There are many possible reasons why the piece that I posted in yesterday’s blog did not win the competition I entered it for.
The judge may have been the Devil, and felt that I was slagging him. Or he may have believed that I am actually the Devil, and was not therefore writing as somebody else as instructed. Or the judge may have been God (in a way I suppose he was) and might be fed up hearing about the Devil.
I may have used the wrong type of font (the wrong type of type, in other words), the wrong amount of grovelling in my accompanying email, or the wrong amount of money in the bribe I sent in the post. Or they might just have thought that what I wrote was crap.
And then there is one other possible reason.
The third part of the opening sentence, for those of you not from around here, refers to a recent match between Chelsea and Swansea City. The game was nearly over and Chelsea (the away team) were losing, and when the ball went out of play one of their players decided that the ball-boy (from Swansea, who were winning) wasn’t returning it quickly enough, so he tried to toe-poke the ball away from the ball-boy and accidentally kicked him. This created something of a fuss in the world of football.
And it happened on an evening when I had my entry just finished, and I decided that I would use the incident, as it would give the piece a sense of freshness and immediacy. So at the very last minute I put that bit into the opening sentence and sent my entry off.
Last night, after the bitter pill of defeat had been swallowed (that’s not actually true, I entered knowing that I had no chance, they gave very specific guidelines about what they were expecting and I ignored almost all of them) I opened the Word Document on my computer so that I could copy the story to here.
And in that document, the one that I submitted to a Serious Competition run by the flagship Arts Programme of our National Radio Station, the very first sentence reads “I have never hit anyone, never stolen anything, never licked a ball-boy during a football match”.
Sometimes Spellcheck isn’t worth a duck.