Greatest show on earth


AFTER four years, the greatest show on earth is back in town!

And with it, proving once again that all the world’s a stage, and all the (football-watching) men and women merely players.

This time around, the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, said to be where the soul of la joga bonita (the beautiful game) resides.

Unfortunately, the difference between Malaysia and the host country’s time zones has resulted in one variety of kick-off timing - the wee hours of the morning.

If you count yourself among the working masses without the option of taking the day off after key matches, then you have doubtless planned on several tried-and-true ‘reasons’ for your impending absence.

Here are three old tricks or ‘wayang’ that every local football lover has considered - or actually resorted to - at some point.

Tummy troubles

So far, an upset stomach has adequately served as the affliction du jour, and will continue to suffice for ages hence.

It is a condition inconvenient enough to avoid being office-bound, with a lasting popularity due to the ease with which its contracted.

If the guilt-prone are so inclined, they may choose to add a dash of authenticity by actually eating at a stall with dubious hygiene practices, instead of chucking a sickie.

After all, it is near impossible to determine if someone actually has tummy troubles, short of making a house call to see if sufferers truly require proximity to the nearest toilet.

And that’s something no one wants too many details about, thank you very much.

Fragile things

If there is any good time for things to break, this is it.

Whether it’s the key in the front-door lock, your car refusing to start - “There was no way to get to work!” - or the shower pump so necessary to get sufficient water pressure for your high-rise unit, something’s got to give (out).

As for those residing in landed properties, I have the ultimate trump card, courtesy of a sports-loving teacher who wielded it for only the most important of games.

Two words: Automatic gates. So many moving parts, so little room for error.

Hypothetically speaking, if it won’t open, there’s no way you’re getting to the office, short of climbing out.

But what would you do about your ride that’s firmly and resolutely on the other side?

And if won’t close after you reverse out, surely it’s no good to leave one’s home unattended...

Sudden ends

Know a distant relative that happens to be a combination of advanced years and firmly outstation?

Unbeknownst to them, younger, football-addled family members may have dreamed up fictional accounts of their demises just in time for the World Cup season.

Few at work are willing to question a grievous loss too closely, but if you happen to be at the same workplace four years from now, keep tabs on these imaginary passings.

Despite your best efforts, dear Uncle John cannot conveniently return from his eternal slumber to be mourned anew, even if your favourite team makes it to the finals to vie for the title.

This World Cup, who will you be supporting?
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