Tir-Na-Thin. A Story by Geri

One morning Becks, his manager Sir Alex, and the Man Utd team were training.
Giggs was on the grass with a hamstring injury but the season was heavy with goals. They stopped to rest on the benches and saw a cloud of photographers come towards them. The photographers drew near and from amidst them walked a slender woman on white platforms. Her hair was dark and gathered into gentle spikes around her head. The platform straps were made of gold and small golden bells tinkled on the buckles.

'Who are ye?' asked Sir Alex.

'I am Posh, spice child of girl power in Tir Na Thin. I have come because I love your winger David.' She turned to Becks; 'Will you come with away with me to the Land Of Thin where there is neither stretchmarks nor death by chocolate, only happenin'-ness and promotionals for ever,- oh and Arsenal.'

'Becks do not go' said Sir Alex, but he saw that David loved the marketing potential. Becks embraced his manager and each of United in turn. Then he mounted the platforms and rode away with Posh. They rode across the flashing bulbs of the photographers, through the murky tabloids where Becks glimpsed visions of cheesy puns and long lensed cameras.

Soon they saw the ground of the Gunners European games. The sun shone high on the twin towers. From afar they heard sweet football chants and as they approached the stadium young men and women came to greet them. Posh and Becks were brought before the fashion-kings and queens who were young and beautiful with shining clothes of Klein upon their backs. They welcomed their daughter Posh and received David with honour.

Posh and Becks took their thrones at a great wedding banquet, which lasted three days and three nights. They went to live in a beautiful palace and lived happily. There was training and photo-shoots by day and, in the evenings, there was alcohol, music and dancing so the time passed quickly.

Spring came again. The start of semifinals in Europe made Becks think of United. About now the team will be carousing the northern night clubs to the cry of the newshounds. Giggs will be on the grass with a hamstring but the season heavy with goals, he thought and longed for home.

'In Manchester men grow old and fat. Here in Tir Na Thin you will be young and sponsored for ever,' Posh said, but Becks was not content. Posh brought Becks shopping in the malls and boutiques of Tir Na Thin, but still he longed for the reds. 'I must go back to see my manager Sir Alex and my old team mates of United,' he said. 'They are not up there anymore. It is a long time since you left Man. U.,' said Posh. 'No, it has not been so long,' Becks replied.

At night he could not sleep and paced his room from end to end. When Posh saw this she called upon the young men and women to close the zoo, and make for them a private tour to distract Becks thoughts, but they were not able to distract them for long. He would remember the club and be filled again with longing.

One day when Becks and Posh were out shopping, they came to a dis-used outlet of Versace. Becks stopped outside. Posh turned back to see why he had stopped, and found him looking at a punctured football floating in a pool of water.

'Look,' Becks said, 'it was made as official merchandise. It has come from Manchester United'. His eyes filled with tears.

Posh realised the Becks could not forget. Her half-eaten salad felt heavy. 'Take this white steed Adidas and go back ablur to the speed cameras- but do not alight from those platforms, for if you set foot on United soil you will never be able to return to Tir Na Thin.'

Becks took the steed Adidas and rode away. Soon he saw the tower blocks of Manchester rise above the polluted mist. He rode into the streets and met a group of people coming towards him. 'What news of Sir Alex and United,' he called out.

They looked in astonishment at the richly dressed young man. One of them, who wore the true shirt of the Blues, spoke 'Do you not know that the last of their premiership teams were relegated long ago'. Becks was angry at what he took to be the answer of a spiteful city fan.

Without making any reply, he rode on to the ground at Old Trafford. As he drew near the place where it had stood, he wondered that he could not see the stadium. It must be covered in smog he thought, but when he reached the place, he found the pitch overrun with sweet wrappers and crisp packets.

Then he knew the days of Sir Alex and United were indeed long past. While hardly a plate was passed in Tir Na Thin, many hundreds of pounds were put on in Manchester chip-shops.

Sadly, Becks turned away. As he rode westward, he saw a crowd of flabby men trying to kick a small ball. They heaved and panted but they could not kick it.

'Can you help us, tall champion?' one of the fat man called out to Becks. Becks leaned from his saddle and with one kick, he chipped the ball high but the golden platform strap tore. His foot touched the ground and he slipped from the horse. Adidas galloped away.

As Becks stood there he felt a change come over him. His bleach became dull and his youthful fitness left him. Within seconds, he became a fat man too heavy to stand. He thought of Sir Alex and Man U and his slender wife's thong which he would never again fit.

His platforms broke and sinking to the ground, he sighed 'If only they had had given me Roy Keane's boot deal...'

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