A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE

By Mark Daniell
Apr 25th, 2008

“Lucky twat!” – The words were spoken softly and dejectedly behind me as a Liverpool fan made his way to the pub door. I nodded in agreement, there was no doubt about it: the injury time goal had been lucky, and the way I’d jumped up and cheered had been a bit twattish, so I nodded.

My brother emphasised how lucky it had been by pointing out that the goal had come not in normal time, not even in injury time, but after even the supposed four added-on minutes had elapsed, a time he likes to refer to as “dream time”. Not much happens in dream time – as a rule, the moment you realise you’re in it, it vanishes – but every once in a while, something outlandish, undeserved and just plain lucky, does.

And yet we live in a society that has a strong belief in Karma. “What goes around comes around” you hear people warn, “it’ll all even out in the long run” they console, as if hoping that some sort of universal sporting god will overhear them and abide.

Maybe this is wishful thinking, brought about because people want to trust in some form of justice, or maybe it’s a thoughtful wish, hoped for because they trust in statistics; either way there is no sports fan who is immune to the whims of Karma.

Sometimes Karma is instant, say for example when, after a penalty appeal has been turned down, a dodgy free kick leads to an offside not being called and results in a goal. Sometimes Karma can take a week to turn up.

The way I see it, we were unlucky to concede in the 93rd minute against Wigan when Emile “the real deal” basically scuppered our Premiership chances. I wouldn’t have minded so much, but he didn’t do his trademark DJ at the decks celebration, he didn’t even get the putter out, I mean, what’s the point in scoring any more?

But as I said, for me, that was unlucky. Likewise, for me, Riise’s last minute own-goal was just as lucky as Emile’s was unlucky. So if you take your Karma belief to the next level, we weren’t lucky at all, we just went back to square one of ‘zero luckiness’. If anything it should probably have been predicted.

But there’s a danger in using this system of Karma prediction. If nothing unlucky has happened in the immediate past then things look bleak for the future. Chelsea have got two massively important games coming up in the space of a week and we’re going to need plenty of luck to get through them with our twin aspirations of Premiership and Champions League intact. But as we know, luck doesn’t just grow on trees, it’s a currency that has to be bought with misfortune. Luckily for you however, this is something I’ve recently acquired in fair abundance.

After having been away for a few months I returned home last week to discover a rather fruity, decomposing smell wafting around my house. Clearly a mouse had died somewhere under the floorboards and try as i might, i couldn’t really put off getting rid of it. I went rooting around, behind cupboards and in crannies, handkerchief over my mouth, trying to find the rotting little critter. Increasingly however, I became nervous about finding it at all: the smell was strong, and I began to suspect I was looking for the rotting body of something larger than a mouse, perhaps a rat.

With a new found respect for Quincy, I finally pinned the source of the stench to just behind the deep freeze. I mustered up some courage and heaved it to one side to look for the maggot-infested carcass.

Or that’s what I would have done. In fact, the moment I opened the lid of the deep freeze, I realised that there was no dead mouse; there was no dead rat; instead there was just the fact that the deep freeze had broken down. All the meat, sausages, pies, and an unhealthy amount of reddish-brown water had been sitting, sealed in this box for something like three months, rotting. The stench was indescribable. Actually that’s not true, it smelt like twenty kilos of dead, rotting mouse.

“Lucky twat!”

If Karma is true, then my scouser friend might just be right.

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