I'm out  for a beer the other day.

England is playing against some other team and all the bars are televising it, you know, it's the World Cup thing?

So, I'm ordering a drink and this guy starts talking to me about football – soccer, for my Transatlantic buddies – and I tell him to feck off and get a life.

Like I've said a hundred times before in more posts and on more websites than I've got webbed fingers:


Listen, I have friends who love it, for the skill involved and, sometimes, the politics and… whatever.

I can dig that.

But it's the flags and the fake patriotism I can't hack.

The St George Cross to me is just another Fascist symbol, football or no football.

And everybody dresses up in ill-fitting "strips"; and some of them drape the flags around them and trip over them, and get upset when their mates vomit over them…

And an hour after the game no one knows who won.

In other words, it's a feck up, and it's got absolutely feck-all to do with sport, or me, or my life.

Anyway, turns out I know this guy; we were at university together, well not exactly "together", you understand, rather we were there at the same time?

So, after the big recognition scene, we get around to talking about the door marked "Death Studies" on the philosophy corridor of the Trent Building (Humanities) at Nottingham University.

I can't recall which of us mentions it first, we're in a pub and I'm drunk, and it's the World Cup…

But both our faces turn the proverbial whiter shade of the pale variety. 

You see, only one person had ever entered the door marked "Death Studies" and no one had ever come out.

The cleaners said the door had always been locked and the room was not on the cleaning rota.

The teaching staff of the philosophy department strongly denied the existence of a "Death Studies" module and, as far as anyone was aware, there were no "Death" students.

But to this day, neither my football-fan friend nor I have seen anything of Michael Bow, of Chelmsford, Essex, UK, although we both saw him enter the room.