On this day in 1883, the mighty Krakatoa volcano erupted, spewing a lethal jelly of hot earth juice and crispy moles across the uninhabited island of Krakatau.
At first, it was truly a spectacle to behold. Thrilled inhabitants of neighbouring islands gathered to witness the breathtaking light show, grabbing their 3D glasses and extra large packet of exotic Japanese Kit Kats for an evening of Pink Floyd-style entertainment.
But tragically, Old Krakky’s nose never did stop running. Further cataclysmic eruptions sent lethal chip shop gases floating downwind as far as Kerguelen, causing horrendous bubbling indigestion among the Antarctic island’s penguin population.
The moral of this wretched tale? Be careful how often you happy clap like a puffin mid-sugar rush, because someone is likely to catch you off guard and fart in your face.
Much like today.
By half time, Gary Caldwell’s ears were leaking a volcanic substance ten times more lethal than Krakatoa’s. QPR’s offside trap was wiping out attacks at the simple raise of hand, and a dishevelled Will Grigg (or perhaps just an impressionable linesman) was falling for it every single time.
When Craig Morgan’s header was also struck from the record at the waggle of a lino’s flaggle, things instantly became personal. Luke Garbutt, robbed of a richly deserved Championship assist, vowed revenge.
And payback was just 8 minutes of game time away. The problem for Latics was that hawkeyed ref Mr Chrissy Kavanagh had spotted Garbutt’s little shove on an unnamed member of the QPR playing staff. Well, he probably does have a name but we’ll have to check the video footage to pick him from the melee.
Worse still, this little exercise in vengeance would result in the type of goal that stings like a stubbed toe. You knew that Yucca plant pot was there – you spent 30 minutes selecting just the right spot so it would not obstruct a quick path to the bathroom. Yet you still managed to catch it with the outside of your painfully exposed large toe.
That ain’t no Yucca! That’s a Venus offside trap.
Jake Bidwell’s probing punt boxwards was initially cleared, but obviously not well enough. Adam Bogdan’s dive was alright, but obviously nowhere near enough to stop Nedum Onouha’s thunderbolt piercing 20 yards of crisp Lancastrian air. By which I mean it burst through at least three discarded crisp packets on its way to the North Stand goal for 1-0.
A minor inconvenience, one suspected. With Mikey Jacobs trapping the ball like a… uh, QPR defender offside traps Billybob Grigg, an equaliser didn’t seem such a tricky task.
But this ‘one’ chap, whoever he is, forgot about former Latic Jimmy Perchinho. Ever wondered what happened to him? Well, these days he’s performing life-saving headers and last gasp goal line clearances for Queens Park Rangers against Wigan Athletic.
But we’re in danger of getting ahead of the game.
Right now, an invigorated Garbutt was desperately trying to atone for his error. Dead on the hour mark, aforementioned demon wingmaster Mike ‘MJ’ Jacobs tossed a majestic cross his way. But Garb’s well-controlled scuff was collected by Alex Smithies at the second stretch of a flailing arm. Curses, and double drat!
And ten minutes later, the selfsame Everton loan man was a mere boot’s length from catching the selfsame Rangers keeper unawares. The free kick was surely meant for Powell to smash, but Garbster took everyone by surprise in curling one round the wall. Great thinking… but no equaliser to show for it.
Latics refused to let an increasingly ‘lethargic’ QPR wind this match down. Max Power snapped a couple of mid-range testers – the first killed a pigeon at the back of SS3, the second maimed a ball boy behind Smithies’ goal… well, almost.
“Pant pant! I retrieved your ball, Mr Power!”
Forget Wigan time, this was Perch time.
But at the death, a seemingly inevitable equaliser was expertly prevented by that rascally rapscallion Jimmybob Perch. Quick, check those obscure release clauses for anything that might overturn his 93rd minute goal line clearance!
The game bore all the hallmarks of an evenly contested 1-1 draw. Yet, as Wilberforce Grigg’s 2-yard poke was magically shinned behind by the incredible teleporting Perchinho, even the staunchest of stubborn Latisticians were heard to admit that such heroics are, in every instance, worthy of three Championship points.
But were they happy about this? Heck no. Not even the sight of the Amazing Flying Bogdan screaming into Smithies’ penalty area in an attempt to bash home the resultant corner could cheer them up.
…Though I admit it did make me smile. If Bog Man scores this season I will donate what’s left of my dinner to the charity of his choice. And I promise it’s more than 2 peas and a wishbone.