Anyone who gets the fiver email will have seen this:
Sweep away the branches of the weeping willow and see the old man lazing by the bayou. See his hat pulled low over his eyes, see the dry yellow straw he chews, see the line that will catch no fish dangling lazy into the water, hear the gentle plink and twang of a banjo. At his feet lies a snoozing dog. Behind them stands a crumbling barn with the word 'Emotions' scrawled in clumsy painted letters on the doors. The late afternoon air promises a warm evening of bourbon and hunks of meat roasted on an open fire.
"This," sighs the old man to no one in particular. "Is the life."
A whirl of dust appears on the horizon. A rusty pickup clatters into view. The old man casts an unconcerned eye in its direction, then disappears back under his hat only emerging again at the sound of a door slamming and footsteps on the dusty track. The old man stretches and gradually gets to his feet.
"Howdy, stranger," says the old man with a smile. "What can I do you for?"
"I'm from the Premier League, Mr Ferguson," says the stranger. "I've come to deliver the fixtures for next season."
He hands over a brown envelope. The old man takes it with trembling hands. A thumb cracks the seal. A single sheaf of printed type emerges. The old man's eyes scan the page slowly then come back up to meet those of the stranger.
"Excuse me, friend," says the old man to the stranger. "Come on Contentment, it's time." The dog, hearing its name, shakes sleep from his head and stumps to his master's side.
The old man walks over to the barn, the old hound hobbling along at his heel. He lifts the latch and walks inside. Contentment he shepherds into a small pen and pats gently on the head. "Until next year," he says wistfully. "Until next year." He shuffles past the dozing Disdain, gives Despair a friendly pat on its drooly muzzle and gets at last to Blind Rage, a mutt as old as the hills and as terrible as a landslide, his rusted collar lashed to the wall with a thick chain.
"Hello again, old friend," says the man. The hulking mass of sinews and teeth opens a malicious eye. "We'll teach them to give us away trips after five of our six midweek Champions League group matches, including trips to Liverpool, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Aston Villa."
The old man wraps Blind Rage's chain around his wrist and steps back out into heat of the day. We, though, will stay inside the barn, watching the dust motes swim in the shafts of light. It's probably best not to see what's going on outside. Try to ignore the screams.