Friday, April 11, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Invisible Touch

Mirth and Woe: The Hot Bag II - Invisible Touch

Any excuseWembley. Venue of Legends. Home of the Famous River of Piss. Graveyard of English sporting hopes.

And latterly, scene of My Bottom Shame.

I've done some great things at Wembley. I've attended some great concerts, took part in a genuine football riot and, of course, scored a hat-trick on the famous hallowed turf.

I've also done some pretty rubbish things there, too.

For a start, I paid genuine cash money to see Genesis.

Phil Collins Invisible Touch Gor-Blimey-I'm-A-Right-Old-Geezer-Me Genesis.

Separated from friends, I found myself drawn to other musical refugees, disappointed first by the support (Paul Young) and secondly by the main act, whereby the unbelievably chirpy Phil Collins spent much of his between-song banter sucking up to Princess Diana in the Royal Box.

I'll let you take hold of that mental image for a short while, taking it down alleyways and darkened underpasses of your mind, leaving you feeling cheapened and slightly aroused. I, like those around me, surrounded as we were by the smug Italian-knit, designer label-wearing mid-eighties young urban professional set, knew we had made a terrible mistake, and resigned ourselves to a jukebox of Phil's Greatest Hits, slinking off home before the encores.

"Lads," I ventured between aural molestations, "Shit."

"Yeah, it is, innit?"

"No. Need one."


Poisoned by a killer hotdog, sold to me by a CMOT Dibbler lookalike in the streets leading to the stadium ("Guaranteed to come from at least one named animal"), I found myself in dire need for relief, but too far from the Wembley toilets and the infamous Wembley River of Piss to get there in time.

In the words of the respected international movement of the Round Table: Adopt, Adapt, Improve.

We grabbed a plastic bag, and with my new-found friends forming an outward-facing circle around me while I went about my grim task as if I were merely cutting off a length in my own shed, as any grown man would.

Usually, when you go to the toilet at a festival, you wee into a plastic coke bottle, and throw it as far as you can, in the hope of completely ruining somebody's day with a shower of yellow rain.

This is wrong, and I would never do such a thing. Particularly not in a crowd full of rugby-playing public school types, even if they are wearing pink pringle sweaters tied around their necks, laughing at all of Phil's awful jokes and goosing the bottom of their unfeasibly attractive blonde girlfriends. Bastards.

I had in my possession, then, a diligently-tied Waitrose carrier bag filled with semi-solids.

I could not bring myself to throw it, as I was too far from a) Phil Collins or b) Princess Diana to make any difference. And for shame, having scored a direct hit on either might have changed British history for the better.

Instead, I decided to place it somewhere safe and out of the way. Somewhere safe where it might be cleared away later by some poor sap on two quid an hour.

Standing next to our little gaggle of bored concert-goers was one particularly obnoxious, braying couple. Wearing matching designer outfits with matching Genesis tour t-shirts and jackets, they were conspicuous consumption personified, going as far as having a little patch of the Wembley turf all to themselves as picnic area and jealously-guarded personal space.

They wouldn't, I thought, notice just one more bag – from a respectable retailer as well – amongst their assorted folding chairs, picnic rug and expensive concert souvenirs. So, I gave them another souvenir of their day trip to North West London. An official Wembley Stadium Hot Bag, squeezed out on the Hallowed Turf.

Live Aid. The White Horse Final. The Summer of '66. And now: The Duck's Turd.

My only regret was not being around when they finally got it home:

Scene: A converted warehouse in East London's Docklands. Formerly storage space for raw marmite and nuclear waste, the £2,000 per month rent is now paid by Jeremy and Jemima, who both work in the City selling pork belly futures with a sideline in kicking Big Issue vendors

Jeremy: I say, that was a wonderful evening, wasn't it?

Jemima: Phil Collins AND Princess Diana. Heavenly!

Jeremy: And over four hundred pounds on concert souvenirs. Just wait until somebody invents eBay! I'm so bloody rich, I could have bought the entire stock, and still had change left over to have some poor people beaten up. Oh look! Here's one more bag for you

Jemima: Oh, darling, you shouldn't have

Jeremy: Shouldn't have what, honeybuns?

Jemima: It's lovely. Official Genesis Invisible Touch Tour turds. It's... so... so... you

Jeremy: I try my hardest. Shall we go out and kick some poor people now?

Jemima: Not tonight, dear. It's your turn for the strap-on

Jeremy: YOINKS!
Or, in reality:

Hot bagging. The gift that keeps on giving.

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