It's been a very troubling week. I've been watching "The Missing" on BBC1. I probably shouldn't. I don't really understand it but I still find it quite frightening. It seems to focus on a young girl who has terrible problems with her make up but there is also a hint that she may not be what she appears or who she seems. Disturbingly it has caused me to reassess some of the chums. I hope I'm not being paranoid.
Take Josh for example. He arrived at the start of the season - a fresh faced and apparently normal, rather personable, young man. He came to Hawks from Wimbledon and is preparing to go to University. That's Wimbledon on the planet Zarg as I now believe not Wimbledon , West London, England as I first thought.
Why do I say that? Well firstly I recently had occasion to speak to the lady who runs the kitchen at Hawks. She told me of a conversation she had with Josh at the 2's first home League game. Not knowing who he was she asked who he had played for that day (solely to establish his entitlement or otherwise to a delicious plate of baked potato, coleslaw and beans or whatever other exotic fare was on offer that day). He responded without hesitation "Wimbledon" despite having played for Hawks throughout the entire pre season, actually being in the Hawks clubhouse when the conversation took place and having been working in Oxford for several weeks. Don't you think that's a bit spooky - although I accept probably not sufficient in itself to establish that he is, as I suspect, an alien.
Then there was the extraordinary episode at the chums next home game when he arrived late (familiar to readers of this column and well documented in the match report "Josh goes AWOL"). His explanation for his tardy arrival left many questions unanswered and gave the impression that he has real difficulties with time.( It is of course reliably recorded that in many other solar systems, where there is intelligent life, time itself is an entirely unknown concept. Not many people know that. - Ed).
And then last week one of the team shirts went missing. On Tuesday I received an Email from Josh. He sort of confessed saying he "had found the shirt in his wash." - an admission that again left many questions unanswered. I realised immediately that with clocks going back at the weekend this must be a very confusing period for those who are not of this planet.
Thus before our match on Saturday the chums held a disciplinary hearing. Josh was extensively (and I may say expertly) cross examined. He was on any view evasive and confused in his answers and quite unable to deal with simple questions. He could not provide any explanation as to how the shirt had got from BRN to his home and from his bag into the wash without him noticing it until he found it in the wash itself. He was a less than impressive witness in his own defence.( Again the capacity to deal with simple questions or follow simple concepts is also a well documented failing of those from other worlds. Not many people know that. Ed.)
Josh's behaviour raised real concerns on my part and has caused me to review events over the past few weeks in a new light. I believe we have every reason to be very concerned that the team is the target of, and has already been infiltrated by, beings who simply(that word again) are not what they seem.
Consider Wardy. He presents as an internet entrepreneur. Apparently he is developing a media interface application with lots of platforms (whatever that means) and he is going to be/has been very successful. Does anyone really believe that ? Have you seen the way he behaves ? If that is right I am mad King George and you only have to read this carefully argued and constructed piece to know there is nothing amiss with me mentally.
The reality is that Wardy turns up to every home game with his carer - a 3 year old girl. This week he also had an older gentleman with him who suddenly materialised in the clubhouse and equally suddenly disappeared. Wardy says he was his father in law - I just don't believe it.
Then there was the unresolved and very odd mystery of the player formerly known as Charlie Firth. Dunners tells me he has now disappeared altogether. "Curiouser and curiouser" said Alice. "There's a shock" say I.
And finally there is Stotty. Need I say more?
This infiltration may not be restricted to the 2's. Our beloved club captain has recently disappeared without warning. Does anyone buy the cock and bull story that he has been specially hired to sort out a rat infestation in a posh hotel in Marrakesh. What a load of baloney. I fear we shall in due course discover there may be a much more sinister explanation for his disappearance. First Tim Spittles then Charlie Firth - who's next?
Which brings me onto the chums game against Wallingford and another failure to implement the game plan for more than 30 minutes - now a regular feature of 2's games. And why? Because the chums don't have the mental capacity to follow simple concepts. That can be the only credible explanation. And why is that? Because we have too many aliens in the team.
The 2's have a simple game plan. It is to play simple hockey. What is simple hockey? Hockey that is straightforward, eliminates risks, doesn't take the ball into contact and produces a positive outcome. Why is that difficult ? It isn't, it's not difficult, it's simple which is the opposite of difficult. It's not hard. Got it? .
In the first half the 2's played simple hockey. It was a delight. Wallingford were outplayed. Matt Janes - on fire - scored twice. The pretend entrepreneur known as Wardy scored a fantastic individual goal and at half time the chums were coasting at 3-0. Everyone, including those from elsewhere in our solar system and beyond agreed it was working but, sadly, alien forces were at work. And now I know that has been the problem ever since Josh (is that even his real name - or is he someone else entirely) arrived.
So in the second half the chums started playing difficult hockey and scored no more goals until the final five minutes. Then without warning Murch passed simply to Robson who passed simply to Stotty who made a not difficult pass to Sobes who passed simply to Lamby who passed simply to Dom who passed simply to Jack who made a simple pass to MJ who simply couldn't miss and completed his hat trick. Significantly no one on the Wallingford side touched the ball and neither did Josh. Simple really - why the hell can't the chums do that for 70 minutes.
However 4-0 is 4-0 - job done.
Man of the Match - MJ
Dick of the Day - Josh - (he also got a green card).
Paddy and Wardy's Wine of the Week - Altos de la Guardia - Rioja Reserva - 2005 - aged in oak barrels it has a fine fruit nose, a deep spicy bramble flavour overlaid with boot polish and a long satisfying finish. Awesome.