Thursday, 26th July 2001

Sports News


"We have finally beaten the Aussies: actually it happened in swimming, they were disqualified, and our gold medal might be taken away from us."

Luxembourg sports news? No, London Evening Standard. I didn't read the news, and at this present moment I still don't know what it was about, I just saw it in big letters over my neighbour's shoulder on the train yesterday.

There is something touchy in this statement, something definitely very British, which I cannot find in other countries in Europe.

In France, the title would have been "We won" ( without mentioning the opponents, the disqualifying thing, and for sure not the fact France might be disqualified too: that would cause a next article entitled: "The bastards took it away from us, how unfair" )

In Germany the title would have been "Didi Schlampenmeier did it again", because national victories are so common they have to mention the individual athlete to make the article interesting.

In Portugal the title would have been "We won, 200 years after Vasco da Gama" because everything is linked to traditions, and Portuguese still live in the nostalgy of the past. It's a sentiment called saudade, and has been nicely illustrated by my friend David last weekend when after a few drinks he started to sing a nice Portuguese "Fado" in a Spanish tapas bar ( lyrics:...ayeayeayeaye, my mother was a prostitute, my father was a thief, I lost my left leg at 10, etc etc )...

In Luxembourg the title would have been "We did not come last" ( Do I need to explain more? )

But Brits are the only ones who need to beat somebody else, beat the Aussies in cricket, beat the French in rugby, beat the Germans in football...Don't they usually say? " A football game is a game in 2 halves, where Germany always wins after penalty shoot out". Wait, wait, wait, there is another country like that,....Finland of course. Recently I asked a Finn: "Aren't you disappointed to have come second only in the last world championship? - No, because we have beaten the Swedes !!"

Last thing before I let you go, I am afraid I am becoming more and more "british" myself: like them, I am reading my neighbour's newspaper on the train. oh, My God!"

Have a nice day


A couple had been married 20 years, and every time they made love the husband insisted on turning the lights off. Well, after 20 years the wife felt this was stupid. She figured she would break him out of this crazy habit. So one night while they were in the middle of making love, she turned the lights on. She looked down and saw her husband holding a cucumber. "You impotent bastard!!" she yelled "How could you have lied to me all these years? You had better explain yourself!!" The husband looked her straight in the eyes and said, "I'll explain the cucumber if you explain the three kids."

Thanks Chris