Apologies for the delay, Stan had drifted off into some sort of football supporter's purgatory, trapped in a world somewhere between Exeter and Newcastle.
In the last few days he has gnashed and wailed, cried and trembled, raged and spat fire?and then drifted back into that dreadful numbed state that refuses to quite believe that we are teetering above the trap door that we have dreaded reaching for so long.
Our last stay of execution has come to an end, the State governor has torn our final plea for mercy to shreds and we have left the cell to the shout of 'dead man walking'. The hood is about to be placed over our heads and the walk to the gallows has begun.
Stan was so troubled by our predicament and his own sanity earlier today, that he stopped crying and decided rather than over analysing the consequences and reasons for our impending fate he'd canvass the boys opinion about whether or not it's appropriate to do Charlton in fancy dress.
Ooh, what is the right thing to wear for such an occasion?
Mr Blobby, Scooby Doo, John Otsemabor and a giant lemming costumes were all suggested, but it was Jonah's Grim Reaper suggestion that was deemed most excellent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEurK8VPVOM
Through the tears of hysteria Stan decided rather perversely that there is something vaguely liberating about being deemed to be dead. There's no satisfaction, just a feeling of inevitability being played out. That crushing feeling of dread has lifted and been replaced by a, presumably temporary, strange sort of euphoria.
After all, deep down we all knew this has been coming for such a long time (take a bow 'Big' Mark) that it shouldn't be shocking.
During Grant's calamitous tenure two season's past, Stan remembers a rather fortuitous home victory against a nose-diving Leeds United. It was raised in post-match pub conversations that the only difference between the sides was Dublin and Huckerby.
Under Roeder last season, after the wheels fell off post Leicester, the same two players with the addition of Ched Evans kept us up? just.
This year there has been no such saving grace. No bit of genuine quality paddling furiously to allow us to keep our heads above water. We've floundered and sunk beneath the mediocre masses to a point where salvation is implausible if not impossible.
Monday's game was just crushing. For the first time in 30-odd years of attending Carrow Road Stan could almost hear the collective will drain from 25,000 men, women and children as Long nodded home the simplest of headers.
That final flicker of hope that had been extracted from the very depths of every fan's soul was snuffed out with one nod of a head. The 'City Till I Die…' chorus that followed the second sounded more regretful than defiant.
Watching City play one of the most important matches in their history and being so totally outclassed was almost too much to bear. Were those two line-ups to play ten times, Reading would run out winners in at least seven encounters such was the gulf in quality.
'Stay behind the ball, let them huff and puff first-half, then get at the right back second-half once their belief starts to wane…' would have been Coppell's pre-match thinking. Hardly takes a genius to work it out but it was so horribly easy for them. On the basis of that second-half we simply don't deserve to be in the Championship.
Had Croft and Wes started on respective flanks rather than Carney and Gow who knows what would have happened? But they weren't and we lost, end of.
The 'Where did it all go wrong?' can wait until the deed is done and even if a miracle happens on Sunday it's a question that needs asking with genuine rigour, because where we are at is a genuinely horrible and unacceptable place to be.
We will come back from this, we will have great days together again, we will laugh and sing as one once more, but first we all need to do a lot of soul searching.
Now where was I? That's right? how about the Pink Panther outfit?!
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