Keep Calm and Pass to Mertesacker

"Honey, can you run out for some bread?"

Tactic number one: ignore. Mark kept his eyes peeled to the screen as if he hadn't heard his wife's request.


Tactic number two: plead. "But it's the middle of the Ghana Germany game. Can I go when it's over?"

Sheila frowned. "The rest of the food will be out any minute. Isn't this why we have DVR? Can't you pause it?"

Moments later Mark walked up 22nd Street, cursing under his breath. He looked around him – people's windows were open. He'd have to avoid hearing any loud cheers or shouting as any errant word could give away the action of the match and ruin the rest of it for him. But how could he shut himself off from the sounds all around him? Ghana had only just tied the score at 1 – 1 when he'd left the house.

At the market he was careful not to make eye contact with anyone. While he doubted that shoppers were, say, following the game on their smart phones and/or chatting about more recent play than he'd seen, he didn't want to take any chances. He paid for the bread and began his walk home.

Then it happened: a man stepped out from a row home and Mark's gaze fell upon the man's shirt, a shirt that could only belong to a Germany fan:

Without thinking, his eyes moved from the man's shirt to his face, only for an instant, and Mark started to panic. What was that expression? Certainly not elation, but not downright depression either. Mark looked at his watch and saw that twelve minutes had passed since he'd left his house. How much could happen in twelve minutes? A lot. A lot can happen in twelve minutes in a match. That Germany fan in the Mertesacker shirt looked defeated. Ghana must've taken the lead. No, maybe he just looked stoic. No, perhaps he stepped out to catch his breath because he'd recently been screaming with unbridled joy. No. No, no, no!

"Sheila, here's your bread." Mark practically leapt past her and back onto the couch, fumbling the remote as he reached for it.

"Come on Mark, keep calm."

"Keep calm?!" He turned to his wife. "Are you in cahoots with that Germany fan down the street?"

Sheila had no idea what Mark's question meant, so she sighed and decided to use tactic number one herself. She ignored him.


  1. Ha! I'd be doing the same as Sheila and ignoring him! I'm laughing now because I'm not a football fan and yet I can see how involved its fans do get. Nice story Richard brightened up my day ^_^

  2. I really like this! Did you get the inspiration from the shirt itself?

  3. I use tactic no. 1 when it comes to football too! Nice story. Made me smile. :)

  4. I don't watch football myself, but I can sympathize a little with someone in his position. All the thoughts and questions running through his mind when he saw the logo on the shirt did make me smile too. :)

  5. I think it was very inconsiderate of his wife to ask him that! He should have just said NO!

  6. perfect World Cup story! Hey, but I will be the Germany fan this coming Sunday, and hope not to get disappointed. Great read!

  7. I know the feeling! I was having lunch with a friend and surreptitiously trying to watch the game. But I didn't have my glasses, so I had to "use the rest room" and walk by the TV close enough to see the score. :) Fun piece!

  8. I am not a big sports fan, mostly because I live in North America but only really understand football (ie: soccer) and tennis. But I do understand that DVRing a game that's in progress is just fundamentally wrong. Bake some biscuits or something! Improvise! Total football... er, cooking!

    Great tone with this one, and the callback of the different "tactics" was well structured.