Everything and everyone is frying. From the air-conditioners to the bandsmen playing their brass outside the electric parish of St Nicholas. The World Cup rumbles on, Italian football is on the verge of collapse. Max watches Shevchenko score a penalty for Ukraine, and cannot find it in him to forgive the Chelsea-bound mercenary, despite the 173 goals scored for AC Milan, or the hundreds of times the Ukranian gave grown men a rush of blood to the head.
Or maybe it's the way middle age infiltrates the old grey cells and whispers Stop wasting time doing stuff you don't want to do. If you want to get something done that Jacob will be proud of, you have to do it your way... your way...
It's true. Ever since Shevchenko fidgeted his way through that press conference and said he just had to leave Milan to learn decent English and bond with his family in Knightsbridge, nothing's quite been the same.
Max scratches his head and contemplates ten fingers, waiting to claw a keyboard.
Get a life, says the radio voice in the head, full of forty-five year-old static.
Don't get into trouble, whispers his soulmate.
Let's go and watch Xtruppaw next weekend, says Shaun