SPILLS AND THRILLS

by evseymour

It’s been an erratic week at Seymour Central. Having worked solidly on revising a brand new novel – I’d barely come up for air for the past ten days – it was with relief mixed with apprehension that I sent it to my agent for a first squint. Normally, my other half has sight of early drafts but this time he was too busy with his own ‘stuff’ i.e. painting, which is fair enough, but it did make me wonder whether his eagle eye might have prevented me from making some awful blooper. (It has been known).

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I got on with WW work already scheduled in and did all those boring but very necessary jobs like having my hair done, teeth and eyes checked. All sound, thanks very much. It could have been a dull week, I guess, except with the sun shining, we both had one of those weak moments on what should have been a ‘school’ night, along the lines of ‘What shall we have for dinner? Oh to hell, let’s go out.’ So we did.

Cocos is one of my favourite haunts in town, so much so that its cocktail bar features heavily in ‘Game Over’ and sets the scene for my main protagonist, Hex, to be picked up by sexy Simone Fabron. We (that’s my other half and me) had a lovely dinner, as usual, but if I thought I could escape from writing, I was wrong. On the table right behind us a chap, and I use the word appropriately, was talking loudly to his companion about the children’s book he had written, illustrated and self-published. It was hard not to listen and chip in but I resisted temptation. 1. Because children’s books are not my thing. 2. It would have been rude and intrusive and 3. Because I was receiving death stares from my other half who already hears quite a lot about ‘bloody books.’

We got home reasonably early and switched on the TV and stumbled straight into the Brazil versus Germany match. In common with millions, I watched goggle-eyed as Germany just went for it. It was thrilling stuff and, although I know as much about football as I could write on the back of a stamp, even I could fathom out that their team work was superb, their tactical moves designed to terrify, crush and pretty much render their opposite number/enemy/opponents powerless. The speed with which the Germans repeatedly struck was awesome and, boy, were the Brazilians awed. Their faces resembled the numb, catatonic expressions more commonly observed in people who have encountered death and destruction. Doubly heart-breaking because Brazil is the host nation, fans were destroyed. I have never seen so much smudged face paint and great rolling tears of anguish.

It struck me that a football match is a bit like a good book. It takes you on an emotional journey of highs and lows, setbacks and triumphs and finally to that great climactic scene where the truth is out, the main protagonist up against his or her adversary and one of them is going to remain standing while the other is vanquished. To me, those 90 minutes on the pitch were like a real life version of a thriller in which themes of revenge, pity and redemption play central roles. Who could fail to feel for the Brazilian team while still cursing petty acts of revenge as one player more than once deliberately elbowed his German counterpart? When Oscar scored that lonely, solitary goal, you had a clear sense that he was seeking redemption for his side. Not that the crowd seemed much in the mood for forgiveness.

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