You join us as we indulge in our occasional ritual: frolicking in the still warm, strangely greeny-bluey-white embers of an Old Firm game, where lots of stuff happened.
You know, that stuff. The stuff that happened?
With this great fixture comes that question which periodically recurs, like slopping out on Midsummer morn: what does the future hold for Rangers and Celtic?
Clearly, these two behemoths — who, it has been told, even people who don't come from Scotland have heard of — have so outgrown the scab-ridden serfs who make up the rest of the domestic game that the status quo can surely not be maintained. Time was that the pair dreamt of an Atlantic League, in which they would be pitted against the cream of the best northern European leagues that aren't the Premier League or the Bundesliga. Given that this competition would simply have been too damn good for an innocent footballing public to handle without succumbing to dangerous levels of wanton, government-toppling sexuality, it's no surprise that it didn't get beyond the blueprint. (Celtic's copy was a greenprint, I understand.)
The Premier League would seem an obvious place to rest that Glaswegian belly that can no longer be contained by the SPL's once snug but, you discover to your horror, decidedly non-elastic waistband. But doubts remain as to how willing the English game is to being the Old Firm's Lebensraum; the most concrete plan to bring Celtic and Rangers to the Premier League has them as dancing, prancing distractions so that we don't realise that Bolton have granted themselves perpetual membership of the elite just for being Bolton.
Anyway, why these two noble clubs should have to prove themselves worthy of entry to the gilded palace is unfathomable. But what is even more unfathomable is that no-one has yet come up with the eardrum-perforatingly obvious solution, to wit:
Celtic and Rangers should resign their membership of both the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association. Then, all those connected with either club should gather at two separate locations (obviously) before sailing west to a pre-determined island, say, somewhere in the north Atlantic. On the journey, the Celtic fleet would be serenaded by the Wolfe Tones, and the Rangers fleet would be serenaded by whatever the loyalist equivalent of the Wolfe Tones is. (And what fun they must be.)
Upon disembarkation, the two tribes could then establish their own league, where they can battle it out amongst themselves in the World's Greatest Derby every week — or every day! We could even let them use a football and call it sport!
Which island should be granted the privilege of hosting this league of leagues?
This is Rockall. Now, I know you're thinking about the chronic unsuitability of Rockall for this project. Yes, the island is a mere 8,500 square feet in area, far too small to contain the hordes that would descend upon it. Yes, that would necessitate a massive battle merely to gain the right to set foot on it, which would result in the loss of thousands. Yes, it's too small for a full-sized football pitch. Yes, the necessarily teeny tiny pitch would be insanely, insurmountably uneven and perched at a treacherous height. Yes, all that guano would make the surface tremendously slippery.
But just think about it. Think of the last remaining hardy, possibly psychotic, few. According to Wikipedia, "The rock's only permanent inhabitants are periwinkles and other marine molluscs", so the conversation would really flow. Think of how they would become civilised. Think of how they would have to learn to live together. Think of how they would pass around that crushed Tennant's can to denote whose turn it is to speak. Think of how their discussions would yield the conclusion that opposite extremes have far more uniting them than dividing them.
Or think of how the unforgiving briny would pluck them from the rock and cast them to a moist grave, whichever works for you.
No, Rockall is ideal, and not only for the above reasons. It is a disputed territory and thus a perfect symbol of mankind's stupid, silly stupidity. But better still, two of the countries who lay claim to Rockall are Ireland and Britain! It's a veritable metaphorgy!
In conclusion: on Sunday at 12.30pm, you missed Columbo: Étude in Black on ITV1.