From Shamus “Inches” O’Toole
Loyal readers know that I am what some would call a fan of the noble sport of tennis. Obsessive readers know that I am what the Metropolitan Police Service calls a “dangerous, unstable hooligan.” Those faithful readers have recently asked how it is that I became the only tennis fan in British history to be charged under Margaret Thatcher’s Football Spectators Offences Act. I am only happy to share the story of that proud day with you!
In 1989, I was fortunate to be attending Wimbledon, and seated near enough to Centre Court to smell the sauerkraut on Steffi Graff’s breath. Being a patriot, and a self-taught history buff, I felt it was my duty to show support for my American allies and their esteemed representative: the comely Miss Martina Navratilova. I gathered all my courage, and leapt over Johnny Carson and onto Center Court.
Having enjoyed a number of fine spirits with some distinguished friends earlier in the day, I can be forgiven for a bit of confusion. You see, in a show of support for Miss Navratilova, I striped my clothes off and preformed a traditional Maori war haka. It was later explained to me that, although it was one of the best naked, drunken, one-man renditions of “Ka Mate” ever seen, Martina Navratilova is Czech, and not from New Zealand. I’ve never been good with accents.
In the following skirmish with security, I allegedly threw a racquet into the royal box, and—long story short—now use an assumed name when traveling through Europe.