Once upon a time in the good old days when the streets were paved with gold and the rivers ran with honey, we lived somewhere very posh indeed.
It was so posh that the police would call round, just to check that all was well in the magic kingdom. They would roll up in a white van that had DOGS writ large on the side. In they would come to warm their brains by the fire, passing the time of day and supping a hot cup of tea or something stronger. They were always made very welcome, it’s wise to keep on the right side of the law..one never knew when one might need the local constabulary…
One night they were needed, pronto. A burglary on the premises, not grim enough to grace Crimewatch, but a burglary never the less; my mother’s navy blue leather shoulder bag, from the kitchen table, at tea time, we all heard nothing.
George and the white van tore up the drive. He was ready to impress. We all stood and waited whilst he opened the back of his white van and clipped a lead onto a German Shepherd the size of a pony. Smiling at us in a wait and see what happens next sort of way George bent down to the dog’s huge head and whispered ‘SCOUSERS’.
The dog lost the plot. It was literally barking mad. Bouncing and growling and foaming like a Tasmanian Devil.
George laughed and bent down again, ‘SCOUSERS GO FIND THEM’. ‘SCOUSERS, SCOUSERS’.
Yelping and pulling and heaving, the dog pulled George across the garden in the direction of the unfortunate burglar.
We stood silently, and my parents, both born in the shadow of the Liver Buildings looked at each other utterly lost for something to say. Which was certainly a first for my dad.
Why this amble?
Well tonight is the Merseyside derby. Everton v Liverpool.
The outcome is a tricky one for Everton supporters. If they win it means Manchester United will probably win the League.
If they lose, it means that Liverpool will probably win the League. Both results heresy for the Everton fan.
What a dilemma. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Looks like a 0 – 0 draw then?
My entire family, including those 2nd cousins twice removed have Royal Blue blood. And this is the point, their identity, their makeup, red or blue, Catholic or Proddy stems from an almost tribal instinct. Step off the potato boat and join a clan, adopt a flag.
Choose your religion.
Your way of life. And once in the clan, there’s no escape. No amount of de-construction, or re-construction can ever erase those tattooed innards.
My parents knew that, it’s just a good job the dog didn’t.