A New Englishman in New York Part 15: Sloppy Joes and Co-Ed Football

Dismay at being mistaken for Karl Pilkington on four continents and discovering the wonder of Sloppy Joes, mixed emotions for our man in New York.
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Dismay at being mistaken for Karl Pilkington on four continents and discovering the wonder of Sloppy Joes, mixed emotions for our man in New York.

Hot Bitch

It’s hot in New York. Achingly hot. I spend my time trying to get from one place with air con to another. Like Sonic the Hedgehog trying to reach an air bubble when swimming under water.

Luckily, I’ve been sent home from work due to an extreme heat warning. So I’m sat, blinds closed, air con blasting, drinking from a glass with too many ice cubes in. Brilliant. My phone rings and it’s my friend, who is in the area, he arrives. Swears. Something about it being hot. Runs to the air con pulls down his trousers, lifts up his shirt and just stands there. A sweaty shadow of his normal self.

Once he has returned to normal temperature, we decide to go to a bar for a quick drink before our respective girlfriends get home. Just like the men on top of the building in ‘Shawshank Redemption’, we briefly feel free. Anyway, so we are at this bar. I’m introduced to Sloppy Joes. Not a chubby human pervert, but a foodstuff.  It sounds disgusting, looks disgusting but tastes like the food designed for a child king.

We are sat at the bar and there is a female bartender. She is intimidatingly attractive and intimidatingly confident. I take an instant dislike to her when she calls me an “Unfunny Ricky Gervais wannabe.” I’ve never been as perfectly worked out so quickly. Stitch up.

We continue drinking and order some more Sloppy Joe sliders. Life changing.

After about half an hour, the barmaid suddenly breaks off conversation, claps her hands and shouts across the crowded bar “Now, I know who you look like. Karl Pilkington.”

Karl Pilkington. Guffaws amongst the other drinkers, I hang my orange shaped head in shame.

After a while I finish my drink and we leave, She says ‘Bye Karl”

I’ve been told I look like him on four different continents now. That bloody globalization has a lot to answer for.

Co Ed. That’s boys and girls. Men and women. Male and Females. This is an entirely foreign concept to me.

The Last Game

I’m not very good at football. Never have been. I’ve had my moments, we all have. Very brief moments. More luck than judgment probably. I’m just not very good. If Messi is 10/10 and a dead person is 0/10 I’m at about 3/10. On a good day.

I played every Sunday as a kid, yet have barely played in the last decade. But the belly doth grow and I’ve decided to start playing regularly again. I’ve joined a Co Ed game on Friday nights. Co Ed. That’s boys and girls. Men and women. Male and Females. This is an entirely foreign concept to me. I have little to no experience of playing any team sports alongside females.

My initial fear is that I would fall in love with a member of the opposition. 3 games in, this hasn’t happened. Though a girl did call me a “liar” and a “dick” after lashing a ball at me.  So it’s more like the end of a love affair.

I’m also a lot worse then I remember. A lot worse. The ball spinning off my foot. Air kicks. Can’t handle someone playing a ball a few feet in front of me. I’m 27 now; I’m supposed to be reaching my peak. This is a very low peak.

I’ve positioned myself as striker. Like always I refuse to track back, but I’m offering nothing up front. I haven’t scored yet, barely hit the target. I’m struggling with it. I can’t take all the shouts from the midfield general. All the annoying cliché words and phrases like "Switch", "Winners”, “Lets ave a name on it", "Release”, “Head on that", "Man front and back", "Get rid". I’m sick to death of hearing someone say “Play it simple” at me only for him or her to attempt an ambitious diagonal long ball to nobody.

However there has been two particular low points.

One, getting nutsed by a beautiful girl, me turning to catch her up. My arms flailing. Grab her back. Accidently grab her breast. I recoil, apologise whilst she goes up the other end and scores.

Two, we have a corner. I’m unmarked. A girl comes up to mark me. One of their subs shouts as her. “Don’t worry about marking the bald guy.” She nods. Goes to mark someone else. It’s the right decision. The ball comes.  I refuse to ever head the ball. I duck. The ball passes. Some moans of discontent from my team. I blame it on a fly in the eye. Pathetic. I hereby retire from the beautiful game. It’s for the best.

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