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The Banker 12

Love Is(n't) in the Air

A week after Valentine's day it's time to unveil the winner of the coveted Least Romantic Gesture Award. Each year throughout the club and across the country men vie with one another to do as little as possible in honour of St Valentine. The original romantic, fin'amor did not exist before he arrived on the scene. With no concept of love men and women had lived together amid a mixture of animosity and apathy, unaware they could spend one day each year comparing their relationship to “Jane and Steve's,” building the foundation for lifelong resentment, our dearest companion.

I myself deserve a place on the short-list for doing nothing: safe, reliable nothing. And, in return, I received nothing. There's no debt, no expectation, only sweet nothing. Georges Moss equally deserves but avoids a place on the short-list due to Grace's steadfast acknowledgement that they do not participate in Valentine's Day. Every day is Valentine's when Georges is at the helm, each time I step into his car I feel myself being wooed against my will. I don't want to be charmed and everything tells me that it's wrong but being sat in that clapped out red Fiesta disarms me. Many other men have fallen before me - it only took an offer of £10 for Georges to gain the confidence of Alistair Cook and Steelhammer, beckon them into his house of candy and work up a sweat at his evil bidding - and many men will fall after me, enticed by his bushy beard and arresting gaze.

Before I reveal the winner, I'll look into my crystal ball and speculate on the nights of others: Porticus contracted scabies (again); Apache almost certainly had a cry and a cuddle and ate a tub of haagen-dazs to himself; Minge dreamt of every boy he's ever loved and chastised himself for conforming to society; Syph demonstrated the correct method for assembling a flat-pack box to his partner and aggressively corrected any errors; Jacob d'Souza did squats and shouted at a wall for 3 hours straight; Regret worked overtime and abused a work computer for “personal use;” Mr Hirst explained the secret to designing the perfect ash silo in excruciating, fastidious detail; CT burnt the midnight oil writing poison pen letters to the entire population of Scunthorpe; Rawhide ate curry and began an affair with an algorithm; Fridge goosed a vicar; a certain Bob Hindle tweeted with the cryptic hashtag “showballsnow,” which may or may not have been directed at the worn and weathered Andrew Neil; and Duvet got a little too frisky with his cardboard cut-out of Maggie Thatcher after one too many G&T's with 3 accountants on a houseboat.

All said, the winner of the Least Romantic Gesture Award 2019, as if there were any doubt, is Mace Windu. He may be the perfect man, as described in last week's Banker, but even perfection is flawed. Perfection sometimes tries to sneak out of the house at 6:30am only to be surprised by flowers and chocolates, and Perfection would seriously weigh up the pros and cons of presenting a Jordanian army knife to their beloved for Valentine's day; we've all been there. I would hate to lecture Mace, nothing could possibly give me or anyone else less pleasure, but lessons could be learnt from the Saint Valentine to whom Valentine's Day is ascribed. A devout follower of Christ who healed the blind and was martyred for his faith, his name has the root 'valens' meaning strong, which is not commonly associated with slinking out of the house. Ched Evans (the hockey player) had the right idea when he violently backhanded the palm of his hand and told Mace he had to “show 'er a good time!” Nothing says “fun” like the threat of GBH, Ched. I wonder how you got that nickname?

It's a week late but Happy Valentine's Day, Bankers. Be excellent to one another on and off the pitch, even if, like Alastair Cook, that means shampooing your team-mates hair and then borrowing their towel and then their pants and then another towel, all in the name of love.


Keep on signing up for the EoSM. The 2s have offered to chauffeur the 3s to the EoSM on the condition that they rowdily and drunkenly support them during their final loss of the season. It would be excellent if other teams could come down and verbally caress the 2s as they're crushed one last time.

In other news/actual news, we have a new coach. I'm sure he'll introduce himself to you at training or someone else will do a more formal introduction for me, but he's called Bastien, he's Dutch, and he demoted Barry Chuckle to ball-boy and made Si sweat with fear. Makes a change from Old Man Platts rocking up on his mobility scooter in his smoking jacket and slippers.


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