Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Big Sister’s Living Room, a cottage near Dover
England 0 (1) Portugal 0 (3)

Pre-Match Buildup
Visit English council housing estate to take pictures of Crusader flags draped from windows, nailed on doors and hung on washing lines. Drunk Teenage-Residents-With-Babies emerge from house and ask why I’m taking pics. Tell them I live in America and want to show pics of England when I go back. Residents tell me I don’t look American. Residents tell me I look Swedish. Notice several residents have teeth missing. Don’t mention to residents that I suspect the flags won’t be here tomorrow, and that’s why I’m taking pictures. One of residents shows me his arse and says, “Here, take a picture of this.” Residents form small drunken crowd, and chant, “Ingerland Ingerland Ingerland.” Retreat to sister’s car.

Dramatis Personae
The Wife has, bizarrely, opted for a summer holiday in Bali over visits to English housing estates with me, so I am watching this game with my Big Sis, Bis Sis’s Beau, and My Dad.

Big Sis is a cop. Big Sis’s Beau is a cop. My Dad is an ex-cop who occasionally works as a bouncer in pubs, presumably to be keep himself in trim for the day when the world goes to hell in a handbasket, which according to his newspaper, “The Daily Heil,” was yesterday afternoon, shortly before teatime.

Have decided under the circumstances to support England, but the only way to do that is to drink “Blind Support,” a beer that allows you to Ignore All Evidence To The Contrary. Side effects include use of phrases like “Our brave lads,” “bulldog spirit,” and much talk of how we can't possibly be European because we live on an island.

Kick-Off: Game immediately descends into a scuffle. It looks suspiciously like one of those games you play with a beer can on your way home on a Saturday night. England play like they are trying not to drop their kebab.

22 mins: Aided by “Blind Support” beer, sink into Primal Male Condition: conversation unnecessary; stare at glimmer and movement on telly; offer occasional grunts to assert existence.

23 mins: Roused from Primal Male Condition when English spaniel farts by my feet. This is no ordinary fart, but the kind of fart that makes a dog raise its head and look around the room as if to say, “What was that?”

24 mins: Big Sis’s Beau reveals he gave the spaniel the remains of a curry last night.

25 mins: Spaniel farts again, and is sent off. England’s first casualty, and the high point of the first half.

Half-Time: In the absence of spaniels in the studio, BBC has nothing to discuss. Instead, it wheels out Olde English Former Footballers who mutter about Dunkirk spirit, 1966, and foreign guile. General suggestion is that English spirit and virtues will bring victory; superior technique will not give foreigners an edge. Feel blithely happy for England: even though Our Brave Lads are in a foreign country, don’t speak the language and clearly don’t know how to play football, they will not get kicked around like puppies.

60 mins: Decide to pick fight with the police when My Dad, deep into his third pint, gets agitated. He insists the ball was in, even though it was out. “The whole ball must be across the line,” he yells. Accuse him of having a Senior Moment. Replay shows the ball was out, but Dad insists it shows the ball was in. No one can win this argument, so we persist with it. Out. In. Out. In. Yes it was. No it wasn’t. Continue until Dad twitches.

Around 70 minutes: Brave Englishman Attacked by Portuguese Testicles Shock! While manfully fighting for the ball, Wayne Rooney steps on a Portuguese player’s balls. The Portuguese player had clearly strewn these in Rooney’s path in an attempt to trip him up.

71 mins: Gesticulating foreigners surround Rooney and referee. Rooney protests his innocence: how could he have known those gonads would be there? Foreigners: they leave their testicles lying around, then complain when they get trampled. Is there no end to their deviousness?

72 mins: Atrocious refereeing: Rooney sent off. The referee, the commentators emphasize, is Argentinian. They don’t reveal the connection between this and errant Portuguese testicles, but there must be one, else they surely wouldn’t mention it.

75 mins: Enraged by the treachery of foreigners and their genitalia, England play better with 10 men than they did with 11.

Extra Time: Still inflamed by genitals, England continue to play better with 10 men. They would score too, but that is a little beyond their abilities.

Penalties: Penalties are a little beyond England’s abilities too, but since penalties are a foreign invention, being bad at them is more a virtue than a failing.

It’s All Over But It Isn’t: England crash out of the World Cup, but since leaving your balls lying around on the floor is not in the rules, we have been cheated. So, technically it’s a victory for the Queen. Huzzah!


JM said...

So where's the picture of the crusader flags then. I believe you can upload pictures to this blog.

Here's the Portugal Argentine link for you. Portugal speaks Portugese, which sounds like Spanish, which is what they speak in Argentine-ia. Yesh.