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Watching football is fun, yeah, but watching football with my mother sat next to you is even, as my kid would put it, funner.
“Oooh, look.” She says. “It’s Thingamibob. It is Thingamibob, isn’t it?”
“No, mother,” I drawl sarcastically. “It’s Thingamijig.”
“He’s dead dishy, hey, Cint. That one’s dead dishy.” Quick Pause. “He’s not raped any 17-year-olds, has he like.” Slightly Longer Pause. “I mean, that we know of.”
“No, Mum,” I answer. “Not that we know of.”
“Oooh, he doesn’t look half as dishy now. He shouldn’t do that to his hair. Why’s he done that to his hair?”
“It’s a different person, Mum.”
“Oooh, yeah. You’re right, you know. That’s Whatsisface. He’s ever so good, like, very working-class, but they tend to be, don’t they, the upper-classes go in for rugby, they like it in the showers, you know, it’s all harmless fun for them, they’re used to it from boarding school with the fagging and that, but the working-class lads prefer football. This is dead exciting and that, but I do wish they’d hurry up and score a goal now. It’s a bit boring, when they don’t score goals. You know what the ref should do? He should get his little red tickets out. That always livens things up, when they start handing those little red tickets out. In rugby they have a sin-bin, did you know that Jacinta? I mean, I suppose they’re used to that kind of malarkey. I don’t think Whatsisface would like going in a sin-bin much, hey, Cint. Though you never can tell, to be honest. Some people can’t even tell themselves. You know I seriously suspect that the woman at the Greengrocer’s is actually lesbian? But probably best not to mention it to anyone. What colour shirts are we again?”
But my boy’s not such a terrible companion, either. On Saturday night he stared at the screen for the whole 90 minutes, totally mesmerized, gobsmacked and awed and stuff like that. And he got mightily pissed off when Butterfingers let that goal slip in. He whispered to me:
“I hate the böse American ones, Mum. I just want to take them and throw them in a volcano and then the lava would burn them to death. Then we would win.”
That’s the spirit, son.