Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Anyone who watched the World Cup these past weeks cannot have helped but notice that amongst the fine football competition, there was a disheartening over-abundance of fouling -- and faking. The Portuguese in particular seemed adept at the finely honed technique whereby a player barely gets brushed by an opponent, and then flops to the ground and flails about as if he'd been sideswiped on the 405 by a Hummer. Of course, it's crucial to be certain the referee is looking at you -- otherwise your thespiantics go for nought.

It got to the point where our kids found it funny. In fact, they've been practicing a bit, and now, every once in a while, if, for example, Jacob and Mia accidently bump into each other while negotiating some precious real-estate (e.g. the one square yard in front of the refrigerator), one will go down in faux agony, rolling on the ground and looking with pleading eyes and arms towards Mom or Dad for the foul call.

But the kids decided that the referee needed more than just yellow and red cards to deal with the players' variety of objectionable behavior. So they devised an entire scheme of cards to be given away for various offenses. So, for example, an orange card comes when someone makes a bone-headed play; a black card for missing an outstanding opportunity; a green card for a phantom foul. There were some colors in their system that seemed to apply more directly to themselves: a purple card is to be shown when someone exhibits extreme bossiness; a turquoise card for dissent when a foul is called. To be fair, the kids also wanted to give away gold cards for great plays, and rainbow cards for... well, for no reason at all. Just because.

I think Debra and I may take to wearing whistles and keeping some of those purple and turquoise cards in our back pockets. And maybe a few gold and rainbow ones, too.

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