Proving myself rightSubmitted by w_t_a_y_s_t_r_m at 2006-11-13 10:33:50 EST
Rating: 1.85 on 28 ratings (28 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Recently the club which I frequent has got a table-football machine (sometimes known incorrectly as foosball). If you don’t know what it is, you’re a bit of a twat, but I’ll explain anyway. It’s twenty-one plastic blokes, all fused together across eight steal bars, the idea being to play football (or ‘soccer’) in possibly the most frustrating and impractical way. And it’s loads of fun, especially when drunk.
Naturally the two things work perfectly in the club environment, providing cheap drink and cheap play and a fantastic opportunity to challenge child and shout abuse and spray them with whisky every time you score past them. Some of their parents get a bit funny when you hold them in the air and tell everyone to “point and laugh at the loser”, but it’s their fault. If you can’t handle the heat, don’t send your kid in with a water gun to put out a bush fire.
After a few weeks of smashing seven shades of shit out of the machine, breaking it twice and already learning how to cheat in several ways without anyone noticing, one of the guys who works on the club committee with me organised a round-robin (which means everyone plays everyone else), with eleven teams of two.
Because I’m a bastard and deserved some sort of penance, the random draw resulted in me being teamed up with one of the three children who was playing, which is real shitty luck as I was the one doing the random draw. The kid was a pain in the fucking ass. He only held onto one bar at a time, opting to lean on the table instead, leaving the keeper with his legs facing upwards, making an open goal.
After several beatings, a few death threats against his family and attempts to bribe him, I told his dad, who told him to play properly and we went on to do quite well and came in fourth.
All-in-all, it was quite a good night, albeit long and tiring. Which demonstrates the said state of the British drinking culture who struggle with three hours of non-sequential exercise, which basically involved nothing more than leaning over the table and spinning your hand.
When everyone had gone, I did my committee man bit, and stayed behind to help clear up and put the place back to a reasonable state and then we crashed down for a drink after hours to chill out. After a short while my long ignored bladder began crying, which basically meant I was verging on pissing myself. Being polite as ever, I quietly excused myself and gently strolled to the lavatory.
Truth is, I shouted “Gonna piss meself.” And sprinted down the full length of the club.
When I was on the way back up from the toilet, I heard a gentle panting in the corner where everything like the pool table, skittle equipment, table football and other table games were kept. It wasn’t uncommon for a dog to wonder into the club through the open backdoor, so I approached slowly, but it was too dark to make it out.
As I got closer, the panting sound grew, but I still couldn’t make out the shape of the dog anywhere. And then I heard:
“Shit. Quiet, he’s close.” Coming from inside the table football. Knowing how much I hadn’t drank that night I was a bit upset that I was already fucked up enough to be hearing stuff.
“He’s drunk, he won’t think it’s true.” One of the little plastic men read my mind it seemed.
Silently I peered over the top of the table, and instantly the group of shadowed players straightened up from their more relaxed, doubled over position. One of them strayed a glance towards me and caught me straight in the eyes. The stare only lasted an instant and then he spun to look forwards again in a panic.
I think I screamed like a ten year old girl. A butch girl, but a girl nonetheless.
When everyone had dragged me away from the table and sat me back in the lounge, they eventually calmed me down and I was able to tell them what had happened. The explanation was greeted by a series of disbelieving and mocking locks and snorts. Indignant, I insisted what I had seen had really happened.
“I believe you,” Dave said.
“Really?” I asked hopefully.
“Course not, you fucking psycho.”
Mentally a sucker punched Dave in the sack while pile-driving his ugly, hairy wife.
After a little more discussing and arguing, mostly against me and my insistence that the little plastic men were alive, we all decided to call it a night and head home. Some of them just thought I was off face despite being sober, others thought I lacked imagination and was just making it.
On the way home I made a plan for the next day.
When I turned up down the club before it was due to open the next morning, I snuck down the side towards the car park and sneaked a look in at the table. It was hard to see with the glare of the morning sun, but I could just about make it out. All the players were leaning over, fast asleep. One of them was twitching a bit, obviously dreaming about arms or something.
I pulled the camera out of my bag and aimed it up at the table. The picture was a shit quality against the window, which meant I had to get inside. I knew the security code, but I didn’t have a key. And then the stewardess turned up to do the cleaning and preparation for the lunchtime crowd.
She didn’t even ask for a reason, already deciding I was a young eccentric and let me in. Quietly I pulled a chair up to the table football and sat next to it, video camera next to me, ready for action, as well as an audio recorder. The stewardess just ignored me and carried on doing her job, but the second she was out of sight, the red keeper turned and looked straight at me, its plain eyes staring intensely into my human ones.
“You’ll never catch us, fucker.” It smiled. Instantly I reached for either of the pieces of equipment. “We’ve been doing this for longer than you’ve been alive.”
He fell silent after that and returned to his position of facing forward and smiling in a shitty, 1980s way. I set the cassette recorder down again and leaned in real close to the keeper, so my lips were hovering just above its head as I spoke in a low tone.
“You’ll lumps of plastic.” I muttered, upset by my own shitty threat. “I can’t imagine it’ll take much to outsmart you.”
Before I knew what happened, the keeper spun around on its own and its stubby little legs kicked me hard in the mouth. Feeling stupid and outsmarted by a lump of plastic, I slumped back down in my chair, recording equipment ready.
My siege had begun…
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