I mean, if you were to ask me about the Poles I would instantly think of that lady's description of Lord Byron as "mad, bad and dangerous to know", also, crazy, incredible courage would spring to mind; but clowning - prat falls, custard pies in the face, buckets of water down the pants, that sort of clowning - never! Well, yet again I have been proven wrong. Last night at their brand new, multi-zillion, state-of-the-art 'footie' stadium they put on the funniest show since Morcombe and Wise last performed.
I expect that, like me, you were all settled down comfortably in your favourite armchair or sofa with your feet resting up on several packs of lager, the missus either safely tucked away in the kitchen with orders for bacon butties at half-time, or, tucked up in bed, warming herself up on Fifty Shades of Filth (or whatever that book is called) so as to be ready for her conquering hero as he dances up the stairs, triumphant after thrashing the Poles at least 5-0. Instead, we had rain. And I mean RAIN! It didn't just rain, nor did it just pour, it positively cascaded and it did so for hour after hour after hour.
And, of course, in this new high-tech stadium - someone forgot to shut the roof! As a lover of TCCs (Truly Colossal Cock-ups) I was emitting high-pitched whinnies of pleasure which were almost louder than the Memsahib's upstairs with her dirty book! On the screen there appeared one typically British fan with a finely-tuned sense of irony who stood on the terraces soaked to the skin, trying to avoid being swept away by the torrents of rain water - with a knotted handkerchief on his head! By now my carpet, upon which I had landed several minutes before, was beginning to feel rather damp because of my tears of laughter. Then, with exquisite timing, known only to the very finest comedians in the world, the Poles sent out the referee wearing, goggles, flippers and a 'Mae West' - if you don't know what a 'Mae West' is - grow up or get old, one or the other! Just for a moment I thought that I was the victim of a time warp and that somehow I had been sent back in time to the summer Olympics when various nutters athletes seemed to be trying to paddle their canoes upstream instead of down, for reasons I never did quite fathom.
Anyway, our brave and funny ref started with a slow breast-stroke as he crossed the pitch to the centre. As a bit of an expert on swimming - er, have I told you that ... oh, right - anyway, I admired his style which was somewhat hampered by him carrying a football. I thought he was going to entertain the crowd with a few tricks, you know, like those dolphins that balance balls on their noses so that the keepers throw them fish as a reward - although I dread to think what the average fan would throw at any ref! Anyway, what he actually did was to throw the ball around in the vain hope that it might bounce - well, at that point my carpet was as soaked as the pitch and the neighbours were banging on the walls because my howls of laughter had become exceedingly high-pitched. Of course, I had realised that what he was actually doing was testing to see whether it was possible to play footie on that pitch at which I became well and truly hysterical. I was then sent into extra convulsions when a Polish lady official explained with precise, patient English - and a dead straight face - that they could not close the stadium roof because it was raining! Oh, how I howled! Then, when I didn't think I could take any more, they announced that they would re-check the pitch in an hour! By this time the water was so deep it was subject tidal forces! The Memsahib insisted I go to bed because she didn't think my heart could take the strain of so much laughing, and anyway, the cat was threatening to leave home (so not all bad, then, I thought!)
Well, the match is going to be replayed this afternoon but I just know those crazy Poles will have thought of something else - ten foot of snow, perhaps?