The day before Steve and Patrick left I went through our netflix queue and moved up the movies I might actually want to see by shoving down everything with 'space' or 'star' in the title.
This resulted in my sitting down last night to watch what I can only hope is the worst soccer movie ever made. The Miracle Match combined a terrible script with execrable acting and poised both upon the pinhead of the lamest "quote" "underdog" "endquote" story of all time: America sends team to 1950 World Cup and they win a game, 1-0.
Not, you know, the final game or the almost semi-final or anything but still. A game. Against... but I don't want to ruin it for you.
Slow. Hand. Clap. That. Increases. In. Volume. And. Pace. Until! The! WHOLE! WORLD! IS! ON! THEIR... no. Not really.
It was just as uninspiring as it sounds although, actually, I do think you should read the wikipedia article on the 1950 World Cup because - in addition to being about a million times better written than that terrible movie - it is both interesting and strangely moving.
Picture it: the world has been devastated by war. Millions are dead. Germany and her allies are still in disgrace. The Soviet Union is retreating behind its iron curtain, taking large chunks of Europe with it. The US is in pretty good shape structurally and financially, but only about 39 people in the whole country give a flying football about soccer and most of them only can manage it on Saturday mornings because the rest of the time they're busy being mailmen or druggists' assistants. And in the middle of all of this you have poor FIFA hopping around, pleading with countries to send a team - any team - to the first World Cup to have been held in twelve years and wondering who the frog they have to bribe to get some men on the field.
[Thank god they eventually got that sorted.]
So I watched this terrible movie and Caroline and Edward watched it with me in the sense that they would float in and sit down for a few minutes when they weren't doing anything else.
At the end, when England loses to the US (oh damn it! sorry) Edward turned to me and asked, "So America had the worst team in the world?"
"Well, maybe not the absolute worst in the world but, yeah, I expect the other teams at the World Cup were better. It's taken a loooooooong time for the United States to put the time and money into even trying to develop good teams."
"And England had the best?" he asked.
"One of them. At that time," I guessed and it might even be true.
"Well, then, that's why they lost."
"Sorry," I said, "I'm not following your logic."
"England started the game thinking they were absolutely going to win and were maybe thinking about the other games they had to play and America won because they were paying more attention."
"Edward," I said, "with insight like that you could be a football manager when you grow up. You'd keep your team focused on the game at hand."
"I could be a what?"
"Coach. Manager. The guy in charge."
"Like Jose Mourinho?"
"Yes. I mean, no. Not like Mourinho, he's a complete jerk but yes, a manager."
I watched Edward ponder this.
"Travel the world," I added. "Lots of seafood."
"I'll do it!" he announced.
Five minutes later he came back into the living room.
"Question," he said.
"Answer," I responded, because I am annoying like that.
"If I become a manager would I actually have to watch football? I mean, actually watch it like, every single week?"
"Yes," I said.
"Then forget it."
PS Jan, hi! Sorry, I meant to write this the other day but yes Caroline is taking Mandarin again this year because you asked me, which reminded me to ask her and she said absolutely. So I emailed the school about their Saturday class and they can take her back again. So thank you.