How do YOU spell Portsmouth?
Stories about such things as;
How Ninja Tim refused to stick his hand in his pocket to buy his daughter 'Evie' a drink on Cup Final Day.
How UK Tony defied British Rail rules (and his missus) and broke the law on Waterloo station.
How Eastneydave sent his wife home to change into something 'tighter'.
How Storagematt defied logic by deliberately ignoring instructions, because he thought he knew best,
and How Gleams must be the 'posh'est member of the site by a country mile..
...but first I'll tell the story of ... How Chix spells Portsmouth
Let me take you back to the week before the Cup Final. Vital Pompey had just commissioned our first ever batch of t-shirts!
As most of you know the design started off with Pompeycarpet's drawing of a 'Knight in Pompey armour'. I then added the 'Puffing Dragon' and some lettering and after much "We have to get this printed fellas" from Pompey4me and UK Tony I took the plunge and located a couple of printing firms.
After a few telephone calls and emails, most of which ended with "How much?" I did a deal with a company in Winchester who, as well as being the one of the cheapest, believed they could print the shirts in time for the Fulham game. The plan being that as a number of site members were meeting that day Rug & I could dish them out and have a beer with a few of you at the same time.
So.. the design went to the printers and the article went up on site. The pre-orders came flooding in and after a day or so I had easily recovered my costs and was therefore able to drop the initial price from £11 down to £5.50 or whatever it was. All we had to do was wait for the printers to print and then deliver them.
On the Friday prior to the Fulham game my phone rang. I picked it up.
"They are ready" said the efficient lady I had dealt throughout negotiations.
"Excellent" I replied "Just box them up and send them to me so I can take them down to the pub before the match on Sunday".
As promised they arrived on Saturday morning. I just had to check we had the right number of shirts and that the sizes were correct. Everything seemed to be in order (although we were one short and the ladies sizes were a little on the small side - for size 'small' read size 'zero' ). Anyway I folded them up, put some in envelopes to send off to the likes of Steaming (Channel Islands) Pompeygray (Australia), Millhouse (Iraq) as well as a few others based in the UK who couldn't make the Fulham game. When I was all finished I stood proud a raised a glass to the thought of our t-shirts going 'global'. Vital Pompey was really on the map.
Sunday morning arrived and I did my normal trip down to the 'Homeland' and as is the norm by 12:00 I was supping Stella in the Milton Arms. My brother Rob (Sea-juicer) was to my left, my mate Darren (sporting our t-shirt, as was I) was to my right and a huge cardboard box containing approx 50 t-shirts was under my stool. I raised my glass and awaited the rush.
After a few minutes PompeyYong came in and had a pint, swiftly followed by Gandor performing a rather excellent impersonation of the Road-Runner (beep! beep!) as she came sprinting in one door, grabbed a shirt, gave me a fiver, made a double-entendre about her husband and then rushed out the other. Penton turned up. I ignored him and concentrated on chatting up his lovely girlfriend (What is 'SHE' doing with 'HIM'?) All seem to be going well. The sun was out, I was meeting good people, drinking good beer, selling the t-shirts..... what could possibly go wrong?
As I leant across the Milton Arms bar I noticed Rob wink at Darren. He then turned to me and asked "How do you spell Portsmouth, Chix?"
"erm.. P.O.R.T.S.M.O.U.T.H", I answered to the sound of their giggles.
A little perplexed, I went out side to have a chat with Eastneydave, his lovely wife & Paultsmouth (It was during this conversation that Dave sent his wife home to get changed into something tighter - The reason....to try on a different sized t-shirt!)... Anyway after a ten or so minutes I flitted back inside for a sip of my beer, but just as the 'Belgium Wine' was hitting the back of my throat Rob asked me the same question again.
'How do you spell 'Portsmouth, Chix?'
This time I stopped to think ...
"P...O... R...T...S...M...O...U...T...H.." I answered confidently. Again he and Darren sniggered like five year olds, holding their hands over their mouths grinning like children.
More and more site members came in to collect their t-shirts including the aptly named Pompey Half-Pint (nice bloke) and by this time (about 2pm) the Stella was really flowing nicely.
Storagematt and PFC123 entered the fray. As I handed a Matt a very large Brandy I overheard 123 say..
"Told ya" directing his comment to Matt.
"Yeah, I know 'IT SAID' The Milton Arms but I thought they 'MEANT' The Brewers Arms"
It wasn't long before Matt admitted that they had been waiting for us for over an hour despite knowing they were in the wrong pub !
"Hello Matt" said my brother 'Can YOU spell Portsmouth?'
"Yep" replied Matt gulping his brandy
"Chix can't" Rob replied ..
Matt smiled and went outside.
By this time Rob and Darren were on the floor, still giggling like kids, tears of laughter streaming down their faces.
"What is so funny?" I asked, half not wanting to know
"How do you spell 'Portsmouth, Chix?" Darren asked.
Not wanting to get it wrong and to prove I was of course right, I picked up a VITAL Pompey t-shirt from the box, straightened it out on the bar and pointed to each letter in turn as I spelt out the answer to their question.
"P.O.R.T.H.S.M.O.U, Hang on a minute! P.O.R.T.H.S, Oh SH1T, There's a spelling mistake in the t-shirts, they are all wrong"
As I looked across at Darren's shirt and down at mine, and at the on the bar I understood their joke. The t-shirts were printed with the website showing as a 'VITAL P.O.R.T.H.S.M.O.U.T.H'. I quickly downed my pint, and headed for the ground, my face still burning with the embarrassment of it all - I had spent the last two and a half hours dishing them out to people for a fiver each. I sat back in my Fratton End seat pretending to watch the game but really just hoping my phone wouldn't ring!
What could I do? What could I say? Could I ever show my face in Pompey again? Should I join Fans-FC under a different name?
Over 50 people would be walking around Wembley with a spelling mistake on their t-shirt.. The t-shirt, which I had so confidently & proudly given them (well a fiver) What could I do ?
I tell you how this story ends in a day or two.. but for now if you are one of the proud wearers of the VITAL t-shirt, own up.
Did YOU spot the mistake? Written by Chix
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