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Returning a Ball by Foot

June 2, 2011

Harbinger of doom.

You’re walking through the park, which is nice. It’s a sunny evening – boldly so, after a day that struggled to emerge from a thin layer of cloud. Despite the fact that you’re not in the nicest area (North-East London perhaps, or South Edinburgh, or anywhere in the North-West of England) and you’re certainly not in the nicest park, you can’t help but to feel glad, and a little excited, as you stride purposefully, Summer Girls by Lyte Funky Ones blasting into your ears. Look – there are some children playing tag. Look – some lithe college girls are playing Frisbee and laughing a lot. Look – some rippling, jock-like boys are playing football. Gosh, aren’t they rowdy? If they’re not careful, then… oh no! The ball is now rolling down the grassy knoll towards you. Quick! Head down and keep walking, they’ll never…. Too late! ‘Oi, mate!’ they cry. ‘Buddy!’. Quite why they don’t have the energy to retrieve their own ball is beyond you – look at the way their t-shirts skim their abs; they’re clearly in shape. But you know you must react. You’re going to have to kick the ball back to them, despite the fact that you’ve never successfully managed to kick a ball in your life, and you’re wearing new espadrilles. One of three things can happen here:

  1. You kick the ball back successfully, the jocks woop and cheer and invite you back to their frat house for a rompy party.
  2. You kick the ball but it veers violently in the wrong direction, the jocks loudly mock you.
  3. You fall flat on your face in the approach to kick the ball, a rabid dog mauls you to death.

So. Sweaty palms time. Which will it be?

Verdict: this isn’t a ‘choose your own adventure’. It’s number 2. Horrid.


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