July 2006 Issue: Goooooooooooooooooooooal!!!

julyI don’t care which country you come from, or what kind of weird-ass sport they play there. You have to admit that the World Cup has an aura of magic that not even the Under 19s Disabled Commonwealth Games can match.

In one of his more lucid moments, Dave made the observation that there’s something almost spiritual about so many people from all over the globe all focusing on one tiny ball at the same time.

Well, whatever. Anything that gives the editorial team the excuse to park it in front of the tube for upwards of 10 hours per day for an entire month is fine by us. That’s why god created CSI in all its many and varied manifestations, right?

Besides, where else are we going to get the chance to develop and reinforce our racial stereotypes so neatly? Just look at the way these guys play – the English, polite and reserved; the Mexicans, fiery and chaotic; the Germans, cold and methodical; the gringos flashy but ultimately ineffectual; the Africans, hopeless underdogs; the Australians, taking it easy until the last possible minute; and of course, the Brazilians, full of passion and flair.

World Cup Fever is a reality, folks. Divorce rates skyrocket every four years like clockwork as wives discover that they are in fact the second most important thing in their husbands’ lives. Guatemala’s Prensa Libre published a one page special on how to keep the Little Lady from arking up during this critical month. They didn’t suggest anything quite so radical as actually missing the match between Tunisia and Saudi Arabia – advice was more along the lines of how to get her interested in the games so you can watch together, and maybe have a bit of a chat during half time.

Xela’s kind of empty at the moment because many people have postponed their travel plans until after el Mundial. Fools. Where else can you go about your daily life, then, whenever you hear a drunken roar, duck into any store/bar/café/tailor shop/funeral parlor to catch the replay of the goal on the inevitable giant screen TV?

Yes, my friends, we are definitely en la gloria here. Chances are, not even the Germans have it this good.

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