1990. Come on England! Love's got the world in motion! Waddle, Beardsley, Lineker, GAZZA!
Football genius Bobby Robson is persuaded by football genius Don Howe to play the sweeper system, utilising Mark Wright in a Beckenbauer role. And England are going to beat the world.
We are in a pub in Newcastle, watching a tiny screen half obscured by the reflection of a lightbulb. England are playing Cameroon and the geordies are singing "We've got the best keeper in the land", as 63 year old Shilts makes yet another cat-like save, banishing memories of that hand of God goal four years previously.
Then home for the semi against West Germany and penalties...Penalties against West Germany? Is there really any point in taking them?
So, 1990. West Germany win the World Cup. And Hermann and Clarissa invite friends and family to celebrate the completion of their nest high above the Rhine. High, high above the Rhine...our hearts did entwine, where she carved her name and I carved mine.
The house is completed months ahead of schedule, thanks to the sterling work of the hard-working boys from the East whose pay packet is a fortune to them but a bargain to Hermann and Clarissa.
And two of these boys is what this episode is about:-
1. The Blonde Builder - Hermann's rich, nose-bleeding manager has captured the blonde wife and daughters from the blonde builder of Leipzig, leaving the blonde builder understandably upset at the prospect of sharing celebrations with his family and the man who stole them. But when they turn up, he doesn't dress up as a superhero and climb up a pylon. He wears a West German football shirt and gets pissed. Which, of course, is how a real man should behave. He has a bit of a tantrum, gets in his VW and drives to Berlin where he begins to make his fortune by selling a million pieces of the Berlin Wall to Warner Brothers of The USA...Oh, how bitterly ironic.
2. The bearded, long-haired engineering genius who was responsible for the house being completed so quickly, is taken under the wing of Hermann's eccentric aviator brother, Ernst, who wishes to add to his rich collection of art by flying into the Soviet Bloc and ripping off the locals. On the way they take the piss out of an East German general, and the bearded long-haired draft-dodging engineering genius susses that the Russians might be informed that Ernst and Hairy will be flying over naughty areas during the USSR's World Cup match. And Ernst and Hairy may well be shot down. So Hairy buggers off back to Schabbach with a statue of Lenin and leaves Ernst to his flight to oblivion. Let's hope so, anyay.
Neither of these stories affect Hermann and Clarissa in the slightest as they're quite happy to have their house built at a bargain price and can't wait for their friends and family to piss off so they can continue with their lives of music and lots and lots of love on the brand new wooden floors and milking their newly acquired goat. And if Ernst goes missing? I doubt it would trouble Hermann that much. Because he's been asked by the broadcasting companies and the Music Council to write a reunification symphony. Which is only right because the bloke's a 24 carat musical messiah. Whaddya mean you haven't heard of him? HERMANN SIMON. Christ, I thought everbody had heard of HERMANN SIMON. The 50 year old who looks 25. With perfect grey hair. With a face you want to punch. Yes, that's the one.
And the football? Throughout the episode we see people watching the World Cup, some supporting West Germany with a passion, others not really caring very much.
And the semi-final? The big, big match (as Arsene Wenger might say). England? Gazza's tears? The tears of the world?.............................................
Not even mentioned.
Brexit: the city in the sky
15 hours ago