Johannesburg – Watching a giant clock tick down on a television screen as two presenters in slightly garish clothing get terribly excited. Following my twitter timeline even more obsessively than normal, just in case the breaking of my heart is confirmed, and Juan Mata does sign for PSG.
It could only be transfer deadline day, an event that has gained such meladromatic gravitas in England that it is quite simpy the best reality television/twittervision imagineable.
Of course there is a part of your brain, as the deadline aprroaches, that wonders why on earth you are wasting your time observing this nonsense.
But somehow you can’t keep your eyes off it, you just have to know if Marouane Fellaini will join Manchester United, or in my case, if Chelsea will make the horrible mistake of letting Mata go. They didn’t, though the decision to loan Romelu Lukaku to Everton was enough to furrow my brow.
The most excited fans on Tuesday were Arsenal’s, celebrating the fact that their infamously stingy coach Arsene Wenger had finally whipped out the chequebook, and signed German international Mesut Özil from Real Madrid.
As if keen to torture their supporters a little longer, it toook the Gunners until about half an hour before the deadline to finally announce that Özil was their man, for a mere £42.5 million.
Cue unbridled Arsenal twitter esctasy, leaving one wondering exactly what will happen if they win a trophy. For starters, someone will have to close down the website www.sincearsenallastwonatrophy.co.uk, which unlike the clock for the last transfer window, still ticks merrily along.
Manchester United fans were mainly morose, frustrated that Fellaini was the best their club could manage, at a staggering £27.5 million, with mutterings that a certain former manager would never have let Özil slip through their hands.
David Moyes, who also lost to Liverpool on Sunday, has hardly enjoyed the perfect start to his United career. And the Red Devils further embarassed themselves on transfer deadline day by failing to nail down deals for Ander Herrera and then Fábio Coentrão.
All this, of course, from the joy of Arsenal fans, to the dismay of United fans, is total hyperbole. Arsenal’s happiness will be shortlived if Özil fails to deliver a trophy, while there is every chance United will put this dismay behind them and capture another title. But it ain’t half addictive.
And to cap it all, there at the finish was Harry Redknapp, sticking his head out of a window on Sky Sports, and chatting away. Roll on the January window!