So, The Foam Hand Casuals are on the march again. This time we’re of to the neighbouring county of Buckinhamshire to take on the mighty Wycombe Warders apparently, fact fans the name comes from the fact that the club was originally made up of prison officers or ‘screws’ if you want to sound hard, from the local jail. They are now one of the biggest clubs in the world and along with Cheltenham Town our are our biggest rivals.
This was a keenly anticipated fixture and there was sure to be a big show from both sides last time we played them the Chair Boy Casuals took liberties all day ballooning about our town centre and dishing out ‘pine sale’ leaflets, they weren't interested in our lads, old men, women, and even kids were being targeted. Well out of order!
We set out early doors on the rattler from Oxford via Banbury we had about twenty in our little mob all good, older lads and a lot of known faces Awkward Dave, Small hand Pete and Bondage John were all there, natch. As it was a trip to the home counties we opted for a ‘country gentleman’ look, loads of Barbour on show, as well as checked Viyella shirts chunky jumpers, cords and brogues, with one of the more outré Cumnor Hill lads even sporting a pair of plus fours, (deerstalker) hats off to him. Awkward Dave despite our reservations insisted on taking a golden retriever called Freddie with him to complete the look, don’t get me wrong I’ve got nothing against GRs as a breed but our firm has always had a ‘no pets’ policy dating back to the incident at Leyton Orient with the terrapins. Don’t ask!
We arrive in Banbury where we have to change and we decide to get a few tins of Colt 45 from the offy, we turn out of the station and we’re greeted by the site of thirty Banbury lads bowling down the road all dressed as Charlie Chaplin! Turns out it’s Scottish Dan’s fiftieth birthday and he’s a massive CC fan. He rates Modern Times as Chaplin’s finest work, agreeing with Jérôme Larcher’s critique of it as a “grim contemplation on the automatization of the individual” though he put’s it a bit differently adding “Charlie wasn’t just about pie throwing and fucking about with ladders”
Our Wycombe train turns up on time and we all pile on, pretty soon were at Bicester where we’re joined by about 30 lads including Littlebury and Middleton Stony firms, all good lads. The Charlie Chaplin crew have organised a game of pass the parcel with music courtesy of provided by Beardy Paul one of the older Littlemore lads and his trusty ‘cassette recorder’ the prize is a pair of Go West flip-flops and the winner turns out to be a Shifty looking younger lad from Carterton who I don’t know. Someone says he’s Old Bill but some of the Windrush Valley lot vouch for him and say he’s alright. To be fair he looks game as fuck in his Aztec Camera T shirt NYC fireman's trousers, black old-skool daps and Norwegian military snow parka. Fair play to him. After this BP's portable music device really starts to pay it’s way, as he launches into a selection from Now 12, Belinda Carlisle, Circle in the Sand, Phil Collins In the Air Tonight (‘88 remix) and Danny Wilson’s Mary’s Prayer. By the time Voice of the behive’s post-punk pop classic Don’t Call Me Baby comes on we’re in full voice and we’re in Wycombe!
We pile off the train and head for the town centre we know their mob drink in town early doors so were on the lookout for any Wycombe hombres and were ready to rumble! Just as we reach the main square we here a massive commotion going on we suspect it’s the older heads from Risinghurst who came down an hour ahead of us having it with the locals. But as we get nearer we can see it’s a crew of Hari Krishnas in a Mexican stand off with some local morris men. Some of our right-wing lot want to side with the morris dancers but we’re happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with the HKs I quite admire their ideology to be fair and they look the real dea in their orange robes and grade one haircuts. Just then the Old Bill arrive before a punch is thrown and manage to calm it down, seems like some of the Krishna youth had been on the sauce early doors and were taking the piss out of the Morris dancers clobber. The MDs weren’t happy and had just called it on when we arrived.
After all the excitement we’re ready for a drink so we all pile into the local Withered-spoon the Falkirk where it’s pints of Orangeboom all round except Awkward Dave who opts for a half a bitter and a small brandy chaser) he says it fits in with the country gent aesthetic) and a bowl of water for the dog. The place is packed with Oxford and it’s not long before the singing starts, Some of the Brize Norton mob start us off with their version of Erasure’s Sometimes then it’s straight in to a selection of show tunes from South Pacific followed buy a medley of Ciff Richard hits including Devil woman, Carrie, and the Wired for sound. The landlord’s starting to get a bit uptight now, he prefers Cliffs earlier work and he says we’re offending his regulars. They're offending me friend, slippers worn with tracksuit trousers in a pub anyone?
Before he calls in the Old Bill we decide to make our excuses and leave and we set off on the short walk to The Wet Hurse pub were there’s some ‘gentlemen's entertainment’ on offer. We’re all big burleseque fans and have been coming to this venue for a few years. We take our reserved seats in front of the stage and order a bottle of ‘Michel Buble’ (AD opts for a Top Deck shandy and black Sambuca) and we settle in to watch the show. It all gets a bit hazy after this, Small hand Pete reckons that Anna from Prague spiked our drinks, We should have sussed her early doors when the guv’nor told us her old man was one of Sparta's top lads and to be fair she did look game as fuck in her leopard skin bikini and stilettos.
Anyway the next thing we remember we’re walking the streets at three in the morning with no wallets phones or shoes. I manage to find 20p in my cords so we’re on the phone to Awkward Dave’s bird Stubborn Lisa who reluctantly comes to pick us up