Mr. Silhavy, a word

Date: 24th November 2020

Coach of the Czech national team, Mr. Silhavy stands at the precipice of something… Thing is, that he has to get through customs first…

Picture the scene…

Mr. Jaroslav Silhavy wants to visit the venues where he failed to get his country to – the Euros. He has pitched up at the new Robert Burns International Airport and is standing at the Sturgeon gate where a couple of Border Guards are picking through his suitcase.

One of them decides to make small talk. “All right buddy?”

Mr. Silhavy, whose English is very good has been struggling since he arrived, only half an hour ago, to get his head round the accent and how people say words in this country. He has no idea who buddy is, but he decides to play along with it.

“I am fine… buddy.”

“That’s good, that’s good. Good to hear my chap because we have a wee issue for you.”

“A wee issue?”

“Aye. A wee issue, now when I say wee I don’t mean wee.”

“You don’t?”





“Naw, well aye.”

The second security guard looks up to try and help his colleague. “That, my friend, is what is known as the Dalgleish paradox.”

Mr. Silhavy instantly recognises the name. “Dalgleish? Like King Kenny?”

“Aye!” The second guard takes charge.

“You see, Mr. Silhavy, you are in Scotland. A place of great mountains, beautiful poetry and magnificently fine folk.”

“Yes, I know? King Kenny was one of these fine folk!” Mr. Silhavy clearly thinks that being compliant will be a positive.

“We remember him well. He is often in our thoughts. You could say that we are a nation of nostalgia.”

The second guard is warming to his task. The first guard smiles and realises where this is heading.

“Nation of nostalgia? What is nostalgia?” Mr. Silhavy looks as confused as he feels.

The second guard turns serious. “To us, everything. We see the past and we love the past. We hear about the past and we smile about the past. But.”

He stops abruptly.


“Aye, but. And this is not a time to not but me no buts.”

Mr. Silhavy is confused and shows his confusion in his face. The guards swap glances, this is working well.

“I can see, that as the boss of the Czech national team, you are a man of fitba as we say in these here parts.”

“I am.” Mr. Silhavy is cautious, and not easily fooled.

“You are a man who has much to give to the game.”

“I do.”

“In fact, you have mush to say about the game.”

“That much is true, yes.”

“And that is, right there, buddy, pal, my friend, where nostalgia comes in.”

“It does?” Despite his optimism he feels things turning for the worse and not the better.

“Aye. You see, miracles can happen, and surprise is welcome. In fact, happiness can be all ours. Especially when you remember. In Scotland we remember everything… Everything.”

“Like King… Kenny.” Something tells him that this is not going well. He vaguely remembers those words but cannot think why he does…

The first security guard moves to stand directly in front of Mr Silhavy. His colleague stands beside him. Behind them is Scotland and they both shake their heads.

The second security guard starts and speaks for an entire nation…

“Mr Silhavy, I regret to inform you that you will not be allowed to enter our country the day. This is aw down tae the fact that you made a pure fanny of us when we lost tae Israel in the Nation’s League and you said it was a miracle.”

“You said you were delighted”

“And you couldnae hide that delight. So, we are here…”

“As the collective representatives of our nation…”

“Tae say that…”

“Only nations that qualified fur the Euro’s..”

“Are allowed in..”

“Which isnae you…”

“Na, na ,na,na, na!”

Mr. Silhavy looks bemused and asks, “Can I have a word with the supervisor.”

At that the tannoy announces, “Aye, Mr Silhavy ye can have two and the second one is OFF!”


Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that there is a Sturgeon gate in any international airport, and this is therefore not true.

After losing to Israel and losing qualification from the Nation’s League, Mr. Silhavy, the Czech national team boss, whose team won the league made comments that it was a miracle that made him happy and delighted, thus rubbing salt into our wounds. Of course, we are very much able to do the rubbing wurselves…


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