Little is known of the origins of football, a game which is today one of the most popular sports throughout the Northern Lands. According to De Smet [see The Punnet, Vol XVI No.9], football began when tribal elders in the hinterland around Hoon took to mucking about after the annual ritual ostrich-battering. Thumper, on the other hand, has argued in a number of persuasive essays that the sordid practices of a family living in a cave near Bodger’s Spinney were the true origins of the game. Either of these theories may be true, as might thousands upon thousands of others. But let us not tarry in the past.
The rules of football are stupendously complex. The rubric itself fills hundreds of huge volumes, and interpretative texts, analyses and commentaries have accumulated at such a rate that entire libraries are now devoted to the subject. That being the case, it is impractical in this essay to do more than sketch the merest outline. So let us draw breath, take stock, make a cup of tea, twang a ukulele, skip frolicsome thro’ ling and heather, rap curses at hunched louts, sprinkle talc upon our scalps, whisk an egg, brush our teeth, impale a mothball, crack a biscuit, mumble a homily, tie a ship’s knot in a necklace, stoke up the fire, spit on the coals, irk a butcher, crick our necks, stamp on a bee, shovel grit outside the police station, howl at the Wergo, mitigate a plea, fold a crocus, employ a grotesquerie and put a flea in its ear: come follow me as I expound the laws of football.
- Sidney the Bat is Awarded the Order of Lenin
- Some extracts from “New Familiar and Progressive English and French Dialogues (With Dialogues on Railway and Steamboat Travelling, and a Comparative Table of Monies and Measure)” by Richard and Quetin
- The Rules of the Game (The Origins of Football)
- A translation of the War Song of the Huitznahuac, taken from “Rig Veda Americanus, Sacred Songs of the Ancient Mexicans”, number eight in Brinton’s Library of Aboriginal American Literature, edited by D G Brinton.
- Pansy The Adept – An introduction to the principles of Goon Fang
This episode was first broadcast on May 25th 2005.
I used to have a copy of Sidney the bat but lent it out never to be returned. Any ideas where I might get a replacement?