Dear Dr. Babooner,
I’m a proud American who has taken pains while hanging with my friends and co-workers to make a very big deal out of the fact that we’re not Europeans.
I have impersonated the English, derided Italians, belittled the Dutch and made caustic remarks about Spaniards.
I have even been snooty about the bad habits of the French, one of which is, of course, snootiness.
And I have mocked the Germans for being so Germanic. Which is why I’m terrifically excited about the U.S. soccer World Cup match vs. Germany today. I want so badly to beat them that my brains are as useless as a tub of sauerkraut when it comes to doing anything else!
Unfortunately, at the office I have been rather outspoken about the shortcomings of soccer as a sport (slow moving, complicated, silly costumes, no violence, no hands) and have made a very public show about not caring one bit about who advances (or doesn’t) to whatever ridiculous stage of the World Cup is next.
A group of my co-workers have reserved a conference room to watch the game at midday today, with the blessings of top management because they think knowing something about the rest of the world might help us on the business side.
I’d love to watch and cheer for our team, but I’ve already staked out my position as a soccer foe. I believe I actually said something like “… anyone who cares about soccer is not and never can be an American!” If I now use my time and energy to cheer against the Europeans in their silly, girly game, on one level it will mean the Europeans have already beaten me!
And of course it would expose me as a blowhard and a hypocrite.
I could comfort myself with the knowledge that the game will be over by the early part of the afternoon and the post-mortem will begin, but everything I’ve already said about my predicament goes double for talking about the contest afterwards.
I can’t show any interest in it at all. Maybe that’s why I can think of almost nothing else!
I told Fútbol Zero to get over himself and watch the game. Abstaining at this point will just call more attention to your nonsensical attitudes. So let your co-workers laugh about your conversion as the contest begins – they’ll soon forget it as you share your enthusiasm or misery as the case may be. And don’t be worried about what they’ll think of you – they are already well aware that you’re a blowhard and a hypocrite.
But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?