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Prole2: Which is your favorite foot ball team?

We are off again. It must be a week since our last conversation about football but I am as unprepared as ever.

He has some ‘Attack Pack’ football cards that one of his more insensitive friends must have given him.

Me: Oh, I don’t really have one.

Prole2: But which is best?

Me: I am not really an expert. Different people like different teams. They would all say their team is the best.

Prole2 But which one IS the best?

Me: Ummm…I really don’t know.

Prole2: Is it the blue one or the red one?

Me: What, sorry?

Prole2: Blue or red? Which one is best?

Me: Red.

Prole2: Is that the one you like?

Me: I don’t really…umm…yes.

Prole1: The red one? Is that Manchester?

Me: Yes.

Prole2: What’s the blue one called?

Me: Manchester City.

Prole1: They are both from Manchester?

Me: Yes.

Prole2: Why does Manchester have two teams?

I neither know nor care the answer to this question. I have family from Manchester. My great Grandfather was a tailor who legend has it, made the red blazers worn by Manchester United on that plane crash.
I should know why Manchester has two teams.
I am unable to summon the energy to google.

Me: In case they play anyone really good and then two teams are better than one.

I know.
This is a lie.
I know.
This will come back to bite me at some point.

Prole2: Oh.

Prole2 wanders off  dropping football cards in a trail behind him.
I can hear him jumping on the clean washing I have not sorted in the living room.

Prole1: So you like Manchester football team?

Me: It’s called Manchester United. Manchester United in red and Manchester City in blue.

This is the sum total of my knowledge and I have passed it on to my son.
It may not seem like much but I feel a huge milestone has been passed this day.

Me: At least I think Man City still plays in blue. They did in the 90s anyway.

Prole1: Why do you like them so much?

Me: Well its not that I like them as such.

Prole1: So you don’t like them? Why not?

Me: Well it’s not that I like them or don’t like them really.

Prole1: What?

Me: Well when I say I don’t like them it does not mean I don’t like them, it just means I don’t like them.

Prole1: What?

Me: Well, I feel neutral about them, I don’t like them and I don’t dislike them.

Prole1: Like zero? Not one or minus one?

Me: What?

Prole1: Well like when there was no zero and there was only one or minus one and nothing worked and the Arabs invented zero and it all worked? Like that?

Me: Who told you the Arabs invented zero?

Prole1: You did.

Me: Did I?

I don’t remember this.

Prole1: Yes, it was on the radio and I said what are they talking about and you said the Arabs invented zero.

Me: Did I?

This is getting serious.

Prole1: Yes, they were saying like if you had a marshmallow and I wanted it and I asked you for it and you gave it to me and I said I would give you one whe I got one later you would have zero and once I ate mine I would have minus one marshmallow.

This is obviously something we discussed at length. I don’t think I have the faintest idea what he is talking about.

Me: I…yes…well that would be true.

Prole1: Except for the one in my tummy.

Me: Ummm yes. Sort of. I think.

From the living room I can hear the sound of Prole2 sobbing. Imagining some awful elastic accident in the washing I go and check.

Me: Are you ok little man?

Prole2: NoooOOooo….

Me: What’s up?

Prole2: He ate your marshmallow and now we don’t have any….

And people wonder why I don’t like football.

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