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Voices: This Norfolk Life

Always look where you're aiming!

This Norfolk Life: Darren Huckerby's Revenge

by Michael Hulme
"My inspiration for this story came from thinking about a celebrity's right of reply and probably what they'd quite like to do," said Michael. "Previous writing includes editing NR1, a magazine for local creative writers," he added.

So there I was at the urinal, all buzzy on beer and wine and beer.

Some guy stood next to me and unzipped. I sneaked a look to make sure he wasn't pulling a George Michael.  I saw the mullet, the highlights – man, oh man, it was only Darren Huckerby! 

He smelled funny.  Maybe that was just the toilets.

He wore this blue suit and one of those big thick 'I'm somebody' ties, in a big thick 'I'm somebody' knot.  I stared at him and he stared at the porcelain - but he knew, I knew, he knew I was watching him.

"Hey! Are you Darren Huckerby?" I said.  He half-nodded.

"C'mon," I said, "don't be embarrassed about it.  You're pretty good sometimes.  When you've got the ball, anyway. Which isn't often."

He smiled, kind of.  "Thanks," he said.

"You really are Darren Huckerby, right?"

"That's right," he said.

"Wow!"  I kept on staring.  "Man, you were great against Bolton."

"Yeah?" he said to the tiles.

"Yeah," I said.  "You know, you did the same shimmy and step over about fifty times, and then McKenzie shinned it into Row Q."

"That was Matt Svennson," he said.

"Whatever," I said.  "Anyway, you played a good game."

"Thanks," he said.

"You were useless against Chelsea though," I said.  "Absolutely terrible."

He didn't even blink.

"That game sucked. You all sucked.  What was your problem?  Weren't you even trying? Where was the pride?  Where was the commitment?"

"No," he said.  "It wasn't our best game."

"Yeah well," I said. "Forget it.  Listen.  I've got this great idea."


"Yeah."  I twisted round to watch him wash his hands.

"I – um – I know this guy who's an amazing striker – I mean, he's not played for a year or two, but you should have seen him at Powerleague, he was an animal, like Roy Keane combined with Ronaldinho, but better looking and younger," I said. 

"What if I arranged to get his number for you?  Think Worthy would give him a trial?  He's really good.  He's exactly my height and weight and look at me, I'm bigger than you are, so that wouldn’t be a problem. 

"He'd do it for about a grand a week, you know. At first, anyway. Obviously, it might mean you get dropped, but I don't suppose you can be too choosy at this point in your career."

"No, I guess not." He looked at me funny and smiled.  "Call me at the football club and we’ll arrange something."

"Really?" I said.

He looked me up and down. "Really," he said, and he left.

I got back to the table. 

"Jimmy," I said, "get this. Darren Huckerby just took a leak next to me!  Man, he cannot take criticism."

Jimmy looked me up and down and stopped smiling.  "Hey, Mickey," he said. "Listen."

Too late.  I sat down and found out my trousers were soaked through.

Story laureate Sue Welfare writes: This story is beautifully crafted. There is really good use of dialogue to carry the story forward.

last updated: 29/09/05
Have Your Say
What do you think of Michael's story? Add your comments here. To submit a story for This Norfolk Life - use the link on the top right of this page.
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Thought the short story was good, written in a manner which is easy to relate to. Not sure what Tennyson Whoever or little ben had a problem with.... Perhaps if you don't know who Hucks is then you might struggle, or if you're American....

It's good. He is my fav player. He is da best. He is so fit and really nice when u get to know him. I gave him a birthday card and he was so sweet!

I think it's wicked. I absolutely adore him. He is soooooo cute and soooooo fit!

Thought this had been pinned in the Home dressing room, after it went on the website Norwich started winning! Shame it didn't work for the last day of the season, but next year let's hope Huckerby's still there to wind up!

I thought the initial setting and atmosphere was described well, but unfortunately didn't carry on. Not a sport follower I can only try and guess it's football and have no idea who the player is. I didn't understand the ending either. I do think the potential is there, and a bit like your character, with some extra exercises it should shape up.

Very Poor
Tennyson Johnson

erm - tedious?

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