Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I just met one of the 25%!

Earlier today, while I was working at the bookstore, I managed to surf the net for a few minutes and inevitably found myself at the World Cup Blog reading a piece about how something like 25% of the German population are not interested in the Greatest of All Sporting Events in the World! The world, comrades! Well, you all know that already. I was shocked and amazed by the story nevertheless (I should know better, I know) and then went about my humdrum day, perplexed by the idea of that many people not caring about the Greatest of All . . . .

Near the end of my shift, still moored at the counter even though my mind was already at home watching the the meaningless yet engaging England vs. Hungary friendly, a tall blonde woman walked up to the counter to purchase a couple of books. As I was ringing her up she asked me, "Do you have any foreign language books?"

I detected a slight accent, though I couldn't yet place it. "Instructional books or actual novels in a foreign language?"

"Novels," she replied.

German. She was definitely German, I thought. Maybe. But I had to ask anyway.

"Are you German?"

"Uh, yes." She smiled curtly.

"So . . . I have to ask you . . . . Are you excited about the World Cup or could you care less?"

She actually seemed to warm up at this point. "I'm not interested in it honestly. My husband is from Holland and he follows the sport. I've never cared for soccer or baseball or hockey. I don't really see the point. Why watch when I could play?"

And then she tucked her purchases into her bag and exited the bookstore, leaving me a bit flushed and weirdly pleased by our brief passionless encounter. Well, that's one of them identified, I thought. Only 19,999,999 to go.

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