David Moseley

How the WhenWes Stole Soccer

2010-05-25 12:39

Every Mzansi
Down in Mzansi-ville
Liked soccer a lot...

But the WhenWes,
Who lived inside Electric-Gate-ville,
Did NOT!

The WhenWes hated soccer! The whole soccer season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that their heads weren’t screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that that their green tea was too cold at night.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that the game was played with the wrong shape of ball.

Whatever the reason,
The balls or cold teas,
They stood there at kick off, hating Mzanis,
Staring down from high fences with a sour, previously advantaged frown
At the warm lighted windows below in the town.
For they knew every Mzansi down in Mzansi-ville beneath
Was busy now, whistling the national anthem through their teeth.

"And they're hanging their flags!" they snarled with a sneer.
"Tomorrow it’s World Cup! It's practically here!"
Then they growled, with their pessimistic fingers nervously drumming,
"We MUST find a way to keep soccer from coming!"
For, tomorrow, they knew...

...All the Mzansi girls and fellas
Would wake up bright and early. They'd rush for their vuvuzelas!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing they hated, the sound of good times!
They preferred gentle breezes, that kissed their armed-security guarded wind chimes.

The more the WhenWes thought, "I must stop this whole thing!
"Why for 16 years I've put up with it now!
I MUST stop the World Cup from coming!
...But HOW?"

Then they got an idea!
An awful idea!

"We know just what to do!" The WhenWes Laughed with some cake
And they made Bafana replica jerseys, naturally all fake.
And they chuckled, and clucked, "What a great WhenWe scheme!
"With these fake replica kits, we'll look just like the national team!"

Then they slithered and slunk, with smiles most unpleasant,
Around the Bafana change room, and they took all soccer boots present!
McCarthy’s! And Modise’s! Dikgacoi’s! And Parker’s!
Booth! Pienaar’s! Team tracksuits! A scheme straight from Barker!
And they stuffed them in bags. Then the WhenWes, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, in a Soweto chimney!

The WhenWes had been caught by Aaron’s little daughter
Who'd got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at the WhenWe’s and said, "Fake Benni, why,
"Why are you taking our Bafana kit? WHY?"

But, you know, those old WhenWes were so smart and so slick
They thought up a lie, and they thought it up quick!
"Why, my sweet little tot," the Fake Benni lied,
"There's a badge on this kit that should appear on the other side.
"So I'm taking it home to my Taiwanese sweat shop, my dear.
"I'll fix it up there. Then I'll bring it back here."

And his fib fooled even SAFA. Who were usually dopey
And when they woke the next morning, the situation was ropey.

They did the same thing
To the other Teams' hotels

Leaving replacement shirts
Much too small
That when worn it hurts

They returned to their suburbs, the hand-wringing WhenWes
This World Cup will fail, let’s sit back and see
They stared down at Mzansi-ville!
The WhenWes popped their eyes!
Then they shook!
What they saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Mzansi down in Mzansi-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any home kits at all!
They HADN'T stopped the World Cup from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the WhenWes, with WhenWe high heels teetering from the blow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without boots! It came without flags!
"It came without corporate packages, cheap flights or tog bags!"
And they puzzled three hours, till the puzzlers were sore.
Then the WhenWes thought of something they hadn't before!
"Maybe soccer," they thought, "doesn't come from a store
(unless FIFA approved).
"Maybe soccer... perhaps... means a little bit more!"
(FIFA can’t be moved)

And what happened then...?
Well... in Mzansi-ville they say
That when the WhenWes cynicism
Disappeared that day!
And the minute the first shrill whistle blew,
For they’d failed to swipe the teams’ second-change kits
The WhenWes, for all their misgivings, heartily knew,
They’d behaved very badly, like right spoiled knits

They whizzed with the load through the bright morning light
And they brought back the gear! And the flags for the fans who were all the proudest!
And they...

The WhenWes blew their SUV horns, and they cheered the loudest!

~With apologies to Dr Seuss

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