In his first column, Steven the Camel wonders if Hollywood’s Steven Spielberg is a Nottingham Forest fan. And if cats should wear nappies


Following a sensational transfer window in which Forest sold their best player and replaced him with three loanees and a journeyman, I find myself pondering this all-important question:

Is there anything more delightful than seeing a cat’s face light up when you wrap a nappy around its bottom?

For me, the answer is no. Especially when it’s a stray and you’re sat in the middle of Victoria Centre trying to scoff down your lunch.

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Hey look, I won’t have anyone accuse me of not doing my bit for the Nottingham community. Call me old-fashioned but I’ll be damned if I’m permitting ‘stray animal defecation’ in my city.

Outside of Primark? Well, maybe. We all know it’s different rules for those people… but certainly not on the steps of a highbrow establishment like WHSmith.

Oh no, not on my watch – and especially not whilst I’m feasting on my spam and beetroot sandwiches. I just won’t have it people.

What a fantastic store WHSmith is by the way. Did you know you can literally buy anything in there? Classic novels, wrapping paper, combs, fresh fish, pop tarts, hover-boards, fresh fish-flavoured pop tarts… literally anything!

Anyway I digress – let’s discuss Forest.

Now as many of you know, I own a kestrel. Who doesn’t? He’s a magnificent creature and I often take him to Forest games with me. His name is Sebastian.

Sebastian and I have shared many an adventure together, including the time we started a five-a-side football team with the Bella twins from WWE. We were doing well until our fifth member and best player – Noel from Hear’Say – refused to play and engineered a move to an established London-based, bubble-blowing Premier League team on transfer deadline day. I might have got the last bit slightly confused, but that’s pretty much what happened.

Anyway, during home games Sebastian proudly perches on what used to be the commentary gantry, high above the Main Stand. He watches each and every game, providing feedback from that all-important aerial view. Sebastian and I are connected. Spiritually, mentally – even physically when it gets cold enough. That is why he is the perfect companion to assist me in writing this new column for Seat Pitch.

Now then, what do we make of Forest’s start to the season? Do we have optimism for the months ahead? Well if I was comparing the last few months to a movie, I’d say it’s been very much like the Spielberg’s 2001 blockbuster A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Now anyone who’s seen that movie would tell you that – well – it’s basically a load of crap. Yet do not be fooled by this obvious link. Let’s take a closer look into the comparisons between this Spielberg ‘classic’ and our beloved Tricky Trees.

1. A dwindling population
The story of AI takes place in the late 21st Century. Global warming has flooded coastlines, drastically reducing the human population. I am drawn to the conclusion that half our fans must have drowned in the Trent in the last few months as I literally have the whole A Block to myself this season.

2. Main characters in suspended animation
In the film, Haley Joel Osment’s character was placed in suspended animation until a cure can be found for his rare disease. I can only assume the same fate has befitted Andy Reid. Though there is a cure for his disease – it’s called fruit and vegetables. Suspended animation does seem a bit extreme. As for Cohen, Britt and Tesche – they should return before the end of the 21st Century. Not sure the same can be said for Matty Fryatt.

3. You can’t please everyone
A heart-warming tale of humanity is unscrupulously ruined by Spielberg as aliens arrive. He can’t make a single film without extra terrestrials being involved somehow. If Spielberg remade Pride and Prejudice, he’d insist Mr Darcy rode a bike over the frickin’ moon. Anyway, what’s all the nonsense with fans demanding Dougie play two up front? Because that’s more attacking right? When you only had two strikers fit, one of which is a child and the other has a 50p for a head? Piffle – as our salt-of-the-earth prime minister would say.

One up front can be far more attacking with two inside-forwards and an attacking midfielder. Statistically we’ve had more attempts at goal than any other Championship team this season. Granted, most ended up hitting Sebastian on the beak at the top of the Main Stand, but still.

4. Visually spectacular
There is no doubt this is a special year for Forest – 150 years since our miracle men conquered Europe. Coincidently, other than at QPR on Saturday, that was the last time we won away from home. A City Ground film premiere is due shortly, and that will be just as spectacular as any Spielberg offering. The story is a damn good one too – and it doesn’t involve Jude Law (which is always a bonus).

5. Cast and crew going on to better things
On deadline day we brought in ‘The Admiral’ Nelson Aloe-Vera, Chris Onion Gravy and Mickey Mendes – all three looked tasty at QPR. A little birdie tells me we have a fee agreed for Mendes, and if that’s the case then happy days. However can anyone name me one decent film Haley Joel Osment made after The Sixth Sense and AI? Nope. Similar to a Michael Mancienne interview, he’s been typecast as an emotionless robot.

Let’s hope we’ve yet to see the best of our new signings.

So I’m sat eating my sandwiches, and this cat starts doing his business right in front of me. Who knew you could also buy nappies from WHSmith?

I grab hold of the cat’s legs and begin to wrap the nappy around its filthy bottom. It starts to struggle a little before Sebastian pokes one of its eyes out and begins feasting on it.

“Kestrels need to eat lunch too you know,” I scream at a terrified old woman passing by.

The cat limps off into the distance, all nicely wrapped up. He walks straight into a wall and collapses on the steps of Jessops.

Right, I’ve got a five-a-side team to reform.


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