DO YOU ever feel the need to read something more than once to make sure your eyes aren’t deceiving you?

Earlier today, I had to make sure my weary, old peepers hadn’t malfunctioned when I was scanning some Celtic reports.

Admittedly, Sunday mornings can be dodgy territory for someone who may have over-indulged in firewater with his like-minded muckers at The Flying Duck the previous evening.

In the urgent requirement of picking up brownie points with the Ball and Chain, I spent last night anchored to the sofa in front of the telly. A couple of glasses of Prosecco had been brought into play to see me through the torment of Casualty.

So, feeling frisky and tickety-boo, as my old mate The Big Yin is wont to say, I was in fine fettle this morning as my orbs continued the search for knowledge to keep my lonely grey cell ticking over.

And there it was, dear reader, the line that made me wonder if I had stepped into the Twilight Zone. Had I missed something so crucially important in my brief flirtation with sobriety?

I stared at the information that had just been imparted upon my unsuspecting and already-waning intellectual capacity.

A journalist in a national newspaper was setting the scene for Celtic’s encounter against Motherwell at Fir Park today and had scribbled the scoop everyone else had missed.

Describing the champions, he dropped the bombshell news.

“Despite their recent demise,” he wrote. Four words that sent shivers down my spine.

Demise? Had rigor mortis already set in? Had my favourite team shuffled off their mortal coil and gone to meet their Maker? I accept they were getting on a bit, they wouldn’t be blowing out the candles in their 130th birthday cake again, but this all seemed so sudden.

Demise? There seemed such brutal finality about the word.

Okay, they hadn’t looked in the best of health or at the top of the form after drawing two and winning eight of their last ten games and they had slipped five points adrift in the pursuit of their twelfth title in 13 years.

But had the final whistle sounded with 12 Premiership games still to play? Seemed a bit harsh.

I hadn’t even realised they had been on life support. Maybe not moving with usual cohesion or precision, but the end had come so suddenly and without warning.

Of course, maybe the scribe had over-reacted in his description of a team that has admittedly stumbled in recent times.

A death in Paradise?

A wee bit premature to be signing any death certificates, methinks.

Enjoy the game today, folks.



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