Courtesy of MLusk at Weather Records
World Cup Fever : The Ok Oh Obsession!
I am, on the whole, a fraud. This statement is both true and not true based on a number of factors, not least of which might be perspective and absolute commitment to a certain temporal definition of fraudulent. But I am telling you now, from where I sit, as far as I can tell, and I know me pretty well, I am a fraud. This may lead to unpleasantries. I might be opening the floodgates to just about any Tom, Dick or Harry to start pointing out all of my fraudlencies. And, in truth, nearly one hundred percent of them would be half right. I say nearly because some will take pot shots just because they can. Throwing in their two cents, see. And I say half right because they'll be half right. But someone else will come along, god bless them, and say the opposite. Technically, the other half of the right. The other half of the right that would be wrong if it were not too, right. And I'll thank them and hold them dear, the whole while knowing I've probably put one over on them.
It is World Cup season. And I am a well known soccer lover. I say well known only because I let everyone around me know it. There is likely to be a whole bunch of people who are not around me now, who were around me then, before, who do not know it. I haven't let them know it yet. They are not around to facilitate the call. I get asked a lot for my opinion about the World Cup because I know a lot about soccer. A somewhat unusual amount given my nationality. And they ask me who will win? who is your favorite team? and by gum if I don't give them an answer. In fact, I've rehearsed an answer. But the fact is when I'm watching Italy, I want Italy to win because I like their Italian way of playing. And when the Dutch are playing I want them to win because they deserve it, what with their well thought out way of playing and their orange jerseys. And I truly have a soft spot for the French. And I want the Mexicans to win. And even the Argentineans, I like them because they too have long hair. And they're crazy. And I thought I wanted Serbia to win, but when Ghana won, I was very happy. And today the Japanese played well and that was nice. They could win and I'd be happy. America I want to win because I am American. Brazil I want to win because they are Brazilian.
I'll say this, if the U.S. keeps playing like that, they'll be too tired even if they do get through the first round. Just too stinking tired of throwing themselves at balls and then chasing down balls they've lost in the midfield. Worn the heck out.
Last night I rummaged through Marina's purse and found the twenty dollars to pay the gay Puerto Rican tending bar at Vivian's birthday party. He had asked me, moments before, if the large bouquet of pink roses I had brought for Vivian were in fact for him. I told him I could afford him one rose, but he declined. He gave my son a free orange juice with three slices fitted to the rim. The drinks, a beer and a champaign, cost fifteen dollars, but because he had given my son a free orange juice, I gave him a three dollar tip. This left me with two dollars. This morning on the train ride, a Mexican man played a lonely Mexican ballad on a guitar. I pulled out one of the remaining dollars and gave it to him. He said gracias. After work, while consolidating the dollar bills in my possession, I folded the single remaining dollar left in my pocket into the wad of five or six other dollars from my wallet. On my way home I bought a 16 oz. Coors from the Korean market. The Korean man behind the counter made a funny laser-like noise when he gave me a quarter back. Ziiing. He moved his hand like a robot karate chop as he handed it over. Outside the Korean market, just as the Godfather called up from Anchorage, Alaska to tell me the Swiss army knife I had bought for him last time I was in Anchorage, Alaska had finally returned to it's birthplace, I passed by two Puerto Ricans, a black guy and a Mexican trying to install a new piece of front glass at the Donut Connection. They nearly dropped the thing, al cursing and yelling at each other in their special accents, while a small group of like-minded Central Americans and Caribes watched next to the glass truck. In fact a small crowd of pedestrians had gathered to watch. At this point, as the train rumbled overhead, a rotund Hasidic fellow hocked a loogi in front of the bank as I passed. I stopped speaking to the Godfather, turned to the portly man and reminded him that's disgusting.