Keith: "Away, we're out the front in the taxi!"
Not only was it 15 minutes early with an over eager Rob and Keith awaiting my arrival, I was mid teeth cleaning and this was 6.45am. I haven't seen 6.45am for a long long time. So, no time for breakfast either which meant starting the day with a bag of Salt and Vinegar crisps, a Yorkie and a Capri Sun bought at the station....healthier than usual I suppose!! We picked up Chris and the four of us arrived at Middlesbrough station in plenty of time.
The train arrived on time and "Pssst!", the first cans of the day were opened. Lager at this time of the day is bad news and not highly recommended. Gets you going though and in the mood.
It was an epic train journey with a lot of very quiet passengers all disbelieving the early start and a fair few fellow Boro fans enjoying their first beers of the day.
Now Rob also bought a Yorkie, which went walkabout when he went for a piss. "Enjoy your Yorkie Rob?" Winding up Rob had started!!
He eventually found it though and saved a piece to send off in the free post envelop for Pabo, the sexy underwear company! He carried this right up until we got on the tram in Manchester.
Some weird people get on trains, and not just us, a couple got on at, I think, Northallerton. For a good ten minutes they traipsed up and down each carriage looking for their seats, which they did, at one point, find and sit in. They then got out of them and carried on traipsing up and down again before coming back and sitting in the same seats!
The funniest moment though, had to be poor Rob, dazed and confused from his missing Yorkie, trying to down his can of Fosters without it actually being open!
We arrived in Manchester just before 10am, and navigated our way to the tram/metro stop confident that we were in the right spot for the tram to Shudehill/Printworks.
Now on the tram is a circular hingeto allow the tram to bend or, as we rechristened it, the revolving dance floor! I set off with some Travolta-like moves before cracking my head off the iron rail above my head that I hadn't noticed!! It hurt actually.
Lloyds was the destination and as we arrived, the barman was literally unbolting the front door. Perfect timing.
Pints all round, a go on the fruity and then as we sat down in the corner poor Rob ripped his jeans on a protruding screw on his chair!!
Hunger set in after our journey breakfasts were ordered. I went for a customised breakfast sandwich with an egg swapped for sausage. The french bloke, Frank Quedrue-esque, reckoned the chef couldn't manage this so I went for one baguette of sausage and one for bacon. This only got funny when the waiter arrived with our grub.
"And a bacon baguette?"
Keith: "Fucking hell Mikey, you fat cunt!"
Me: "Speak to Frenchie over there!"
Now we were mid way through maybe our second or third pint when the weirdest bloke in Manchester arrived. A great big bald bloke with a beard who, unfortunately, caught my eye. He mumbled in what I thought was a Scottish accent...
"I must apologise, cannot breathe it is because of my hormones."
I said nothing and just raised an eyebrow.
At the lack of response he went over to a table of girls a few yards away and said the same thing.
"Can I call you an ambulance love?"
"No, no please don't."
"Well do you want a cigarette?"
"Oh yesh please."
Eh? He couldn't breathe a minute ago. What a strange geezer.
As he disappeared for a fag a waitress brought over a coffee for the strange bloke, who'd left what looked all of his belongings at a table next to us.
And it stood there forever. We thought he'd either died, left a bomb, forgotten where he was or was just a mentalist.
And it still stood there.
"Shall we spit in it?"
"Oh hang on here is now....ere mate, your coffee is gonna be freezing."
"Hey guys, you know you don't understand circumstances, I am from Eastern European." (Seems I was way off with my accent recognition!)
"I dunno mate, Grangetown is pretty rough!!"
Anyway, I disappeared off for a wizzle and returned to find my chair had been vandalised with
MIKEY OV ESTON!
"Right drink up lads, lets get out of this hell hole and find a taxi for the stadium."
And away we went!
Part 2 soon.