How football imitates life

Yesterday, during a break at work I was chatting with colleagues and about to tuck into a large sausage sandwich. I mentioned something about football and suddenly my sandwich was airborne. As happens at these moments, time slowed down. There was my sausage sandwich going end over end on a high parabolic trajectory in slow motion. Cue Blue Danube soundtrack.

I got my hand to it but only tipped it further on. I got my hand to it again and then again, and a colleague made a brave lunge for the sandwich too and then it splatted on the floor, sausage side down.

I have no idea why the sandwich took off in the first place. It just went.

Less than 24 hours later, England’s goalkeeper Robert Green did the same thing with the ball, fluking the USA an equalising goal in their first game of the current World Cup. As with my sausage sandwich there was no particular reason for the bizarre thing to happen. It just did. One second Mr Green was gathering the ball, the next, it had popped off across the goal line quite by its own accord.

I hid my embarrassment over the sandwich by zooming off to the men’s room to wash my hands. Poor Mr Green had to stand there with millions of people around the world staring at him, particularly the entire population of England, all of whom had invested their last hopes and dreams in this England team and all of whom were pants wettingly anxious about the humiliation of losing to the USA. Losing to a team of boy scouts would be less humiliating than losing to the USA. And Mr Green had to stand there until half time when he could at last lose himself up the players’ tunnel.

As a punishment Mr Capello the manager made him come out again after the break and stand there for the whole of the second half.

I couldn’t help but see my sausage sandwich as an augur. If you want to know the future, ask a sausage.

The ancient Greeks had only Oracles and chicken entrails to divine the future, which is presumably why the modern Greeks just lost 2-0 to South Korea. They neglected to pay attention to their sausages in the run up to the game.

And then again, the same evening I weighed myself for the first time in months and found myself to be heavier than I have ever been (again) — just hours later Capello fielded Emile Heskey against the USA in his starting lineup.

How spooky is that?

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About chrispagefiction

Author of the novels Sanctioned, Weed, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree; also the story collection Un-Tall Tales; editor, freelance writer and all that stuff. At heart he is a London person, but the rest of his body is a long-term exile in Osaka, Japan.
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