Mark Clattenburg sprints up the pitch, adrenalin pumping through his thick, pink veins. Self-belief oozes from his every pore, while liquid Brylcreem drips from his oleaginous black quiff. He has reached the pinnacle of refereeing achievement, the fulfilment of his overweening ambition. He is the match official for the Champions League final, and he couldn't be more aroused about the idea if he tried.
It is a hot, sensuous night in Milan, and Clattenburg's overexcitement is bordering on delirium. As the game heads towards penalties, he feels he has done his job to perfection. He can see the adoring headlines already, he can hear the people singing his name. Then, Real Madrid centre-back Pepe hurls himself to the ground for the umpteenth time, clutching his face like Ronny Cox when he gets sucked out onto the surface of Mars at the end of Total Recall. But Clattenburg is having none of it. "I'm literally having none of it" he thinks to himself, rushing over to Pepe and giving him an imperious stare.
It is at this point, at this very moment, that Clattenburg lets the occasion get the better of him. Rather than give Pepe a good, firm talking to, he decides to go one step further. Maintaining eye contact with the increasingly unnerved defender, Clattenburg flicks his tongue out and makes a gesture so disturbing, so inhuman, that a global audience of millions let out a bloodcurdling, collective scream.
It is no exaggeration to say that Clattenburg has destroyed everything we know with his atrocious glossal tremor. What possible reason could a referee have for unleashing their pointed, reptilian tongue upon the earth? What is Clattenburg trying to communicate to Pepe here? That, if he keeps play acting, Clattenburg will lick him into oblivion? It seems quite possible that Clattenburg isn't even aware of Pepe's presence at this point and – in a moment of pseudo-erotic egomania – has broken the fourth wall of refereeing and deliberately poked his tongue into thousands of pubs, bars, houses and live screenings around the world.
As Clattenburg licks the humid air of the San Siro, does he not, essentially, lick us all?
The alternative is that Clattenburg thinks he can taste the fabric of reality here. He believes he is slurping away at the universe itself. In a moment a colossal vanity, he has licked the abstract notion of existence. He has tongued infinity and, consequently, humanity's understanding of the cosmos has been changed forever.
We have allowed Mark Clattenburg to referee the Champions League final, and he has taken the opportunity to lick all things. He has licked the past, the present and the future. For as long as there is a human mind to comprehend it, the moment that he tongued the very concept of existence will live on in perpetuum.
Though this may seem like the logical end point of life as we know it, the human spirit perseveres. While Clattenburg may have levelled the sum total of human knowledge with the darting of his oral appendage, another of football's monumental personalities has laid the foundations for a brave, new world. Our saviour is Sam Allardyce, a man who has proved that – even in a world reeling from the horror of Clattenburg's tongue – there is still so much to live for.
Big Sam doesn't care that the world is caving in around him. He's too busy cutting shapes to the sound of Calvin Harris, raving it up by the pool in Marbella.
Over the course of two, short clips from the weekend, then, humanity has been both damned and partly redeemed. Clattenburg's tongue is enough to drive even the soundest of minds to existential despair, and yet the sight of Big Sam's dad dancing reminds us that there is still hope. Look, now, upon Big Sam in his suit, eight WKDs down, sweating in the Andalusian heat. Look upon Big Sam, ready to harmonise his Dudley brogue with Rihanna's uplifting vocals. Look upon Big Sam, throwing his hands in the air like he just doesn't care. There stands Big Sam, asking a group of 19-year-old Mancunians which of them know the words to Agadoo and, more importantly, which of them is ready for a massive fookin' afterparty.
Big Sam is going to dance until the sun comes up and, when the first rays of dawn hit his shirtless dad bod, the world will be born anew.