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3-2 loss to Burnley

on opening day (or

is it 2-3 because Chelsea

was the home team?

I can never remember)

with Cahill

and Fabregas both sent off

(lunging “tackle” for the captain

and sarcastic clapping and

clumsy tackle for the Spaniard)

but we came back

in the second half and made

a game of it

and it was more memorable

than the 1-0 wins against

West Brom and blah and whoever

last year

and if you don’t love football

even when your team loses a

stinker

you love it for the wrong reasons

 

[wrote this more than a year ago but the loss was too painful to post until now]

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Fuck you Mourinho

and your negative football

(even though it won us

three championships and we’re

forever grateful–KTBFFH)

and fuck you Fellaini,

the dirtiest player I’ve ever seen

and the ugliest, too

(Peter Crouch could pull birds

better than you, and he’d be a virgin

if he wasn’t a football star–

he admits it himself)

But it’s three points to the angels

and nil to the red devils,

all is right in the world

for one more week

at least.

Although I am a middle-aged white North American male, I know the pain of being broken down solely on the basis of my looks, my entire personality rendered meaningless and subsumed by a single piece of my anatomy. In my case, it’s my hair. Specifically, my pony tail.

Since I was young I’ve always wanted long hair. As a child I was never allowed to grow it long, but when I became a teenager and had the faintest hint of independence in how I dressed and groomed, I started to let my hair grow. Unfortunately the fine, straight hair that I’d been blessed with started changing with the advent of puberty, and become wavy and unruly. Just when I had the freedom to let it flow, it had gained a mind of its own.

I hated my hair.

It refused to behave as I wanted it to, and so I went back to cutting it short. I was defeated.

But, years later, I decided to try again. In the meantime, I’d developed a minor phobia for going to the barber: I dreaded the expectation to make conversation and the odd intimacy of a stranger touching me and hovering around me as my locks were shorn. Also, I hated spending $15 for the traumatic experience. I stopped going to the barber.

If anything, my hair had become wavier, almost curly, but I discovered that if I let it grow long enough, I could tie it back in a pony tail, controlling its most chaotic urges. It might not have been the best look for me, but it was low maintenance, and free. I could go months without a haircut, and even when I decided my hair was too much to handle, I’d simply shave it all off and start from scratch. I’d never had much romantic success and, looking back, my hair probably didn’t help. But I was more at peace with it, after hating myself and the way I looked throughout adolescence and high school. I’d found a hairstyle that might not have been attractive, but at least it didn’t bother me any more.

Fast forward to years later, and I mostly have long hair that I tie back in public. It’s messy because I don’t even get it trimmed, but it’s sort of become my “look.” I know I’m starting to go bald on top, and I’m aware that I’ll eventually look like a stereotypical aging hippy (if I don’t already) but, for the most part, I don’t care. I used to be extremely self-conscious, worrying too much about what everyone thought of me, and whether they were judging me. I’m still self-conscious, and know I’m not good-looking, but I don’t worry about other people so much now; I’ve grown more comfortable in my flabby, pasty, hairy skin.

I’ve started to go to a new pub to watch Chelsea football games. It’s very nice, but they don’t know me by name yet, and there are a lot of us, so understandably they’re struggling a bit to get to know us and make sure the right person gets the right breakfast and bill. This weekend I learned that the bartender has his own tricks for keeping us straight. He’s picked out defining features, since telling the waitress to bring the Carlsberg to “the guy in the Chelsea shirt” won’t get them very far. My defining feature? My pony tail.

I kind of like that. It took me years to grow it, and now it’s sort of my “thing.” My only complaint is that somehow I became “pony2” on my bill, and I wonder how I lost out to “pony1.” Maybe I need to do what my family is always threatening to do to me, and cut off his pony tail. It might be the only way up in this tonsorial world.

John Terry and fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I expect that I would not have much trouble defending you lot, eh?”

“How about your mum, lads? Is she a goer?”

“Lovely wheels, boys, mind if I take them for a spin?”

“Me an’ two ol’ ‘eadhunters, yeah? Nah, I’m only takin’ the piss.”

“… carefree, you and me, lads… not like that c**t Rio Ferdinand…”

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