Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup Widows

So it's that time of year again... Except, thanks to The Sun, it's like 'that time of the year again' on steroids.

The World Cup.

I have to admit that I'm not a footy fan. Being a slightly chubby ginger kid with big Austin Powers glasses did not immediately endear me to the football fanatics at school. That strange magnetic force which attracted soccer balls towards my head at alarming speeds did not make a big fan of the sport either.

I liked horses and guns. Sorry, there we go. I wanted to be a cowboy since I was, like, six, so horses and guns were all that was worth bothering with and people kicking a ball about just seemed stupid to me. Plus the big group bath at the end just seemed very... well... erm... gay.

Anyway. My time in the states reinforced all these thoughts, since (as anybody who's seen the Simpsons will confirm) Americans think soccer is a wimpy game in which two teams kick a ball about, score no goals and eventually decide the bloody thing through a penalty shootout.

And, as for the group bath thing, while I was on a date with a girl in the Village, a bunch of muscley guys in leather shorts got chatting to us and agreed that the group bath thing was a bit gay. Then they went off to see an off Broadway production of Rent.

So I'll lay my cards out on the table. Football is not a big deal to me. Except, since moving back to England, I've learned to LOVE the world cup.

Saturday. England vs. Paraguay. While Becks and the gang were off showing us their dynamite skills, I went to Tescos. And it was deserted.

I stocked up on beer and food and breezed through the checkout in under ten minutes. On a weekend! Ah, yes, I could see why this World Cup thing might have it's advantages at that point.

On a slight aside, what the hell was with that game? England gets millions of quids worth of hype and then only manages to defeat Paraguay... PARAGUAY, FOR GOD'S SAKE... Because they scored an own goal.

Let me put this another way.


Seriously, if I was Becks I'd have put the 'elephant man' bag back on Rooney's head and flown back in disgrace after that.

Erm. Where was I?

Oh, yes. Today. England vs. Trinidad and Tobago. I drove home from Newbury and the roads were DESERTED. It was bliss. I got my Mini up to 95mph.

So I love the world cup. It's like two hours free from the 85% of the world that I really could do without having to deal with seven days a week.

It's almost worth the embarrassment of thousands of England fans cheering our success, ignoring the fact that we'd defeated a team of people who lived on two separate island (think of the commute) and probably practiced with coconuts.

Sooner or later, we're going to face a European team. And then it'll be back to sixty-deep queues at Tescos. Groan.

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