Its been a while since I updated my ‘Walk in the Park’ story. I hope you haven’t given up on me. I love this chapter. I remember the evening well. I miss those days. Enjoy!
I lay for a while, several thoughts going through my head. Eventually I relaxed and happy thoughts took over. I remembered one of the World Cup games we had watched a couple of weeks ago at an Army Social event. I laughed out loud as I remembered the events of the evening. Whilst in Germany we were attached to a Scottish regiment. We had friends in the Royal Army Pay Corps who weren’t Scottish, but not many. The Scots loved their football. On June 18th 1982 Scotland played Brazil in their qualifying round of the world cup. I think this whole social evening was planned so the men could watch the Scotland v. Brazil game in the bar, and the ladies could sit and chat and drink, and leave the men alone. Those people who had kid, got babysitters, and enjoyed an evening out. In theory, it was a very good idea. Personally, I would have much rather been watching the football than chatting with the ladies, but I had to try to fit in with this social network that the army encouraged. I was having fun however, as the little group of ladies were good company. Football came first and foremost for Les as he had played all of his life. He was pretty darn good too! Everyone wanted him to play for them. Local teams, military teams, he played two or three times a week (hence the injured knee).
Les was watching this game with his Scottish friends and fellow soldiers, who also loved football. Even those who didn’t actually play the game had the same passion. Football ruled in Europe. Most red-blooded men lived and breathed football. In fact most women were huge fans too. Why wouldn’t you be? It was football, if you were still breathing, you loved the game. Les and his friend Graham were watching this game hoping that Brazil won. Brazil had talent and style, not to mention some of the best players in the world. This was not a wise move when you are in the company of a bunch of drunken Scotsmen.
I can’t remember the order in which the goals came that night, or whether Scotland or Brazil scored first. The highlight of the night was when the Les and Graham cheered as Oscar scored the second goal for Brazil. None of us ladies heard them cheer because we were chatting and giggling, the way only ladies can after several cocktails. We didn’t know what was going on when Les and Graham sprinted past us, running for their lives and disappeared out of the door at the other end of the room, followed by a dozen or so drunken Scotsmen, who were as mad as hell because someone had the NERVE to cheer for a Brazilian Goal against Scotland. The second Brazilian goal no less! The words coming out of the mouths of the angry mob were indistinguishable and guttural grunts rather than the English (or should I say Scottish) language. To us ladies it really was funny, and to me even funnier because I wanted Brazil to win too. Of course, if Brazil did win that game Scotland would leave Spain and they would no longer be contenders for the World Cup.
We sat there laughing and wondering what would happen next, when the door opened and the angry mob returned red-faced and a little disheveled. They may have chased the two disrespectful black men for longer, but they didn’t want to miss anymore of the game. If Scotland scored, they wanted to be there to see it. It was harmless fun really, grown men playing games. Les and Graham sheepishly came back a couple of minutes behind them, and went back to watching the game.
We heard lot more good-natured Scottish threats about what would happen if they “did no keep their mouths’ shut”, but the rest of the night passed without incident. Les was very gracious when the game finished and Brazil won 4-1. He didn’t gloat until we got into our little car and drove home, and then we laughed about it all the way home. “I really thought they were going to hurt me”, he said. A drunken Scotsman could be a dangerous thing, especially where football was involved. I laughed and told him it was a good job he was so tall or he could have been the recipient of the famous ‘Glasgow handshake’ at the end of the night. For those of you who don’t know, a Glasgow handshake is when someone head butts you!!! Good times!