Fish out of water

MICHAEL Fish did come across as a bit of a twonk for dissing that nice lady who’d phoned in to voice her concern at an impending hurricane didn’t he?


But as speedway fans, we’ve become hardened to such acts of weather-related twonkery.
It was back in 1987 that the BBC’s No 1 barometer botherer told us all not to worry and that, no, there wouldn’t be a vicious storm sweeping across Britain.
The devastating trail of uprooted trees, collapsed walls and upturned caravans that followed suggested he was as wide of the mark as a Fernando Torres shot.
I remember it well even though I missed the whole lot.
I’d been away on holiday in Portugal with some mates and, given that this was the prehistoric era before the advent of mobile phones and the interweb, we were all oblivious to it.
Who wanted to watch a weather forecast when you could sink a few brandymels in an Algarve bar?
So it was only after we’d landed at Gatwick and saw for ourselves what had happened that we had any inkling of it.
I was eaten up by worry. I’d arranged to be picked up by my then girlfriend from my mate’s house in Kent and seeing first hand the effects of the Great Storm gave me a very uneasy feeling.
The thing was, you see, I’d not long bought my first ever decent car and I’d lent it to her while I was away.
What if she’d parked it under a tree that came crashing down on my precious new motor?
And when she pulled up in her brother’s car and not mine, I was sweating like a Mackem in an ID parade.
I’d hadn’t seen her for a fortnight but there was no “hello darling” or “it’s lovely to see you”. No, my first words were “where’s my car?”
Fortunately she forgave me and we’ve been married 24 years this summer.
Poor old Michael Fish apparently still gets ribbed about his act of apparent hurricane denial now and has taken to insisting he was talking about another hurricane. Of course Michael…
But, although on a much less spectacular scale, we see this kind of thing all the time don’t we?
We check the forecast to gauge whether that journey to Berwick, Edinburgh or wherever will be a goer and our hopes are raised by the sight of a big yellow sun and the promise of a day in shirt sleeves and shorts.
Then come race day the weathermen have changed their mind, it’s peeing down and the meeting’s rained off.
But right now it’s so far so good.
Alright, it’s only day one of the season but the sun’s shining and the Bears are at home.
Let’s hope it’s the shape of things to come.

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