- Sep 18, 2001
|• This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.|
The Drowners v England invitation match.
In a humble cottage in darkest Yorkshire the silence was shattered by a telephone ringing shrilly, Winston went ballistic and launched himself from his position in front of the fire knocking over a coffee table and spilling ‘Red Leader’s’ Jack Daniels, over a pile of unpaid bills, in the process.
“Gerrunder” snarled Dave, trying to salvage his bottle from the pile of bills.
Winston took this as an invitation to play and, with his stumpy tail wagging a million times a second, dived in happily to help his beloved master.
Dave extricated his bottle and then picked up the telephone receiver.
“If you’re ringing to make me aware that I am entitled to a new boiler if I am on benefit, I will find you and rip your head off” he growled ominously, Winston sensed the tone and slunk off back to the fireside.
“It’s me mate, Peter” came the stuttered reply.
“Your best friend Peter”
“Oh ayup mate, what can I do for you?”
“You remember the puzzle that was posted where you had to work out the positions of the people in a match” said Peter.
“Oh that one where we all had different coloured caps on, bloody stupid if you ask me” said Dave
“You couldn’t do it either then” mocked Peter “anyway” he continued “I’ve just had a call from Mark Downes; he thinks it was a real match and that the Maggotdrowners are publishing their results in code so that they can only be read by members”.
“Bloody pillock” said Dave, inserting a straw into a fresh bottle of Jack Daniels.
“The point is Dave, he reckons that MD’rs are getting too cocky and he wants to pitch his England squad against the team in the puzzle”.
“Strewth” exclaimed Dave “that would be good publicity, might attract more avertisers. Tell him anywhere, anytime and then give all the people in the puzzle a ring mate; set up a meeting at your place”
“That’s seven phone calls” stammered Peter “can I claim them back from the MD kitty”
“No” replied Dave firmly “there’s hardly enough in the kitty to keep me in JD without paying for your phone calls”
Peter hung up dejectedly and then googled to see if a call to Scotland would attract international rates.
Half an hour later he had definite confirmations from Phoenixicus, Wise Owl and Breac to be at his house the following Saturday night.
He had also managed to book Breac in to an open match the day after to make the journey worth his while.
The following Saturday saw Peter, Dave, Wise Owl and Breac sat around Peters kitchen table waiting for Phoenixicus to arrive.
“Foook me, it’s cold in here” said Wisey “have you got the heating on?”
“Its May” exclaimed Peter
“I don’t give a flying fart, it’s still bloody cold” said Wisey
Reluctantly Peter lit a candle and placed it on the table, “happy now?” he asked.
Wisey and Breac looked at each other in disbelief.
“Wait till he makes the Tea” said Dave, who had been here before.
As if on cue the kettle boiled and Peter poured out four mugs of boiling water; he then extracted a tea bag, with a tag on a string, from a padlocked caddy and solemnly gave each cup three dunks before returning the bag and locking the caddy.
Suddenly Winston and Albert started growling, barking and baring their teeth at the door.
“Hello, hello” said Phoenixicus
There was a strange hush as he came face to face with Wise Owl.
“Shall we have a hug?” said Phoenix hopefully.
Five minutes later he was rubbing at the welts on his neck.
“Any more of that WO and you’re banned from the site and won’t be allowed to fish” snapped Dave.
“I was only showing him a Leeds handshake” protested WO. “Sorry mate” he said as he and Phoenix shook hands.
“Right then” said Dave “now that we are all here we can get started”
“Not quite” said Peter “the England team is six men so I have invited someone to make up the numbers.
“Is it Dumdum?” asked Breac hopefully; before Peter could reply Albert and Winston did their double act again as there was a timid knock at the door.
“I couldn’t help overhearing that last question and if you had taken the time to read my blog you would have known it was me” said Neil of the Nene stepping into the kitchen.
“Ah well, it could have been worse” said Dave with a wry smile.
“Not much” whispered Phoenix under his breath.
“Mark Downes has challenged us to a match against his England squad; we pick the venue and the date” stated Peter
“I think Lindholme” said Dave.
As no one else had any ideas Lindholme was agreed and it was unanimous that the match would be fished in July.
“Who are we fishing against?” asked Wise Owl
Peter held up a piece of paper and read
“He’s a has been” scoffed Phoenix “he’ll need a nap half way through”
“Will Raisin” continued Peter
“He fluked world champion once and has lived off the reputation ever since” muttered WO
“He’s a decent angler” said Dave; Breac nodded in agreement.
“He’s a thug” whined Phoenix
“Put him on the next peg, me and Albert will sort him out” said Wisey
“Steve Hemingray and Callum Dicks” finished Peter.
“Never heard of em” said Breac
“You heathen” exclaimed Neil that is six of the best anglers in the country.
“So” replied Breac “No one expects us to win so we have nothing to lose”.
“That’s true” said Dave “we may just pull off a surprise, I suggest a practice next week.”
“I will see what date we can get Bonsai for in July and let Mark know” said Peter
“I will take a laptop” said Neil “Mr Downes is sure to want to read my blog”
“Shut up Neil” exclaimed everyone.
“Tactics” said Dave
“Yes, we will need some” said Phoenix
“Any suggestions” growled Breac
“No, I’m not a match angler” replied Phoenix.
Even Winston hung his head at that and Albert covered his eyes with his paws.
“Ok” said Dave “I suggest two lines, one at 10 metres for F1’s and one down the edge for lumps”
“Sounds like a plan” said Breac.
“Can I just point out the importance of dotting your bristle down when F1 fishing” said Neil. “It needs to be right in the surface tension to be any good, I have some number 12 stotz that I have cut in half if anyone wants any” advised Neil.
“I’ll have some” said Peter, never one to turn down a freebie.
“Right” said Dave “we will meet up at Lindholme a week next Saturday for a practice”
“In the meantime” said Neil “read my blog, I will explain how to use Vaseline on your bristle”
“Has the thought of fishing against England tightened your Budgie smugglers?” asked Wisey.
“So uncouth” muttered Neil.
The meeting ended in disarray as the ‘Drowners’ made their way home, all dreaming of future glory.
In the practice Peter found that the F1’s were coming on to a maggot approach at 8 metres and he calculated that 50lb per man was possible as a target weight.
As he had been elected captain he made a round of his team to make sure everyone was ok.
He was especially impressed with Neil who, with his float barely visible, was bagging up on F1’s.
“You were right about dotting the bristle mate” he praised.
“Oh I can’t see the float” replied Neil “I just count to ten and strike”
Peter shook his head and went over to see Wise Owl. He was amazed to see Wisey shooting number 1 shot at a bean tin, on a bank stick in the next peg, with a black widow catapult.
“What on earth are you doing” he asked
“Practicing feeding single pellets in case it gets hard” said Wisey innocently.
Peter walked away; again shaking his head. On arriving at Breacs peg he was surprised to see that he was not fishing but staring at the Island facing him.
“What’s up mate” he asked
“Just admiring the wildlife” said Breac dreamily
“It’s like being a primary school teacher” said Peter to Dave “one is shooting tin cans, one can’t see his float and one is bloody bird watching”
“It’ll be alright matey” said Dave optimistically and went back to reading the forum on his phone.
Peter stopped at Phoenixicus’s peg; he had 18 Cadence rod and reels set up and was heaving huge lumps out of the margins on pieces of cat meat, “This is the method mate” he exclaimed happily.
“Don’t you read the rules, you berk” he exclaimed “all kinds of meat are banned”
Phoenix looked crestfallen “I’ll have to try the pellet waggler then”
“We agreed on maggot on the pole” said Peter starting to get exasperated.
“I don’t use a pole” protested Phoenix “I am a pleasure angler; I don’t need a pole”.
Peter walked away dejectedly; the match was a fortnight away and his little army were just not good enough.............................................