On The Road To God Knows Where – Manchester

“AND where are ye guys off to this weekend?” asks the blondey haired D4 bird sitting next to Philly on the plane. “Ah well, we’re off to this titty bar called Leggs” replies Philly, not a bother on him. He wasn’t even saying it for anyone else’s benefit. He was just genuinely delighted to be going back to the strip club he’d been in the last time he was in Manchester. And for ten pound lap dances can ya blame him for being excited?

I start laughing and Philly, in full earshot of the girl next to him says “It’s like f*cking Fade street here next to me lads.”

We’ve spent the last three hours drinking pints of Guinness in the airport bar after two or three delays to our flight. We’ll be one of the lucky ones to get out of here tonight with the weather the way it is. But sure if we don’t then we’ll just keep drinking. And the match aint ‘til tomorrow anyway, so we’ve plenty of time. Shaney is after getting stuck in Barcelona. He was sitting on the plane on the runway when the air traffic controllers went on strike all over Spain. The Spanish army will later go around to the air traffic controllers’ houses and force them to go to work. There’s not much sympathy from the thousands stranded in Spanish airports when people hear the wages that they’re on.

We’re off to Man City V Bolton in the City of Manchester Stadium for two of the boys thirtieth birthdays. Although one of them didn’t bother coming. But we’ll celebrate on his behalf. We thought of bringing a cardboard cut-out of him to the game so he would be here with us in spirit. So we’re two men down before we even set off and one of the lads spends the entire trip on the phone to his bird at home so we might as well be three down.

Tevez bangs in a goal in the first three minutes while we’re finishing our pints and trying to find our seats. Nice one that’s 60 sterling each if it stays 1-0. They’ve got Ladbrokes in the stadium and ya can drink a beer too. When will they let us do this in the Aviva? The rest of the game is spent hoping the score stays the same.

City hit the post and Bolton have one or two good chances but it stays one nil and it’s a nice few pound that we can blow in Leggs for the second night in a row. It’s freezing and the snow on the walk back into Manchester city centre doesn’t help. Philly f*cked off 15 minutes early to jump in a Joe maxi and beat the rush. He’s sprawled out in the hotel when we get back to the hotel drinking cans and watching the X-Factor. He’s some man to drink when he starts.

“A bleedin’ metal detector in a club!” “Yeah Manchester’s got a really bad gang problem, the metal detector’s in case you’re carrying a gun.” But I left me glock back in Ireland.”

“Jaysus where are we off to?” We’re walking around the corridors for ages and end up back out the front. It’s just like Spinal Tap. “How do ya get into this club?” It turns out it’s down stairs which should have been obvious. We really made tits of ourselves barely getting in past the bouncers at the door then coming straight  back out to them through a different door a few minutes later.

The crazy dub-step and fights every two minutes make us hurry up and do a few shots and get the hell out of dodge. Two of the lads have already gone into the titty bar next door. We make our entrance like the conquering heroes shooting strippers with our invisible guns. The boys are holding  court with a table of girls.

The last time I walked into a titty bar was in Bratislava on an Ireland trip and all the dancers were sat at the bar while two drunk Irish lads were dancing around the pole on stage. We all fall in love about three or four times that night.

Muhammad gets a dance off one of the birds wearing his stupid bobble hat. He reckons she was hammered drunk. He’ll never get the smell of stripper off that hat. We nearly get thrown out for annoying one of the strippers. She doesn’t take kindly when I turn down a dance off her. She calls me a pervert cos I’m only there to drink and eye up the birds. Don’t I know how much they actually earn from every dance? I go get a dance off a nerdy girl with glasses who keeps smiling weird at me while she’s dancing, just to get away from her. Richie gets an earful while I’m away getting a face full of titties. He doesn’t have a clue what he did wrong.

Muhammad’s name has been changed to protect his identity, as he is afraid his girlfriend will find out he was in a titty bar. When we were in Vegas a few years ago, the guy spinning the roulette wheel from Afghanistan told him he looked like his cousin Muhammad. He also looks like a terrorist. So the name fits.

The match itself was shocking. It was too cold and City scored too early for there to be any atmosphere. It was just as interesting checking out the city banners and Owen Coyle kitted out in shorts. Why do managers do this when they’re not going to be playing? He must be freezing his nuts off. I also spot a guy dressed as Where’s Wally in the Bolton end. Also Balotelli is some arsehole. He might be class eventually but he acts like a total twat in this game. Kind of adds to the theatre though. Kevin Davies is good to watch too, as he was my captain in fantasy football this weekend. Oh yeah and we spot Mancini in Manchester city centre just walking around. We thought about going up and asking for a picture and then just handing him the camera and all of us posing. But we didn’t bother. We just went back to Leggs for the second night in a row. We are way funnier in our heads than in real life.

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