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Off The Record: It’s Good To Talk — Gooner-baiting in Essex



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This was forwarded to me via email. The bloke that sent it swears blind it is a true story. For what it’s worth, my opinion is it probably isn’t.

Perhaps elements of it are bona-fide — some of those Essex boys are raving mentalist’s — but, I suspect, it’s one of those ‘it happened to a friend of a friend of a friend’, Urban Myth thingamajig’s. Whatever.

The point is, after reading it; I had tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks. So, absolute truth or otherwise, do what I did…Read it and weep:

When you occasionally have a really bad day and you just need to take it out on someone, don’t take it out on someone you know – take it out on someone you don’t know.

I’m going back donkey’s years now but…one day, I was sitting at my desk at work when I remembered a phone call I’d forgotten to make to an acquaintance.

I found his number and dialled it.

“Hello,” said a man’s voice I did not recognise.

I politely replied, “Hello, this is David. Could I speak with Robert Campbell please?”

Suddenly, and totally out of the blue, a manic voice yelled in my ear, “GET THE RIGHT F**KING NUMBER, YOU MUG!!!” and the phone was slammed down on me.

I couldn’t believe that anyone could be so rude. When later I tracked down Robert’s correct number, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits.

I eventually spoke to Robert and I told him about the ignorant bloke I’d mistakenly spoken to and he was like, “Oh, him…yeah. Right miserable bugger! I know other people have done that and been treated the same. He’s a gooner too, mate.”

So, I went: “How do you know he’s a gooner?”

“Because, what with us having similar numbers, I occasionally get his calls too. One of them was from the Arsenal ticket office about a problem with his season ticket.”

Well, that was it. Bad enough the geezer had got all unnecessary, now I knew he supported the enemy…I’m a Tottenham man so, as you can probably imagine, I absolutely HATE gooners. In the circumstances, I decided to get up to a bit of mischief. It would’ve been rude, I reasoned, not to.

I called the ‘wrong’ number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled: “YOU’RE A C**T!” at the top of my voice and hung up.

A bit juvenile, I know but it made me feel better. So much so that I wrote his number down with the word, ‘C**t’ next to it, and put it in my desk drawer.

Every couple of weeks or so, whenever I felt down or I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I’d call him up and yell: “YOU’RE A C**T!” down the line. It never failed to cheer me up.

When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic ‘c**t calling’ would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, “Hello, sir – this is John Smith from BT. I’m calling to see if you’re familiar with our Caller ID Program?”

He yelled, “NO, I’M NOT. F**K OFF!” and slammed down the phone.

I quickly called him back and said, “That’s because you’re a c**t!”

Few months later, I was at Lakeside Shopping Centre, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a gun-metal grey Land Rover cut me off and pulled into the space I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I’d been waiting for that spot, but the idiot deliberately ignored me. My annoyance was complete when I clocked the driver was wearing an Arsenal shirt.

Then, I noticed a “For Sale” sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number.

A couple of days later, right after calling the first c**t (I had his number on speed dial by this point), I thought that I’d better call the Land Rover c**t too.

“Hello, is this the man with the gun-metal grey Land Rover for sale?”

“Yes, it is” he said.

“Can you tell me where I can see it?” I asked.

“‘Course, mate. I live at 129 Alice Street, in Ilford. It’s a terraced house, and the car’s parked right out front.”

“Terrific. What’s your name?” I asked.

“My name is Steve Hansen” he said.

“And when’s a good time to catch you in, Steve?”

“I’m home most days pal, as I’m currently unemployed.”

“Listen, Steve, can I tell you something?”


“Steve, you’re a c**t!” Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial too.

Now, whenever I had a problem or had a row with ‘er indoors or was just in a foul mood, I had two a***holes to call. Proper blinding result, it was.

And so, for months and months, that’s exactly what I did. I would like to say I felt guilty about making life miserable for the pair of them but I didn’t — it really was great fun.

But, eventually, I did get bored with it and decided to stop. Though, not before I executed my brilliant idea as a grand finale.

I called C**t No.1.


“You’re a c**t!” I said, but I didn’t hang up.

“Are you still there?” he asked, hesitantly, after a few seconds.

“Yeah,” I said.

“STOP F**KING CALLING ME!” he screamed.

“Make me.” I said.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“My name is Steve Hansen,” I replied.

“Yeah? Gonna tell me where do you live?”

“C**t,” I said. “I live at 129 Alice Street, Ilford, in a terraced house with a gun-metal grey Land Rover parked out the front.”

He said, “Right, I’m coming over there right now. And you had better start saying your prayers, mate.”

I said, “Yeah, like I’m really scared, c**t! Shaking in me boots, I am…” and hung up.

Then, I called C**t No.2.

“Hello?” he said.

“Hello, c**t'” I said.


“You’ll what?” I said.

“I’ll kick your arse all over Essex!” he goes.

I answered, “Well, c**t, you’re in luck – I’m coming over right now. Don’t fancy your chances much though. I’m gonna mess you up…bad!” I hung up and immediately called the police.

I told The Filth I lived at 129 Alice Street, Ilford, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover. Then, I called BBC Essex newsroom and gave them some spiel about a local gang war going down in Alice Street, Ilford. They thanked me for the tip-off.

So, chuffed to bits, I quickly got into my car and headed over to Alice Street, pronto. I got there just in time to watch two complete c**ts beating the living crap out of each other in front of six police cars, an overhead police helicopter and a BBC news crew.

And d’you know what? All these years later, the memory of those gooners being handcuffed by the cozzer’s and dragged off to the local Nick, still brings a great, big smile to my face.

Happy days…