they are estate agents, window cleaners or politicians. Racial abuse cannot be absolved, unlike Trumps’ statement that there is good on both sides, racists cannot have allowances made for them. As long as a fairer society is waiting in the wings we ALL have to do our bit.
Of course I wanted England to win, but had they done so we would never have seen the whites of those ugly racist eyes. We would have carried on as if the underbelly of our society wasn’t full of snakes and shit, sewage and sanctimonious comments from people who should know better.
The penalty of missing those penalties unleashed a tsunami of white-man-trash-talk. I’d like to see any one of those opinionated arsewipes trying to land a goal in the back of the net whilst millions are watching. I’d like those nasty, ignorant big mouths to have their nasty ignorant big mouths washed out with soapy water – a punishment universally practiced when I was growing up. Failing that they should be exposed so that we can all see what pathetic knob-heads look like.