Non parlo italiano

19 09 2010

There’s not really a great deal to say about my golf game right now. It’s been so mediocre for so long that it came as quite a shock today when, out of nowhere, I suddenly sank three birdie putts of sizeable length to be the big winner in our regular Sunday morning skins game. I definitely shan’t let it go to my head, though, because I fully understand that if I show the slightest sign of immodesty about my putting the golf gods will once again inflict ‘the curse of Mr Jabby’ upon me.

Better, then, that I concentrate on my other job which is, as you may recall, that of soccer referee. I’ve had the good fortune over the past week to officiate in the 2010 B.C. Seniors Games here in the beautiful, if somewhat damp, Comox Valley. I’ve reffed some good teams and some poor teams, some fit and skillful individuals and others who were built, shall we say, more for comfort than speed. Undoubtedly the team of the tournament was Columbus, the over 60’s team representing the Lower Mainland. On Thursday they won their two games handily, 5-0 and 7-1, but on Friday they came up against a determined North Island team who held them scoreless for the first 30 minutes. By this point the Columbus team – mostly Italian, with a few Scots and East Europeans thrown in for good measure – was starting to lose its composure a little and one of the forwards swore loudly at a team mate after a misplaced pass. I blew my whistle, jogged over to the offender and told him to cut out out the swearing. “But Mr. Referee,” he said in a strong Italian accent, “he’s on my team.” I explained that it didn’t matter, and that he couldn’t swear at anyone – not me, not the fans, not his opponents, not even his team mates. “But Mr. Referee,” he said, in a voice loud enough for everyone on the field and the sidelines to hear, “he’s fucking useless!” I tried really hard not to burst out laughing, but failed miserably.

Mid way through the second half, with Columbus now ahead in the game and a little more relaxed, I had to give a gentle reminder to one of the other players about the no swearing rule. I suggested he swear in Italian, as no one outside the team was likely to understand what he was saying. He grunted something unintelligible and ran off. After the match ended and we were going through the post game handshakes I asked the same player if my suggestion about swearing in Italian had worked for him. “No bloody good at all ref,” he said. “Why’s that then?” I asked. “I don’t speak no Italian,” came the reply. “I’m Croatian”.

That’s all for this week, except to offer my congratulations to the Chief who became a grandfather on Thursday. As it happened, Adrian was on the golf course when he heard the news and had just made an excellent putt for a two at Glacier Greens’ par 3 17th. He’s decided on his own special nickname for his new grandson: ‘Birdie’.
I mentioned this to my daughter a couple of days later and, predictably, her response was to say “aah, how sweet”. I then pointed out how fortunate it was that I hadn’t been on the golf course when I found out about the birth of her son Eli, now five weeks old. “How so, Dad?” asked Kate. “Well,” I said, “the way I’ve been playing recently, I’d be calling the poor kid ‘Double Bogie’ for the rest of his life.”

All da best,

Dave B.




2 responses

19 09 2010

Lovely post Dave. As always it was good for a chuckle. Loved the bits about you and the Eyeties. Keep up the good work. Off to bed now for our first night in the Maritimes.

19 09 2010
Bagger Dave

I’d forgotten you were back east, Martin. I hope you have a wonderful time and don’t eat so much lobster that you look like a crustacean by the time you get back.



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