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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

gingercrowd

We posted a week or two ago about the great scrolls found in a Canister in Norway by Robert Hamstrangler, Norway’s greatest anthropologist and hot water blower upper that told the story of Ginger Volk.

You can read Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here and Part 3 Here

Now ’tis time for Part 4……..

THE GINGER SCROLLS – THE DEPARTURE continued……

They sailed for evil intent.

We still huddled in our homes, yearning for lost sun and warmth and food did not see, hear or sense their approach. Three hundred or so ships melting from the east, slicing through our frozen waters in their stone clad vessels like a snore through dreams.

They visited terrible vengeance, slaying our weary Out Guards, pulling down the great beloved Ice Buttock and entering our lands. They slew our King, Michelsrinus, pillaged his family and boiled his potatoes in a cauldron lined with the skins of his children. “Tasty, very tasty.” Overath murmured. “Kill them all!” was his final order to his squadrons.

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“Avenge these flame hairs from our lands – sweep them out to the seas beyond our sight and nets. We besiege the Gods. There is nothing we ask of them. Woe, woe, woe upon us that we must sight such evil.”

easter 2

Fires were kindled and lit along our shores to guide more avengers toward us. Swords sharpened, arrows tipped, axe heads forged and shields buffed to shiny niceness. Men of war and men of peace cojoined to attack the evil they saw in these Northern lands. They coated themselves in grease and roasted chestnuts to pass the time. Some played tag, others knitted and the greatest warrior amongst them known as Bloodlust, the height of two adult sheep, learned the basics of tap dancing.

Why did you come?

Men from the South

Why utter such hatred

From your pustulant mouth everest copy

We sheltered in the lee of the Hidden halls, deep beneath Holy Mountain Westerneye, sheltered from the slaughter but not from the pitying screams of our Volk as they sought false sanctuary, from the bloodied axe and the striking sword, pitiful cries for clemency ignored. We cried, deep sorrowful cries of primal intent for them and yet amongst us few, guilt sodden relief that life still flowed through our piteous bodies.

Three nights of slaughter. No invader did venture towards the Hidden Halls, our brave blood refusing to betray us. Until the men from the South, sated in their need for ignorant vengeance finally set down their swords, axes and clubs and slept among the bodies of our dead.

Trebor the North wind came to our aid, forcing the invaders to leave our desolate lands and pushing the sighs of our dead and grieving South, away from our ears and memory.

simon_cowell goetta copy

 

(Translator’s note – Here the Scrolls fall silent. The in depth description and desecration of the Ghingar’s capital city of Rasmouldjensoningbirdemdeleanto, has never been recorded. If they were recorded in the Scrolls, for whatever reason the author has removed them and there is no trace of them anywhere else. Having said that it must have been pretty bad and so we can only guess at the sadness that these poor people endured. We know that the destruction of Rasmouldjensoningbirdemdeleanto, led to the first ever sponsored walk on behalf of someone or something. This is the stem of the modern day Ginger people’s love of a sponsored walk.)

 

…………One warrior amongst us stood still. Krol, the son of Rep the carpenter, bound us with fortitude. While we weak, afeared to leave the icy shell of the Hidden Halls for fear their protection would be rent from us, Krol parried our weakness and filled us with strength previously unknown in our hearts.

“The lard hair boats, be our saviour!” he cried. Many had mocked his father, Malcolm The Prepared, keeness to lash lard and spare hair together into vessels three sun cycles previously, “A mad eyed Karibou” they had called him, but now his foresight was praised for we, the remnants of the Ghingar Empire could finally set about our future with renewed vim and vigour.

 

For when we sail

To far off shores

What shall we see?

What will our children say?

 

What will be their final word on us?

That we fled our lands, their future home

That we banished them from their destiny?
That we stole their souls?

That we gave them life?

That we gave them destiny?

That we could in our darkest hours afford them hope?

What will they say?

I hope it is kind

 

To be continued………

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gingercrowd

We posted a week or two ago about the great scrolls found in a Canister in Norway by Robert Hamstrangler, Norway’s greatest anthropologist and hot water blower upper that told the story of Ginger Volk.

You can read Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here

Now ’tis time for Part 3……..

THE GINGER SCROLLS – THE DEPARTURE continued……

As we say “In the darkest times night follows night”. The wisest knew that such darkness and cold meant that other tribes suffered from similar tribulation. We lived with our way and them with theirs. We hope it would stay that way. It was, alas not to be.

The King of the Hup, a mighty warrior ennobled as Overath, bade blood and fury to reek vengeance upon nature itself and tear the gentle Earth apart to teach her a lesson that never more would she treat the Hup with such disdain. His rage a madness that could only be lessened by death.

seal

He crushed the skulls of thirteen House Carls with his double headed axe and bade for the blood of others. “Tis our tithe to kill, Tis our right to life, Tis our right to blame,” he cried. The people of Hup agreed and foamed with false anger and blazed with sham rage. Strangers. To blame. To find. To punish.

“To the North, to the North. The Ghingars have wrought this upon us with their devilry and odourless magic. It is they who must be stopped. For they are seeking to capture our souls for their own evil intent. They seek to starve us and steal the sun from us – we must destroy them. Summon the other Kings from Lup, Jup, Cup and Wup – I declare Council must be opened!”

easter 2

It was as if they had become a single terrible beast spoken of in our own fables but never seen, whiffed or heard. A beast of ignorant rage and no more. “To the toll booth then –who has change?” cried mighty warrior Overath. With the Lups, Cups, Jups and Wups now in unison with the Hups, they sailed in mighty force in stone clad ships, captained by the black hearted sailor birds of the Vogts tribe, half man half puffin who sought no more reward than fish for their black hearted deeds.

 everest copy

They sailed for evil intent.

We still huddled in our homes, yearning for lost sun and warmth and food did not see, hear or sense their approach. Three hundred or so ships melting from the east, slicing through our frozen waters in their stone clad vessels like a snore through dreams.

Becks_ginger

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gingercrowd

We posted a week or two ago about the great scrolls found in a Canister in Norway by Robert Hamstrangler, Norway’s greatest anthropologist and hot water blower upper that told the story of Ginger Volk.

You can read Part 1 Here

Now ’tis time for Part 2

THE GINGER SCROLLS – THE DEPARTURE continued……

 

seal

Ours was a simple world, made good by kindness, potatoes and a lack of foot disorders.

Kindness would be shown to strangers who ventured to our Homestead. The stranger would find life so satisfying that he would stay in perpetuity. On these rare times we would learn of the times in other worlds, the rise and fall of empires far to the South, East and West –  of men of different creeds and living their lives with many more laws, too many I would wager for peace to be allowed to roam over their lands and their people.

For the outsiders, where contentment was a threat rather than a treat, the non-return of strangers, or Nonomers as they were titled, from our lands only saw a further sense of mystery wrap itself around our people.

easter 2

Tales of devilry and witchery amongst we Ginghars came common to these ignorant tongues. Tales were told by their story men and women of how we would eat our own, raw flesh torn limb from limb. How we savage hearts would allow our women to lay with wolves to produce offspring half man half wolf and how these desperate creatures were used by us to mortify the souls of neighbouring peoples.
Such tales are nonsensical in construct and meaning. Our great thinkers communed closely with the Wolf King, Haan for we bordered each other’s land and it was in each other’s interest to understand each other’s lives. But as we learned, efforts to understand anothers nature were oft seen by other men as an opportunity to curse our namewith their peoples in the name of greed and ignorance.

We lived on vegetables with animal flesh barely passing our lips – only then when the wolves left us offerings at the beginning and end of the dark season to mark their return to the forests that neighboured our lands. Again this was taken as signs of sorcery and witchcraft from our eventual foes.

For we ever understood their ways. We had no good or evil only what we termed Way (author’s note – the Ghingar term used here is actually Veluxmindacimentorroulatersnttfghping – literally translated as “direction of life within our snowy lands – we consider Way to be an appropriate translation).

 everest copy

Way of life, Way of death, Way of things, Way of meaning, Way of loving – we had many Ways.

(Note; there is now a lengthy passage in the Scrolls on agricultural techniques employed by the Ghingar. The main topic is how they managed to grow so many root vegetable in such Northern climes and only having snow and ice to grow them in. Whilst this may be considered an agricultural miracle, it is not considered relevant for gingerfightback’s purposes to include these pages. For an in depth assessment of Ghingar growing techniques the reader may like to obtain a copy of “In Ice and Snow We Made Things Grow – Ghingar farming practices and rituals – by Douglas Sandwell – OUP – 956 Pages and includes pop up lettuce).

 

The Dark Stayed…….

……………………………………………..Why the Sun decreed to stay in that year nobody will ever reason. Why the famine took hold, why the fish left the sea waters and why the reindeer moved deeper into the forest, man will look askance at man and never find an answer.

When Mother Sun departed, we bade her farewell and sought her return with due speed. But she did not return at the known time, leaving us and other men to speak with hoar frost breath.

No plant or animal would grow that season. Haan led his tribe further into the Taiga for sustenance, their howling farewells bidding us safe return to summer warmth. Our left flank was exposed. We huddled in our homes for warmth and boiled snow and ice for miserly sustenance, only our stories and madrigals keeping us from mind loss and starvation.

 

The dark is upon us

But your beauty lights my soul

A bright arc fills mine eyes

You are near to me

That I know

Dance with me

Sing with me

Laugh with me

Lie with me

My love

Be among my dreams

And dart among the stars
As we say “In the darkest times night follows night”, so the wisest of us knew that darkness and the cold in our lands could only mean that other man tribes suffered from similar tribulation.

We lived with our way and they with theirs and this it should stay.

It was, alas not to be.

Part 3 to follow……….

narvik

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gingercrowd

 

Hello!

We posted a week or two ago about the great scrolls found in a Canister in Norway by Robert Hamstrangler, Norway’s greatest anthropologist and hot water blower upper that told the story of Ginger Volk.

Here is Part 1!

narvik

THE GINGER SCROLLS PART ONE – THE DEPARTURE

Note; The following translation of the Ginger Scrolls is based upon the original work of Professor Tor Legolam, Professor of Nonsense at Bergen University. The Scrolls were discovered in a canister by a man coated in reindeer spittle in October 1927.

A gerbil was also found in this canister.

In all over 1,000 pages was discovered. The Ghingar language employed 34 vowels, 212 consonants and could locate a cedilla over the letter A after it followed GH, at no less than 37 separate angles of elevation.

Gingerfightback’s editorial board has decided to concentrate on the main narrative contained in the Scrolls.

Part 1 is known as “The Departure” and concerns itself with the departure of the final few hundred Ghingars from their beloved homeland and the journey towards their new lands west and south.

 It is impossible to establish with true veracity where the Ghingars finally alighted, but using DNA tests from ginger people in Southern France and examining the contents of mummified Ghingars discovered in Southern France in the late nineteenth century it would be fair to assume that they landed in Southern France.

This is confirmed in Part 3 of the Scrolls entitled “We Landed in Southern France”. A few landed in bonny Scotland due to the accelerated melting of their lard hair boats.

Professor Legolam’s favoured textual translation method is based upon the Albensian system of translation of the ancient texts, perfected by Cardinal Pietro Albensian in the late13th century.

The basic metronomic approach to translation in this manner can be found in the “Digitales Summa Orbis” written by Albensian and his brother Ted the Knife in 1287.

 Recent studies of the Albensian techniques point to the fact that the Cardinal, or Ted the Knife were probably dyslexic and so given all this carry on what you are about to read is probably not very accurate at all and hardly worth the effort. Still now that you have read this far you may as well carry on for a bit and find out a little of the history of ginger folk.

Enjoy!

** Poetry was an intrinsic element of the Ghingar culture as they found expressing themselves in verse to be a far more effective way of communicating in the perishing cold. The poems recited in the Scrolls are an attempt by the author to reflect the mood, tenor and verve of the times. For further reading we would suggest the following;

Notes on Ginghar Poetry and Polemics – Douglas Sandwell – OUP (445 pages with some nice join the dots pictures for when you get bored and also a cut out and keep Ludo set)

The Ghingars –Battling the Cedilla – Douglas Sandwell – OUP (657 Pages with a cut out and keep ice berg and waterfall)

More Ghingars – Please Somebody Buy It! – Douglas Sandwell – OUP (1,234 Pages with a built in sleeping bag and feathery pillow).

easter 2

The Ginger Scrolls Part of Part One – The Departure

Of my name there is no cause for you to know. I am nameless but not silent. For these tales must be set down, their words appropriated from the mouths of others and our tragedy told. These words will not be tethered to this script dear friend. No! They are freeborn and will fly around this earth and the great bright skies in the North will act as permanent testimony of our suffering yet passion for life untrammeled by that suffering.

Carried by the beating wings of the great Gull, Exeretheon, the Night Flyer our tales will be told and recalled for all time.

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Words of passion, wisdom, hope and of love for our homeland and of our people. Words can be the heartbeat between two lovers, the blood that flows between kin or the bile that proposes enmity between men.

We, the Ghingar always value words as tools of joy and hope. We would use them to sing, tell tales and even dance amongst them on our nights of festivals, before the Sun departed us for the other realms of the great heavens where she bade other people light and sustenance.

Our words to her, warm to the touch and comforting to the feel, bade her speedy return but offered her safe passage to her new home and the peoples who would bathe in her rays and affection.

The Ghingar people. Taken from our homelands by those evil pillars of famine and fear that forced us to roam amongst mortal man and his surly ways to ensure our kin hath future enough. We shall return to our home when the stars in the heavens bid it so.

The stars are not hung in the sky by your Gods or our Gods for amusement. They are there to guide, to inspire and to allow us to dream of other worlds.

But truth, dear friend we know not when that glorious day beckons us North once more and to the comfort of the shores and the ice that we called our Home. We people are from far North, distant from your own tribulations and vapours. A world so barren and untouched by the guilt and pleasures of other men that it will remain lost to all until we return.

Hard as life was and as dark as it was, those lands, icy, cold, fearful of strangers and a little bit weird – (translation note; the original Ghingar word here is Maleanstoricbmisltistr – which literally translates as “those who do not always allow the ice to melt before they drink it” – we think that weird is a close enough approximation of that term.) – But they were our lands. Our home.

Malady for loss is something all Ghingars carry. We grieve.

everest copy

For so long isolated from other groups we had learned to live in peace with each other.

A land of hope, benign gods, tuneful music and a world of smiles. That is why the outsiders gave them the name Ghingar, from the ancient Arctic Empire tongue of our kings meaning “Those who smile”.

But we are not a people to dwell in the past. Indeed our land was governed by only three laws. Not to kill. To always seek shelter from the sun. Never revisit the past with sad intention.

Only the dead were entitled to declare war upon another nation and only those given sanctuarial position were allowed to venture past the great Buttock of Truth, erected before memory began it is said, to protect our people from those with barbarous intent. No God we worshipped only the Sun, fearing its long absences in the cold winter months would hasten our demise,

“Hasten to me morning Sun

That I may bask in thy balmy rays

Hasten to me morning Sun

That I may enjoy the best of days

 

Do not leave so soon morning Sun

That I will have to endure

Darkness and the stalk of night

And deaths tainted allure”

 

Ours was a simple world, made good by kindness, potatoes and a lack of foot disorders.

Part 2 to follow……….

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Hello Folks,

When I’m on the pot, I like to read a lot. It’s a man thing!

I popped round to my Mum’s this morning to put some new shelves up for her. I’ve got a drill. Don’t use a spirit level though. Don’t trust bubbles. Sinister things

Sunday’s cabbage worked its magic and I needed the facilities and read about the anniversary of the moon landings.

I remember that July day in ’69. Dad had got me up at 4 in the morning to watch him walk on the moon. Armstrong that is. Not Dad. He was in his pants and vest on the settee next to me watching the telly.

Dead impressed I was. I stuck the goldfish bowl over me head pretending to be Armstrong. There were half a dozen lads in Gravesend A and E all wearing goldfish bowls that morning. A lot of goldfish must have come to a sticky end that day.

When the bowl was off, I got a slap round the head from the Nurses, Doctors and Dad. And a passing Policeman for good measure. Kids have it easy these days. A good beating did me the world of good.

Here’s to Buzz Aldrin I thought as I reached for the toilet roll. He reached for the Stars.

C’est la vie.

All the best,

Bob.

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Hello!

To celebrate the forthcoming World Cup final between Germany and Argentina – here is an old old story about the relevance of sport in our lives – Glory and a willingness to Cheat to achieve Glory.

THE JERSEY GINGERS – A LONG LOST TALE OF FOOTBALL, THE NAZI’S AND MAN’S INDOMITABLE SPIRIT

The following quote is a transcript from on aged acetate recording recently found in the National Archives of the Island of Jersey (War Years – Sporting Activity File 45/7689/QGT/*).

“Dribble is away! He flies down the wing, beats one, beats two – he looks up! Tongue IS FREE! Tongue IS FREE! He must score – Tongue has scored! Tongue has scored! Mercy Me! The Gingers have won the Cup. The Gingers have won the Cup!”

He is an old man now. Worn with age and withered by arthritis. But mention of that game, of that moment in that game and a light kindles in Derek Pasty’s rheumy eyes. Once more he is the heavy limbed twenty-two year old man of his youth.

“Of course we went out to win,” says Derek tapping the top of his boiled egg, “It is in every footballer’s nature to want to win every game.” He looked me in the eye, a dribble of yoke spilling down his chin, “We were not Collaborators, just footballers. Could you cut me some soldiers please.”

Derek is recounting a long forgotten chapter in the Beautiful Game’s history and the attempts by the Government of Jersey to place a shroud over it. It is about a football team who took on the might of the evil Nazi war machine and won.

Won for themselves, for Jersey and their corrupt trainer. They were the Jersey Gingers.

The Fabled Jersey Gingers

                                                                  

Derek finished his egg and wiped his chin. From a dusty sideboard he retrieved a small battered cardboard box. Alongside the forgotten detritus of everyday life including fingers, pens, a glass case with no glasses and ageing Christmas cards, lay a Match Day programme dated June 6th 1943. A game played between his beloved Jersey Gingers and the crack Hungarian outfit Lepidan FCSS at the famous Stades de Colombes in Paris.

It was the final of the Sportsmanship and Athleticism Amongst Aryan Occupied Nations Cup. Perhaps the most notorious football match in history.

As he flicked through the browned pages, muttering to himself of memories lost, I could sense he was once again running out at the Stadium in front of nearly thirty thousand French spectators.

“Nobody expected us to win. Hitler himself had given direct orders that Lepidan must win. That explains the use of Half Track and 88mm Howitzer up front. But they reckoned without us Gingers.”- His aged back stiffened with pride and he looked into me. “Mind you that 88mm had a hell of a shot on him.”

The Programme listed the Gingers team that day as;

Square Root (GK)

Pear Tree Fennel

Moat Dribble Pasty Drain Parsley

Dickins Tongue

“We were a match for anybody. Even the mighty Arsenal or Sunderland would have struggled to come to terms with us. Hughie Tongue. What a player. Ex Third Lanark, four foot two but feet like a cobbler’s hammer. Lovely lad too, always a smile on his tooth. Jeff Drain, strong as a dose of dysentery and as nimble as TB. Tackle, head, shoot. He had it all and he made his own clothes. Nat “Crafty” Parsley, nippy, tricky and ironic all in one stride. Sheridan Square Root in goal, proper Toff he was. Could speak Spanish you know. His wife Maude used the goal net at night to keep her perm tight. Big girl she was. Only me and Harry Moat left now. And Julio Emphysema. He was from Spain. He could speak Spanish as well.”

Hughie Tongue

 

In June 1940 the Channel Islands were occupied by the evil Nazi empire. Life on the Islands, soon became a harsh regime of spiteful labour and daily hunger as the Islanders came to terms with evil Nazism.

Food was in such short supply that some Islanders forgot how to chew.

The Gingers were the leading football team on the Channel Islands. In the pre-war years, now seen as a golden period in Island football, they had edged out their fiercest rivals The Jersey Royals in league and challenge cup competitions. This should come as no great surprise as the Royals were a team made up exclusively of potatoes and a knob or two of butter. Lovely in a salad.

The Gingers had turned their ground in Holter Street, Saint Peter, known lovingly as The Plague Pit on account of an earlier use, into what we call today a Fortress.

The Plague Pit

 

Such was their dominance that there was talk of the Gingers joining the French League, “French fancy dans we called ‘em, all flicks and shrugs and improvised modern dance when a goal was scored. Not our sort at all. Proper la-di-da.” commented Pasty tartly.

“We really thought that we were in with a chance of joining England’s Division 3 South in 1939. Lyme Regis Bucolics had left the Football League due to a rickets outbreak in their squad. But as with so many things at the time the war put a stop to any of those ideas.”

The Gingers (so named because of their kit of orange shirts to humour the Club’s founder Johann De Kuyper an eccentric wool merchant from The Hague) took part in various inter-island knock out competitions and dominated with a wilful, wistful ease. “It helped that we were the only team with goal posts, although the nets were stolen by Maude.  The posts bamboozled a lot of our opponents and no mistake.”

The dominance of the Gingers owed much to the quality of their players but also for the tactics they adopted. Known as “Boot and Chop” the Ginger’s game plan was simple.

Kick the opposition in the testicles at every available opportunity and bribe others with the promise of pork chops from Percy Dribble’s butcher’s. These tactics led to a record in the 1940/41 Season of;

P. 24 W.24 L.0 Goals for 46 Goals against 3 Pts 48

The most successful league campaign by any team on the British Isles ever.

Pasty remains a staunch defender of his team’s abilities “If the war hadn’t come I am convinced that we could have played in the league. Numerous scouts caught the ferry from Weymouth to watch us play. Everton, Wolverhampton, they all came to see the boys play. If only…..”

Such success inevitably drew the notice of other, darker forces.

The Sportsmanship and Athleticism Amongst Aryan Occupied Nations Cup has a dark history. Borne out the evil mind of evil Doctor Goebbels assistant Herman Beckanbauer as a means of displaying unity amongst the Greater Reich, the cup gained traction amongst the upper echelons of Nazi High Command. Teams were selected from each of the occupied lands and a simple knock out cup plan was determined on the strict proviso the Lepidan FCSS won.

Pocket – Hero or Villain?

The entry of the Gingers was first mooted by Major Fritz Dumpkoff, Camp commandant of one of Jersey’s Stalags, stamp collector and inspiration for haughty German officers in war films. Dumpkoff, in his time a tricky left winger (a term banned in the Third Reich to be replaced with the word Aussenaussenderscneiderbooter – which translates as “wide player not on the right but on the opposite side of the pitch”) took to watching the Gingers home matches and became a firm supporter. He even penned a club song.

“When our jackboots stamped upon your throats

With our knives piercing your guts

Little did we know that now

You Gingers are our boys!”

It was Dumpkoff who approached Gingers coach, Stan Pocket, an avuncular abattoir owner, after the perennial mauling of Sark Casuals 7 – 0 in November 1942.

“He was a very tall man if I recall. Cocksure. I remember him watching us wash in the showers, a leer on his face. He turned to Stan and whispered something in his ear. Stan looked a little taken aback, he always did when you asked him something, but then a smile spread over his lips. He laughed out loud and then shook the Major’s clawed hand saying, “I will see what I can do Major”. They walked out together with Dumpkoff occasionally peering over his shoulder at us as we dried ourselves down on the nice towels he had provided us with.”

It was only at Pocket’s trial at Weymouth Assizes in 1947 that the full extent of the plan they hatched was revealed. In return for entering the Gingers in the Cup, Pocket would be allowed to smuggle as much contraband as he could find on his travels with Dumpkoff receiving a cut. During the cup run, an amazing treasure trove was smuggled by Pocket and his cronies into the Island. Meat, vegetables, bread, milk, nail clippers, jumpers, cod, clogs, tortoises and thousands of mirrors all sold on the island’s thriving black economy to desperate people starved of essential foodstuffs and a touch of vanity.

“We never knew about this plan,” argues Pasty, “All we wanted to do was represent the Island and show that we could play football with the best.” He refused to answer questions about the thirty or so mirrors that adorned his hallway.

Older islanders remain tight lipped about this time and it does appear that much of Pocket’s smuggling was aimed at placating opposition to his team’s forays into occupied Europe. “It is amazing what people will do for a piece of liver,” said Pasty.

The Ginger’s campaign began with a 2-0 victory (goals from Tongue and Dribble) over Eindhoven Quisling at the Plague Pit one bitter January afternoon.

This was followed by a hard fought away victory at Oslo 5th Column Wednesday by a single goal (scored by the prolific Tongue) in icy conditions. That winter saw the people of Jersey dressed in the finest woollen jumpers and also gorging themselves on salted cod from Norway’s verdant fishing grounds. Although those that had forgotten how to chew gleaned less satisfaction from the cod.

It was now March, daffodils spawned a shimmering golden carpet throughout the Island. The island folk awoke to the possibility of sporting glory visiting them.

The 3rd round beckoned and the draw pitted the Gingers against the reigning cup holders Brussels Blue Shirts, the legendary Flying Flem. The Flem were arguably the greatest pre-war team in Europe and boasted a full array of internationals in their team. They were bankrolled by the Belgian Government’s ill gotten gains from the Congo and could count on Belgian Royalty amongst their legion of fans.

Nobody gave the Gingers much hope, after all the Flem boasted a front line of Maginot, Verdun and they quicksilver winger Franco (a naturalised Belgian of Spanish descent.) whose dancing feet earned him the nickname of The Cantilevered Catalan.

“We knew we had little chance. Pocket introduced a tactical variation to Boot and Chop. The Salient. Basically get round the back of Maginot and Verdun and we would neutralise their attacking prowess. Stan was adopting the Belgian’s own offensive tactics and using it against them!”

Tongue again scored, rifling home Parsley’s through pass in the 41st minute and then a fearless rear guard action led by Tree and Fennel limited the opportunities for the crafty Belgians. Then at Pocket’s signal, the team completely switched formation – attackers became defenders and vice versa . Thus the Gingers managed to get behind the Maginot Line for the remainder of the game with victory sealed by Tree’s injury time winner after a dazzling dribble and cross by Pear.

The Gingers had made the Semi-finals due to arguably the most significant innovation in football since the advent of the bladder in the ball.

“We knew we could win. Had faith in ourselves and in Tom’s tactical nous. The trip home was a joy. Lot’s of beer. And combs! When we arrived home there were crowds on the jetty to meet our fishing smack. We were carried shoulder high through the streets of St Peter to Mr Pocket’s abattoir. There was a right to-do that evening!”

Pocket’s Abattoir Today

 

“Remarkable man Mr Pocket,” recalls Pasty, “Evil, corrupt, drank liniment for fun and chased every woman on the island. But he loved football and that made everything he did, however evil, justifiable in his eyes.”

A Slaughterhouse man from Jersey had invented the game’s greatest defensive structure, yet Pocket never received recognition for his achievements. In his only interview about those times he told the Leicester Mercury in 1956 “It is all about football. Just the game. It brings Joy, Happiness and the ability for limitless personal gain.”

Pocket died in 1966 the day before England, using a variation on his tactics, won the World Cup. The bribery of officials at the Final would have brought a smile to his face.

With the people of the Island now behind them the Gingers easily swept aside the Sudetenland Anschluss 2-0 at the Plague Pit (Tongue again among the scorers). Pasty recalls the game as a “drab, dull affair only enlightened by Square Root’s penalty save in the 75th minute from Anschluss’ star player Jiri Jawa.

A miracle had occurred. The Gingers had reached the final.

Howitzer – The German Centre Forward

 

June 6th 1943. Stade de Colombes Paris. The Jersey Gingers versus the mighty Lepidan FCSS. Lepidan had swept all before them in the previous rounds with ruthless Teutonic efficiency. “We didn’t have a chance really. It was a complete mismatch. They had the best players in the world at the time and if they didn’t win, then their tactics were simple. Invade.”

Indeed if we look at the Lepidan team that took the field in Paris that day we can see what Pasty means.

Scharnhorst (GK)

Arbeit Macht Frei

Stuka Graf-Spee Luther Siemens Nietsche

Howitzer Half-Track

Despite protests from Pocket before the match, Howitzer was allowed to play, “Lack of mobility but what a shot, even from twelve miles,” Pasty recalls, “Graf Spee scuttling in the middle, a proper pocket battleship of a player and the sublime Siemens supplied the ammunition for the front pair. Stuka’s aerial threat. They were an awesome team. Unbeatable in most people’s eyes.”

Except for one man. Pocket. “Stan told us before the game that we could win. We had to win. For Jersey and for ourselves. No matter what history would write about us we had a moment in which to live free of oppression and the right to call ourselves free men. Holler to the world that Jersey Gingers would never bend to the jackboot of tyranny!”

It later transpired that Pocket also secured several tons of onions and two hundred pairs of socks to smuggle back to Jersey and needed the adulation on the pier to affect his dastardly plan.

Graf Spee – The German Pocket Battleship Midfielder

The game itself was a minor miracle. The Bulgarian referee Marko Payov, a man with pederast tendencies, had been instructed by the evil Nazi’s to make sure Lepidan won. But subtly. For the first 20 minutes he allowed a barbaric assault on the Gingers attacking players by the notorious defensive line of Arbeit, Macht and Frei. Tongue lost the use of his left leg after one particularly sickening aerial assault from Stuka and there were fears that the Gingers may not have been able to complete the game.

But a strange thing happened. After twenty five minutes, a white dove appeared over the ground. The sun’s rays dappled its plumage and it fluttered over the prone Tongue as he received treatment for a head wound after an off the ball clash with Graf Spee. Was it a sign? From God?

No. But it proved to be pivotal.

Pierre Bossu was a six year old boy at the time and had been given time off from his slave duties to attend the match and cheer on Lepidan. Now a successful orthodontist, Pierre recalls the moment, “The dove. Beautiful. It filled our hearts with joy and hope. These poor lads being pounded by the Germans. But they wouldn’t give up. They kept getting up and playing. And the more it went on, the more our hearts, previously cold to them, reached out and embraced them as our own. They were fighting for us.”

It was a low murmur at first. From the popular end I recall “Allez Les Rouge” but it spread like a winter cold virus around the ground until we were all chanting as one “Allez Les Rouge, Allez Les Rouge!” 30,000 of us for the first time in years free to express ourselves in our beloved land.”

We return to the Acetate recording, “Punted out by Square Root…..picked up by Nietzsche …..He is tackled by Pasty. Through to Drain. Parsley. He’s running now, dummies Frei…To Tongue. He’s scored! Tongue has scored! One to nothing the Gingers! By Jove!”

One to nothing at half time.

Howitzer levelled after 56 minutes with a speculative shot from three miles.

Lepidan laid siege to the Gingers goal for the next 20 minutes.

Pasty continued,“Wave after wave of attack, relentless stuff. Graf Spee was controlling the centre and they pushed Panzer into attack. God knows how we hung on. And then the moment that changed our lives.

We return to the Acetate recording;

“Marvellous clearance by Square Root there, by Jove he is playing well. But it is picked up by Siemens – on to Half Track on the right. He crosses diagonally. Mistake by Pear. The ball just bobbled over his foot. Oh No! Howitzer is in on goal – Root is out to meet him. Sweet Lord Above. The ball has crossed the line. No, no wait a moment that is not the ball….. it is Square Root’s head! The ball has gone out for a corner! Square Root has lost his head but kept the Gingers in the game. Good lad.”

Was this the single greatest act of bravery ever witnessed on the field of dreams? Pasty certainly thinks so, “Howitzer was in, Rooty threw himself at the barrel and his head came clean off. That was his speciality, unorthodox saves. That one certainly was. I saved his cap as a souvenir. It had his ear in it.”

Call it fate or sublime good luck, but Sheridan Square Root’s sacrifice for his team mates changed the nature of the game. As Root’s torso was carried from the pitch, an even mightier roar of “Allez Les Rouge” rolled around the ground.

Pasty went in goals. The Gingers began to play like men possessed. Power, passion and no little skill filled their legs and hearts. The dove returned and played out the remaining minutes of the match as a makeshift midfield player (with minimal effect it must be said). And then that moment in the 88th minute.

“Dribble is away! He flies down the wing, beats one, beats two – he looks up! Tongue IS FREE! Tongue IS FREE! He must score – Tongue has scored! Tongue has scored! Mercy Me! The Gingers have won the Cup. The Gingers have won the Cup!”

Cup Winners!

There was no crowd on the dock to meet them when they returned from Paris the following day. No adulation from the people of Jersey. Dumpkoff left the Island the following morning and official German war records note his death during the Battle for Berlin in 1945. Inside his tunic was found a fluffy towel.

A number of the Gingers were arrested and deported to labour camps across Europe. Among them the star of the team, Hughie Tongue whose goals and impish Scottish jinkery had done so much to carry his team-mates to glory. He was never heard of again. Fennel and Pear escaped to England and joined the war, both dying on the beaches of Normandy exactly a year after the final. Jeff Drain developed a successful career as a painter and decorator.

And as for Pasty? He married Maude in the spring of 1946. Her wedding dress was made from the original nets the Gingers had used in their goals. They remain a devoted couple. Square Root’s ear was best man.

Pasty was asleep when I left his house, chomping on a bread soldier he had left. The spread was a cheap brand of margarine which I found lacked taste. I felt a pang of regret that his extraordinary story had lain hidden for so long, like sediment at the bottom of a still, dead lake.

Those names Square Root, Tongue, Parsley et al all deserve to be remembered as more than Collaborators. For the Jersey Gingers pulled off one of the greatest victories in the history of football. And they dared to hope. And for that their achievements should never fade.

 

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Goose

Hello,

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 yesterday. You can Read Part 1 here!

Here is Part 2 – Read on……….

Day 41 – Lisbon – scurry aboard Recife bound ship “Obrigado” – the principal cargo is buttock emollient cream, samba costumes and whistles – wriggle into a nice floral headpiece, matching sequinned bra and thong – I blending in with Brazilian culture!

Day 43 – The Obrigado – Unmasked by Boson as not “Hector” the vessel’s happy go lucky First Mate but as a non-paying transgender guest with well-honed buttocks – thrown in the Brig.

Day 43 – The Obrigado – Brought to ship’s captain – he is an unreconstructed romantic who is in a state of high dudgeon after reading the Bronte Classic Jane Eyre – he clutches me to his swelling breast and sobs uncontrollably “Poor Rochester,” he cries – tells me of his loon of a wife – a woman with a predilection for salty old tars – she is sealed away in ship’s bulkhead on account of her madness and “needs”.

Michael-Fassbender-as-Mr-Rochester-Jane-Eyre-2011-michael-fassbender-25911613-1920-1040

Day 46 – The Obrigado – Mass panic as Captain’s wife escapes and ravishes the ships Bursar, First and Second Mate, Boson, Petty Officer, Cook and a lad who happened to be passing in a Tuna fishing boat she spotted on the starboard bow – swam over to and ravished – she is captured and restored to her cell – the Captain sobs – I read him extracts from Wuthering Heights – “Poor Cathy,” is all he says.

Day 50 – Recife – Leave Obrigado – Captain donates lifetime supply of buttock emollient to thank me for my support – his wife ravishes me before I skip ashore – “Poor Cathy,” are the last words I hear.

Day 51 – Trans-Amazonian Highway – Sashay my way towards Belem – my bottom is revered by buttock cognoscenti.

Day 54 – Belem – Join Samba dance band – band rooted in bizarre Marxist theory that believes buttock wobbling in camp outfits will eventually destroy capitalism – I have my doubts.

Day 68 – Mouth of Amazon – Say farewell to my Samba Band colleagues with a toot on my whistle – Capitalism still intact – chop down big tree – shape it into giant clog and paddle towards Manaus.

Useful Tip in the Rain Forest #1 Never paddle in a thong.

butt

Day 71 The Amazon – See off attack from shoal of synchronised swimming Piranhas by dazzling them with my sequin studded brassiere – smear myself in emollient to fend off flesh-eating insects and mosquitos.

Day 75 – Fishing village of Maracaibo – Befriended by Geoff a double glazing salesman from Cornwall who. “turned left at Plymouth instead of right” – barter my whistle with him for a set of triple glazed French windows he happens to be carrying – lash them to clog and sail up the Amazon!

Day 80 – Manaus – Leave clog and trek into Forest – see all types of creatures – Jaguars, Monkeys, Lions, Tigers, Penguins, Polar Bears, even a Giraffe – realise I am in Manaus Zoo and head for exit – easy mistake to make. Turn left at MacDonald’s and find myself deep in the Rain Forest.

Useful Tip in the Rain Forest #2 – Never walk in a thong and stilettos in the Rain Forest.

Day 84 – Rain Forest – Felled by dart fired from blowpipe – fall into delirious fever – imagine erotic romps with Bilbo Baggins.

Day 86 – Rain Forest – Fever breaks and awake to find short lad with big ears and enormous feet next to me! I am in Middle Earth!

Day 86 – Rain Forest – Lad wakes up and smiles – he only communicates by twanging his nasal hairs in complex melodies – I discover his name is Whothefuckareyou? Chief of a long lost tribe who still don’t have a clue where they are – The Wherethefuckarewe?

tribe

Day 86  – Rain Forest – I am the first white man in samba outfit with smooth buttocks the Wherethefuckarewe? have encountered – I am worshipped as their long lost God and christened Wherethefuckdidhecomefrom?

Day 87 – Rain Forest – The Wherethefuckarewe? are a proud people – traditional costume is an Adidas Shellsuit – it is good to see that they have not been tainted by western culture – Whothefuckareyou? organises a feast in my honour!

Day 88 – Rain Forest The feast comprises the traditional Amazonian dish of Burger and Chips washed down with a highly intoxicating liquor made by fermenting the bark of dogs – we partake in a fertility dance with a number of toothless harpies – nasal hairs plucked with much ferocity – Before passing out all I recall is a nasal hair plucking rendition of the Hokey Cokey, followed by Hi Ho Silver Lining……..

Day 93 – Rain Forest – Whothefuckareyou? leads me deep into the jungle – day after day I toil moving ever further from civilisation towards what? I know not – I am wilting – cannot go much further – chafed and blistered – my headgear a bit wonky – Finally he holds out a slightly wonky Light Sabre without batteries towards a clearing in the Forest.

Day 93 – In The Rain Forest – A place of serene beauty – never before seen by a white man dressed in a samba outfit – giant statues – thousands of years old – bearing a remarkable resemblance to the cast of US Sitcom Friends – guard this place – I hear water nearby – Whothefuckareyou? twangs on his nose hair – the sounds tell me that we have reached the source of the Amazon – A washer is needed to stop the dripping – slightly disappointing.

I think of Simon Cowell with a sausage on his head.

simon_cowell goetta copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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