Happy 1st Anniversary

One year ago today I wrote my very first blog post. Awww . . . look how widdow it is . . . .

Only I don't have anything supercool or momentous to blog about today, so I guess I'll talk about the World Cup instead.

Everyone here has gone insane, y'all. Months ago I started seeing England flags. People starting hanging them on the outside of their houses and flying them on their car windows and pubs started putting up the kind of bunting and streamers that you see at car dealerships and state fairs, only it's all little England flags.

BBC news, with typical concern regarding anything that might make England look like an oppressive colonialist force, started taking polls about whether seeing English flags hanging up like that might make people uncomfortable. Because perhaps it's in poor taste to be quite so specific about which country this is. I guess possibly it could affect those who didn't realize they were in England. "Wait, I am? Huh. That explains the crappy weather." If such a survey were carried out in the US, the journalists would get a lot of blank stares. And then some righteous indignation to the effect that if people don't like being reminded that they live in God's Own Chosen Land then they can just git. One nice man interviewed on the news says that he supports England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and that's the way it should be, because they're all British. Granted, he was English rather than Scottish, Welsh, or Irish. It's easy to be benevolent when you're part of the winning team.

Last Saturday was the first England game--they played Paraguay and won 1-0. It was a gorgeous sunny hot day and I walked into town to run some errands. Every pub I passed was completely full of people watching the game in standing-room-only conditions, yelling at the top of their lungs. Sainsbury's was blissfully cool and empty, and the checkers (who had to wear Sainsbury's uniforms rather than the red and white everyone else had on) secretly wore flashing England pins and asked customers for the update on the match. "Has Paraguay scored?"

At the market, the stall-owners weren't even pretending to sell things. They were all listening to the match on the radio, and some actually had their backs turned to us while watching on small portable TVs. At the fruit and veg stand, the owners finally gave up and started offering huge bags of grapes and peaches for 1 pound each in an effort to get rid of things so that they could head to the pub. "Look, England just scored, take it, take it!" So I got about 2 pounds of lovely red seedless grapes for next to nothing. Suckahs . . .

I walked home just as the game finished and everyone started pouring out of the pubs and the front-yard barbeques, singing and cheering and right trollied. Two girls had found an ingenius way to twist an England flag around across their breasts and fasten it behind their necks so that it became a sort of bikini/halter top. I'm sure St. George would be proud.


goldilocks said... [reply]

Congratulations! Happy day indeed. So, I was in Durham last weekend for the "Big" match. Man do they know how to party there. The guys like to wear they're superpower red English underwear on the outside of their jeans. I even saw a girl doing the same thing. it's amazing how sports bring out the alter egos in people. I think we need to try that fashion and see if it works.

blackjazz said... [reply]

I think there's something in what Bill Bryson says about the contrast between patriotism in the US and in England. Most people in the US are immigrants or are descended from people who immigrated in the last few hundred years, so it was necessary to do something to promote national unity. A majority of English have no other national allegiance other than to England. (That's not to say there are no ethnic groups - but they are minorities.) When it comes to sport, some feel that what we desire most is to be heroic losers, but I don't agree. Sport is when all the patriotism comes out in England. There's a strong desire to win while maintaining a sense of good sportsmanship. This is typified in the game of cricket. Before returning to the US, you really need to watch a cricket match. I'm not claiming to like cricket, but I admire it.

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

World Cup?!? I didn't know you liked grapes!...

word verification: yevtl--the name of a startlingly bad movie starring Barbara Streisand and (I think) Chris Christofferson (but I'm too manly to look it up.)

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

Oh, and cricket is cool...

another word verification: yzehb--the sequel to Yevtl...

daltongirl said... [reply]

I don't know why I keep thinking of that Quidditch World Cup scene from HP.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Hmmm, so it's about superman pants, huh? I think you could be on to something there, Goldy. :-)

Hi, Blackjazz! I too am a fan of sportsmanship--no clue what's happening on the pitch, but when I see one guy help another guy up after a big pile-up it makes me happy. :-) Must look into that cricket thing . . .

Stupid, it was Mandy Patinkin ("Hallo. My name is Inigo Montoya.") And yes, it creeps me out that I automatically know this.

Daltongirl, it turns out that you're right to think of that scene. Only picture Harry and Ron with England flag tied around their shoulders like capes and you'll have it.

daltongirl said... [reply]

The thing I really appreciate about those horrible movies is that tweens love them. And so I can watch them without shame, because I'm being supportive of my daughter and we're having bonding time. I just have to make sure no one sees me crying at the end, because those movies are stupid, and intelligent people would not allow themselves to be moved to tears by such tripe.

Happy Anniversary, btw.

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

I am happy not to have known, and I am even more happy I never saw the movie...

CoolMom said... [reply]

Stupid, are you refering to Yentl, with B.S. where she disguises herself as a Jeiwsh boy to go to Jewish boy school and then falls in love with her roommate and takes her shirt off and he totally freaks out? Kris K. was w/ her in that other stupid movie, the remake of "A Star is Born". Fortunately he dies at the end. But then she has to sing again and that sucks too.

We don't like her in our family, plucky.

Steph, have you gotten your package yet?

April said... [reply]

Your description of American response to such a survey was hilarious! And so true.

The McCulloch Family said... [reply]

Since we live half in and half out of the US right now (or so it seems) Miami is torn between the World Cup and the NBA finals since the Miami Heat are in them. It just makes me feel THAT MUCH MORE unpatriotic to not be supporting two sports at the moment.

We watched the first day of the US open today. Turns out that it isn't a tennis match like the French Open, but golf. Who knew?

Claire said... [reply]

I was in England during the last World Cup and after Brazil won the Brazilians were going CRAZY! I had no idea what was going on but now I have a little more of an idea. Futbal is the trendy thing now in the US, but I'm sure it will fade.

The Divine Miss A said... [reply]

It reminds me of Cardinal's baseball in my neck of the woods . . . at least that's what the two nice French girls that I met the other day told me. To me, though, it's still just unbelievable.

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