Jim's Excuse

Each year a few Allstars deliver last minute excuses for being unable to attend the reunion match. Their levels of contrition and plausibility vary. However, sometimes they are worthy of the invitation they decline.

An early indication that a stunner from James Higginbotham was on its way came with the following email in the Spring from his erstwhile buddy Graham Jackson: "I am sorry to report that the fixture clashes with the opening of a new tanning parlour in Jim's new home village and he can't attend. He is running for mayor and believes it will be good for his profile and complexion if he is there."

Three Amigos

The Three Amigos - Jack, Graham & Jim at Nottingham Rail Station, 1990.

This was immediately followed by an excuse (and oddly prophetic prediction) via email from Jim himself, the quality of which should be preserved for posterity:

"I think of myself as the captain of an enormous luxury cruise liner, replete with the finest fixtures and fittings - reflective of my own excquisite lifestyle and tastes. I traverse the world at leisure and all females are welcome to come aboard and enjoy themselves, provided they adhere to my rules and conventions. Otherwise, they will be seen off at the next port or unceremoniously pitched overboard where the icy cold sensation of their loss will bring them to their senses (but alas too late). And they shall rapidly be replaced by many others, for I am the captain - resplendent in breeding, manhood, hair and finesse. I know many lands like a native, and have an exquisite hand, be it at mechanical engineering, banking, golf, basketball, haircare/ general male grooming or the helm.

I do not suffer fools gladly, but there is never an empty chair at my table. Ladies may enter my berth, but never the bridge (unless eating with their mouths full on all fours). They may dine at my table, but the invitation may be renewed and often at a moment's notice. I exude charm but give away nothing other than flattery, drinks and seminal fluids. I must consider myself a vessel that nothing but a continental land mass or a jolly large ice berg is going to divert.

And on that basis I cannot attend the occassion of the football match. My boat will not be in dry dock on the aforementioned weekend.

While engaging in afternoon tiffin with my crew I'll spare you all a thought. I also quite fancy Sid. I also quite fancy Sid to give Mince's boys a good going over."

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