The Horsemen ride again
Death: What in the absolute f**k is going on at Tottenham?
War: Don't look at me. I've been away on annual leave.
Pestilence: How's Syria these days?
War: Positively delightful.
War: Where you off to this year?
War: You're brave.
Pestilence: It's fine. I've had my jabs.
Death: Gentlemen, please!
Death: You're late. Again.
Famine: Soz. Got into another fight with the chocolate dispenser.
Famine: Skittles. Stuck on release. Had to give it a good kick.
Death: Have we quite finished ladies. Can we focus on the PowerPoint slides please.
*auto-play of Tottenham's recent history*
Death: As you can see, everything was perfection from the moment we conspired to link Harry Redknapp to the England job. Since then, all our work has been effective and destructive. The Villas-Boas appointment. The Bale sale. The Baldini spending spree. Sherwood. Archway. All the hard work culminating with the arrival of the supposedly underwhelming Pochettino. Key word here is; supposedly. Thoughts?
Pestilence: Hasn't quite gone according to plan. They've got a core of excellent youth and experienced players all in form. Pochettino is without blag or broken promises. Harry Kane is like a fart in a lift, you have no idea where it came from but it's killing you. It's surreal, Spurs are being touted as challengers for the title and nobody is laughing.
Famine: I don't even understand how we got here. We followed the project roadmap down to the smallest detail, even projected any potential upturn in their favour. The work we did with Roberto Soldado was award winning. I even cried during my acceptance speech.
War: Maybe we've got a little bit too deliberate with this project. It might be like that time Moses burnt the acacia tree and tripped out of his head on DMT. Those commandments were never officially approved. He practically shorn-horned them in.
Pestilence: Lovely lad Moses, just no sense of direction. Stuck in the same pay-grade for years.
Death: What's the point War?
War: Maybe it's just...you know...fate? Just one of those things that's completely out of our control.
Death: You suffering from sun-stroke lad?
War: Hey hey, at last a compliment on my colour. Got caught up in a couple of drone attacks but I've topped it up with fake tan. You like?
Death: I'm asking whether you're completely and utterly insane to suggest such a ridiculous thing.
War: Ridiculous? The fake tan makes me look orange doesn't it? Damn it, no wonder Mandy in accountancy was looking at me all funny. Thought she might have liked the contrast between my skin tone and my quarter length chinos.
Death: You said fate, damn it. You're suggesting this backwards ideology as a reason for their change in fortune?
War: Oh...right...I just meant, this is like one of those things that sort of kinda happens that we sort of can't...you know...control. Maybe it's being led by another department? I just feel our influence has waned.
Pestilence: It's going to wane if you persist in wearing flip-flops to work. You think maybe the God squad are involved?
War: Perhaps. Their tech guys are pretty sharp.
Death: Blasphemy !
Famine: That's the spirit!
Death: Should we give them a call? Find out if they're working on anything that might be a potential conflict?
Pestilence: Aren't they busy with their religious mumbo jumbo?
Death: They slowed down centuries ago. I think they log new requests under 'small project works' if and when one is required. They outsourced most of the BAU work to a start-up that specialise in maximising profit for the entertainment sector.
Pestilence: I heard rumours they stepped back but think they still have major shareholder interest. Guess they don't want to be publicly accountable. They focusing on anything new?
Famine: Hedge-funds I think.
Famine: Amongst other things. Turns out that once the whole biblical thing peaked its momentum slowed down. They haven't updated the OS for a while. It's became stale. Don't think they ever really recovered from the Crusades. Overspent on budget. Turns out there's more money to be made from bankrolling oil and corporate domination of government. More in shares than prayers.
Pestilence: Oh yes, of course. I remember their lack of conviction after our hostile takeover of the Vatican. Flagship product and they let us buy then sub-let to those old men and their exclusive boys only cult. You heard about their bathhouse? It's like Studio 54.
War: The Pope loves a foam party. Crusades were GOAT by the way. Never quite understood why we're the poster boys of bad when they get away with equal measures of murder.
Famine: It's down to PR and propaganda. They get Edelman we get Max Clifford. They just announced Steve Jobs to head their new creative department. Something about maximising royalties for Christmas.
Death: Okay, okay...settle down with the nostalgia and intranet updates. Let's find out if there are any conflicts at play so we can devise a new action plan.
*phone connection made*
Death: Hello. Can you put me through to...
Jesus: Oh it's you.
Jesus: Well this is...
Jesus: Just a little.
Death: Look, about that whole crucifixion thing...
Jesus: You don't have to explain. It had to happen. It's run its course.
Death: I know...but...we didn't really catch up one-to-one after the lessons learnt workshop.
Jesus: I got called zombie boy for months after, you know. Quite hurtful.
Death: Your dads humour has always been a bit harsh. Ever since the Flood he loves to take it just a little bit too far. Anyways, what you doing answering the phone? You the new PA?
Jesus: Just helping out in the office. Bit of work experience. All these delays with the production of the Second Coming. We've gone through a dozen re-writes and project managers so far. You guys over there seen the latest proposal?
Death: Yeah, we're primed for it but obvs, can't shift until you lot get all the marketing agreed. Having the rich inherit the earth instead of the meek should get sign-off in the next few weeks. You been up to anything else recently?
Jesus: Had a sabbatical in India.
Jesus: You know me.
Death: You still bitter about the book edits?
Jesus: Seething. The amount of sh*t they left out...
Death: ...You always advocated reincarnation pretty strongly although that's one of my pet hates, doubles my workload...
Jesus: ...There's that and don't even get me started on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Talk about lost in translation. But life is good. Earning a fortune off image rights.
Death: Look, there's something I need to ask you. Do you know of any ongoing work that might have seen someone protect the interests of Tottenham Hotspur?
Jesus: Spurs? The football club? Christ, we haven't looked their way since the 60s. They were meant to go on to dominate for several decades but the post-room cocked up. Memo was assigned to the scousers by mistake and nobody double checked before pushing it live. Happened before the IT freeze so we couldn't roll back. Problem?
Death: Nothing we can't handle.
Jesus: You sure? Pochettino got you sweating? You should chill. He's not the messiah, he's just a very good football manager.
Death: Too good for our liking.
Jesus: Well, I can't help you. I don't mind Tottenham. Although the whole y-word debate makes me want to blog with the swear-filter off.
Death: So you've not heard anything on the grapevine?
Jesus: We only audit natural disasters and make sure there's just enough suffering for them to avoid giving up completely and keeping the faith.
Death: You talking about football or religion?
Jesus: There's a difference? You know we don't really like to get our hands dirty. Not until after the relaunch. Roswell really f**ed things up technology wise. We can't pull the wool over their eyes like the old days. Look, it's been good catching up. Got to go. Spinning then yoga.
Death: How's the wine collection by the way?
Jesus: I've been sober for a thousand years.
Death: Oh sorry, I didn't...
Jesus: Relax. It's still a hobby. And dad, well, you know...glug glug glug.
Death: Laters Jay-C.
*puts phone down*
Death: Nothing. There's no conflicting project.
War: What do we do now?
Pestilence: We've got to get Poch out of Spurs? Maybe get Rafa pushed out at Madrid and force them to poach Poch?
Death: Madrid? Madrid? Madrid is your answer to everything. Where should Luka go? Madrid. Where should Bale go? Madrid? Bore off with Madrid. It's lazy. We could get an interim to handle Madrid it's that easy.
Famine: How about we do nothing?
Death: What? First it's fate and now 'let's do nothing'. That isn't going to work. The reason Spurs are Spursy is because of what we do here in the office and out in the field. We invented Spursy. Do you realise how much we pay for the license? Brand and legal are like vultures over a dead carcass with it. The SLA's are a bitch, they have to be upheld at all times.
Famine: Maybe they've been conditioned to always fail no matter what - no matter how good they're perceived to be. We're always there to lend a hand but what if the expectancy has become part of who they are? Maybe they falter not because the Gods look the other way or because of our due diligence but because they instinctively don't know any better. Don't shout about it, but perhaps our influence has waned. Doesn't mean it's detrimental to this department.
War: Interesting theory.
Pestilence: Maybe get Kane and Dembele transferred to La Liga?
Death: *looks at Pestilence*
Pestilence: Did I say Madrid? Did anyone else hear me use the M-word? Did I? Maybe I was referring to Barcelona. There is another team in Spain you know.
War: So we let things be instead of trying to force things to happen?
Famine: Exactly. Look at this season. We tampered with the transfer window, left them light and now they're swaggering like heavyweights. In 2010 we gave them injuries and a fixture list from hell and they still qualified for the Champions League. We got Kane to swap red for Lilywhite as a practical joke; talk about egg on face. We've had this contract since the mid-90s. We appear to sometimes inveterately give them a platform to overachieve. Maybe we've tinkered too much. Made them more robust. But that makes them pure in terms of their humanity. Which means they're susceptible to morality.
Death: They could naturally self implode?
Famine: *chews skittles* All on their own without outside interference. It will be even more spectacular than any orchestrated diversion.
War: And we still get the credit. And 15% on our bonus.
Pestilence: And what if it fails? What if not doing a thing is the worst thing we can do? What if no outside interference is the exact type of fuel they need to reach uncharted territory? The logic for their potential failure just seems...I don't know...flawed.
War: We could appoint Moses as their new director of football? You know how klutzy he is with finding a promised land. Or maybe revisit Daniel Levy - drop an inception when he's dreaming? Get him to offer a couple of insulting contract renewals?
Death: That means we're still involved. It's also still a risk just stepping back. The last time we didn't interfere Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad which was the paragon of civilisation. We got all the credit for that. None of us were even in the office. We were at that LAN party, playing Quake. Hmm. Maybe the logic isn't flawed. Maybe it's worth the risk. If this does fail we'll end up demoted, you all know that right? Demoted and punished, sat in the same room with the former Head of Abhorrence and Hypocrisy. I detest that man. He reeks. His fragrance is baby seal blood. So 1980s. Screw it, let's do it. Let's do nothing. Let's wait for Tottenham Hotspur to destroy itself.
A year later, in an executive box at the Emirates, at the NLD
Pestilence: All we had to do was reactivate the special relationship between Madrid and Spurs. Tried and tested methodology. I knew this 'don't do a thing' lark wouldn't work. But no, you all mocked me for suggesting it. You could have at least let me cook another lasagne.
War: I can't believe Tottenham won the title. They actually won the title. Darlings of England, the hipsters choice team. They're defending champions. I'm numb. So numb.
Pestilence: Oh look...They're scored again. It's 3-0 now. Apparently Spurs are re-signing Bale by the end of the window. I feel sick.
War: Bricks have also been laid in N17 for their new stadium. It's going to get built within the time-frames stipulated. We did nothing. They're doing everything.
Pestilence: And now we're stuck with this lot. Demoted to the very depths. I had more fun playing an extra in The Walking Dead. Which by the way was one of the better office away-days. Enjoyed it more than that army boot camp disaster in the Brecon Beacons.
Famine: *munching* Look at the bright-side. The grub in here is really good. Really good. Can I have more wine please over here? *munching* So what's our actual assignment? I've not caught up with the handover minutes. Been busy opening food banks in England.
Death: We've got to make sure Wenger stays here until he's at least 90 years old.
War: F*ck my life.
Famine: It's not that bad to be fair. *munching* We can actually do absolutely nothing this time and achieve the objective.
Death: Oh God. He's naked again. Avert your eyes...
Piers Morgan: Come on chaps! Cheer up! I'm about to put the arse into ARSE-nal. Haha! BOOM! Put you're Wenger in, your Wenger out, in out in out shake it all about...
The adventures of the Four Horsemen