One glance at this weeks table tells us that the odious rumours were true.
As the everyday folk of Church Langley chattered animatedly over their Friday night barbeques and the aroma of cremated sausages filled the air, smoke was rising from a darker place.
Nobody heard the grate of metal above the laughter as the sinewed figure heaved the manhole cover to one side and emerged, glistening onto the tarmac; his shock of green hair luminous in the harsh sodium light.
Janet Roberts was busy putting the finishing touches to her weekly scores when the door blew shut. â€˜David, is that you?â€™
There was no answer. Why did he never remember to put the latch on when he went out to the bins? Men!
She didnâ€™t hear the creak of the stairs as the figure made his way up to the door and by the time she had turned to see him, it was too late. The telltale beetroot stains smeared wildy around his mouth and up across his face told their own story. The Chairman had transformed and there was no turning back. The Joker had been played.
Rising up the table a mighty 29 places to 2nd the frenzy of excitement has turned the Chairman into a crazed man.
“Looking forward to seeing my yellow bar on the new table!” cackled Roberts to Matt Wayne, Predictorship Cup chairman, on his 14 point coup. It wasnâ€™t the first time Wayne had heard the sinister voice and he knew he had to act. And act fast.
Shadowy figures began appearing in Church Langley as the weekend unfolded: Nigel Birrrrrell arrived with an icy blast, freezing out the opposition with 12 points and rising to third place. Jill Taylor, joined the whispering huddle soon after, wrapping her tendrils around her co-conspirators and tightened her ivy-grip on the top of the table, watched, out of sight from the rooftops by â€˜Catâ€™ hryn Gregory, biding her time with 11 points and only one point behind.
But as the parents called their children inside away from the freakish gathering a roar could be heard echoing through the empty streets as the sleek black Tumbler thundered into the close. Matt stepped out, Teflon-coated and stood menacingly to confront the leering villains.
â€˜Holy supervillains!â€™ cried Matt as he spotted Mark Young in a top hat scurrying behind the council bins. â€˜Donâ€™t think you can take over this Predictorship with me looking after the good people of this competitionâ€™.
WHACK, BAMM, THWACK!
The Caped Crusader slugged the Chairman, sending him reeling into his Mini Cooper.
â€˜With an average score of 7.6, there are many worthy Predictors and I WILL see fair playâ€™.
SLAM, ZAP, BANG
Poison Ivy, Jill was launched into a particularly unpleasant rockery.
â€˜And, with only five players failing to record one correct score, the competition will be too hot for you!â€™ Matt shouted, glaring at the blue man in the shadows.
Nigel Birrell flies onto an open barbeque and starts to met uncontrollably.
â€˜I name the Predictors of the Week Steve Dunlop, Saleel Sathe and Nigel Birrell â€“ to show I believe in fair play for the Burnley Everton match, but Holy Predictorships â€“ if I catch you all together again, Iâ€™ll be flashing my red cards, and youâ€™ll all be sorry!â€™
So be warned Predictors out there. Play your jokers wisely and fairly or you may be getting a visit from the Black Knight.