So. The continuation of what I don’t say to my friends who live in rural areas.
6) OK, well, let’s go out for a meal! What do you fancy? Indian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean? None of those? Really? Well, never mind. Let’s go American! So, Mexican? Burgers? Oh. Not those either. OK, well, Middle Eastern then. Lebanese? Moroccan? Turkish? Oh. Greek? Oh. Spanish? Really? Not even tapas? Oh. Never mind, retro it is. So -Italian, modern English or trad British?…………..Oh.
7) OK, so, the pub! Which one, then? The traditional wooden-beamed village local, the sexy gastro-pub, the independent microbrewery, the rough-around-the-edges live music venue with the real ales and the friendly knowledgeable………..Only one pub? Oh.
8) But it does serve food doesn’t it? If you order before the kitchen closes at eight? Great! It’s twenty past seven so we’ll just nip up the road and…..how far? Really?
9) But look, this is crazy. You don’t want to drive to the pub. We’ll get a bus. When’s the next one? TUESDAY?!? Really?
10) Um…..if there isn’t a bus until Tuesday, what are all those kids doing in the bus stop? Really? Oh.
And, last, but not least, 11) So…..where are all the people who don’t look like me? Oh. Really? Oh.
As I say, I would never say these things to my friends who don’t live in London, because they would be rude and stupid. No place is the sum of its worst parts. I’m not stupid, I know that London can seem large, aggressive, crowded and unfriendly, and it can indeed sometimes be all of those things, but infrequently, and not for very long, and it is much, much more than those things. I love it, and love living in it, and am very proud of it, which is why I feel a little affronted when people who don’t live in it speak of it as merely a larger version of a South West Trains commuter service. I could say “Oy, that’s my home you’re speaking about!” but I don’t. I smile sweetly and keep my own counsel and remember 2012, when the whole world wanted to be a Londoner as we hosted the best Olympics there have ever been. Beat that with a stick, Glossop!
And now! The Footballing Fact Of The Day! So…..I was thinking about the fact the Americans have got through to the knockout stage, and they don’t even play football, they play soccer. And then I wondered where the word “soccer” comes from, and after extensive (hem-hem) research, I can reveal that it comes from university slang. To be specific, it comes from Oxford University, where, around 1875, it was popular to add the suffix “er” to words. Some of the resultant words are still in common usage, such as “fiver” and “tenner” for five and ten pound notes. Some of the sports played commonly at Oxford were similarly amended, with students referring to “rugger” and “footer” (which I can well remember being used in the children’s stories I read in my youth) and to “soccer”, the latter being formed from an abbreviation of an abbreviation, namely “socc” from Assoc, from Association Football. Other “er” forms still in common usage include brekkers (breakfast), champers (champagne), starkers (stark naked), preggers (pregnant) and crackers (crackpot, or crazy).
So there you go. The Footballing Fact Of The Day. Interesting, wasn’t it? I thank you!