August 29 – 2007
Last week, I could have given you a host of reasons why I hate visiting my in-laws in Idaho. Funny, though, how they all seem so trivial now that “Dad” sprung for the cable upgrade.
Watching Premier League matches in Idaho is a surreal experience. Midway through the first half of the Everton game, the uncles show up with “jerky” and Keystone Light. As I’m tearing into the jerky (delicious, by the way) one uncle informs me that I need to “watch out for bird-shot – it’ll bust yer molar right out.” My brain slowly registers that “bird-shot” is the same as a shotgun bb, which leads me to the horrible conclusion that these bastards shot a cow with a shotgun. “Goose jerkey, you moron!” Oh. Obviously.
So there I am watching Arsenal inform ManCity they will probably finish closer to 8th than 4th, eating goose, drinking a beer that tastes like sparkling water left next to a beer, when it occurs to me: I could get used to this. Beer, jerky, and footie will rescue any situation. Give me those three things and rent me an apartment in Fallujah. See if I care.
I also learned three things about the perception of soccer in middle America:
- It is taken on faith that all participants are gay. Injured player: “Get up, ya’ queer!” Dissent: “What’s this homo bitchin’ about?” Second game of the day: “More of these fruitcakes? Ahh shit.”
- They want to know if soccer fans care about the arrival of Beckham, but couldn’t care less themselves.
- The Zidane headbutt remains, for them, soccer’s only redeeming quality. “These guys are pussies…hey, do you remember that dude that headbutted that guy in that one game? Bad. Ass.”
My in-laws are great – it’s my addiction to soccer that’s the problem. In the past, not watching those games enraged me and made the small things I find offensive (blind support for the war on terror, Chex Mix) seem bigger than they actually are. So Al, if you’re reading this, thanks for springing for the FSC; I think you’ll find me to be a better son now that coming to Idaho doesn’t mean missing matches. And though I disagree with your suggestion that the players “should be allowed to use their hands for the first 20 minutes of each half,” I appreciate the effort. Until next time: keep the beer cold and the goose-jerky vacuum packed.