Urg! We are Men! Light Fire! Hunt meat! Talk Football!

I shared a confined space with two young, well dressed advertising types yesterday.

Having clearly decided that talking about football is a gender-specific requirement, they rolled up their sleeves (metaphorically, they were far too dapper for Actual sleeve rolling) and laid into the important, manly business of dissecting saturdays game.

Which is funny, really, because it became very clear, very quickly, that neither of them really knew OR cared anything about the game. But they wouldnt, of course, admit that to each other, because it would have been unmanly – but frankly, that made it all the more fun to listen to. So that was good.

My favourite exchange was this:

MAN 1: Yeah, I was watching it, and losing – it was just such a shock, because, I mean, penalties, theyre our Thing, arent they, really? Thats what England DO! We win penalty shoot-outs!

Anna (thinking): Um. No? No, hang on, England are rubbish at penalties, I thought? Were rubbish, and have done lots of penalty shootouts in the last few years and have lost the last um 5? 7? Blimey, Im quite a bloody long way from a sports fan, and even *I* know we cant take penalties and fall out of tournaments because of them! Wow. I know more than this guy! And hes got a penis! Oooh, the other ones talking

MAN 2: Yah, yah well the thing is, mate: Ive TAKEN penalties in my time – maybe not in quite the same situation, but theyre quite hard things to take, so, you know

Excellent. Love that. Love it love it love it.

I love that fact that he knows how they feel, because hes been in exactly the same position Well, maybe not exactly the same position – yes, thats right, hes generously allowing that when he took some penalties, he might not have just been playing 2 hours of international football in front of 50,000 people and atelevisual audience of millions with the possible ramifications being that your country crashes out of a tournament, the tabloids rip you apart and your professional stock decreases, so it wasnt Quite the same But still, he recognises the experience and likes to think of himself as a bit of an expert.


I love commuting. I love suits. I love men. Urg! Fire! Meat! Football!