Robbo's nightmare clockwatch
What a horrible week. I can't sleep. I walk around with the same feeling as an MP who's been a bit crafty with his duck island expenses... the truth will out. And the truth is that we're going down.
But prospects for a blinking miracle have not been good. The Wilf Mannion statue has not been weeping milky tears as far as I know. Some non-believer (a Geordie we reckon) scoffed the kettle chip that looked suspiciously like Southgate that Tony Thompson was keeping behind the bar in the cigar box.
I asked the neighbour if I could borrow his lucky horseshoe, so he chucked it over the front fence for us and the bloody thing cleaned out the window on the passenger seat of the Robsons' Megane.
He was less happy for me to avail myself of a lucky rabbit's foot direct from his little girl's pet. He's a misery that fella. Added to that, the wife says the lucky pants were blown clean off the line on Monday.
It gets worse. In Morrison's I found a potato that looked very much like Iain Dowie. Then I freaked meself out, 'cos on closer inspection they ALL looked like Iain Dowie. He'll no doubt be banging on to his players on Sunday morning about 'winning ugly', but seriously what choice has that fella ever had?
It seems lots of people are slagging Hull off 'cos they might be up against this United C team, but supporters of the Toon and at the Stadium of Plight should just wind their necks in. Ferguson can - and will - play who the hell he likes, and if their respective strugglers had played half-decent football throughout the season then there'd be no issue, 'cos the Tigers would have long since stopped burning bright.
The result at the KC will be key, of course. I know that NUFC could start a karaoke in a Trappist monastery but they should at least be able to draw against a Villa team who could well be playing in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops with Mai Tais on the go.
In my darkest moments, this is how I imagine it panning out:
1428: At the KC Stadium, the Manchester United squad arrive. The players struggle to get out until Mike Phelan helps the mums unbuckle each and every one of them out their car-seats.
1550: Joey Barton is on the pitch at Villa, in some stocks, being pelted by his team-mates with wet sponges. Shearer is delighted that the errant Scouser is taking part in team-bonding exercises.
1553: Steve Gibson arrives in his seat at Upton Park. He has a black hanky on his head.
1558: Didier Drogba is rolling around in agony in the centre-circle at the Stadium of Light. His warm-up over, he gets to his feet and Chelsea kick off.
1601: What a start for the Boro! A long cross from Matthew Bates is poked out of the keeper's hands by the tip of Stewie Downing's crutch! It's 1-0 to the Boro and an inevitable howler for England's new number one, Rob Green.
1602: Hull are behind! A wonderful finish by Man U's latest find, a toddler from a Madeiran hamlet called Ronaldinhoinho taps home from a Macheda cross.
1603: Sunderland ahead. Cisse, Jones and Richardson all miss the same cross from a yard out but Terry picks the ball up and hurls it into his own net out of sympathy.
1604: Chelsea level. Anelka scores. News reaches the Ronaldo household and Cristiano starts the car - he's got an hour and a half to get to Hull from Cheshire to save the golden boot.
1610: Very edgy at Villa Park. Mike Ashley tries to liven up the fans by necking a barrel of ale in slightly less time than it takes to down the entire club.
1620: United two-up. Great finish by one of them Brazilian triplets Fergie's giving a debut to.
1622: Chelsea go 2-1 ahead. Anelka again. Cristiano is clocked at 225 mph on the M62.
16.25: Boro two-up!!! Fabulous strike by Lucas Neill. Cheers, you dodgy Aussie clogger!
16.40: Villa penalty! Coloccini muffs a pass back, Harper fells the onrushing Agbonlahor. The keeper's off and Shearer goes in goal. He is after all the saviour. Barry strokes it and big Al floats across the goal-line on a magical cloud and catches it in his harp.
16:50: Half-time and Boro have salvation in their grasp. Man U's youngsters take the chance to have a nappy change, as do the Toon Army who have been very nervous during the first 45 minutes.
1702: It's 3-0 to the Boro and as it stands, they go above Hull. Cracking goal by Emnes.
1706: Penalty to Villa again! Barry tries to concentrate but Shearer has a little chat with the midfielder and Barry is half-asleep by the time he steps up to take the kick and the ball dribbles into the Messiah's grateful grasp.
1712: Anelka hat-trick! Hiddink takes him off. Ronaldo trashes his roadster in the KC car park and dashes out to join Fergie on the bench.
1725: Villa score. Big John Carew glances home a header under challenge from a light breeze in the West Midlands area but nowt else. Boro are safe!
1730: Cristiano is lying in the technical area pummeling the ground with his fists. Bless.
1743: Boro are holding on to their 3-0. Chelsea have scored another three but it's not relevant.
1752: Results: West Ham 0 Boro 3; Sunderland 1 Chelsea UMPTEEN; Hull 0 Man United 2; still playing at Villa Park. Brave call by brave Shearer... Big Al the Brave. He bungs his keeper's jersey on to Michael Owen and goes upfront himself.
1753: PENALTY TO THE BARCODES! And look who's taking it!! Shearer steps up. Completely JTs it! Two magpies fly on to the pitch and peck at the ball as it dribbles wide. The sudden escape of air makes the ball deviate wildly... and in it flies past a bewildered Friedel!!!
The birds land on each of Shearer's shoulders and lift him up, carrying him across the massed ranks of Toon Army spectators as he glad-hands each and every one of them! It's a flipping steal!
There are tears at Hull but Wazza find s a box of tissues for Ron. The Bigg Market is swamped by celebrating Geordies and all is right with the world. And in Teesside, the smog closes in around us and we have a quiet month-long mope on our tods. Sigh.