Saturday, 7 July 2018

"The Best Thing About Football Is Seeing Grown Men Cry"

Reader, we're in a pub, ostensibly watching the Sweden-England football game. Spirits are high, the beer is plentiful, and the nationalism is loud and in places rather crude. The English contingent of our party is warily eyeing the emergency exits. 

Although supposedly here to watch the match, we are evidently in reality spending our time engaged in two of our favourite activities: necking beer and writing a bog blog post.
While we're at it, let us revisit our favourite Bridget Jones football moments, shall we? We'll start with the bit in The Edge of Reason (Helen Fielding, 1999) where there had been a misunderstanding between Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy, and Bridget had finally got Mark on the phone to sort things out.
'Got back to remorseful message from Mark saying he had tried to ring straight after the match but phone was permanently engaged and now I was out. Was just wondering whether to call him back when he rang.
"Sorry about earlier," he said. "I'm just really down about it, aren't you?"
"I know," I said tenderly, "I feel exactly the same."
"I just keep thinking: why?"
"Exactly!" I beamed, huge rush of love and relief washing over me.
"So stupid and unnecessary," he said, anguished. "A pointless outburst with devastating consequences."
"I know," I nodded, thinking, blimey, he's taking it even more dramatically than me.
"How can a man live with that?"
"Well, everyone is only human," I said thoughtfully. "People have to forgive each other and ... themselves."
"Chuh! It's easy to say that," he said. "But if he hadn't been sent off we'd never have been subjected to the tyranny of the penalty shoot-out. We fought like kings amongst lions, but it cost us the game!"
I gave a strangled cry, mind reeling. Surely it cannot be true that men have football instead of emotions? Realize football is exciting and binds nations together with common goals and hatreds but surely wholesale anguish, depression and mourning hours later is taking ...
"Bridget, what's the matter? It's only a game. Even I can see that. When you called me during the match I was so caught up in my own feelings that ... But it's only a game."
"Right, right," I said, staring around the room crazily.'

Next, let's fondly remember the time, in Bridget Jones' s Diary (Helen Fielding, 1996), when Bridget was watching a football match with her best friends Sharon and Jude. 

'"That's exactly why the whole thing is so objectionable. Now come on, we're supposed to be watching the match."
"Mmm. They've got lovely big thighs, haven't they?" said Jude.
"Mmmm," I agreed, distractedly wondering if Shaz would go mad if brought up Rebecca during the match.
"I knew someone who slept with a Turk once," said Jude. "And he had a penis that was so enormous he couldn't sleep with anyone."
"What? I thought you said she slept with him," said Shazzer, keeping one eye on the television.
"She slept with him but she didn't do it," explained Jude.
"Because she couldn't because his thing was too big," I said supportively of Jude's anecdote. "What a terrible thing. Do you think it goes by nationality? I mean do you think the Turks ... ?"
"Look, shut up," said Shazzer.
For a while we all fell silent, imagining the many penises tucked neatly into shorts and thinking of all the games of many different nationalities in the past. Was just about to open my mouth, but then Jude, who seemed to have become rather fixated for some reason, piped up, "It must be very weird having a penis."
"Yes," I agreed, "very weird to have an active appendage. If I had one I would think about it all the time."
"Well, yes, you'd worry about what it would do next," said Jude.
"Well, exactly," I agreed. "You might suddenly get a gigantic erection in the middle of a football match."
"Oh for God's sake!" yelled Sharon.
"OK, keep your hair on," said Jude. "Bridge? Are you all right? You seem a bit down about something."

After this delightful burst of reminiscence, let us quickly look at some toilets. Below are pictures taken in the café at the copper mine in Falun, Sweden. The café was charming and so was the toilet, enriched with not just a hygienic toilet roll holder but a piece of metallic rock from the mine.

Reader, Sweden isn't doing well in this football game. Let us perhaps enjoy some pictures that Jonny sent us ages ago, in order to promote Anglo-Swedish friendship and understanding.

You may revisit the Keira Knightley spa toilets, if you wish, here.

Whatever happens, we are serene in the knowledge that, though England may have beat Sweden in the football, they also have to spend their lives on a damp island that doesn't have functioning heating or mixer taps. Also, remember that time they got their arses kicked by Iceland?

Let's have a Festive Video to cheer ourselves up, shall we?

Festive Video: Kasey Tyndall, Bar That's Open

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