"It's not fair!" Words you haven't uttered in years, now directed at two Leinster Hockey Branch referees on the occasion of your team being dumped unceremoniously out of the cup by a team bolstered beyond all recognition by a load of illegally unregistered players from a much higher division. A team whose legitimate side you had strolled to a 6-0 victory over in the league just a couple of weeks earlier. Yet another example of the skulduggery that dogs lower-level hockey to a surprising extent. Not fair at all, but your team are slowly learning how to play that game. Come to think of it, it isn't really fair that you're a hockey player at all, being a refugee in its middle-class bosom for over a decade now. Forced out out of football - a game you're much better at - as a delicate 15 year-old by one too many taunts of "Proddy bastard" from your own team-mates. And they laugh at you, these elder gentlemen, much as you do when teenagers approach you with the same whinge when confronted with a punishment they don't feel they deserve. Life's not fair, lads, I'd kick you up the hole too, if The Man'd let me.
The words come rising to your throat again in an acid bubble tonight, as you sit down with one of your best mates to watch the football over a few pints and he comes clean about who his new employer is. AnglofuckingIrishcuntingBank, of all people. The ones costing the state about 30 billion euro; you may have heard mention of them recently. Good to know they're hiring, innit? Loath to hear too much about the bastards, you fill him in on my recent own employment status. Which is that, after more than four months without a speck of paid work, things have been a bit better recently, a few TEFL hours and a bit of secondary subbing work making things feel a lot better. You don't bother spitting in his pint when he says that he's glad the hourly rate for subbing has come down a bit, as it was too high. You don't bother pointing out that it would take his new friend Seán FitzPatrick a full 1200 years as a full-time secondary teacher to pay back the debts the government reckon he won't be able to get back to them. You just let him get the next round in and you sit and watch your team take a hiding with an odd mixture of glumness and awe and you think that it's also not fair having to play possibly the best club side in the world with five of your cast-iron starters missing. Trying to counter Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, with Mickael Silvestre is most likely a contravention of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. .You console yourself with the fact that at least the horrible little banker fuck beside you is a Liverpool fan, so he knows something of pain. And a job's a job and a mate's a mate, right?