Hilarious British Soccer Commentary

I’m not much of a soccer fan, which makes me feel a little left out these days. 

Being a real American*, it’s just not ingrained in my DNA, the way bowling, crossword puzzle-solving, and Facebooking (I’m assuming this is a verb now) are.  These, of course, are the national pastimes of real Americans.  Well, maybe the nerds and losers.  I have no idea what the rest of America likes. 

There is no escaping the soccer action on the Internets or television, and because my son puts the game on every morning—despite my best efforts to tune this major cultual event out—I am bound to overhear some things.  

So although I’m not a soccer fan, I WILL tell you what I AM a fan of—the hilarious soccer commentary provided by British announcers during the World Cup games.

Here are a couple of examples of the clever jargon used by British and Scottish announcers during the games:

Using the word question, for when one team or player makes a strong play against the opponent, as in: “Messi has a rather pointed question for the South Korean defenders”; and use of the term collector’s item, as in, “David Villa’s wonderful goal is certainly a collector’s item.”

Such quaint turns of phrase!  I love it!  Here’s another:

Dear, oh dear. Rooney’s limping. He pulled up a fraction after being called offside. He’s trying to walk it off, just looks like a knock at the moment. That really would put    a dead rat in our burger.

If that is a familiar expression in England, remind me never to order a burger there. 

I swear, leave it to the Brits to make sports jargon sound like poetry. 

 * Do not confuse the term “real American” with this term: “rill ‘Murikan,” as some teabaggers like to refer to themselves.  I guess         they prefer it to “teabaggers” and really, who could blame them?         The favorite sports of this particular subset of U.S. citizenry seem to be hockey (played without helmets, apparently), shooting and drilling things, and fighting for their right to shoot and drill things.

There may be other sports “rill ‘Murikans” enjoy, but I don’t like to dwell on it.

Anyway, this is what the British commentators’ soccer analysis sounded like to me, at least when I was able to hear it over the din of those horns from hell (a.k.a. vuvuzelas). 

When I’m Bored…

When I’m bored, I write e-mails.  Be thankful you’re not the recipient of one of these.  Oh wait… you’re reading this.  Sorry.

Here’s a couple of recent ones I wrote to my friend, J. 

Hey J,

I forgot to tell you when I saw you at church that I am about one-third through that book (Her Fearful Symmetry) you lent me 20 years ago.  It took me a month just to sound out author Audrey Niffenegger’s name.  After getting over that hurdle, I began reading it only recently.  It’s pretty good.  I’m sorry I didn’t start this one sooner, but the nightstand next to my bed is some sort of OCD version of Netflix, and it will not allow me to read anything out of the order in which it was placed on the nightstand.  I am sorry; I cannot override its inflexible queuing system.

Another reason for the delay—it may be obvious that I spend all my free time on the Internet and subsequently have lost the use of my hands and can no longer actually hold a book.  Yep, all I am able to do is read from a screen now, with my hands dangling uselessly at my sides.  I do manage to peck out a few words here and there, but it is becoming evident that my hands will soon evolve to be merely vestigial and I will be the first Internet blogger with HOOKS FOR HANDS.  Won’t THAT will be special!

Do you require proof that I spend too much time on the computer, and not enough time holding a book in front of my face?  Then look no further than this:

https://latebutsoon.wordpress.com/  (Shameless plug for my blog.)

See?  Fantastic waste of time.

Requesting more time to finish the book before you send the book-recovery SWAT team after me,


Evidently, I need some help.  I seem to be incapable of writing a simple e-mail for the reasons most people usually write them:  to give information, ask a question, or make a plan.  As if THAT wasn’t enough, then THIS:

Dear J,

Finally finished reading the book you lent me.  It was a “gripping” novel.  I was unable to “put it down.”  But not in the literal sense, because as you know, my hands are neither gripping nor holding many books these days, since I do the majority of my reading off the computer screen.  Then HOW did I manage to read it, you may wonder?

This was accomplished by taping the book cover to the computer screen with duct tape and blowing on the pages to turn them.

I am exhausted!  And out of breath.  Where’s my inhaler?

You may be wondering how I am managing to type this,     if my hands and arms are rapidly atrophying to the point of utter uselessness.  Answer:  With my typing stick, of course, which I am holding between my teeth!  How else, silly?! 

Thanks again.

Your friend,

Hooks for Hands (a.k.a. Latebutsoon)

P.S.  I will be returning your book to you sometime this decade.  Or Sunday.  Perhaps Sunday. 

Maybe I will submerge it in the rice pudding I am bringing for the pastor’s farewell brunch and we can bob for Niffenegger.  Or something.  It would be a welcome diversion.

J. is very tolerant of all this.  She still came to my barbeque on Saturday because she is a kind person.  But she was looking at me kind of funny, I think.

Planning Ahead

I am the kind of person who likes to get things done ahead of time.*

I know, I know, this statement contradicts EVERYTHING I ever told you about my procrastination habits, but in this instance, I was just putting off revealing the truth.  Because you probably CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!**  (I have always wanted to use this line.  Imagine it’s Jack Nicholson saying this, but not to Tom Cruise.  In fact, get the image of Tom Cruise out of your head entirely.  It will put you out of sorts.  Sorry I ruined this paragraph by bringing him up.)

The truth is:  There are actually some things I ALWAYS plan ahead for, if by planning ahead you mean making a reservation for dinner, or stopping at the liquor store (you never know when unexpected, wine-guzzling guests will stop by and you will have to prepare for them, which requires the intestinal fortitude that only half a bottle of red zin can provide whenever those booze-hounds show up at your door.)  Basically if the activity is something I ENJOY, I will take care of it right away, but if the future activity is in any way tedious or burdensome, like cleaning up an oil spill in the Gulf, or even planting a few plants in the garden (in which case I should probably learn what plants are able to survive without a drop of water—are there any?), I tend to put it off.  

For instance, I like to talk about wine, but what I like even more than talking about wine is DRINKING wine.  I have tackled this subject before.  You may remember I have already written a few posts on my experiences with wine tasting.  Well, for better or worse, it’s STARTING UP AGAIN!  Yes, two of my trips this year will be WINE-CENTRIC.  Which means they are going to be wine-TASTIC!  I will give you the details later, but let’s just say that one of the trips involves me going back to the scene of the crime (technically, not the EXACT same scene—Sonoma is off-limits to me now; some people just can’t let some things go.)  I ask you:  what exactly is so wrong about quoting Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti’s character from the movie Sideways) when asked how I liked a certain wine I tried at a tasting?  All I said was:

This tastes like the back of an L.A. school bus… They probably didn’t de-stem, hoping for some semblance of concentration, crushed it up with leaves and mice, and then wound up with this rancid tar and turpentine bullshit.  Tastes like fuckin’ Raid.

Sensitive much?  I KNOW!  Best quote in the entire movie.  Although this one is pretty good too: 

If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!

Another trip I will be taking involves an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT COUNTRY!  Where the people act like HUGE assholes almost all of the time—and not just when they’re talking about wine.***  Imagine that! 

So no, I am not planning anything as important as researching where I will be going, or planning what I will pack, or how I will smuggle more than the allowable number of bottles of wine out of the country, or even searching for my passport.  No.  I am trying to prioritize the tasks logically, which means I should start coming up with clever essay titles that deal with the subject of wine for future posts I will write.  

I have already used these titles: 




LET’S TALK ABOUT W(H)INE!  (This post was not technically about wine; it was about $arah Palin.  Regrets on that pun.  She was not worth it.) 

But now I’m stuck.  How will I come up with fresh new titles on the subject of wine?  Here are a few I’m mulling over (Get it?  Mulling.  As in mulled wine.  No?)  Anyway: 



GOING ROGUE IN THE WINE COUNTRY  (Or maybe that should be “rouge” if I am discussing blush wines.  Which I don’t drink.  Ever.  So I guess there won’t be much of a discussion about it.  Scratch that.)

That’s it for now.  If you have any suggestions about what I should title these future posts about wine, please send them in.  I always like to have my priorities in order.  It is much more important to decide on the titles of as-yet unwritten future posts, than to start looking for that passport, right?  Am I right?

* Not true.

** On second thought, you probably CAN handle the truth.  Sorry I underestimated you.

*** Yep, France. 

Make It Stop, Please Make It Stop!

I either saw or imagined this headline recently:

Gov’t Doubles Earlier Blowout Estimate,

 But Still Lowballing Amount;

BP Tries Everything to Stop Huge, Spewing Toxic Plume

Fort Jackson, LA—An unidentified BP spokesperson, wearing a funny nose and glasses and speaking on condition of anonymity, while anxiously looking over his shoulder and trying to board a bus out of the Gulf region, had this to say:

“We’ve tried a top kill, then a junk shot; now we’re drilling relief valves and hope to use pipe cement to seal it… But unfortunately, experts have concluded that we won’t be able to plug Sarah Palin’s piehole until, at least, November 8, 2012.”

And there you have it.  The sitation looks hopeless.  Because she will never shut it until someone shuts it for her.  There’s been talk of using nukes to stop the leak, which sounds drastic, but if it can possibly plug up the effluvia spewing from Mooseyak’s big mouth, that option’s looking better and better.




“Wild” Weekend: Class of ’80 Style

My pen pals over at Weight Watchers just can’t stop caring about me enough.  Yesterday they sent me an e-mail giving me pointers about “How to Recover From Your Wild Weekends.”


Why did I ever break up with you?  (Oh yeah, because you are a LIAR who has caused me to have trust issues about paying anyone $30 a month to make me lose 20 pounds. I will never fall for THAT line again.  And you refuse to take responsibility for me failing at this!)  Well, we can still be friends, I guess.  (Call me, WW.)

But how could Weight Watchers possibly have known what kind of weekend I had?  Maybe I should be concerned about the “Watchers” part of their name.  WW, are you stalking me?  I have paid in full.

If you consider having to consume catered dinners three nights in a row–Friday, Saturday and Sunday—to be a “wild weekend” then they were correct.  It may be considered “inhumane” as well.

I’ll spare you the details on Friday’s and Sunday’s carnal pleasures…  Let’s just say we were on the “rubber chicken” dinner circuit.  You know what I’m talking about:  the usual catered meal–some form of chicken, freezer-burn potatoes, and the inevitable string bean almondine.  [All right!  If you must know the details:  Friday’s catered dinner was roast chicken (passable); Sunday’s dinner was chicken francais (inedible).]  And that’s all you need to know about those paltry (poultry?) affairs.  Seriously, they meant nothing to me.

Saturday, however, was the main event:  my 30-year reunion from Fordham College.  In da Bronx.  They did not serve chicken.

I am not exactly sure what was served because I did not stop chatting with my old classmates long enough to even glance over at the table where I was supposed to be sitting.  Although later I heard the filet mignon was delicious.  Or so I have been told.  (I am lying; I ate that entire mother effer.  Suck it, WW!  And stop following me.)

My lack of appetite (until the filet mignon appeared) was caused by the extreme heat that night.  It was oppressively humid because the “Jubilee” was held outside in big, white tents on the expansive lawn known as Edwards Parade, or “Eddie’s,” for those who are familiar enough with this lawn to be on a first-name basis with it.  Familiarity with this lawn is earned by 1) making out with someone on or near it; 2) vomiting on it; or 3) passing out on it.  I have earned the privilege of being on a first-name basis with this place for all three of the above reasons.  Also, for some reason, Fordham insists on calling our reunion a “Jubilee.”  What a retarded word.  And we are “Jubilarians.”  Isn’t that stupid?  (Yes it is.)

No matter what they choose to call it, it was a splendid time.  It is always wonderful to get together with these special people.  When you think about it, we only spent four years together, but so much was packed into those four years!  When you live together, you really get to know each other.  You see each other at your best and worst, help each other out in bad times, and rejoice with each other in good times.  I will count my years at Fordham as some of the best years of my life.

Now we are older and supposedly more worldly-wise, and perhaps more sophisticated (?)  Our lives are calming down, winding down.  We are not trying to impress anyone.  Many of our children are out of college and are older than we were when we met at Fordham 3o years ago.  I learned that some of us are even grandparents already!  HOW CAN THIS BE POSSIBLE?!  Really young and good-looking grandparents, I might add.

But in many ways we are still the children (yes, we were children at     17 or 18) that we were back then, still pranking on each other and having fun.  That night:  I tried to roll a spare tire that was leaning up against the catering trailer across Eddie’s Parade to impress my friends.  It was too heavy for me to get very far.  It was also really dirty.  So my friend helped me.  Friends DO let friends drink and roll tires, apparently.  (We put it back.)  I accompanied another friend to the air-conditioned, portable trailer bathrooms (they were quite nice, and owing to the sultry night, quite popular) and laughed as she lifted up her dress in front of the air conditioner to cool herself off.  (Some things never change; she was always lifting up her dress back in college!  Heh-heh.  But I kid, I kid!)

Later on, we moved outside of the tent onto the grass of Edwards Parade, where it was cooler and farther away from the loud band (because we are old farts), and sat in some chairs we took from around the tables.  We sat around our little campfire, comprised of a few candles we had stolen off the tables.  A few of the guys went back to the bars under the tent and got about six or eight beers and we just sat there on the grass and enjoyed those beers, laughing, recounting stories, and enjoying each other’s company.  Just like we did 30 years ago.

Credit Where Credit Is Due (Updated with Special Public Service Video)

Isn’t anybody going to put something new up here?  Do I have to do everything around here?!  Sheesh!

Tagline credit:  Hat tip to Mr. K.H., songwriter extraordinaire, whose song lyric is the source of the new tagline.  The tagline is right up there, in tiny, tiny print, under the title of this blog, which is Late But Soon.  (For some reason, no one is taking me up on my offer of purchasing this highly visible space to advertise their products or business.  Oh well, their loss.)  Anyway, I believe this particular line from this original song speaks for many of us: When you get to drinkin’, it messes up your thinkin’.  We’ve all been there.

Mr. H. is, as I have mentioned, a songwriter, as well as all these other things:  a former ad man, current cantina proprietor, and forever life coach.  He keeps himself busy by making stuff happen.  He also cooks up a mean Passaic County-style hot dog.   Muchas gracias.

Also, thank you to his lovely wife, B.H., for the S’mores, the Bataan death march around the lake, and for not making me an accomplice in burning down your house.  (Have the coals burned out yet?  They will be able to trace global warming to your back yard!)

But I kid, I kid!  Many thanks for your hospitality.  But I’m not sure I should thank you for THIS:  introducing me to yet another type of alcohol I might possibly enjoy:  TEQUILA!  I have lived all these years a tequila virgin, not knowing about tequila, and convincing myself I would not like it.  Seriously, I did NOT need this.

By which I mean THIS:

Or really any combination involving tequila, biker bars and white platform shoes.  Add Pee Wee Herman into the mix, and this becomes a huge vortex of DO NOT WANT.

(Confession:  Actually, I kind of like Pee Wee Herman. )