Exiled Valiant Barry Edge lives in Perth, Western Australia and is a regular columnist for onevalefan. This time he teams up with Chris Simpson aka Trent Vale Valiant in asking the question re a particular absentee Stokie friend.

This is a fun ‘duet’ contribution from Trent Vale Valiant and Aussie Rules and takes its subject material from the onevalefan Forum thread titled ‘Typical Sjokies’. The preliminary stanzas set the scene in cyber world, with the remaining stanzas drawing on the Forum thread.

For the literary critic, the contributors acknowledge there is a difference in syllabic style between the first few stanzas vis-à-vis the remainder of the poem. On this occasion we ask you to forgive our turning a ‘blind eye’ to traditional and/or contemporary form. This will not happen again in future duets.

Did Britanniasson Go AWOL?
Of all the games that we have seen
There are none so good as on the screen
Between Port Vale and neighbours Stoke,
The Derbies of the Potteries folk.

We sit each day and through the night
To argue whom is wrong or right
On Forum Fielding’s message board
Where football hopes and dreams are stored.

The C drive’s humming, modem too,
The screen is up, we join the queue
To have our say and be well pleased
As our fingers skip across the keys.

We do not see the human face
When chatting away in cyberspace,
For it’s pseudonyms instead of names
Plus cryptic words in these domains.


The language used can vary from one post to the next,
Some of which is garbled, other quite complex,
And whilst the use of grammar, at times is very loose,
Conventions are ignored by some that post abuse.

It’s the vagaries of the banter that often makes us grin,
As we take our turn to give it out, then take it on the chin,
But now and again, as is their want, a poster sends a personal note
In upper case or bolded font stating certain users are just a joke.

This brings us to young Billys Boots, a regular onevalefan,
And his message for Britanniasson of the Stokie clan,
Plus MCF Seventy Four, also from the ‘Castle
Who, according to our Billys Boots, love to stir and hassle.

He worried that their postings were leading to discord
Then begged that they return at once to the Oatie board
And to take with them their silly remarks, even so called rumour,
Some of which was said to be in the name of humour.

Now we all knew that MCF would defend his Stokie mates
By saying Billys Boots concerns were nothing but sour grapes,
And by his side was Grey Man, defender of that clan,
Standing firm and fast against our Valiant man.

But the keyboard of Britanniasson lay silent for this thread,
For not a word was seen from him, or written in his stead,
Did he read the several posts? Did he understand?
Or had he left our Valiant Talk to post in Derby land?

Yes Derby Land! Cuckoo Land! Or even to Cloud Nine,
No insults from Britanniasson, not even one rude sign,
And whilst we sat and pondered on his where-a-bouts
MCF and Grey Man remained good Stokie Scouts.

Grey Man in his wisdom revisited Einstein’s theory
By saying we measure our success relative to Stoke City,
But where was Britanniasson? Nothing did he post,
Away on annual leave sipping drinks down by the coast?

For MCF Seventy-Four asterisks were the go
To complete some words our children really should not know,
Then stated his beloved Stoke didn’t do that well
In losing to a Burslem side owned by Billy Bell.

He told us ‘if a Vale fan’ he would be ashamed
Of Billys Boots – the things he posts could start a cyber flame,
And because of BBs pseudonym the day had lost its joy
For he’ll look no more for the comic strip he read when just a boy.

Then V of S and Soothsayer plus Aspins joined in the fray
To defend our true blue Valiant from the likes of Old Man Grey,
And other Port Vale folk were truly up to speed
Including Burslembabe, and even Uncle Bede.

Still no Britanniasson, he was simply not around,
Did he really give a care? Or had he gone to ground?
Whilst the thread seemed in danger of going down the sink
Aspins and Grey Man arranged ‘that long awaited drink’.

Who knows why Britanniasson chose to stay away?
Perhaps on this occasion there was nothing he could say,
And that he’s gone for good is too good to believe
So, did our Stokie rival just go absent without leave?

Chris Simpson
Barry Edge
July 2002


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