World Cup Warmup
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 93 18:00:03 PDT
Subject: World Cup Warmup
[This is just to get you in a frame of mind to understand and appreciate the
routines of soccer (football) ... -psl]
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Patti Smolian)
A large man is walking down the street in Dublin when he hears a woman
screaming and detects a faint smell of burning in the air. He runs down
the street and around a corner and sees a huge group of people standing
watching a blazing building. On the tenth floor of the building a woman,
clutching a bundle to her chest, is leaning out of a window screaming for
someone to save her baby.
The man steps forward and calls up to the woman, "Throw down your baby and
I'll catch it!"
"No! No!", the woman shouts back. "You might miss or drop my baby and
she'll be killed!"
"No I won't!", shouts the man. "I am Alec Maguire. I'm the goal keeper
for Ireland's national football team. I've never missed a match in ten
years and in all that time I have never let the ball into my net."
"What? Not once?", calls the woman.
"No," shouts back the man, "not once. Every football player in the world
agrees that I am the best goal keeper there has ever been."
And with that he adopts the classic goal keeper's stance - legs apart and
sightly bent at the knees, body slightly bent forward at the waist and with
his arms stretched downwards at a slight angle away from his body, with
palms facing forward.
"Okay," screams the woman, "I'll trust you. I've no choice! Here she
So, with the flames roaring all around her, the woman throws the baby from
the window. However, the edge of the baby's shawl catches on the woman's
watch with the result that the child goes spinning off to one side, tumbling
head over heels and with her little arms and legs flailing. The woman
screams and the crowd gasps, all sure that the baby will perish because she
will fall out of reach of the man.
The man remains motionless as the child descends, spinning and tumbling
further and further away from him as she drops. When the baby is only feet
from hitting the ground the man dives a full 30 feet across the pavement,
catches the baby in his outstretched right hand, pulls her in towards his
chest and shields her body with his left hand and arm. He hits the ground
heavily on his right side and lies motionless on the pavement for a few
seconds. Then, slowly, he raises himself to his feet and turns to face the
crowd and everyone sees that the child is alive and unhurt. The crowd is
The crowd errupts with cheers and the woman, still in danger herself, nearly
faints with relief. The man, still clutching the child to his chest in his
right arm, waves to the crowd of onlookers to acknowledge their cheers.
Then, slowly and gracefully, he turns away from them, bounces the baby twice
on the ground and kicks her 60 yards down the road.
© 1993 Peter Langston