With Easter eggs cracking open around Predictorship land it must be spring… and with the spring comes Wendy.
The clockâ€™s ticking and alarm bells are ringing as places are keenly battled in the last few weeks of the season with 36 of the 42 players predicting, 220 points scored in total and a weekly average of 6.11. And nobodyâ€™s flying higher than Wendy Nathan and Peter Yoder. Wendy, wearing her winceyette nightie in style, soars gracefully into 11th place (her â€˜loftiestâ€™ position to date) with 10 points matched only by the elegantly-turned green hosiery of Pete who tucks in behind her in 12th place for a quick peak of her M&S lingerie.
Down in the Predictorship swamps below, Mark Youngâ€™s patchy vision is focused on mischief. Dropping another place this week, two places below tu-tued cup semi-finalist the Moonerazzi and with no silverware in prospect, thereâ€™s no fairy dust been sprinkled near the belligerent Baggie recently and, with nothing to lose, the curly haired rogue’s sure to be hatching a plan.
Stevie-John Dunlop-Darling picks up an umbrella that has mysteriously been left in the bedroom and adjusts his top hat to a rakish angle. Stevieâ€™s feeling on top of the World, sitting precariously at the top of the table for yet another week, and celebrates by taking a quick swoop around the rooftops of Church Langley with Joe-Michael Roberts-Darling. The young rookieâ€™s buoyant and bobbing about with success on a seasonal high of 3rd place in Week 34 and now only 7 points behind the titfered Benfica man.
â€˜What a scorcher on Thursday night between Benfica and Liverpool, I hope you were watching!
Shame that we couldn’t have grabbed a third goal to take to Anfield, but even so I’m feeling confident, I think we are the better team and capable of scoring away as we showed in Marseille.
Difficult bunch of fixtures this weekend back in Premiershipland and rich pickings for Norma no mates in my view…â€™
Muses Stevie as he lands gingerly on the window sill, careful not to disturb the Chairman and his 4th-placed wife and Cup semi-finalist, Janet Roberts snoring in the room below.
â€˜He may be right in his assertion that Benfica are a better team than Liverpool, but he should be quaking in his boots at the thought of meeting Fulham!â€™
mumbles a voice in the shadows. Stevie looks around curiously but realises it must just have been the wind as Joe breaks through a nearby tree to land in a crumpled heap beside him and gazes up in happy reverence, still clutching his lucky bear, Norma.
Nevertheless, the Curious Statistic of the Week is that Top-of-the-table Stevie has exactly the same number of points as bottom of the tablers Normanetta no Mates and â€˜Lost boyâ€™ Rob Dimery (4 points each).
And Rob isnâ€™t the only â€˜Lost boyâ€™, Hope Arnold, Tom Roberts, Maziar Sattari, Roger Taylor and Nick Watson have also fallen out of their prams and failed to submit scores.
A stripy shirted figure shifts uncomfortably around a pile of silverware at the back of the wardrobe as another flurry of activity stirs the sleeping village.
Pete and Wendy limbo under the sash window carrying cartons of pukka pies, mushy peas and a little chopped beetroot for a midnight feast. As the children tuck into the tasty fare Wendy, Joe and Pete congratluate each other on their 3 correct scores: Wendy (Manchester United, Stoke & Birmingham), Joe (Bolton, Stoke & Fulham) and Pete (Bolton, Stoke & Birmingham).
But itâ€™s all too much for the plump figure in the wardrobe: tempted by the heady aroma and talk of glory 10th placed Matt White squeezes his way out and announces himself theatrically to the shocked picnickers:
â€˜Sâ€™mee!â€™ Matt makes a grand sweep with his arms, â€˜thought Iâ€™d come and congratulate you all in personâ€™. he lies unconvincingly and licks his lips at the sight of the puffy pastries. Unseen by the innocents below a hooked hand clings on to the top of the wobbling wardrobe.
â€˜… and not only that, Wendy. Youâ€™re only a Predictor of the Week as well.â€™ Matt spluttered between mouthfuls of pie. â€˜You, Gabe Bevilacqua and Gareth Jones all got the Man United, Chelsea result bang on. Cracking. Cracking.â€™
â€˜Hang on Matt. I can hear something.â€™ Pete interrupted. â€˜I can hear something ticking.â€™
And he was right. The harder they listened the louder the sound became.
Mark Young fell from the wardrobe and, with a wild look in his eyes, grabbed the umbrella to make before crashing out the door.