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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

George Best Goes to Bikini Atoll

A little-known fact about George Best, apart from his having wasted his best years playing for the wrong team in red in the North West of England (though everyone knows that), is that he worked as an observer for the US military at the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests in the 1950s. He may have been only eight years old at the time, but they were the happiest days of his life, running around in the radioactive waste that gave his feet strange, hitherto-unknown footballing powers, and becoming the object of a cargo cult among the displaced natives. Ah, Bikini Atoll he would think to himself in later years as he phoned in a lousy performance for Fulham or opened another supermarket in Milton Keynes. He loved the place so much he decided to open a club called just that, Bikini Atoll. It was tough for him though, the combination of lap dancers (how not have lap dancers with a name like that) and free-flowing booze. Many an evening he’d sit through the cabaret act resisting the temptation to pour himself a glass of wine, but there was something about the last song of the evening that triggered a total loss of self-control. He’d jump up, grab the mic, sing his favourite schmaltzy Ronan Keating number, then really hit the sauce hard. ‘You have to develop a superego, George’, his counsellor would tell him, ‘the voice in your head that sees the temptation but shouts no, no no! Say superego to yourself and no to the other part of yourself, the weak part. And that song you sing, it’s like your trigger from The Manchurian Candidate or something. Don’t sing the song.’ George shook his head sadly. He knew temptation was just another evening away. His counsellor decided to follow him back to the club and secretly keep an eye on him, with the word ‘superego’ written in large letters on a special sign he’d made. As the crooner on-stage dragged ‘My Way’ backwards through a ditch for his last number George was already twitching. He leaped out of his chair uncontrollably. ‘Thank you ladies and gents, you’ve been a great audience’, he began. ‘You know… It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart’, he went on, reaching for a handy glass of wine. His counsellor jumped to his feet and launched himself at the stage, knocking George sideways. ‘Let me know that… You kneed me!’ cried George, clutching his privates in agony. But his counsellor was showing no mercy. He pointed to the superego sign. ‘You say Id, Best, when you sign off at Atoll.’

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