Friday 29 June 2007

Dangerous T-shirts, testing tea bags,raving coaches and dodgy defenders!

Giovanni Trapattoni and Prince Charles

Rather than the beginning, which always seems to get more than its fair share of starts, let's go back a couple of weeks, to when this colyoom showed surprise and disgust at Prince Charles' apparent lack of grey matter.
For those of you who managed to escape my blather that week, we're talking about how the heir to the British crown had appeared nonplussed when (the then) President Reagan served him up a cup of Rosy Lea with a teabag in it.
"I didn't know what to do!" grumbled the Prince, precipitating a mean-spirited diatribe from your scribbler.
One sensitive local soul, who shall remain nameless for fear of being outed a staunch monarchist in this Republic of Ireland, took the time and trouble to point out that, quite possibly, I had missed the point; shot my load in the wrong direction, as it were.
She reminded me that over in Yammerikka, it was quite possible that Chazza's cuppa was in fact not a cup at all, but a mug, served without saucer.
Given that set of circumstances his Princeship might indeed not have known what to do, as in 'what to do ... with the bag'.
After all, you wouldn't want to dump a wet squidgy payload onto the polished oak desk of the White House's Oval Office, would you?
Hey, leave Bill Clinton out of this.
The obvious question that follows is 'Do we care?', and the temptation is to say 'Only as much as Bertie Ahern cares about repaying those 'loans' from his mates.
But this colyoom is nothing if not fair. That item slammed the Boy Windsor for being even more brainless than his host. Now, thanks to time taken by an absurdly caring and ridiculously imaginative Galwegian, I retract my accusation.
Yes folks, it is possible that Prince Charles is an eentsy bit brainier that the (late) Ronald Reagan, even if Big Ears hasn't yet had an airport named after him.
While we're looking back at recent colyooms, thanks to Chris from Yorkshire (who reads the colyoom on the blog) who, inspired a few weeks ago by the wee item about logos lost in translation, alerted me to a certain T-shirt that was, up until recently, on sale in Burton, the male clothing retail giant.
Helping lads look all 'ard and effnic, said T-shirt sports a quasi-imperial crest, surrounded by well-foreign-looking letters; a look, no doubt; that makes you want to get drunk in Nottingham and beat up a few police after the pub.
Well, while you'd be okay wearing it darn va nick in Nottingham, don't go displaying it in Moscow's Red Square, because the shirt's crest turns out to be the emblem of the Russian equivalent of the fascist National Front Party, and those funny lickle shapes spell out the heart-warming message:
'We will cleanse Russia of all non-Russians!'
How charming! How scary! How did that happen?
Or, to be more honest, how come this kind of thing doesn't happen more often? In our modern yet tiny global village, so many, like me, live our lives in foreign countries, it is only a matter of time before tremendous linguistic faux pas dribble forth.
Giovanni Trapattoni, who I strongly suspect might be Italian, is the coach of Austrian soccer champions, Red Bull Salzburg.
Showing a poetic talent that, despite his managerial achievements, suggests he might well have followed the wrong career, Snr. Trapattoni let rip at a bunch of German journalists (what, pray, is the collective noun for more than one journalist? A 'haemorrhoid' of hacks? Perchance a 'claptrap'' of correspondents? Or what about an 'emetic 'of Editors? ... email suggestions...) who were criticising his fitness coach, Fausto Rossi.
Breaking with timeless and sacred journalistic traditions, the German hacks delivered their revenge by printing exactly what the national coach said, word for word:
"Our training is strong. Is modern. Training wins also. I have 21 trophies. There is blah, blah, blah from you. Fools write who know nothing. Blah, blah, blah, blah. I can understand people paying. No problema! Let whistle, is right. Have lost. But run 90 minutes! I am a professional when it comes to psychology. We train, make fitness. You people always make qua, qua, qua! Shit fools!"
Very well said sir! I speak no Italian and only a little German, but reading that just makes me want to learn both languages, so that I can fully enter into your fascinating mind.
While we're on the subjects of words and footballers, David Hills of The Observer reminds us that we don't have to go to mainland Europe to become dazzled by footballing crassness.
Manchester Untied and England defender Rio Ferdinand (yes, the very same fella fined and suspended for 'forgetting' to turn up for a vital drugs test) decided that the time had come to put something back, to nurture his youthful roots, by fronting a major anti-knives campaign, alongside an anti-guns initiative.
Heading off to Downing Street, Rio talked to Tony Blair about how playing shoot-em-up games on PlayStations and other consoles is turning young lads into deadly marksmen, which has resulted in many young people in urban English 'sink estates' wearing body armour to protect them when they go outside.
One of the PM's staff later declared: "Kids have no male role model. Rio's just the man!"
Sadly, Rio turned out to be 'Da Man' more than the man, when a few short months later,
he listed in a magazine a few of his favourite things:
Rio's Favourite Rapper: Notorious B.I.G.
Nice one Rio! After all, what better music could you suggest to vulnerable young things than an artist whose tracklist includes such exemplary role model ditties as 'Somebody's Gotta Die'; 'Fuck You Tonight'; 'Niggas Bleed', and wholly enchanting 'Me and My Bitch'. B.I.G., an ex-dealer, was shot dead in a drive-by shooting during a gangland war.
Rio's Favourite Book: 'Cocky' which is the story of Curtis Warren, the notorious gangland criminal mastermind who made a fortune out of drugs and murder.
Rio's Favourite Console Game: SOCOM US Navy Seals, which is described in a review as:
'A game that lets you yank victims into the darkness and do the deed. There's a cool animation as the knife runs along their soft flesh...'
Clearly Rio Ferdinand is an all-round heads-up guy, more than able to lead Britain's at-risk youth into a life of violence, crime and... well, I suppose they could always become footballers instead!
Double Vision
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