Wigan P-P Sheffield United: Cruel, Cruel Summer

Snowman in summer

Every year, hundreds of snowmen melt. You can help stop this tragedy by building them with polystyrene instead. (c)Illarterate

I rose from my bed to the glorious summer sound of birds chirruping cheerfully in the chestnut trees. Stepping outside in just my boxer shorts, I plucked my morning milk from its usual spot by the step. “Ahh, warm semi-skimmed again! Hope this hasn’t curdled in the heat.”

After applying an inordinate amount of sun cream, I began my Saturday afternoon walk via the canal bank down to the DW Stadium. Shielding my eyes from the blinding sun, I fumbled around in my shorts pocket for a non-existent pair of shades. “Blast, must’ve left them on the windowsill.”

But it was too pleasant a day for me to care. The procession of punters in shorts and sandals brought back happy memories of days by the sea, of ice cream vendors and fairground attractions on Wigan Pier in the early ’90s. Of last-day-of-the-season promotion parties and comfortably humid open top bus parades.

However, on wiping the sweaty haze from my eyes, it became apparent that these ‘beach goers’ clutching Irn Bru cans were in fact Owen Coyle impersonators. This was Boxing Day, and they were here for the traditional fancy dress parade. Needless to say, I was taken aback.

“B-B-Boxing Day? Aggh, we have to stay in the playoff places for four whole months yet!”

Wait, it gets better.

Then, out of nowhere, the flutter of scattering swans as a pink Hummer limousine sailed along the canal in a Yellow Duckmarine. Visibly delighted, the Owen Coyles proceeded to don their birthday suits, dive right in and demonstrate their very impressive synchronised swimming technique… while chanting a song about Dunkin’ Donuts.

And the endless chorus of Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody blaring from the limo speakers? Well, that was actually my alarm clock, which is set to play WISH FM at precisely 9:58am. The next thing I remember is sitting bolt upright in my pyjama pants with the dog licking my toes.

On hearing the newsreader confirm that Latics vs Sheffield United had been postponed due to flooding, I immediately decided that it would be more appropriate to write about my dream than events down at Robin Park.

…Unless you want to hear how I fared in my fancy dress competition? Oh, you do?

There was one upside to today’s Wigan International Pool-esque conditions: at least I didn’t look like a plank in my swimming costume – in fact it won me first prize in a certain fancy dress parade. The reward? A one way bus ticket to Fleetwood for Bank Holiday Monday! Brilliant, see you on the beach there.

Second (first?) opinion

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