So it’s a Friday night. You’re getting ready to go out gallivanting. Brushing your teeth. Doing a little jig. Hear a knock at the door. Hmm. Who’s that? Shimmy your way out, electric toothbrush still whirling away. Open the door. It’s the police. Oh Jesus. What have I done now?
Sweet Lord what a magnificent match I just had earlier tonight. Absolutely tremendous, from start to finish. It started off with some Spanish lady screaming rape at me, I came on in the match at half time, subbed back off after 10 minutes, and I now have the left knee of a 94 year old woman with arthritis, in her left knee. Hollywood FC will be beating down my door for me to sign, wuu huu.
I suppose I better give the background details of how I ended up getting the trial in the first place. Back in my dark Craigslist days, when I was hooked and could not kick the habit, I put an ad up offering soccer coaching lessons. Any port in a storm, and any job would do. This was when I was stupid enough to think I might have a chance of getting a job that pays money in exchange for work, I have since learnt the ways of L.A. A coach of a soccer team saw the ad, asked me if I wanted to play for a team, why not, I had an open schedule at the time (as opposed to now where I am so busy with… with… my blog).
Initially, I thought my team was half decent, few good players, savage pitch, won the first two matches, scored a few goals, happy days. However, since then, the truth has been revealed. For every 1 good player, there are at least 2 that seem to have never played the game before in their lives. A few play as if they have been dropped from the sky, onto a soccer pitch, not knowing what is going on, standing there embarrassed and clueless. The worst thing is that they’re sound, so if you get annoyed with them for forgetting to play the 2 part in a 1-2, they just kill you with kindness.
I should take this opportunity now to apologize to anyone I have played with before where I tried to make a rousing speech before a match or at half time. Listening to some of my teammates speak before or during a game has made me realize what I must’ve sounded like at times. However, I don’t think I could possibly be as bad or as clueless, but that is debatable. The worst/funniest part of it all is that everyone is expected to say something, so I am guaranteed a few gems. “The next corner we get man, I will stand at the right hand side of their left centre defence guy, move to his left, my right, and make that offensive run to the goal and score a header with my head. That could be a great move, I scored a goal like that in high school, can you put the ball there for me, maybe a foot above my head?” That kind of stuff has to be listened to, great fun, and bewildering. A guy actually said that to me on Sunday, which was made worse by the fact that we had not yet had 1 corner, I zoned out half way through his plan so he had to tell me twice, and he was a sub at the time and only came on in the last few minutes of the match. It would’ve been a great move and goal though! Maybe next week.
When it is my turn, I give my thoughts and vent frustration, and the majority of the players have no iota what I just said. Luckily, an English guy on the team picked up on this, and has taken to re-say and translate me after I am done with each sentence. It is handy having a translator though, me not being able to speak English and all.
Last week I got an email from the coach, telling me that Hollywood FC wanted myself and another guy on the team to go for a trial. Sounded good, their name won me over. I didn’t really think much of it, until my roommate, a girl who openly claims to not being the biggest soccer fan or have in depth knowledge of the game, got very excited, said it was a big thing, congrats. Who are they again? So I wikipedia’d them, and they looked quite good, lot of ex pros and movie heads seemed to be playing or have played for them. Plus a few players from their team had been signed by teams in Europe. Then the other guy going to the trial told me if we were to get on, we would probably get paid and get to travel around California to play matches. Pay I hear you say, as in actual money and not the make believe stuff I have had to deal with recently, wuu huu, I am pumped for this now. And, he added, they might be able to sort out a longer visa for me if I was to sign for them. Oh sweet Lord, this could be two birds with one stone mythic stuff.
The trial was tonight, my regular weekly game was last night. Along to the normal game I go last night, after about 50 minutes, while chasing a ball going over the sideline, and on my own, I catch my leg on the cement running around the pitch, jar my knee, hear some sort of snap, crackle or pop, and fall down like a heap on the side of the pitch, with a dull sickening pain washing over me. Ah, this is great, good work out of me. Coach/physio sprints over, pours water over my head, cheers, thats helping, and starts telling me he thinks I have done my cruciate ligament. Ah, this is getting even better, mighty stuff. I can’t really move, don’t want help to be moved, just want to lie there, face down on the ground, until the pain goes away. Luckily enough, I have flopped down next to my clothes and stuff, which I use as a pillow. After about 10 minutes of lying there face down, I figure out it is not my cruciate, but still have a sickening dull pain. I can see the visa and money opportunity sailing away.
I ice my leg up all day today, plough through a bucket of pain killers, and fool myself into thinking I am good to try and play the match (being honest I would not have gone except the coach said this is probably the only chance for the trial, now or never). Era shur, I’ll be fine, who needs two knees anyways. Executive decision is made, I’ll go along and see how it is after warming up.
With all the pain killers and ice, I cant really feel my leg as I warm up, I’ll be grand! Just as long as I don’t kick the ball with my left foot, move any direction but forward, don’t get tackled, and don’t run, I will be flying and good to go. Must just go to the bathroom before the match starts, be right back. This is where things go a bit awry.
Firstly, the men’s bathroom looks like someone has been murdered in there, covered up with tape, all sectioned off, do not come in sign, door locked. I really have to go though, so needs must. Knock on the women’s bathroom door, no answer. Knock again and open the door, “Howdy, anyone in here?” No answer again. Knock and take a step in the door, “Hellloooo, anyone in here?”. No answer, I am good to go. In I walk, far cubicle door is open, looks clean, good to go. As I make my move, a small little Mexican lady, in her 40’s I’m guessing, comes out of another cubicle with a little girl. Oh Jesus. Sorry, I thought nobody was in here, ye don’t mind me using the bathroom do ye? I am bursting! From her facial expressions, she either doesn’t speak English, or does not understand my version of English to understand me. She rattles off a load of Spanish, I am really bursting, so start to apologize and move for the cubicle at the same time, the far one, two down from her. More Spanish, followed by the distinct word “Rape, rape, raaaaaape” Oh Jesus. What? I just want to use the bathroom! As in now, I need to go!!! I rush into the cubicle, she rushes out rattling off the word again and again. Oh sweet Jesus, please stop.
When I come out of the bathroom I am greeted by the stares of Mexicans and a little lynch mob forming. Luckily, and surprisingly, the misunderstanding is cleared up quite quickly, although the Mexican lady is still repeating the word over and over, unless there’s a Spanish word the exact same, but means something else. I speak German, Irish and mangled English so I have no clue whatsoever.
Moving on, back to the great game. Our team is made up of, supposedly, the best players in our league. And me. I am meant to be starting, but think it would be better to come on and try to play well, as opposed to starting and going off early due to my big ballooned knee. Makes great sense in my head. The Hollywood team are good, very good, 3-nil up at half time, a few class players. Start of the second half, I am on, time to impress. Close to scoring twice in a vain effort to impress (one unlucky off the crossbar, one horrendous miss off the post) and numerous near buckles of the knee later, I finally flop to the ground like a sack of potatoes, holding my knee and close to crying like a girl. This is definitely making an impression, my plan has gone swimmingly well. Max, max I was on the pitch 15 minutes, I am thinking more like 10, but time flies when you are having fun and digging an early grave for one of your knees. I give their coach a thumbs up as I am helped off the pitch and the call me sign with my hand. They badly need an idiot in their squad.
I would say I am in pain writing this, but the good old pain killers are kicking in and I am feeling nay too shabby. All I need to do now is just sit by the phone, and wait for the call from Hollywood FC. They should be calling any minute now. Any minute. After that great cameo, topped off with the horrendous miss from 5 yards out, and the great accusations just before kick-off, seriously, how ever could they not?!!
Until they do ring, here’s a class song to pass away the time… Sleepyhead by Passion Pit.