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Desperately seeking Susan

Submitted by on July 3, 2013 – 11:03 amNo Comment

SueBarker

A vision in red, first to the stage, well the side of the stage but she was first nonetheless.  And there was no need for a cue from the clapboard man, this applause was genuine, warm and heartfelt.
 
She looked smaller in real life and somewhat more delicate, and you felt the mood lift and the hearts melt as soon as the delectable Sue entered stage right.  And then she spoke, those reassuringly sweet tones that had melted many a bachelor boy’s heart.   This was Susan Barker and she was merely feet away.
   
She’d been at this all day, Sue, filming the shows one after another.  Another studio audience ushered in and another batch of sporting stars.  Most women would be looking a bit clammy, a bit weathered under those lights.
 
Yet you knew the moment she glided across the stage that she smelt and tasted fresh.  You could kiss Sue after she’d had a long day under the spotlights and those birds from the Cadbury’s caramel advert would appear, singing above your head, telling you that this was no devil woman, this was Susan and she didn’t need a wet wipe to freshen up.
    
She even made you welcome Joey Barton and you didn’t feel corrupted.  “And on Phil’s team”, she began, before introducing the man himself, and you felt yourself momentarily forgetting who the turd with the ropey haircut sitting next to ‘Tuffers’ was. 

This was no reformed character; this was the prolific tweeter, back from an afternoon of sharing the words of wisdom of Plato and visiting Salford Lads’ Club in homage to his beloved Steven Patrick Morrissey. 

And here he was sharing a stage with Sue, Queen of the All England Club, alright she never won it but nobody worth their salt had ever knocked one out over Virginia Wade.
 
She took her seat with almost magisterial poise, like Eric in that painting where the class of 92 sit about him, or a blonde Cleopatra.  If I’d had some grapes I’d have waltzed over and fed her but all I had was a family size packet of Minstrels and you don’t get a figure like Susan’s by eating chocolate.  She could have ballooned when she hung up the tennis bat and settled into a life of comfortable nothingness on the South Coast.
 
But no, she’s kept herself more than tidy; I’d imagine she’s still active on the court, knocking a few balls about with former players, celebs and ageing pop stars.  If it wasn’t for the media commitments and time needed keeping that blonde bob in order she’d probably still be on the circuit.
    
Once the din had settled down the crowd sat still, no fidgeting allowed as there are cameras all around. You could be on a Christmas out-take picking a winner or gently rubbing your crotch; I sat on my hands just to make sure.
 
Sue sat with her hands gently resting on the table, it was a pose that said “I’m comfortable but rest assured I’m also in charge of this situation and if that Tuffers tries to light a long one or Dawson attempts to drink his own vomit and crouch and engage then I’ll be straight over”. 

She takes no messing, apart from the jovial “laddish banter” between the two team captains. She tolerates this nonsense but you can tell from her eyes that she thinks they are a pair of prize knobs. 

Oh how Sue longed for that old cheeky chops Ally I’m Moist as she liked to call Tufnell’s predecessor.
    
This was business Sue, there was no doubt about that.  She wore a jovial smile but there was an undercurrent of a sharp, spiky character who would claw your eyes out at the very mention of Summer Holiday. 

Sue controlled the ebb and flow like Queen’s Park Rangers’ very own Joseph Barton would control any midfield tussle.  Barton, for all his faults and these included wearing a pair of skin tight grey jeans, knew his sporting trivia, although I’d imagine when you have few friends you probably spend a lot of time watching the sports channels. 

Or masturbating furiously to the tempo of the 1976 French Open Women’s Final – Sue’s finest hour? Not on your Nelly, this was Sue’s finest hour.  

Dictating play from the centre court whilst Tuffers and Dawson provide a verbal rally worthy of men who may or may not seek the pleasure of her undivided attention in the green room.  

Sue wasn’t interested in those clowns, she’s on a different level, or a different court if you’ll excuse the tennis reference. “Balls to them” she thought.
 
Sue&Cliff

You could tell Barton was angling for something. He was all, “Oh I didn’t think I was going to get that one Sue” and “Oh that was the hardest video round I’ve ever seen Sue, I played with Jags and have known Osman for years Sue and even I didn’t get that one Sue”. 

Sling it Barton I thought, and I’m sure Sue thought the very same.
  
She was entertaining him, not in a telling him jokes way but in an “I know he’s a tit but it’s more than my job’s worth to tell the watching public and studio audience” way, not that Sue’s a jobsworth, she’s just a professional.

The little Turd was definitely up to something,  he looked at her with a smile that could only say “Hey Sue, I’m at QPR now you know, I’ve got a nice little flat by the river, not far from Television House, I could help you pack your boxes up if you like before Grandstand moves up North”, “I’m watching you Barton”, thought I, and I was.
 
And so it continued, little glances from Joey and a masked look of disdain from Sue, the delectable, vision in red Sue. Tuffers cracking jokes about how he’s mastered the “tango” and “foxtrot” and Dawson just being a right boring bastard.
 
I wasn’t bothered who won, there was only one real game going on here and I wasn’t missing out to the turd.  I longed for a brief Question and Answer at the end but that was it, Susan announced the winner,  the panellists arose to applause and off they toddled stopping only for an exchange of handshakes and back-patting at the front of the stage. 

And that’s when he tried it, the little weasel was shaking Sue’s hand and pounced, the turd leaned in lips pursed, and Sue was leaning towards the turd ready to reciprocate.  How could she?  I had to stop it. 

But I was on the back row.  Boxed in by a crowd, there was only one thing for it, “YOU EVER WANKED CLIFF OFF SUE?”, they both froze, pulled away, the lights came on and I was ushered away, thrown into the drizzle of a Salford night.  She’ll thank me later, when we meet again.

- This article appeared in issue eight of A Fine Lung. To buy a copy click here: STALL

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