Yesterday I went to the dentist at around 5.30 in a town that has a Saturday market. I was delighted when I arrived in the town centre to find that there were plenty of parking places because the rest of humanity were either in pubs or at home watching the football.
It is a cathedral city and it was very pleasant to stroll through the narrow streets on my way to the dentist's surgery. At least that was until I went past the market as the stallholders were tidying up to go home. One very loudmouthed stall holder was haranguing a small tv set encouraging his team to do this and not do that.
Ah well, I thought there's always one but it'll be a haven of peace at the surgery because my dentist is a very softly spoken, mild-mannered Finn.
I went in and was greeted by the nurse who said she was very stressed not because of the job but because England were losing or at least not winning. As I lay down on the reclining seat to have the work done on my mouth, I was deafened by the noise of the radio commentary and of course the drill. My normally calm dentist was very excited and as the tension mounted, it seemed that the drill went even deeper.
The nurse whose job at this stage was to hoover out the water gushing around inside my mouth would occasionally take out the suction tool to hear whether someone had scored and I just quietly glugged away on my own hoping she would come back before I drowned. At last the match ended and so did my treatment. I was relieved it was all over and I could now exercise my jaw which had stayed open and fixed for an hour.
But I had to conceal my contentment because of the gloom that had descended on the surgery. I then had my usual sociable chat with the dentist and as the accents of Finnish and Swedish speakers are very similar I had a surreal sensation that Sven whathisname was talking to me. I paid the bill, got in my car, drove home, had a cup of tea and fell asleep in the garden.
And as my tongue appraises the latest dental engineering in my mouth this morning I find it painfully ironic that I, who have eschewed the world cup by every means possible over the last few weeks, should end up forced to listen to the second half of the match that removed England from the competition. Never mind, there's always Wimbledon or as the former champion, Boris Becker one of the BBC commentators, always calls it - Wibledon.
Are you crazy about football or soccer, too? Then post your comments here: The world cup and 'Wibledon'.
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