An Idiot I will Remain

sumo_matchToday, in the YMCA locker room, a man tried to strike up conversation with me with the universal male subject of sports.  Our city’s football team had won and he happily wanted to share this saying “We won!”  I asked, “Who won what?”  And the man looked at me like I had a third head.

I remember one night 30 years ago in Japan when I met a similar surprised face.  It was late at night and I stopped in a pub-restaurant and ordered my favorite combo of Skiokara (squid guts) and Karaguchi Onigoroshi (demon-killer dry sake) and Natto (fermented soybeans).  These are bitter, strong foods usually prefered by old Japanese men or yakuza (Mafia) types.

My Japanese was very good and I was talking to the cook and the other late night diners sitting at the counter around me.  We talked about several topics for a half-an-hour when the pub’s TV started showing Sumo review clips for the day.  One of the customers asked me what I thought about a certain Sumo player but when I said I didn’t know who he was, he looked at me with shocked and asked why I don’t know.

Geez, fluent in food, culture, language and more was not enough — I had to know their sports?  Men are often like this when it comes to sports (and heck, women can be too).  In Pakistan, I met astonished faces when I did not know cricket player’s names.  I guess that I will always remain an idiot!  Smile.



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

7 responses to “An Idiot I will Remain

  1. I’ll join you since I don’t care about sports or other things usually thought of as manly, such as mechanics. I’ve gotten that look by not just other men but women who think it funny I don’t care about those things.

  2. Thanx GC, glad to see other men in the same boat!

  3. I don’t recall being insulted for it – perhaps that’s happened occasionally – but I share your disinterest in sports.

  4. @tatamacueo,
    Maybe more of us than I imagine. Perhaps a disproportionate amount of us who blog or read blogs.

  5. Paul Kiefer

    I’ll get right to the point. Sports is a bore. A sign of our male dominated culture is how absurdly serious people take the subject matter, even putting it on the evening news. Here’s a newsflash: sports is not news. It’s entertainment. For some. But it’s not news, it doesn’t matter who won what and it’s time for the rest of us to call out this stupid testosterone driven bullshit.
    I’m pretty sure though you don’t have to care about people who act shocked you don’t know the sports thing they’re referring to. If you cater to their surprise you’re just playing their little game. Simply inform them “I’m not interested in sports thanks” and watch them keel over on the floor in a spasm of disbelief and horror as their entire world comes crashing down, now nothing makes sense, there is a sports hating heretic among us! Quick somebody call a medic! And the cops! Lol

  6. Oh, Paul, I may not be as angry as you at sports lovers, I just am not of the same temperament.

  7. What an interesting anecdote, Sabio, one that transcends borders: sports knowledge as a measure of cultural identity. Perhaps more than any other facet of our societies, sports — especially team sports — reinforces age old concepts of us vs. them, insider vs. outsider. Amazing how our ancestral mechanisms for group safety and survival when faced with competition have lasted until today ~peace, Jason

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