by Patrick O’Connor
‘A professor has found after extensive research there are two sizes of penis amongst UK men. There are those which fall within the normal size range and those which are less than two inches while erect.
‘The professor has appealed for help to continue his research. Can all men in the UK with extremely small penises make themselves known over the next six weeks by flying a white flag with a red cross from their cars?’
The fact that such a well-worn joke has been dusted off and is doing the rounds again tells us that World Cup fever is well and truly with us.
The roads are starting to fill up with cars adorned with all shapes and sizes of England flags.
Motoring organization, the AA, is also on the ball. They are worried that drivers listening to games on their car radios might be a safety threat.
“Our main concern is people driving around paying more attention to the match than the road.”
And they are especially concerned when England are playing in the afternoon adding: “Perhaps the least interested parent should do the afternoon school run.”
The English media had kittens with the news that Rio Ferdinand had to pull out of the tournament because of injury, so much so that the Sun, one of the country’s top selling tabloids, had a massive front page lead splash headline ‘Rio Out!’.
Forget all about a crazed gunman, oil spill crisis, or political shenanigans, this was the BIG story.
The supermarkets shelves are stacked to the rafters with World Cup gear and pubs and clubs are stocking up on booze ready for the first big encounter, England v the USA on Saturday evening.
A story in the local newspaper in Derby gives a revealing insight into the English culture when it comes to football and drinking.
The Derby Telegraph reports: ‘A tent will be erected in the city centre to help police deal with booze-fuelled incidents during England’s World Cup matches.
‘The World Cup triage will be made up of a mobile police station and an ambulance, and will be staffed by two police officers and two paramedics.
‘It is part of a major police operation which will see the number of officers in Derby city centre increased during England fixtures.
‘Derby City Council will be handing out plastic glasses to pubs and clubs showing the matches as well as putting on two extra street cleansing staff.’
Away from the World Cup, Liverpool fans are having a field day speculating who will take over from Rafael Benitez who has left Anfield and could well end up at Inter Milan.
Whoever comes in it is highly likely that the Spanish contingent at Liverpool will be reduced next season and that Fernando Torres will be plying his trade elsewhere.
If that is away from the Premier League, defenders here will be breathing a sigh of relief. Without doubt he has been one of the best strikers around in recent years.
Finally a piece of really positive news. Youngsters playing for League One outfit Charlton Athletic will not be allowed to wear coloured boots until they have reached the first team squad.
Several first-teamers wear canary yellow or red boots but academy players wanting to follow suit can forget it.
Academy development manager Damien Matthew BBC Radio Kent: “People might say it’s old fashioned but it’s going back to that discipline.
“If you make it as a professional that’s the reward you get but until then we have that little bit of control over you.
“Manchester United only allow their young players to wear black and white boots. You never want to prevent any player showing that they are creative, but it is that discipline that I alluded to. “