O Captain! Not My Captain!



Everybody needs a leader. We all need that one person to follow, to respect and to ask for help; a person whom you can rely on for support. Which is why I and the five other boys of 17 Strathnairn Street, upon deciding to join a 5-a-side football league, thought it was best to vote for a Captain. Never, in all of history, was a wormier can opened.

It was somewhat determined that the Captain’s responsibilities would not only range from on the pitch duties, but he would also be accountable for sorting out bills and arranging other events, such as nights out and takeaways. As much as this put everyone off the captaincy, just a fraction, all looked forward to the midnight results deadline from our secret email vote which would be published on our popular ‘Strathnairn Rangers’ group on Facebook.

When the Captain had been decided, a positive feeling permeated through the household. It was as if a new dawn had risen over the house, the breaking sunlight illuminating the happy faces of those who strolled around the building ever content with the current state of affairs. However, an underlying darkness lay in wait for the new Captain, a darkness that was to swallow him whole.

All it took was one disgruntled follower, a complaint, and a bandwagon full of hate, before the Captain’s reign began to crumble before his eyes.

On one bright Sunday afternoon, Strathnairn Rangers were to enter a tournament that would decide their seeding within the league system for the season ahead. The tournament was an overall success placing the triumphant Strathnairn in the top division, but it was to be overshadowed by a debate that took place after the tournament had ended. It was made apparent that one team member felt that the Captain had not kept to the responsibilities that had been previously agreed. The Captain strongly denied these accusations and maintained that he had acted in a completely appropriate manner. The debate grew until all members of the household had joined, all in unadulterated contempt for the surprised Captain and despite his best efforts, the argument just did not stop.

He was to face weeks of abuse, a barrage of hatred, and never ending torment from the housemates who had once adored him. A string of unsuccessful results in the football tournament piled up onto the ever-growing list of faults his unsatisfied servants felt inclined to compile. Soon it was only his cupboard that became target to takeaway tubs, crisp packets and, indeed, bread rolls. It was soon after that that the Captain decided that he had had enough.

His reign as Captain had come to an end; what had began in glory, collapsed in condemnation. With his ego dented, the ex-Captain shrunk away from the public scorn an emotional husk of what he had once been.

Meanwhile, the Strathnairn faithful had decided to cast another vote to lift the morale of the household. Everything was looking, once again, positive. There was to be a vote for change, a vote for the future, a vote that was to take Strathnairn to new and wonderful heights both on the pitch and off and everyone anticipated it with great expectation.

Which, in reality, makes it all the more odd that the ex-Captain was voted back in. I guess it’s all a joke really.