I said back then that I would post some of Steve's writings, because they are brilliant in a totally mad kind of way and deserve to be shared, but I think I need to give a bit of context first ...
Steve was Mr D's friend first from back in the mid-nineties. Both railwaymen, they hit it off virtally from day one. I met Steve through a Fantasy Cricket league that he ran for his railway colleagues for many years. For those of you not familiar with the concept of Fantasy Cricket (and Fantasy Football), these are competitions that are usually organised in newspapers or the media generally, and they involve picking a 'virtual' team of real players, and then scoring points based on your players' performance in the real world.
Steve's team was called 'Mister Slater's Parrot' (which gives you your first insight into Steve's mind, particularly as his name wasn't Mr Slater.)
By virtue of the fact that Mr D told Steve I liked Cricket, I was invited to join the league, and then a couple of years later, because I was the only one in the league who worked in an office and had daily access to a computer, Steve asked me if I would help him by typing up 'the Parrot' every week for him. He wanted to make it easier to read and more-professional looking. That's when mine and Steve's friendship really began for real.
So, every fortnight, Steve would release an update of the league, and how we had all performed points-wise. Of course, because - well, he's Steve - he couldn't use our real names, we all ended up with bizarre pseudonyms that had no real bearing on our real lives, or reality in general, actually! For instance, I became MumRa, High Priestess of the Lightwater Shamen, with BazRa Diz my faithful manservant. (Your second insight into Steve's mind!) My home address became 'The Temple of MumRa', and yes, he did write that on the envelope when he posted our Christmas card!
So... I've rambled enough. Below the cut you will enter the world of the utterly bloody surreal, and the utterly bloody genius. This is one of Steve's opening posts, at the beginning of a new season, introducing the members of the league. Forget reality, forget conventionality, and just enjoy ...
Ethel the Goat and Norma T. Stimpson, widow of this parish, are smiley chuffed to bring you………
This is a Parrot like no other. This Parrot, although not whole and, to the winner in particular, absolutely worthless, this Parrot has equal import as any that preceded it. This Parrot, is this years Parrot and therefore unique. This Parrot offers complete and utter bragging rights to the winner. He (or she) will be able to walk, nay strut, head held high, into any mess room in the land and tower like a sun god over the minions within. How they’ll shrink in awe in the presence of, The One. It could be YOU. Well not you, Darren, obviously.
Anyway, welcome one and all, to the 200th year of Mr Slaters Parrot. It is surprising how few players of the Great Game, realise that Mr Slaters Parrot was created by Dry Keg Master, NCC Slater. Norbert Clarence Clarence (alas the registrar had a stammer) Slater was charged, if you’ll pardon the pun, with the storage and care of the gunpowder and ordnance aboard the Victory and created the Parrot, as a means of entertainment for the ‘powder monkeys’. So now you know.
MSP Interesting fact No 3; Rugby ace Bill Beaumont cannot help interspersing conversations with the words, “pork chops”. Is it a mild form of Tourettes Syndrome or the onset of madness? YOU decide. Text the word MAD if you think it’s the onset of madness. If you think it’s just a touch of Tourettes, text – Bloody Tourettes yer bastard. Pork chops? Whatcha lookin’ at yer lousey bastard.
Okey dokey. Welcome back Tish Davis, this week’s top of the crop. Tish, who says she likes it on top, hails from Eckypeck, near Reading and despite the restraining orders manages to maintain a reasonable grasp of reality.
Welcome to the Parkes-McHin-Netanyahu-Clinton-Rooney clan of Old Borden. Andrew was once signed on as part of the Football Association No Nonsense Youth Scheme and says, ‘What a fine bunch of chaps they were. We bonded really well .We used to say once a Fanny always a Fanny.’
BazRa Diz and MumRa are known to all of you and need no introduction. BazRa is made largely from toffee doughnuts while MumRa controls world order from her eyrie high above the Golden Temple of MumRa in Lightwater.
Startling news has reached MSP HQ. News which could change the face of MSP forever. Apparently, whilst out on his morning run, none other than midfield ace, Paul Scholes, discovered a particularly large mole hill. Paul's dog, Stam, investigated, using his nose and paws and found buried deep beneath the sod, an ancient jar. Further investigation revealed scrolls containing secrets pertaining to the Temple of MumRa. The Scholes' Mole Hole Scrolls, as they have been dubbed, relate the tale of the first Bazra Diz and his struggle to become MumRa's attendant. As a test of loyalty, BazRa was required to transport 'three pecks of neutered gourd, an item of green, a truckle of frogs, vermine of divers quality, and three metryc bushells of finest saxon cheese' from Obits Wood to the Arndale Centre in Lightwater, using only 'hisself and no other'. It tells how BazRa trained his frogs to roll the cheese and utilised teams of Coypu to act as frog dogs, keeping the little critters in line. Spare cheeses were hauled on a sled pulled by teams of trained marmosets, goaded on by BazRa Diz weilding a shattered cricket stump, of which he still maintains a vast collection, As we now know, BazRa was successful in his mission and still holds his coveted post to this day.
Welcome back to the Moore brothers, Bob, Tony and N’Kenwa. Bob is an avid collector of unused facial hair, sometimes wearing it self-consciously on his own face. Old hand Tony passed away in the early nineties and says it’s just the thought of Fiona Bruce that keeps him going.
From the Moore brothers to the Clarke sisters. Hello Svetlana and Paul. Eastern beauty Svetlana says that since marrying Paul her life has changed considerably. Indeed, last year, she says, was a, “annus mirablis”. Paul, of course, likes any annus.
Darren Saville. Just roll that name around your mouth slowly. You can almost taste the scrap heaps of Mexborough can’t you. Welcome back big man.
Oh look! It’s Dave ‘Country Joe’ Ricards. David, like Andy Parkes, was a member of the Football Association No Nonsense Youth Squad and says, “Thankfully I didn’t join the Cambridge University National Trust Society.
More ‘Meet the Manager’ in next weeks exciting edition.
Mister Slaters Parrot – The Sound a Snake makes when it's eating Toffos