I have E-mailed this to the local football teams fanzine and it was accepted. Third piece of Graham and Norms travels. Enjoy.
Graham shuffles over to the window seat and puts his rucksack on the aisle seat. He takes off the beret and white gloves he’s wearing and reaches into the bag. He brings out a small bottle and a wad of cotton wool his wife had given him, before he left the house that morning. He unscrews the bottle and using the cotton wool he begins to clean off the white paint from his face.
As he creates pink streaks down his face he thinks maybe Norm’s suggestion for the Bury fancy dress wasn’t one of his better ideas.
After ten minutes frantic wiping he puts the cleanser away, pulls out his mobile and begins a text.
‘WE ARE GOING UP, SAY WE ARE GOING UP.’
He grins as he pushes the send button.
Graham rummages through his bag for the match day programme and absently flicks through it, waiting for his mobile to vibrate. There’s no response and he tuts before texting,
‘Hello Norm, hope everything went well with the op. You missed a cracking game. Could have been more than 3.’
Half listening to the raucous singing coming from the back of the coach, Graham watches the passing scenery, waiting for the answering text from Norm, but the phone remains silent.
Graham tuts again as he checks the phone is on and then begins to compose his third message. He grins to himself as he sends,
‘Thought they were removing your tonsils not your fingers.’
After ten minutes of program reading and no answer, he picks up the phone to send a match report to Norm.
‘Lively start with good chances by both sides until big Dave penalized for hand ball (not sure). Lowe scored the penalty.’
Not being the most competent of texters, Graham decides to send his summary in chunks. He sends the first instalment and begins the next.
‘Ainsworth scored the equalizer with his head from a beautiful cross from Stuart Lewis. End to end stuff until half time.’
Graham finishes and still no news from Norm. He stabs the send button with his index finger, muttering,
Even with his disappointment at Norm’s silence he continues to text,
‘First ten minutes of the second half very tense. Lowe and Sweeney going close for Bury. Then a cracking cross from Gary missed by Rendell but bundled in by Strevens. ’
Graham waves his phone around, checking the signal strength. He turns it off and on and then sends,
‘Nikki Bull a hero again saving a header from Lowe. Bury encamped in our half for what seemed an age, but we soaked up the pressure.’
Not pausing for any response he continues with,
‘Waddock changed things by bringing on Matty and taking off Gary. Nervy stuff, but we kept cool. Strevens scored a scrambled goal in the last two minutes.’
The phone remains silent, so Graham takes a thermos out of his bag and pours himself a lukewarm cup of tea.
The drink finished he continues his account to Norm.
‘The place went wild when Ben scored. The noise from us went through the roof.’
He reads the screen and with a smile he decides to add.
‘WE ARE GOING UP. SAY WE ARE GOING UP.’
Graham has one more text to send to Norm.
‘Sorry mate your idea of Marcel Marceau for fancy dress was rubbish. All the lads thought I was Casper the Friendly Ghost!!! All the best mate. Hope you’re out of hospital soon.’
With his stop coming up, Graham gets up and makes his way to the front of the coach, saying cheerio to the faces he knows. He’s stopped by one of the young lads near the front and he recognizes him as one of Norm’s nephews.
“Oh Graham, sorry I meant to come and tell you, Uncle Norm ran out of credit during the game, texting me the Shrewsbury scores. Hope that’s alright?”
“No problem, it’s nice to have quiet trip back without his continuous chat,” Graham chuckles as he gets off the coach.