Why are we here?

#1

Another day breaks on the bright new planet that is papsweb; who knows where it may lead . But before it leads anywhere I have a message from Mrs Stickman for Bletch: she very much wants to thank you (and Pele) for the blue pills (although she’s a little disconcerted about the slight soreness in my nether regions that has developed after our time together on your sofa)

Anyway, back to papsweb. At this juncture I had intended to make a nice linkage between its birth and that of Sebastian; however, as it is a well documented fact that Tokes never reads beyond the first paragraph, I’ve decided not to bother. Instead, I would like to share some of the thoughts that washed over me last night as I bathed in the warm afterglow of the aforementioned blue pills.

I lay there thinking of Bletch – okay, okay, I thought a little bit of other sotonians as well, but mainly of Bletch (it’s a man thing, some of you won’t understand) – and my overriding thought was: why are we here?

Whenever I lay in bed wondering: why are we here – or in my more self-centred moments: why am I here – which, to be honest, is most nights, I find it useful to refer back to first principles; to seek a root cause; a common denominator.

Now, as we prepare to face a new day; all of us in our different ways – Bear waiting eagerly for his first customer behind the counter at McDonalds; Bletch waiting eagerly for his first client behind the sofa at his S & M dungeon – it’s hard to argue that we’re not an eclectic bunch. Yet, we all have a root cause, a common denominator: all of us are Saints’ fans. That’s why we are here! But, how and why did we get here?

‘Noooooo Halo, the question as to how and why we are Saints fans is too twee, and has been done to death on other places’ I hear the collective groan. But I say to the groaners: Fuck off, I, myself, find it very interesting to learn how and why people became Saints’ fans, particularly as the journey to Sainthood isn’t always a straightforward one.

But, of course, if people would also like to answer the supplementary questions: why are we here (on planet papsweb), or why are we here (on planet Earth), then that, too, would be very interesting. :smile:

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#2

I was always a bit of a geek growing up and never too hot at football. I suppose the first interest I ever had in the game came from a London family that lived in our street. They wouldn’t stop going on about their beloved West Ham. Probably went to my first Saints game at the age of 11 or 12, but even then, it was just another thing in this big exciting world full of things, but I was an admitted Saints fan at that point, and it while it would lay dormant for a few years, it would come back with a vengeance.

It was actually moving to Liverpool that triggered true fandom. How could it not? This city, in which it is fairly weird to find someone that doesn’t support a football team, tends to see everything through a football lens. Almost impossible not to get involved, plus there was that whole “don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” thing going on. Hence, Saturdays would be spent with Radio 5 blurting out of the AM, and Match of the Day in the evenings, particularly if Matty had scored a wonder-goal.

I started using some of the little money I had leftover to go to games, saw a particularly memorable 3-2 against Liverpool at Anfield, and started marking off North West grounds one by one. I didn’t go to as many games during the long decline, but managed to take the eldest daughter to her first game around 10 years ago, a 3-2 win at Turf Moor.

Since the takeover, I’ve been to a lot more, and in the last couple of years, largely due to my brother’s badgering, my attendance at games has skyrocketed. I went to 20 games this season, home and away. It has been a ballache at times, but it has probably been my finest as a Saints fan. I’ve genuinely felt part of it, and it doesn’t hurt that our little pocket of Itchen North has actual members of my family in it. It’s felt like family this year.

In his book Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby makes the case that football is a more serious relationship than marriage. His argument is that while you can get divorced and marry again, a proper football fan could never pick another football team if things are on the rocks. I’d actually go further. Most relationships settle into an equilibrium at some stage. You trade excitement for contentment, and watch a bit of Broadchurch instead of doing each other over random pieces of furniture 24/7.

With football, the excitement never really goes away, or at least, hasn’t so far. It still manages to grossly affect my mood, either in the moment, or in the case of a big win or loss, over the course of the week. While a bit of experience teaches you how to process those football-based emotions better (e.g. not being a bastard to everyone after your team have been hammered) the raw emotion that drives it is ever-present.

Rounding off with a quick word on this site, or Internet forums in general, I just think they’re a fascinating way to see what’s going on in the heads of your “contemporaries”. Always have. I took Southampton FC for granted when living in the city, and I do think we take the abilities that we have (through forums like this) for granted too.

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#3

Great stuff, Pap! Love the Broadchurch line!

I came to love Saints via a fairly meandering path. Whisper it quietly, before my dad started taking me to games at the Dell I was a … ahem … Spurs supporter. Even when Dad started taking me to games it was by no means a straightforward path: back in the 1960s / early 70s some Isle of Wighters – my dad being one of them – would go to the Dell one Saturday and … ahem … Fratton Park the next. :blush:

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#4

On the traveller site where I grew up, no-one was much interested in football. The sports that we followed, and played, were traditional pikey sports, like gaelic handball using curled-up hedgehogs, bareback donkey wrestling, and welterweight thieving.

I was a renegade though, and somehow developed an interest in football. More than that, actually, I was completely obsessed! My dearest wish, was to be one of the bros who gets to go every week. I wanted, above all things, a season ticket.

My mother, who I called Aunt Jackie, was not so keen. “To be sure,” she would say, “you caint be having a season ticket for the football, begorrah, that is not the type of thing we can get by thieving, or earn by going door-to-door offering clothes pegs and sharpening. Do you know how many driveways we would have to poorly resurface, to pay for a season ticket?”

But I would not give up so easily. I was a very determined child, and for a time, I made myself an absolute nuisance on the subject of season tickets. It was all I could talk about! I soon found that there is no subject of conversation that cannot be easily redirected, to the more intersting and exciting topic, of season tickets.

What do you want for your birthday? Season ticket. Have you seen my neckerchief? Season ticket. Take the dog for a walk with a length of frayed rope, will you? Maybe for a season ticket.

What do you want in your sandwich? Season ticket.

After a period, say 3 or 4 years, where every other word I spoke was either season, or ticket, I eventually wore my poor mother/aunt down.

It came on my 13th birthday. Here you go for fucks sake begorrah, to be sure, she said, handing me an envelope. I looked at it in surprise. All I normally got was a flick-knife, or 20 Lambert & Butler, or a roasted ponch with a homemade candle in it.

Oh my God, oh my God! I exclaimed. Is this…?

She smiled her affirmation, and I ripped open the envelope, with mounting excitement.

It was a season ticket alright! My heart pounded briefly, but then it sank like a drowning puppy in a hessian sack. I had been completely outsmarted. I was no great reader - the only reading I used to do was signs saying Keep Out! or Pikeys Fuck Off! but I had enough literary skills to recognise the words “Southampton Football Club”.

I immediately realised, that when I imagined a season ticket, what I had really wanted was Liverpool. Or Manchester United, at a push. I had never even heard of Southampton! I had no idea what league they played in, or who their players were, but I was pretty sure they wouldn’t be Steve McManaman.

I don’t want it, I said immediately, holding the cursed document back to Aunt Jackie.

She looked at me, dumbfounded. She had no conception, that one football club is not much the same as the other, or that rather than handing me my hearts desire, as she imagined, she had actually shit on my wellingtons. Southampton, of all things!

Why, you ungrateful little shit! She said sweetly, cuffing me round the ear. I had to suck a lot of cocks to get this for you! And I tell you one thing, begorrah, to be sure, you are going to use it, and you are going to fucking like it. If I ever hear that you aren’t following this football team, I will cut your knackers off with blunt shears!

I knew that she would be good to her word on this. I had seen her do it many times, to other kids on the site, and passing businessmen, and horses. I sighed deeply. My fate was sealed. And 15 years later, I’m still fucking here. :cry:

So there we have it, an entirely true story, and if anyone can name the book from which its conception is partly plagiarised, I will give you Respect.

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#5

:laughing: I’d give you half a dozen ‘likes’ for that if I could, Bear!

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#6

Cheers my boss came by and i was typing like a dervish and he was like, good to see you beavering

lol

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#7

Ahhhhh Aunt Jackie, all the boys have fond memories of Aunt Jackie.

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#8

Just a minute, Tokes!

Bear didn’t mention Auntie Jackie till paragraph 3

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#9

Yeah but just like the old days, we could all feel when she was coming.

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#10

On the traveller site where I grew up

I was laughing after only the first sentence! That must be a record.

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#11

What’s funny about “Another day breaks on the bright new planet that is papsweb; who knows where it may lead”?

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#12

LOL. Tokyo, you’re actually really funny when you’re not doing cock jokes or naked women picks!

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#13

It may not be funny, Tokes, but in the years to come it will be right up there with:

It was the best of times; it was the worse of times

or

The boy stood on the burning deck, his lips all a quiver

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#14

Oh shit! I’ve just been awarded the Grouch badge :frowning:

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#15

well earned tribute! How Do You Know Bout Which Badges You Is Got And Which Badges You Is Not Got?

Edit: Also What Is Ur Why Is You Here Story Pls Make It Dirty Pls

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#16

I looked in activity, and it said I’d been awarded it. I don’t think I even down thumbed anyone. Controversy.

Might save my story for tomorrow… I’m sure I can find ways to spice it up. Maybe I’ll make it a vlog.

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#17

Make sure you post it by Sunday evening, Lou!

I’m away next week. :slight_frown:

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#18

Thanks Lou, I live for your approval and will adjust my future posts to suit your preferances.

Q: What happened to bear when he walked into a wall with a boner?

A: He smashed his his nose.

Sorry let one slip there. Must work harder.

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#19

Originally posted by @Tokyo-Saint

Thanks Lou, I live for your approval and will adjust my future posts to suit your preferances.

Q: What happened to bear when he walked into a wall with a boner?

A: He smashed his his nose.

Sorry let one slip there. Must work harder.

Thanks Tokyo, and I live for your subtle ‘fuck off Lou’ references… :slight_smile:

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#20

Originally posted by @Halo-Stickman

But, of course, if people would also like to answer the supplementary questions: why are we here (on planet papsweb), or why are we here (on planet Earth), then that, too, would be very interesting. :smile:

I’ll go with nucleosynthesis. In particular stars of solar mass greater than 4. Of course, our own Sun as well as being giver of life will become ‘death, the destroyer of worlds’ (paraphrased by Oppenheimer). Not that this should strike fear into our hearts but might contribute to the awe and wonder of how a very particular (as far as we know) set of circumstances lead to us share information across the world at the speed of light.

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