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Tuesday 16th July, 2019

Bizarre Thought for the Week, w/c 15th May 2006
Tony Dobson

Hi all,
Strange problem I've encountered this week, and I don't seem to be any nearer to a solution to it.

Ever since I was a toddler I've loved milkshakes. When I used to get taken out by my Mum and my Gran they'd get tea and I'd get a milkshake (Crusha banana, frothy). When I got older and used to visit Portsmouth city centre with friends I'd get a milkshake from McDonalds (chocolate, thick). By the time I was starting to see Lorraine a cheap sociable thing to do would be to go McDonalds and get a milkshake (by this time they were offering a banana variety). Mmm, milkshakes.

However as time went by things started to deteriorate. More friends started to get their own places, so trips out for milkshakes reduced in quantity. In addition to this McDonald's speed of service slowed down, and in some stores a request for a banana milkshake was greeted with the reply "Don't do banana". All of which I could live with if it wasn't for my visit to America two years ago.

Lorraine and I had enjoyed various milkshakes in America, but on her birthday in Atlanta I had my first taste of something a bit special. Bemoaning the quality of her birthday dinner we took ourselves down to the food court in the Lenox Square mall, at which point I decided to get myself a banana milkshake. Amid the conversation I noticed something - this one was really good. I made a mental note of where I'd got it from - Freshen's.

By the end of the week I'd really taken a shine to their shakes and smoothies. As our holiday waned away in the departure lounge at Sanford Airport I broke my personal rule on not spending stupid amounts on refreshments at airports by paying $4 for a banana milkshake from the Freshen's counter. I then sipped and savoured it until our flight was called. I've not tasted a milkshake as nice since.

So let's just say that when I go to try a milkshake from somewhere I've not been before and they then proceed to pour a large quantity of flavoured milk into a cup, trying to pass it off as a milkshake, I'm not impressed. Years of advocating Subway seemed to do the trick in regard to getting them over here, hopefully I can repeat the trick with Freshen's (cross fingers).

That wasn't the only thing to work me up over the weekend. After going out with Lorraine and Chloe for the afternoon (missing two great cup finals either side of the border) we sat down with a take-away, only for Lorraine to flick on Strictly Dance Fever. Needless to say this was the queue for me to finish my dinner in double-quick time and then take Chloe upstairs for a bath.

After a prolonged absense up the stairs Lorraine wondered where I'd got to. I'd have to list my objections to Strictly Dance Fever in the following order:
Main content is dancing - CHECK.
Presence of snotty judges - CHECK.
Host is Graham Norton - CHECK.

Sounds like a fabulous evening's entertainment to me, NOT! I don't really care if Paul and Pamela are local, especially when I've missed two fabulous games of football. Why waste my time watching rubbish when I can spend the time with Chloe instead? The lesson as always, my daughter wins (as if you didn't know that already).

And finally this week, you're probably wondering what us Crystal Palace fans are doing to cheer ourselves up given our dire play-off performances against Watford. (For those of you who don't know we're not getting promoted this year. We went missing over the two legs against Watford. Andy Johnson and Aki Riihilahti are almost certainly leaving. And the second game against Watford died such a death that Neil Taylor phoned me before the game had even finished. Happy days in SE25!)

Well oddly enough during that first leg something would happen to cheer us up. Someone took a banner into Selhurst Park which was stolen, so in addition to the team's dire performance they had something else to moan about. And where do Palace fans go to moan? The BBS of course. The first reply to the victim's rant set the tone. Unfortunately in one of those "Did I really post that?" internet moments the first reply was repeated numerous times, giving the phrase "Hope you get this back. A bit low, scummish really." legendary status.

Following the disappointing end to the season a number of fans weren't looking forward to the now traditional end of season Player of the Year evening. Let's just say that passing round a piece of paper featuring the now famous phrase and getting players (including the aforementioned Riihilahti and Johnson) to pose with it was a work of genius. It is things like this that make me proud to be a Palace fan, taking a bad situation and handling it with grace and humour.

Good luck Aki, wherever life takes you. Likewise AJ. You'll both be remembered fondly.

Hope you have a good week (a bit low, scummish really)!

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