"My father was a miner. He worked down a mine."
Hip, hip, hooray. Man City are back in the premiership, where they belong. It's not that I care a tinker's cuss for the reprise of the Manchester derby or seeing another alleged "sleeping giant" back from the grave. It's simply the inevitable slide back into jobbing insanity of their mercurial manager, Kevin Keegan, that this promotion will inevitably usher in that I wish to see.
The top flight hasn't been the same with the present array of desperately compos mentis incumbents. The sooner Keegan gets back to the cut and thrust of the game at the highest level, the better for us all. I'd give it a couple of weeks before any significant fissures in his grasp on good sense begin to appear - in front of the cameras at any rate.
Fortunately, I've come across some research from the football unit of Liverpool University that purports to map Keegan's state of mind with unerring accuracy. The boffins, it seems, have discovered an algorithm that can replicate the man's alpha wave state. A set of empirical data based on Kevin's movements, utterances, etc are fed into an Excel spreadsheet, and before you can say "Christie done it", a co-efficient of Kevin's sanity is generated. This figure is then plotted against an exponential graph of acceptable, social behaviour, and, viola, all is revealed.
As I say, there's not much doing at the moment. Kevin took the wife to Spain last week. Mrs Keegan spent the majority of the trip shopping while he took the opportunity to get in a couple of rounds of golf. His short game though deserted him, which caused some consternation; hence, this week's result, which is surprising high given it's virtually the closed season:
"A discomforture co-efficient of 14 would be comparable to the anguish felt by an poorly coordinated, adolescent boy. Low level flushing of the face and neck is sometimes associated with agitation of this magnitude, and can easily be confused with beer-sweats. There would be no audible mumbling though, and treatment is not advised."
Barry Grayson, Regis Professor of Unease, Liverpool University
And just when things were going so well. Kevin and wife returned from their brief sojourn in Spain bronzed and rested. Kevin was in such fine fettle towards the end of the stay in fact that Mrs Keegan was able to tempt him into the town that neighbours their timeshare villa in order to buy a couple of short-sleeve, easy-iron shirts that she'd seen in a sale.
Two days after their return, however, Kevin received a 'phone call at home. The caller asked to speak to "Ian". Keegan told him there was no "Ian" at this number. The caller concluded that he must have misdialled; he then apologized and hung-up. Kevin is convinced the hoax caller was Sir Alex Ferguson, and no amount of persuasion from Mrs Keegan could reassure him that it was a genuine error, and not the Manchester United supremo fucking with his head; hence this week's alarming result.
"Disquiet of this order has significant implications for the patient's long term well-being, and indeed liberty. One would expect higher brain function to lessen to a residual level as the focus of consciousness is given over to the perceived agitant, causing the subject to lose objective perception of mores and social conventions learned in early adulthood. Audible public farting would not be uncommon as a consequence. Symptoms, however, generally respond well to appropriate drug therapy. A prescription of paracetamol and codeine phosphate would be indicated - 500mg daily, increasing as required."
Dr Lazlo Rats, Mentalistkaput Universität, Munich.
Leeds Utd 4
Manchester City 0
The figures speak volumes really. Hopes, I'm sure, were sky high, and on paper, the sides were well matched. But football, as Kevin knows, is not played on paper. City made what saloon bar, soccer pundits refer to as "an utter nause" of their debut.