Reflections from Nick Harper on the World Cup's longest, booziest day...
This morning's update is brought to you direct from the gutter.
Unfortunately, as a result of being English on a World Cup weekend, El Inglese Diario is writing this latest instalment blind drunk. All-day drinking doesn't much agree with this diary's constitution, but come on, it's not every Saturday with the sun shining that England play in a World Cup at an hour that positively encourages 18 hours of pre-match drinking.
We were clearly not alone in starting early or hitting it hard. There were apparently three million Englishers watching last night's game, with one million of them packed into 32,000 pubs. The most surprising thing about that fact is that there are still 32,000 pubs left, but these are officially some official figures so they must be right.
Apparently, those million people were predicted to have drunk 17.5 million pints by the time the night finally ended. Erm. Hold on, 17.5 million pints? Divided by one million people? Even in a state of advanced refreshment, El Diario can work out that equates to 17.5 pints per person. Seventeen-and-a-half-pints!? What kind of lightweight orders a half?
Anyway, police and ambulance services were on high alert as a result, warned of the tragically predictable rise in alcohol-fuelled violence that would greet the end of the game, regardless of the result and regardless of the fact that after 17.5 pints, no-one's in any fit state to even start an argument let alone swing a punch.
Alas, three rapid pints of the local Scuffelbrau took their toll and as the day unfolded we soon found it hard to focus, let alone take any notes.
We very vaguely recall reading about Spain's shame at the hands of Holland. “Humiliated”, “ridiculed”, “destroyed”, cried the headlines, though they might have been referring to El Diario's descent into the gutter.
We thought we saw some grown men dancing like strumpets on a hen night after scoring a goal in the Colombia-Greece game, and then someone else miss an open goal that even Fernando Torres would have scored, but we wouldn't swear on it.
There was a referee in that same game who seemed to know what he was doing and didn't appear to have been bribed, but again, that might just have been the booze playing games. And El Diario must have been really tanked to have imagined that Costa Rica beat Uruguay in the game that was played in mid-evening, rather than at midnight or in the middle of the night.
All of the above may or may not have actually happened, and until we sober up by teatime tonight, we won't know for sure.
But most tragic of all was the fact that by 11pm finally arrived, we were too drunk to see straight or know what was going on. Given the result, that might have been for the best.