I got an early birthday present on Sunday when Premier League upstarts Leicester City came from 3-1 down to beat the millionaires of Manchester United 5-3.
Each goal for my beloved Leicester was greeted with wild celebrations in our household while each United score sparked howls of derision. Given the regularity and increased franticism of the cries the neighbours must have suspected someone was being mutilated.
It would have been very different if my wife had been home, but with Karen off partying on the island of Rathlin, I gave the kids free reign to raise merry hell each time Leicester scored.
They grabbed the opportunity with both their tiny hands and absolutely wrecked the place while shouting themselves hoarse.
When we scored to make it 3-3 the celebrations led us into the back garden where I’d earlier filled a basin full of water for Ben and Lucy to splash about in. I booted the basin causing a huge wave to rise up in the shape of Esteban Cambiasso. Ben tried to follow in my footsteps but managed only to land himself in the basin, soaking himself to the skin.
As any good parent would, I stripped him bare, changed his nappy then went back to watching the match.
Seeing Ben in the bare buff prompted Lucy to ask if she could also get stripped. With both children running feral in their Pampers, Leicester scored again to take the lead. Lucy bounced on the sofa and Ben rolled on the floor while their guardian made another bee-line for the back garden to announce to the neighbourhood that I loved Jamie Vardy.
With Leicester 4-3 up and my kids running about in just their nappies I considered my next move. Given that they’d been in their underwear when Leicester took the lead if I clothed them it could change our luck. Alternatively if I didn’t put clothes on them they could get a foundering. The superstitionist in me caused me to plump for the ‘change nothing’ option. It proved the correct choice as Leicester scored again following my decision not to put any clothes on my children.
Once more pandemonium ensued, this time with the three of us hugging and writhing about the floor like we’d all been stung by a serotonin-venomed jellyfish. Amid the celebrations, one of our flailing limbs cracked against the Sky box causing a message to appear on the television screen to strike fear into the heart of any Sky Sports subscriber, let alone one whose team were 5-3 up against Man Utd. It said, ‘No satellite signal is being received’.
As the saying goes, it’s all fun and games until someone loses their Sky. I set about retrieving the signal while checking Twitter for updates on the game. There were 10 minutes to go so we were by no means home and dry. The air was filled with child-friendly cries of frustration and some not so child-friendly utterances as I failed to get the match back on.
Lucy was struggling to put her clothes back on, I was struggling to reconnect to Sky TV and Ben, still in just his nappy, was sitting atop a pile of toys, books and kitchen utensils happy as Larry.
This was the scene that greeted my wife when she arrived home earlier than expected. At the same moment Sky Sports came back on and I punched the air in celebration, at Leicester’s memorable victory and the return of the satellite signal, though sadly with Karen it was a case of all picture, no sound.