Summer is over. My big brown winter coat twinkles at me. But, I ignore his advances. As I explain to him, Jack Frost isn’t exactly banging on my windows shouting obscenities. I have not yet walked outside and quivered the words “Cor blimey guvnor”. No doubt I will, but not yet my big brown friend. You stay where you are. Oh, you heard me. Back to the coat hook. Off you go. That’s it, right next to Jacket-I-haven’t-worn-for-two-years-but-can’t-bear-to-throw-away. Where am I going? I’m going out. And I’m only wearing a jumper. So there!
As my legs pace the streets of London, running from the hands of time that constantly point towards December, my thoughts often turn to the ‘Summer of Sport’. Were we really that nice to each other? Did we really have the time of our lives? How much has Summer of Sport (or ‘SOS’ as we’ll call it from here on) changed us? And perhaps for that matter, me?
Well, for starters, I find myself applauding people’s efforts as though they are competing in some sort of Olympiad. Just the other day whilst receiving the tea I ordered in a certain Café chain – whose name I won’t mention (let’s just say it sounds like Starducks) – my hands were drawn together into a clapping motion. Reality hit home and I abruptly stopped, but not in time to save confused eyes from the queue burying themselves into the back of my head. I offered no response. Nor did the Barista who simply carried on her duties. I was pretty sure she beat a personal best. Apparently she just made a tea. I quickly departed.
I can’t help but feel the tolerance level has risen in our capital City. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we are still massively Xenophobic, but we’re learning. Whilst cycling along the streets on a fresh Wednesday morning, I chose not to run over a tourist who stepped out onto the road in front of me. Instead, my plan of action was to perform an emergency stop and continue to unleash a barrage of education-aided abuse. The man in question hastily jumped back before raising his camera, proceeding to photograph my educating. I was happy to aid him further by giving him a close-up of my ever-delicate fist.
I suppose what we have ultimately learned is that nothing really changes. The big money-making monster that is our world won’t allow it. SOS is over, and that can mean only one thing for money-guzzling fat cats as we spiral dangerously quickly towards Winter. Yes, before you know it you’ll be sharing Xmas joy with those you work with. Out on that all-drinks-paid-for party, constantly apologising for the behaviour of Eric, the office recluse, who has drunk one Babycham too many. Oh how you’ll laugh when this social lightweight reminds everyone why he doesn’t drink and why nobody socialises with him. The hilarity will ensue when you’re cleaning his vomit from your newly-purchased coat as you try and put him in a cab, only for the cab driver to refuse him entry to his vehicle. You stand outside the pub alone with this moron before deciding to leave him in a puddle of his own vomit. You don’t like Eric much anyway. Besides, he ate your tuna sandwich way back in August. Back in the Summer of Sport. Back when you didn’t care.
Speaking of back; Football is definitely back. And with it, football widows. After spending the Summer months proclaiming that “Football is sick” and “it’s a disgrace” and even “I’ll never watch it again”, men(and women) all over the country have trudged back to the beautiful game, cap in hand, pretending the Olympics never happened. Like a scorned lover, who, after shedding many tears and vowing to make life-altering changes, admits that after all that’s been said and done, they are in love and no new fancy sporting event will ever change that. I know, for I am one of them. Oh football, in the words of Olivia Newton-John, I am “hopelessly devoted to you”.
So, no Progress there then.
At least we have Autumn to look forward to. Autumn is the season primed for those thought-provoking Autumnal walks. The ones where you really need to think things over. Hands in pockets, you kick leaves as Bob Dylan soundtracks your life. In fact, these walks are so good, my girlfriend and I have recently split just so we could separately go for thought-provoking Autumnal walks. Trouble is, there are no leaves on the floor at the moment. But there will be. And when there are, it’ll be Autumn. And then you, my big brown coat friend, can join me as I drag my feet around various parks sporting a thoughtful look on my face, reflecting on how the Summer of Sport almost changed me.