One of the best things I have found about playing Fussball throughout the years, is that you end up with a wide spectrum of buddies. City folk, farmers, millionaires, bums, guys who are younger than you, older than you, and everything in between. The basis for you getting on so well with them, usually comes down to the banter ye have with each other. You mock me, I mock you back, we all mock each other. Just the way it went. Usually the people who you mocked more, were the ones who you were better buddies with. Better laugh with each other. Not always, but usually. As opposed to one-off, snide remarks, for example.
Sincerely Yours... Seriously
One year I played on the same team with a guy who was in his late 30’s. We got on well, even though we only played with the same club for a short time. He might mock my clothes or hair. In return, I’d question his real reasons for playing on, at such an age. Harmless banter. One night, out after a match, fairly hammered, he started to tell me that he loves the banter with the lads. That was the reason he kept on training and playing. Didn’t really want to finish up, he’d keep going until his legs packed in, as the banter was too mighty. One of those kinds of chats. Told me he’d miss the banter more than he’d miss his ex-wife. Never really too sure if that was actually a joke or not. Good laugh.
Anyways, Saturday, I saw him out for the first time in ages. Small talk. Soccer? Good/bad? Not playing anymore? No way. Seeing as I knew from that one chat before how much he loved the whole process of playing with a team, I thought it would be a nice gesture if I tried to convince him it was the wrong call. Motivate him back to play. Why I thought this at the time, is well and truly beyond me now. At the time, made pointless sense. ” Ah no way. You shouldn’t pack it in. Keep playing. Seriously. Keep playing.” From the look on his face, I could tell that he didn’t remember our drunken chat from years ago, or didn’t really care.
Probably thought I was actually happy that he finally had stopped playing, even though I was trying to be sincere. Not realizing that our interactions were only ever really based on the banter. Not sincerity or being serious. The way he looked at me first, I knew he thought I was lacing my words with sarcasm. Gave me a fake smile. Realizing this, I started saying “Seriously” more and more. Ironically, the more you say seriously, the less serious you sound. Now sounding like I was taunting him. “Seriously. You should definitely keep playing. Seriously. I know you think I’m joking. I’m actually not. Seriously. No, seriously.” He didn’t care, didn’t know what was going on. And still, I insisted on trying to get my point across. By the time I realized I was giving off the complete opposite impression that I intended, it was too late. Small talk had now turned into a wall of awkwardness. Great fun.
Congratulations! Boy Or A Girl?
Anyways, today I got a few random flashbacks from Saturday night. I am probably over-analyzing the incident, but that was the only one that annoyed me. Which isn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened. However, it was a pity that I wasn’t reminded of this earlier in the day. Then I might have remembered, that sometimes you’re better off not saying everything that pops into your head. No matter how nice or sincere you might think you are trying to be.
Earlier, I was admiring the efficiency and effectiveness of the builders making noise, while not actually doing any visible work, outside my house, when a girl walked by. Although she did look a lot different, I recognized her from somewhere, giving her a quizzical salute. She smiled back with the same slow processing kind of hello. “How are you, long time no see, barely recognized you, rar diddy rar” (As it turned out, we used to work in the same place years ago). The builders somehow took the noise of doing absolutely nothing up a notch, so we were now almost shouting small talk at each other. She said something along the lines of “I better be off home, I’ve been walking all day, need some rest, someone in my condition, you know how it is.”
Whatever way she said that, or whatever way I looked at her, I presumed she meant only one thing. Again, trying to be nice, I said (well, more shouted at her) “Oh yeah, congrats, when are you due to…” and then made a “pop” noise. Thinking that the onomatopoeia version was more of a light-hearted way to ask. Ape. This got a puzzled look from her. “When am I due to what?” So I made the noise clearer this time. “Pop what?” At this point, I realized that even though she might have looked it, she actually wasn’t pregnant. (Why would she use the word condition though? Hardly to admit she was in a bad one?) “Em, pardon, who said pop? Congrats? Who said that, me? Did I? Are you sure? Geez, this noise is brutal, I better let you go home and get some rest, I’m going to head back inside. Ciao, ciao.” I think I managed to get away with it. But can’t be definite. As you can see, it was an honest mistake.
It’s Alright – Little Red
Elle Panique – Olivia Ruiz