We Didn’t Qualify !! Yippee !!

We got there at 8:30 and it was already over 95°. There were just a few trees on a neighboring property and everyone was crammed under that tiny scrap of shade as we waited for the first game to start. By the second game there was no shade at all.

During that second game, our goalie was sent off with a red card performance that would have made Zidane’s mother proud and we struggled on with 10 men. After the game, I bought two of those large bottles of Gatorade and quaffed them straight down leaving me looking like a pot-bellied Biafran refugee.

The temperature had passed 110° as the third game got underway but luckily a hot wind that stank of horseshit had blown up. Someone announced that, because of the eccentric scoring system they were using (points for clean sheets, points for goals, points deducted for cards), if we won with a clean sheet and some other team lost, we would qualify for the knockout round on Sunday. The last game was a bad tempered affair with players falling down with cramp and we won with a clean sheet.

We trudged sadly up to the results desk to confirm the bad news and the lady there told us with a smile that the other team had in fact lost and that we were tied on points. Fortunately, that red card meant that we would not we playing tomorrow. A tiny cheer went up among our team and we resolved to buy a crate of beer for our fiery Italian goalie. We had dodged the bullet.

I am sorry to say that I have no great pee stories from Saturday. I have no pee stories at all for I did not pee on Saturday.

Epilogue

I went for a swim later that evening. Remember when your mum used to tell you not to go swimming after eating cos you’d get cramp. I have some advice to add. Never go swimming after playing football for 3 hours under the hot desert sun in record temperatures. You’ll get cramp. I did anyway. Cramp in both calfs and both thighs simultaneously. I sank.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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