I know how Fabio Capello feels.
A few weeks ago he was watching his England team perform at first caustiously, then with growing confidence and finally exactly how he wanted them - with a more than satisfying outcome (Croatia 1 - England 4). He must have been extremely pleased (if not completely, 100% convinced it was going to last). And so was everybody else. So, imagine his dispair when they delivered an utterly demoralising performance when faced at home with the mighty Kazakhstan: unsteady at the back; malfunctioning in midfield; and with a forward line that did not inspire confidence and did not produce anything solid... OK, they won 5 - 1, but the point is they are unable to produce any kind of consistency even from one game to the next. How can he ever rely on them? How can he ever relax to the degree that he can stop thinking about the likelyhood that their next performance may be another that pains and potentially embarasses him?
Now consider my stupid bowels. A few weeks ago they were working in perfect harmony: no dodgy pains or twinges/flutters creating nervous apprehension; good, slow digestion in the middle, and a pleasing solid outcome at the end... All was good. I even started to experiment (non-alcoholic beer, curries, olives: the gastro equivelent of the christmas tree formation) - all was functioning satisfactorily. Then... all of a sudden, no explanation forthcoming, things go wrong in mid-colon and everything gets sloppy (ok, forgive that turn of phrase, I'm trying to maintain an analogy here). So now I'm under the pressure of an underperforming colon and despite all my best efforts (tactical use of preds, substitute bland food, not eating etc etc) I cannot engineer a change. Until...
Today, I had to go a school fieldtrip. I won't bore you with the details, but it essentially meant a day miles away from a loo. So, I went to school early, hoping the current urgent morning poo would arrive whilst still on school grounds. Nothing. I reluctantly boarded the bus, fearing the worst. Nothing. I eagerly alighted at the one short stop of the day (I was even prepared to use the public loo!). Nothing. I am sat here at home at 8.30 in the evening. Nothing. That means I have been something like 36 hours - no pain, no urgency, no... nothing.
So, just like Fabio, I sit here contemplating the inconsistency. Why is it there? What can we do? Why can't Gerrard/my bowels and Lampard/my immune system work in better harmony and produce a nice solid end-product? And where does Theo Walcott fit into a weak international-football-as-ulcerative-colitis metaphor?