Here I’m always writing about the French. What can I say? I hang out with them more than my own wife (almost), but it has been one hell of a month for the English. First, Manchester City came from behind for one of the best victories I’ve seen in the Premiership in quite some time. How could QPR throw that game away? And then you had another come from behind game in the Champion’s League. I’ve got to hand it to Chelsea on a game wonderfully played. And what else have we got from old Albion? Well, there’s me. I’ve got a great grandmother on my dad’s side which means that the English were being screwed by the Germans long before football was as popular as it is today. Take your time in getting your revenge Chelsea. Then needless to say, aside from my great grandma being in the sack with a German, my first English influence had to be the music. My mom grew up in the fifties and sixties. She was no hippie by any means so that meant she was a huge Beatles fan. I grew up listening to them on our old Chevy Monza’s 8-track player. Next up was the Rolling Stones, and then, my favorite which I bought when I was nine years old; Led Zeppelin. Now sure, maybe Robert Plant cribbed a number of his lyrics from songs from the American South, but how can you not love John Bonham, let alone Ringo or Charlie Watts? I listened to Led Zeppelin II for more times than I can count, and I still get flashbacks to delivering the newspaper as a kid when a song off that album comes on. I knew next to nothing about the country, like who this Thatcher lady was, but I could rattle off Zeppelin band member bios like I was talking about my own family. The next thing I learned about this mysterious land to the east was they liked their tea, or taxing the tea they sold, and we, their colonial subjects to the west, didn’t like that so we threw them out of our country, giving them their first taste of American street justice. Funny how I learned words. Fast forward the tape twenty years and I’m in a taxi in Hull going to my now wife’s dorm room. I lean in to try to catch what the cabbie is saying to me only to learn after an agonizing eternity that he’s trying to tell me that they drink their Guinness with black currant up in those parts. Jump another ten years into the future and you’ll find me with this dude from Manchester; the only person who comes close to the French in terms of who occupies the most of my time. I’ll forgive him for being a red because he’s taken enough piss on that game. And like that, he’ll be gone. Be good my fat friend. I’ll miss ya.
By Tim Hoerle