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The words they tried to ban*
By 'Lisi 'Orn
"Look at this, dear," says Mrs Lisi one fine morning. "Watford Football Club and assorted hangers-on are running a Z-Cars lyrics competition. Every Watford fan is invited to get involved in this local community project that will finally give the Hornets a lasting song to call its own. All you have to do is get your creative juices flowing and earn your place in the club's history by composing your lyrics about our favourite club easy! Then they'll get Elton John to record it as a hit CD, with all proceeds going to the Buy Back Paul Robinson Trust!"

"I bet there's a catch!" I tell her. "Remember that time the fans were given the chance to 'pick the colours of our new away shirt'? Turned out it had to be 'any combination you like' of lime-green, mauve, brown, day-glo orange, fuschia and salmon pink."

"Oh, don't be such a cynic!" she admonishes me. But sure enough, not only does the entry have to "match the rhythm of the original folk song Johnny Todd" (like, what rhythm?), the rules also demand that "it should be suitable for a family audience".

"F--- that!" I tell her. "Even a reworking of the excellent Toy Dolls' version** is off limits."

"But the rest is entirely up to you!" points out Mrs L. "And look, they've got some ideas to inspire you. There's one that goes: 'Tell my friends how we're the greatest...'"

"But we're not," I protest. "More like: 'Tell my friends how we went bankrupt...'"

Luckily, my mobile rings - Z-Car ringtone of course - and I'm inspired.

"Y'know, darling, I think I've got the first verse!"

I clear my throat:

"Der der der, de-der der der der,
"Der der der, de-der der der,
"Der der der, de-der der der der,
"Der der der, de-der der der!"

"Marvellous, dear!" says Mrs L. "It rhymes. It scans. And it's suitable for a family audience!"

"What's more," I note, "it's simple enough even for a chav to sing after a heavy spliff and a six-pack of Kestrel Super. That, after all, is the only way the song is going to catch on."

"Indeed! So what about the second verse?"

"Yeah. We won't get away with repeating it, will we? Trouble is, I can't think of anything family-friendly to sing right now!"

"Well, how about keeping it basic? Who we are, where we're from, our likes and dislikes, that sort of thing."

"Darling," I tell her, "you're brilliant! Listen to this now:

"We are Watford, super Watford
"We are Watford, from the Vic
"We hate losing, we hate losing
"Losing makes us feel quite sick!"

"Well, that'll do, won't it?" she says. "Plus, of course, it only takes a few minor changes to turn it into a grown-up version!"

"F--- me!" I exclaim, "I see what you mean. You don't suppose they'll notice, do you?"

Well, here's hoping...

* Okay, well, not banned as such, but unfortunately it was after their closing date for entries. Still: better too late than too crap, eh?

** PC Stoker