Last Friday afternoon, in the studios of little-known over-50s radio station BBC Radio Lincolnshire, local bronze Sony Award winning DJ Scott Dalton had been reduced to drumming his fingers on a desk while staring forlornly at the unblinking lights of a dead switchboard.
At a time when the bronze Sony Award winning Dalton would normally have been heard playing Wilson Pickett’s Midnight Hour to a handful of elderly listeners in-between fielding calls and tweets from irate Boston United supporters disgusted that Jason Lee looked slightly passive during a narrow 1-0 defeat to a side with five times his budget, the ex-United programme contributor, and bronze Sony Award winner, was instead to be found half-heartedly flicking through the Daily Mail, or in the break room trying to dislodge a stuck Lion Bar from the vending machine.
The reason? United’s impressive start to the 2012/2013 campaign.
After a strong pre-season and two sterling performances in the opening two Conference North matches – the second of which was a 6-0 shellacking of Histon – United’s famously accommodating and patient fans had been left in the highly unusual, and uncomfortable, position of having absolutely nothing to moan about whatsoever.
Online forums and messageboards, normally the haunt of unhinged nutbags going batshit mental about the colour of Boston’s socks, were left devoid of comment as United’s season, for the whingers, started in the worst way imaginable: a 100% record after two games. And absolutely no-one had any reason to phone up BBC Radio Lincolnshire to complain that Ben Fairclough was a sack of shit.
Important Boston United fan Bob Mugfret-Fishhead, ex-chairman of the now defunct Independent Pilgrims’s’s Supporter’ss’s’s Association, believed the club was on the brink of a disastrous run of good form that would have left the terraces of York Street bereft of nasal whining, moaning and griping – and ruined what many believe is one of the last remaining authentic match-day atmospheres in the country.
“We had to put up with the nauseating success of our Olympians for what seemed like bloody years,” Mugfret-Fishhead told impsTALK. “Gold medal this, record breaking that. I thought that when Boston’s season got underway I’d be able to get back to doing what I do best: moaning like a bastard.”
No such luck.
“First we won the initial away game,” the important fan continued, while penning a letter to local amateur fanzine, the Boston Standard. “Then when we absolutely pillocked Histon 6-0, I thought to myself: ‘This is intolerable’. I want my club back.
“And it wasn’t just me. Baz down at The Ship walked out when Boston went 4-0 up against Histon. Tore up his season ticket and said he’d not be back until United started losing.”
“Not since the days of Tommy Taylor have I enjoyed not enjoying being a Boston United fan as much as I enjoy the fact I don’t enjoy it now” – Bob Mugfret-Fishhead, United fan, on the good times finally returning after two games
‘Baz’ didn’t have to wait long, as now, thanks to two successive defeats that now mean it is now literally impossible for the Pilgrims to finish any higher than 17th in the table, the club’s fortunes have taken a turn for the catastrophic, leaving many United fans in a state of near-euphoric delight.
“tipical pulgrims ffs!” thundered Alfie_1998, delighted that his side had returned to form, having earlier slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Bishop Stortford.
“OMG WE WAS TERIBLE!” squealed an ecstatic @G_787. “LUCKY TOO FINISH TOP TEN AT THIS RATE!”
“Pathetic!!” shouted Bobby Shattocks on Facebook, relieved that the best part of the football season – complaining as if your pissing life depended on it – had finally arrived.
And with United set to face other football teams with players in the next few weeks, lucky United fans can look forward to another spell of mediocre form and embarrassing home defeats against sides who really do play their home games in a garden shed. The message is clear: the good times are just around the corner.
“I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Boston United are back to what they do best – being profoundly crap,” a visibly relieved Mugfret-Fishhead said. “Not since the days of Tommy Taylor have I enjoyed not enjoying being a Boston United fan as much as I enjoy the fact I don’t enjoy it now. Or do I mean I do enjoy it? I’m not sure. Either way – it’s good to be back online, venting my spleen at relatively trivial events that, in the grand scheme of things, and in the context of the club’s remarkable survival after the disastrous reign of Lavaflow, means precisely fuck all squared.”
“Boooo,” Mugfret-Fishead added. “Lee out!”
Meanwhile, at York Street itself, club officials were to be found scurrying around, performing their duties under large banners emblazoned with chairman David Newton’s image and mantra: “DO IT RIGHT”.
Newton himself was to be found watching vice-chairman Neil Kempster measuring the length of every blade of York Street’s pitch with a ruler in order to ensure the cutting blade of the lawn-mower was set correctly. When asked about the concerns of United fans worrying about the club’s ambition not to be an absolute cocking omnishambles, Newton was unrepentant.
“I sympathise with the fans to a certain extent,” he said, shaking his head. “After decades of heartbreak followed by a spell of fake good fortune that very nearly ruined the club, they are too comfortable with consistent mediocrity to abandon it now. A bit like Neil’s comfortable with not having the big car parking space, or having Nescafe instead of the lattes I – as chairman – am privileged to enjoy.
“I’m sure that some people would see being shit but happy as some kind of achievement. Not under my watch, sunshine. But, having said all that – Neil, you’ve missed a blade – one thing is for sure: we need a new ground.”
Follow United’s catastrophic and morale-sapping 1-0 win over Workington this Saturday online on Twitter with @StandardDuncan or @ScottyDalton or @BostonUnited or @MarcWhiley or watch it with your eyes and hear it with your sound holes by actually paying MONEY and ATTENDING THE GAME IN PERSON. Something impsTALK hasn’t done in over a year.