The nation’s relationship with its magical bringer of hwyl has reached a new low when once again he promised a nutsack tingling victory over England but left us with the kind of empty hollow agony not seen since Mel Gibson had his intestines scooped out and stir-fried in Braveheart.
The Optimism Gnome spoke exclusively to Gwlad from a toadstool near his home in Mabinogiland. “I woke up last Saturday in Caroline Street underneath a pile of chip papers, with a head full of Reverend James and ribs aching from the kicking I took from valley commandos pointing how it was all my fault. Really?”
“Well look. I’ve been doing this for longer than most of you have been alive; in all weathers, no matter what the last result was – even in the 90s! So this time I’ve sat it out. That’s right. Noticed how quiet it’s been? Doesn’t quite work does it? All of a sudden, without my tingle-dust, the Western Mail front page, the Max Boyce CD and the goat all seem a bit flat and silly don’t they? Suddenly, you’re all thinking Scotland will win and you’re wondering if you should go and do some shopping, or make some cakes or wash the car instead.”
“Let’s be clear about this: It’s not too late. I’m sat here waiting and gently rubbing my nipples to get the G-forces going. I have my lucky pants on and a sack full of tingle-dust. All it takes is with your first beer of the day, you close your eyes tight, and before your first swig, you whisper “Oh, this is going to be the try of the Championship”. I’m saying that rubbing your nipples will help too, especially the girls – that will really help. Otherwise, you know what, I’ll just get a pizza in and abuse some cats. I’m waiting for your call”