Apparently, the football’s coming home this week.
I know a lot about football. Admittedly, the bulk of this knowledge comes from a cover-disk demo for Sensible Soccer which I obtained in 1992. For example, did you know that once the ball has been kicked, the player still has several seconds in which to decide if he wants the ball to curve in one direction or another? Also, if a goal is scored in the final minute of the game, the match-timer breaks and the game never actually ends, condemning the players to play on and on until the final days of humanity or the console is switched off, whichever comes first. Still, at least the crowd will get their money’s worth.
So fingers crossed. I hope the players aren’t doomed to an eternal match without end, endlessly scoring goal after goal without purpose, begging for the final release of death and their nightmarish existence on the pitch to come to a final relief.
But what have we been playing this week?
I’ve always been a creature of habit. I take the same routes to get places, I leave at specific times and I also have a tendency to park in the same spot whenever I go to the supermarket. This is usually not a problem but quite recently in No Time it has led to a rather embarrassing scenario when I found myself already parked there.
Let me explain. To cheer up an old friend I decided to fetch him a cup of coffee from his favourite coffee-shop. Unfortunately his favourite coffee-shop closed down a few years ago, but as luck would have it I happened to possess the keys to a time machine.
A short time later, (or earlier, depending on how you look at it) I’d nipped back a few years, popped into the coffee-shop and returned with steaming coffee in hand. Stowing the coffee safely in the car, I tapped in the future temporal-coordinates and hit the gas.
Here’s where things got a bit tricky. Rolling down the street, I turned into the narrow alley behind my friend’s lab where I usually park only to find myself face to face with my own car. Glancing down at the co-ordinates on the dashboard I realised instantly what I’d done and panicked. Having accomplished my mission, I’d absent-mindedly tapped in the same time that I’d last visited. The same time, down to the second. As a result, my former self was right now inside the lab talking to his best friend about cups of coffee. Now punctuality may generally be something generally to be applauded, but there are limits and politeness dictates I at least let my previous self finish his conversation before wandering in.
I slipped into reverse, backed out of the alleyway and parked just down the road, where I waited politely for me to finish my conversation and leave. For a moment, I half considered leaving the steaming cup of coffee on the top of his car to save him a trip, but thought the laws of time might have something rather apocalyptic to say about that.
I wished he’d hurry up though. The coffee was getting cold.