Friday, July 9, 2010

Blunt friends, dead friends

Went to dinner last night and the boys were all talking World Cup, of course, having a great laugh. "You didn't have a good time did you?" came a question from the more sensitive end of the table... It wasn't the experience of Germany, work and the circumstances of Africa saw to that, but I wondered why she had had asked. "Your blog wasn't funny like last time." Reality check. And she is right.
Germany led itself to more humour. It was hard finding laughs in South Africa, where you pay someone to "look after" your car in a car park in broad daylight. Where there is obvious unending poverty around the next bend, or behind the next clump of burning bush. Where people are getting ripped off, or shot, by their own... Or you are being warned about holding a phone while walking down a nice middle class street in a country town the size of Ipswich. Where the humour of crowds and the songs that set them apart is nullified with a long loud drone.
Oh, there I go again...
The 2010 World Cup is funnier from back here. I've been on local radio a few times in the past two weeks reflecting on the latest games and stories. The Octopus is much funnier from here. Tim Cahill is much more heroic.
Tumbleweeds have been blowing through the blog. I remember four years ago, we came home and kept right on joking. We bought Harry Kewell's used drink bottle in an eBay auction. Bloody eBay, it never did turn up (nor did I ever send the 1 euro, I guess). We joked right on about Ashley Cole and ZZ blowing his top and headbutting Materazzi.
This time it was -  I guess because I'm in the middle of a 5000 words tournament wrap and a 160 page magazine IS - work.
The find memories this time will be all about the game. And Bob.
Two weeks ago I was at South Africa v Uruguay and my laptop presented me with the 'blue screen of death" just as I was coming to the end of a Diego Forlan story. It wouldn't restart so the boss of AP's coverage at the game, Bob Millward, sat patiently while I tapped it all out again on his machine, well after midnight.
Today I found out, from Twitter, that Bob died of a heart attack in his hotel room after the semifinal two days ago. I've known him 15 years but only worked with him a few times. Died alone in a hotel room working at the World Cup. There's nothing funny in that.

1 comment:

  1. BBC World Service were saying a similar thing this afternoon. After all the Vuvuzelas have died down will South Africa be able to provide safe housing, hospitals and education to its people as easily as it has found 100s millions of dollars for new stadiums, fan zones and policing party-goers all in the name of entertainment.