Who ate all the empanadas?
Nature intended kick-off to be at three on Saturday afternoons, so I still can't get my head and my ass and my tum around a 12.45 start. Such as on 13 March, Spurs v Blackburn. What to eat, followed by when? Oh, the agonies of deciding.
I remember asking my sister years ago when she was having a glass and a fag - why do you have both together? Surely it's better to savour pleasures one at a time? Which was very prissy. And stupid.
I don't think I ever watch a football game, in the flesh or on telly, without stuffing my face at the same time. I've already ordered the Beaujolais for the World Cup. On a Sunday at home, with two matches to watch, I have so many items of fruit, oatcakes, bits of cheese and drinks lined up, it's like a branch of Morrisons. I do try to be sensible, to limit or at least stagger the input. It's useful having the minute clock in the corner of the screen. Another 60 seconds, I tell myself, then I'll have a gulp. In five minutes, I'll try the plum, see if it tastes as mouldy as it looks. Then at half-time, wow, I'll rush down and make fresh coffee. Life's good, following food - I mean, the football.
From the Victorian beginnings of football, fans have drooled over pies, with certain clubs becoming celebrated for their shit-hot pies, usually while their team played run-of-the-mill shit. And Bovril: the very letters make me drool.
It's the same abroad. If you go to a game in Spain, the fans chew these sunflower seeds, all the way through, spitting out the chaff, so at the end they are sitting on what looks like a mountain of flour.
In the 1960s, at Spurs (as at many grounds), you got blokes selling brown paper bags of monkey nuts - you know, the ones in shells. They would go up and down, looking along the mass rows of standing fans. When they spotted a hand going up, they would expertly lob a packet about 50 yards over a hundred heads - then wait for the money to be sent back, hand to hand. That all stopped when stadiums became all-seater. When you stood on terraces, it was hard to move. Now, they expect you to move at half-time and spend a fortune in the club shop or on the smoked-salmon, plastic bagels.
They don't catch me, but if I need to leave at 11.45 for kick-off an hour later, I have to take some sustenance; I don't want to pass out through inanition. Which means carrying a little rucksack, and my flask of coffee, and fruit, oh God, hate these lunchtime kick-offs.
But just as I was leaving last Saturday, a note came through the door from Sue and Derek, with whom I was going, in their car, saying that Sue would provide sandwiches. Oh, bliss.
They turned out to be smoked salmon on brown bread, plus Brie and cranberry. It made Spurs' victory, 3-1, taste even better. And did I laugh at poor old Michel Salgado - yes, the ex-Real Madrid star - being given the runaround by young Gareth Bale. Salgado is so much smaller than I imagined - and fat. All those Spanish pies.