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It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Dear friends and family, it probably has not escaped your notice that throughout the last three months, I have been more available, more talkative and due to extra disposable income, more generous with the drinks. You will probably also have noticed that you have seen much more of me during daylight hours than you are otherwise accustomed- this is not just owing to increased daylight hours in British summer time. You may even have welcomed this quarter transformation, as I appeared more relaxed and less preoccupied than usual. I am delighted to inform you that, for the next nine months, this is about to change.

I will now revert to being the preoccupied, sporadically available ball of anxiety you know and love. Please be aware that the root of my anxiety will not be your new job; or your cousin`s wedding or whether or not you may be suffering typhoid or whatever else it is you will be blathering on about. Please also be advised that it is by no means guaranteed that I will be able to make it to your birthday party/ wedding/ bar mitzvah/ funeral should it occur between now and May 28th, 2011. Frankly, if you decide to hold any such celebration/ loss of life on a Saturday/ Sunday/ Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening, then more fool you. (If we`re away in Europe, you can throw in Thursdays too).

Moreover, you will be expected to be understanding when I inform you that your epoch making occasion has been refused in favour of a trip to a rain swept Newcastle in February. If you really insist that I must be present at any such occasion, then the Arsenal fixture list can be found at the official website. Choose a date- any date- when we* are not playing to give yourself a better chance. (NB, don`t make the mistake of forgetting to check the dates of future cup ties which have yet to be drawn at the bottom of the page). If you find you are unwilling to make these concessions- then sod you. You obviously don`t want me to be there badly enough.

There are also further conditions and clauses that I feel you must be aware of. If you see me looking particularly gloomy on a Monday morning DO NOT ask why. It is contingent upon you to know that I do not get upset about female rejection; office wide redundancies or police warnings for indecent exposure. I only worry about really important things. Like football results. Should you feel the need to send any "funny" derogatory e mails or jpegs mocking Arsenal, please resist the urge. You might consider it "harmless banter", but it really won`t be so "harmless" when I track you down and shove your keyboard up your rectum. To this end, if you see me beaming from ear to ear, then it is almost certainly not because I have pulled some lovely little bit at the weekend. Believe me.

To save your ears from bleeding and your face from being showered in spittle, allow me to save us both some time for the next 9 months by informing you of the following:

- No, referees are not "just normal blokes trying to do their job." They are all evil, twisted little hitlers implicated in a worldwide conspiracy to cost Arsenal league points.

- No, it is not just 22 men kicking a ball around. If it is, then what the hell does that make tennis?

- Yes, I am taking a half day "just to watch Arsenal play away at Plymouth in the League Cup." So shut up.

- Please stop gathering your friends around and then asking me, "Tim, what would you rather, a lusty naked evening with Milla Jovovich, or Arsenal win on Saturday?" and then laughing maniacally at my answer. That stopped being funny when I was about 14. For me anyway.

- No I couldn`t give a flying fudge about where our players come from.

- Yes, arranging social occasions on international weekends is perfectly acceptable.

Yours Sincerely
T J F Stillman

*It is fully expected that you realise by now that, when I say "we", I mean Arsenal. Not you and I. Don`t be so stupid.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 13 2010

Time: 3:02PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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My family and friends have been informed of the same Tim! Cracking article.
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13/08/2010 15:11:00

Nice one. I don't get to even a quarter many games as you do but when the season is underway the wife begins each Monday morning planning her week by asking the question "When are Arsenal playing this week?" She then works out what activities are available to her after I have given the days and times. "Who have you got this week?" "Liverpool away on Sunday" "Ok so I'm going to Sarah's daugter's christening by myself then" "Yup!".
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 15:13:00

Fantastic article!
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 15:23:00

I had to correct a friend just last week. One of my best mates is getting married on the Sunday of the weekend we play Stoke. The TV changes for that weekend haven't been decided yet. I told a mutual friend I was anxious because I just knew those *********s at sky would shove the Arsenal Stoke game to Sunday 4pm. Said friend says, "Yeah, that must be hard. That'll be the first home game you've missed in how long?" I had to explain to him that my anxiety wasn't the prospect of missing the game, but telling my mate I wouldn't be at his wedding!
Little Dutch
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13/08/2010 15:31:00

Fantastic piece once again LD. I will always remember telling the wife that I 'won't be around for most of the week ' as we were away to Villarreal in the CL semi final. " Do you HAVE to go ? I mean, is it an important game ? " she moaned. " It's the Champions League semi final, second leg ! " was my defiant reply. Here comes the horror : " Well, can't you watch it on telly and go to the third one ? "
Cockney Rich
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13/08/2010 15:39:00

Heh! Nice one. Though Arsenal vs Stoke will be a 5:15pm kick-off on a Saturday, I feel it in my bones because they always stick us up against c***** like those at Saturday tea-time as we're traditionally **** at that time of the week.
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 15:40:00

Lovely! :D Like the caveat at the bottom too!
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 15:44:00

Er Rich, I used to be like that too, asking my ex-bf all sorts of silly questions. But you never know, a few years on, here I am, all Gooner-ed up. :D
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13/08/2010 15:47:00

Telling the wife about the 3rd leg? There's a joke in there somewhere.......
Little Dutch
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13/08/2010 15:48:00

Lol! Sharp as ever Timbo!
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 15:50:00

And it's a pleasure to have you Lou ! I trust you enjoyed the AMAZING city of Tokyo ? @ LD, behave !
Cockney Rich
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13/08/2010 15:50:00

Yes indeed Tokyo was fabulous! (waving hello from the equally amazing - just in a different way, hmmm - Shanghai) Back to work (can't call it 'home' still) and I'm planning another break already. This time to Paris. :) :) :)
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 16:14:00

"shove your keyboard up your rectum" hahahaha fantastic article LD!!
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 16:32:00

Can I have permission to copy this word for word to hand to my wife and friends. I dont know why, even afeter 10's of years, they still don't get it. Plymouth away in the league cup is a must see. see you at Anfield
Shropshire Gooner
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 16:35:00

LOL! Great article. Over here in the US the scheduling demands of watching live PL and other Euro games gets a bit crazy. "Soccer bars" have to open up at strange early morning hours, parents of young children (like me) brainwash their kids into either watching early morning or afternoon games on Saturdays and Sundays (getting up extra early to make sure they're fed and bathed), turning down various weekend gatherings that happen during the day, and so on. My daughter's older now and she can take care of herself but I've so successfully brainwashed her that she often joins me anyway. As for my SO, he's a good Brazilian football fanatic so no problems there. On a slightly off-topic subject...I'm going into this new season totally and completely annoyed (upset actually) that Chelsea have signed not just Ramires but Neymar. Neymar doesn't belong in the PL, he should go to Spain or Italy. Maybe Ancelotti will prove me wrong. But for Chelsea to get 2 of Brazil's best young players (plus they're trying to get David Luiz from Benfica, another cultured young defender) just infuriates me. It will kill me to see Neymar in a Chelsea shirt, he deserves a classier club. Tho Santos are trying for legal action against Chelsea for bypassing them and talking directly to Neymar.
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 17:04:00

Milla Jovovich is so 1999.
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 17:18:00

Well if she ever approaches you gronedrone, tell her that, then send her my way. Ta.
Little Dutch
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13/08/2010 17:34:00

Well, you will have to get in the queue for Mila LD.
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13/08/2010 18:17:00

Hah, good one LD. Lets hope the Stoke game isnt adjusted then.
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 18:37:00

Yes Jaelle, Chelski does seem to be getting ahead in terms of stocking up on really high quality Brazilian talent. How is Wellington Silva rated amongst Brazilian footbal fans?
Report Abuse
13/08/2010 19:09:00

love ur articles TIM and good luck for the season
Report Abuse
15/08/2010 16:53:00

Who's Milla Jovovich?
Sir Henry
Report Abuse
16/08/2010 14:27:00 Can I be the first to thank you for asking me to look that up.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
16/08/2010 15:17:00


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