Turns out I'm rubbish as a football supporter

But really, is anyone here shocked?

I really was going to watch the match on Tuesday. I was. I decided to watch from the halfway point on, that way I would be sure to be there for the end. I was all excited about doing my civic duty as a temporary English person.

(Interesting aside: At Institute last night someone said that restaurants don't much business during the World Cup. But as soon as it's all over, the World Cup fans take their "football widows" for dinner to apologize for the 6 or however many weeks of neglect, and all the restaurants get slammed with reservations. Strange times we live in, friends.)

I went downstairs and turned the TV on but the reception wasn't very good, so I started flipping channels to see if I could get a better version. And of course as I was flipping I came across a film I didn't recognize. At first I just thought, "Oooh, English accents and 1940s clothes and lush green countryside, pretty! Only must get back to football, even if the reception is rubbish."

"But wait, that's Rachel Weisz!"
"And Anna Friel and Steven Mackintosh from Our Mutual Friend!"
"And wait--is that Paul Bettany? It doesn't look like Paul Bettany, but it sounds like him. Dang you bad lighting!"
"And is that the Catherine McCormack girl from Braveheart but with completely different hair?"
(These are questions that keep me up at night, people. I can't rest until I've sorted it all out.)
"What is this movie?"

Turns out it was a 1998 film called Land Girls, about three city women who went out to the countryside in Dorset to help on a farm as part of the war effort. Because I guess that was a real thing, and people did it. Who knew? They had to wear really awful knee-length trousers, that's for sure.

So, um, yes. I tried to watch the World Cup. I really did. I even flipped back to it during the commercials to keep track of the score, but it just couldn't grab me the way that English period drama with really great cinematography can, sorry.

At the end I was so, so mad (SPOILER ALERT!) at Catherine McCormack because she falls in love with the farmer boy Joe and goes to break it off with Paul Bettany (her officer fiance) but it turns out he's been wounded and is in the hospital with both his legs amputated at the knee. And he's all "You don't have to marry me anymore if you don't want to, now that I'm all shorter and stuff." So rather than add insult to injury, she flipping stays and marries him and leaves Joe all waiting at the train station and crap for her! Hate. Hate hate hate. Then you flash forward a few years once the war is over and everyone comes back to the farm for a visit and it turns out that stupid Paul Bettany is leaving her anyway for someone else, which is why we don't marry people just because we feel bad about them getting their legs blown off. And she sees Joe, who of course still loves her, but is married to someone else now and has kids. And they smile sadly and shrug their shoulders about what might have been if she hadn't been such a stupid daft coward. And that's the end.

See, much as I do love me some English period drama, we Americans just don't do endings like that--the only bittersweet we go for is the kind in our chocolate-chip cookies. None of stiff-upper-lip mess for us, thank you.


Abby said... [reply]

It sounds like the endings of all Thomas Hardy novels.

Saxon said... [reply]

well I'm no better as a football supporter. I fell alseep and slept right through the entire match!

The McCulloch Family said... [reply]

Soccer is too hard to follow. That ball is so dang small and the field is big and all that. Not much fun.

kristen said... [reply]

Oh, the World Cup. That's what South America lives for. It was great fun tracting during that time of year. It was hard dragging people from their tv sets long enough to talk about God and His plan. Yeah, they tried ignoring us but we were persistent, dang it! It actually became a challenge/contest to see how long we would have to clap (S.A. version of knocking) before they would come to the door irritated. We at least eased their frustration and BRT'd about the game. Good times.

You have to admit that soccer players have the best bodies--dang they're hot!

Usually Happy said... [reply]

Hi! I don't know if you ever read this comic strip or not but it's hilarious! Right now the cat doesn't believe that England exists and it's been reminding me of you. :) http://www.comics.com/comics/getfuzzy/

blackjazz said... [reply]

England's quarter-final match is on Saturday at 4 pm. They are playing Portugal - the team who knocked them out of the Euro 2004 in a penalty shoot-out after they had broken Wayne Rooney's foot in a vicious tackle in the first half. Revenge is sweet :-) You're welcome to come and watch it with us.

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