Tweedledum and Tweedledee apply to Alice
for the job of running the allocation of tickets
for the next World Cup.

         “Next, please !” called Alice.
         She heard nobody enter the room, but when she next looked up she saw two fat little men standing motionless, side by side. They had chubby legs and double chins.
         “For all the world,” thought Alice,” like a pair of Paul Gascoignes.”
         The one on the left had MAN written on the front of his collar. The other one had ARSE embroidered on his.
         “I suppose,” said Alice out loud, because the two fat men seemed like waxworks, “I suppose one has CHESTER UNITED on the back of his collar and the other has NAL. “
         She got up and was about to walk round them, when the first one, Tweedledum, spoke.
         “If you think were are public statues, you ought to pay for the privilege of seeing us. Nohow.”
         “And if you don’t pay, you shouldn’t look at us. Contrariwise, “ said the other, who she now realised was Tweedledee.
         “But surely it’s a free country,” said Alice. “Surely we don’t have to pay to look at things !”
         “Football ain’t a free country,” saidTweedledum. “Football’s a very expensive country.”
         “Pay as you view ! Pay as you view ! “ said Tweedledum. “ What you see is what you pay for.”
         “What you hear is what you pay for,” said Tweedledee. “Whenever a footballer speaks, someone is paying for it. ‘I think we can win’, says Gazza. Someone is paying him thousands for the privilege of hearing that!”
         “Who’s going to be paying us for saying all this?” said his brother. “That’s what I want to know.”
         Somehow, Alice wasn’t quite sure how, but somehow they all joined hands at this point and started dancing round in a circle, chanting, “Pay as you View! Pay as you Vie ! Lots of lolly for me and you!”.  Then they suddenly stopped dancing and both brothers stared pointedly at Alice, who found herself blushing.
         “Well,” said Alice, “ever since I became president of FIFA in 1999 when nobody could agree on any of the other candidates, and I was the only one that nobody hated ...”
         “Would you like to hear some poetry?” said Tweedledum.
         “I beg your pardon?” said Alice.
         “Do you like poetry?” said Tweedledee. “Do you like football poetry?”
         “Well,” said Alice doubtfully, “as long as it’s not rude...’
         “The Walrus and the Carpenter
         Walked up and down the stand...” started Tweedledum.
         “Is it a very long poem?” said Alice.
         “It’ll be a great deal longer if you keep interrupting,” said Tweedledee. “So we’ll start again.”
         And to Alice’s amazement, the two brothers started reciting a long poem, taking a verse each...

         The Walrus and the Carpenter
         Walked up and down the stand,
         Where the lonely concrete pillars
         Stood gaunt on either hand.
         “If this were built when t’World Cup comes,”
         They said, “It would be grand!”

         “If we could charge a hundred quid
         For every seat that’s here,
         A thousand million smackers
         Is roughly what we’d clear.
         Half for you, and half for me,
         Plus expenses, never fear!”

         And as they walked along the stand
         A Gazza came in view,
         Shambling gently on the grass
         Amid the morning dew.
         “I don’t much like the look of him,
         The Walrus said. “Do you?”
         “Oh, Gazza,” said the Carpenter,
         Come for a walk with us!
         And if you’re not in training,
         Then we can take a bus!
         And spare us your little tantrums;
         Just come without a fuss.”

         But the Gazza screwed his little face
         And cried and cried and cried,
         Stamping his little trotters
         As he swayed from side to side.
         “ I want to play for England !”
         He moaned and groaned and sighed.

         There was a long pause at this point. Alice, whose mind was far away, looked up and saw that Tweedledee had gone scarlet in the face. He was pointing at the ground. She followed his finger. There lay a rattle. It had Arsenal written on one side and Man United on the other. It seemed to be broken....
         “It’s just a rattle,” she said.
         “It’s MY rattle,” said Tweedledee. “It’s my nice, new, shiny, lovely World Cup 2002 all purpose football rattle! And someone’s broken it !”
         “I suppose this means you’ll have to have a battle now, “remarked Alice, who knew the old nursery rhyme.
         “No need for that,” said Tweedledum, coming up behind his brother and knocking him cold with a poker. “That’s how we do things in football.”
         Alice opened her mouth and was about to say something when the sky grew very dark and it started to rain heavily, so let’s go straight back to the studio and hear how other teams are getting round the country...

END - back to top
Miles on Air
Radio Television
Beginnings and Endings
Wife of Bath
Patpong Road
Memorable Verse
Barbed Wire Ballads
Dying Words
How to tell a Funny Story
A Handbag
Dead Slang
Letter from a Magpie
Choosing Baby's Name
Letter from a Cuckoo
Hunchback of Notre Dame meets Richard III
Scar Head
Wonderland World Cup
Bunter in Hamlet