Penguins on Parade

… it started with a kiss. No sooner had Janet Roberts seen her husband’s transformation, her fate was already sealed. Fuelled with a passion we can only imagine, she lunged at her beloved’s borsch-stained lips and sealed her fate.

… and as in all good musicals at such a tender moment, the orchestra strikes up, the chorus enters stage left and the lovers begin to gyrate erratically around the boards. Passing the Joker ‘crown’ on to a star-crossed lover is obviously a queue for a big number and Chairman Roberts doesn’t disappoint. Twirling and swirling the lovely Janet, resplendent in her trademark green beehive, through the dry ice as his Nike’s swoosh energetically across the stage, there is hardly a dry eye in the house. A dance of champions as Janet rightly celebrates her 3 point Predictorship lead with a whopping 18 points.

It’s a well deserved night on the town for the assembled Predictorship audience with an average score of 8.55 this week, an amazing 66 correct scores and 13 players reaching double figures. There are a few who, of course, always go over the top on such occasions and others who let the side down.

Sliding between the penguin suits at the intermission, Ralph Hannah (hot foot from Paraguay) and Pete Yoder (hot foot from ‘Vegas) in unfashionably floral attire whisper conspiratorially as Ralph slips a few readies into Pete’s waiting palm. With scores of 9 and 7, could the boys be betting on the final placements already? Judging from the third member of their party, there could be something more sinister afoot. Mark Young, sporting a violet topper and bow tie in the manner of Burgess Meredith, is once again standing out from the crowd. Turning an attractive shade of puce as he sucks heavily on the Marlboro light in his cigarette holder, Mark appears to be pointing out the Predictorship Cup Chairman to his companions.

Matt Wayne, unaware of the discussion, is getting in a round for the week’s top scorers Steve Dunlop and Dave McAleer (both on 12 points). Unusually the conversation is one of regret with Steve, giddy with the Spanish sun, holding back from playing his Joker at the last minute and thereby loosing a potential 24 points. Matt nods sagely,

‘There’s nothing worse than living a life of regret, Steve.

Holy super leagues. If there’s one think I’ve learned in life. Go with your instincts. You never know what might be lurking around the corner.’

Steve and Dave look at Matt suspiciously but, the intermission bell has sounded and Matt is gone. ‘Maybe all those stats have finally sent him round the bend!’ suggests Dave as the work their way back to their seats.

‘He’s certainly been acting a bit strangely this season.’ agrees Steve, ‘Do you think it’s those Turkish sausages he’s been eating? He certainly seems to be disappearing a lot lately.’

The second act begins with moving solos from our ‘Predictors of the Week’ for the Blackburn 0 West Ham 0 score (watched incidentally by Millwall’s John Collins who nipped out at half time to watch some paint dry). Simon Gold (9th place with 9 points) begins with the old Bachman-Turner Overdrive number ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’ and Normanetta No Mates, transformed into Edith Piaf for the evening, brings the audience to it’s feet in a finale of ‘Rien de rien’.

Meanwhile, there’s a strange cloaked figure moving through the lighting rigs above the audience. Little do they realise, the evening and the Predictorship are a long way from being over.