Sheep Rustling And Other Stories

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July 17, 2011 by markstani

This is the latest in my series of short stories related to the Olympic sports. Alarmingly, it’s largely true.

Lee hates playing in goal, but is too unfit to play anywhere else. His doctor says he is an alcoholic, but Lee denies this. Lee keeps a can of Kestrel Super Strength in his glove bag and sips it during games. Lee once denied a certain goal by chucking a half-full can at the ball and changing its trajectory so it diverted round the post. Lee said it was a waste of a good drink. Lee is serving his fifth ban from the Fox & Hounds, this time for fighting. You should have seen the other guy, according to Lee.

Kenny has been done twice for rustling sheep. He drives his truck up on the moors and shepherds in whole flocks at a time. You can tell each time he’s done it as a few days later a meat van goes up the high street flogging cheap lamb door-to-door. On the way to away games, Kenny sees flocks and takes note. Kenny gets angry if anyone reminds him of his rustling offences. Once, he clomped a spectator mid-match for bringing it up.

Dave is player-manager. He’s having a bit of wife trouble. He was known to bed down in the changing rooms for nights on end, that is till the wife took the kids and went to stay at her mother’s. Dave isn’t entirely disappointed about this. He’s seeing Tina, the Fox & Hounds barmaid. She’s no oil painting but she’s got a right pair of knockers on her, and you don’t look at the mantlepiece while you’re poking the fire, and all that sort of shit.

Eric’s an identical twin. Folk say he shared his brain with his brother. His brother does all the talking. Eric drives a tractor. Kids chuck stones at him and call him names. Eric never reacts, even when the stones catch him in the middle of the forehead and draw blood. The same folk who say he’s got half a brain also say he’s like one of those suspects off Crimewatch who a community never suspect until after it’s happened.

Billy’s got a shaven head and a video camera. Him and his missus make tapes of their love-making. Once, one got stolen and via a series of unfortunate coincidences or possibly sabotage, ended up being aired in front of the Methodist Film Group at the Chapel one Sabbath. His missus has a tattoo of a bunch of hounds chasing a fox tail up her arse. She isn’t half bad looking in the sack, though it sometimes looks like her heart isn’t really in it.

Shaun used to be in and out of borstal like a jack-in-the-box before he realised the error of his ways. He drives a souped-up Ford Capri. He has a blonde girlfriend called Tammy, although the stripe on the windscreen still says Debbie. Tammy’s got legs up to her armpits and she goes like a train. Shaun’s thinking of asking Tammy to marry him. The problem is he’s got four kids already he hasn’t told her about. Plus there’s that problem of the windscreen stripe.

Caleb plays under assumed names he plucks from old Playfair Annuals. He’s been banned sine die on six separate occasions. So have Arnold Muhren, Lawrie Sanchez and Pat van den Hauwe. Once, he played an entire season as Osvaldo Ardiles before anyone smelled a rat. Twice, he’s caused an injury that’s had the air ambulance out. He’s held the club player of the year award for the last five years. That’s because he nicked it and no-one’s dared ask for it back.

Roscoe is a useless fat bastard at the best of times. He lives alone in an end terrace with a massive fuck-off flat screen TV. He gropes girls’ arses and generally gets slapped at least twice every Saturday night. Roscoe invites mates back to watch late night motocross on Eurosport. Roscoe jabs and spits crisps at the screen and shouts at them all that they’re all fucking shite, even though he’s never even been on so much as a push-bike himself.

Conrad was marked out for a sparkling future when he was still at primary school. He was hauled off to academies and told he’d make it big. Then he took to staying out late and snapped his ankle in a drunken fall of a car park wall. Conrad still wears the old tracksuit they gave him with his name faded out on the back. Conrad is seeing a girl called Trish who sleeps around. He sees his old mates on the telly and tells stories of how he used to nutmeg them when were younger.

Jason has a ridiculously large cock. If he’s ever measured it he’s not saying. His team-mates tell him he should get into porno but he says he’s too shy. Secret footage from Billy Wignall’s video camera has done the rounds. Jason’s got plenty of takers but he still lives at his mother’s and says he isn’t up for settling down, which his team-mates say is missing the point completely. They say if God had gave them the kind of equipment he’s got they’d be out flaunting it for all it’s worth.

Jake took a year out before going to university to go to Peru with his girlfriend and she dumped him for a local on the shores of Lake Titicaca. When Jake came back one year became two and you know the rest of it. Jake works at the garage and has got a new girlfriend. Sometimes his mates come back from university and ask him what he’s been up to. Jake thinks of the goal he scored up the mount and the post-match benders and tells them: not much.


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