Viva Bali!

By Amy Chavez

For The Bali Times

Let’s talk about religion. Soccer, that is. The big news in Bali is that Real Madrid, the 105-year-old soccer club and home of Los Galácticos, is opening their own soccer academy in Canggu next year with a full-service academy up and running by 2009. Ole-Ole!

But wait a minute. I have some reservations about this. I wonder, for example, if Real Madrid realizes Bali has a six-month rainy season? In addition to courses in head-butting and Beckham haircuts, they’re going to need to teach players how to slide across the pitch in torrential rains. In exhibition games, the two teams will blend into one after their uniforms all turn brown. The only way we’ll be able to identify the players is by their hairstyles.

Therefore, I have a suggestion for those soccer players who will surely be sporting Beckham coifs: Hairspray. Lots of it.

Perhaps you don’t know, but hairspray is serious stuff. It’s available in various strengths, such as soft, hard and Monsoon, which means you can walk through a downpour and come out with beautiful-looking hair.

After using monsoon-strength hairspray myself, I didn’t have to wash my hair for three days, as it was frozen in the same style, all day and all night. I think this hairspray is taking a toll on the environment, however. I noticed that the flower blossoms around my house are stuck in the open position and the frangipani blossoms no longer fall from the trees.

Hairspray is truly impressive. You could rob a bank with the stuff:

Bank Robber: “Freeze! Everybody, put your hands up!”

He takes out a bottle of hairspray – Pshhhhhhhhhhht – then leisurely takes the money and walks out the door, knowing the bank staff will be stuck with their hands up for three days.

A lot of money goes into cancer research. I wonder if we shouldn’t be putting money into hairspray research instead. If we sprayed cancer with hairspray, maybe it would keep the cancer from spreading.

You have to wonder who came up with the idea of hairspray. Perhaps it was invented as a secret weapon to stop bullets. If we upgraded from monsoon strength to tornado strength, it could be used to stop tornadoes in their paths. But then again, what would we do with a stationary tornado?

I also want to know if the Real Madrid Football Academy will have a store where we can buy authentic Real Madrid scarves. I like a sport that includes an element of fashion. The scarf is important not only because you can wave it in the air when your team makes a goal, but it also keeps you warm during those chilly games. And just because Bali is tropical doesn’t mean the weather will not get cold.

You see, soccer pitches have their own weather patterns. A nice sunny day in your neighborhood is bound to be a cloudy and rainy day at the soccer field. The temperature generally drops by five to 10 degrees as soon as the game starts, and the wind picks up at halftime. By the end of the game, it will be raining and Indonesians will be sneezing and sniffling in their down jackets. They’ll positively die of hypothermia should the temperature fall below 40 degrees.

I also wonder if there will also be Real Madrid tissues available for Indonesians who will also suffer from sneezing and runny noses. Everyone knows that once your nose starts running, there is no way of stopping it because humans have tremendous stores of snot in the sinus area. I wonder if anyone has studied the possibilities of using the space up there in the nose to store things such as keys and passports.

And who exactly is the guy who will be taking care of the soccer fields at the academy? Soccer fields have the most beautiful grass in the world, and I’d like that guy to come and install a soccer field in my yard. And if possible, I’d like to get a remote control, like the one for my TV that will allow me to adjust the color of green I want. I even like the lines on the field and would like those installed, too.

I hope the academy is sensitive to cultural differences. While Zidane may have been famous for his head butt, in Indonesia the head is considered a sacred part of the body and thus people should avoid touching other people’s heads. This may be a good thing, though, as they can introduce instead the “soccer touch.”

You know what I’m talking about: That neck thing the soccer players do to each other. Every moment, these guys seem to be putting their sweaty hand on another player’s neck and leaving it there for a moment. I mean, what the heck – why the neck? Why not the armpit?

Lastly, I hope the Real Madrid Football Academy will instill their values of a “fighting spirit and respect for their opponents.” Butt not the head – hairspray it. Ole-Ole!

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The Island

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