The FIFA World Cup 2010 is fast approachin', fella. Did you know? I did not, not until my good pal and work colleague Tommy rang hitting me up for cash. "So Lucy, you wanna get in on this pool? €20 and you get to back TWO teams. And there's sixteen going in the pool so you could win BIG. I mean, REAL BIG."
I sighed and rolled my eyes at the phone. "Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. Tommy! Lemme tell ya something about this "World Cup Pool" you're trying to get going," I said. Tommy sighed and rolled his eyes at the receiver down his end.
"Tomcat, Tomster, Tommy-Tommy-uh, something; this pool malarkey will not fly with me. First of all, €20 is waaay too much money for me to expend on something that doesn't come in a glass with ice-cubes. I mean, what do I get for my €20 bucks? Nothing! One chance in 32 is not my idea of safe odds, my friend."
"Well, it's not 'safe' of course, it's just fun and-"
"Tommy! Let me finish, Goddamn you! The other thing is the unfairness of it all. The last time I was in a World Cup pool I got shitting Togo. Togo my friend! I mean, Togo is probably a great little place and God knows but its a fun word to say, but when you're up against the Argentinas and the Brazils of this world, it makes you vomit a little inside."
"But that's the beauty of this system, Lucy! You won't know who you get it, it's a closed draw, we won't find out who got the winners until after the last match! We'll seal it in an envelope and open it after the final! It's FLAWLESS!"
"Oh, Tommy. You are only a young man[!], but you have so much to learn. What is the point of having a World Cup pool if I cannot paint my adopted nation's flag on my cheek and walk around pretending to be Togolese, adopting a faux Togolese and very possibly offensive accent? Like, get a grip, Tommy!"
"Maybe some people actually like to watch football...?"
"Oh puh-lease! Don't make me LAUGH! I am laughing though, at what I imagine your sad little face looks like all now, with me raining all over your parade, ha. No, Tommy, I am out of this one. You will just have to play on without me."
"Well, alright Lucy, but don't get all pissy when you're not involved."
"Unlikely, Tommy. I'm hanging up on you now."
Then this afternoon, into my inbox pings this group missive:
Almost all of the library staff have signed up to take part in the draw for the forthcoming World Cup, I should have 24 names to be getting on with..."
Yeah, yeah whatever, get on with it, you emotionally blackmailing fink...
"...I had originally planned on keeping the envelopes here and distributing them at the end of the tournament, but the feedback I've got would suggest that this idea is not to everybody's liking. Accordingly, as soon as you get your envelopes it's entirely up to yourselves whether you open them or not."
And that, my friends, is how you shame someone into your way of thinking. As they say in TV land, boo-ya!