It’s funny that it sometimes takes a reminder or an outside observation to make you realise what makes you react or behave in certain ways in certain situations. I’ve had two such revelations in quick succession this week, which is what prompted me to pontificate vaccuously about it on here.
The first occurred on Thursday when I was playing football. I’ve never been particularly gifted at the sport, but do enjoy a game of five a side regularly enough, and amongst the groups of people I play with manage to score a few goals here and there (although generally I play in defence).
After snagging a goal early in the game Andy, one of our very gifted players who was on my team, turned to me as I was running back into defence, stony faced and said “Al, one of these days I’m going to see you smile when you score a goal!“. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but generally I don’t. It’s true we don’t play infront of a crowd, so people don’t celebrate too ridiculously when they snag a goal or two, but well, they usually look pleased.
As it happens, later in the game I managed to trick my way past two or three of their players and hit a delicate-but-well-placed-shot into the bottom corner. Those of you who aren’t familiar with my footballing abilities or the typical kinds of goal I score will know that’s pretty unusual. I allowed myself a clench of the fist and a slight smile at that one before getting back into position.
It wasn’t until I got back home and pondered what Andy had said that I realised my post-scoring behaviour was an exact mimic of one of my all time Forest heroes. Stuart Pearce was a defender who managed to get a few goals, and usually (with a few exceptions), when he got a goal he’d jog back to position, with a grim-but-determined expression on his face, as his teammates celebrated and literally bounced off him.
I never consciously made the decision to emulate this, but clearly on a subconscious level this made a lasting impression. Of course, many times when Pearce scored he did celebrate both in Forest shirts and – well – we all remember Euro 96 don’t we? Interestingly, I did consciously emulate him by practicing endlessly kicking the ball powerfully – which is at least a skill I’ve retained even through gaps in playing in periods of my life.
Rich took it one step further – he practiced so much on his left foot he’s arguably better with it than his right, despite being naturally right footed. Stuart Pearce it seems, looms large as an influence not only in the football watching habits of the Fisher brothers, but every time they take to the astroturf too – although they might not now realise it.
That said, I remember when playing in a tournament impressing on my teammates to not go over the top if they scored. We were playing the tournament at the City Ground (on quarter pitches, seven a side), infront of the tiniest of crowds – it transpired it was me that notched our first goal and proceeded to go mental from the experience of netting infront of the Trent End, even if it was pretty much empty!
The second occasion was the other night, with nothing on telly as usual we had reverted to trusty Red Dwarf DVDs to keep us entertained. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve wound our way to Season IV, and had got to the fourth episode – one of my all time favourites – ‘White Hole‘. That’s by-the-by, or perhaps it isn’t, but as Talkie Toaster is talking to Holly about her life expectancy he uses the phrase: “Well that’s better than a kick in the bread-tray.”
Which is a phrase that – whilst not frequently – I’ve been known to utter when things aren’t quite going according to plan, but could be worse (usually at work!!). I’d previously completely disassociated it with Red Dwarf, which seems odd really given the specific nature of the anatomy being kicked. I guess if it just trips off the tongue subconsciously you don’t really give much credence to whether it makes sense or not.
Then again, I did watch Red Dwarf a LOT when I was younger, so I suppose I might have internalised more of the phrases and dialogue than I’d care to think about! Indeed, when somebody (again usually at work) starts talking over-techie at me I’ll quite often say “So what is it?“, mimicking The Cat from the very same episode – alas, the colleague who would reply with “I’ve never seen one before, no-one has…” has left the company!
Brains, funny things ain’t they? I suppose it could be worse, I could have added ‘Howdy doodly doo!‘ to my every day phrase repertoire!