Chris Butters surfs yet another point into the lead on the crest of a triumphant predictive wave (â€˜respect broâ€™) as confidence and egos grow in a flurry of activity across the table.
â€˜Leadershipâ€™ is the key word of the week and the chosen topic for the therapy session in the Ex-Presidentâ€™s suite. Gabe Bevilacqua, Steven Dunlop and Dave Taylor have been invited to talk on â€˜The Meaning of Successâ€™ after dusting the sand off their belly boards to claim an intellectual 10 points a-piece.
The mood is high with the average score for the week of 6.65 as the guest predictors take their seats ready for the session to begin.
Meanwhile, the nurses scan the audience, ever attentive for signs of trouble and concealed biros, and their eyes fix on a conversation being carried on animatedly in the corner. Simon Gold and Ronald Ray-gun (known to the group as the Cosmic Cowboy) are huddled together â€“ heads bowed conspiratorially: â€˜Why am I so rubbish at this?â€™, Simon is heard mumbling dejectedly and Ronnie begins to explain a secret weapon heâ€™s been developing to pick off the leaders one at a time. Ronnie is lead away.
Some would say leaders are borne and not made, and who could argue this week as five of last season’s top six are up there again? Only â€˜Predictorship Cup Chairmanâ€™ Matt White is still attending sessions in positive thinking â€“ â€˜the cream always rises to the top!â€™ chirps Matt enthusiastically to Richard Fixâ€™em who suggests a few electronic modifications to the table if talent fails to achieve Mattâ€™s goals. Shocking.
Back at the session, Predictor of the Week Dave Breese (Liverpool 1â€“1 Everton) accepts a warm hug and a handshake from Bill Clingon. â€˜Youâ€™ve got to feel for that Rafa guy, havenâ€™t you?â€™ Bill asks. â€˜maybe I should give him the name of my attorney. Iâ€™ve got a great attorney!â€™
The door opens and George W Shusssh pokes his head nervously around the architrave â€˜hey, you wonâ€™t guess who Iâ€™ve just seen coming in!â€™ whispers George.
The ex-Presidents shake their heads in unison.
â€˜Itâ€™s only Rambo. He only left last week and Iâ€™ve just seen them wheeling him in!â€™