Why Suárez’s Biting That Guy Is Justified and Why All Of Us Should Do It Too

I don’t know too much about football and the World Cup. My expertise is mostly limited to shouting, “Kick, man, KICK!” at the television once in four years and making keen observations like “GOALLL!” whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Then suddenly, during a World Cup match some days ago, an Uruguayan player called Luis Suárez noticed the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and decided that he wanted to get himself some of that. So he bit him.

And then all hell broke loose. Suárez now faces a nine-match World Cup ban and a four-month football ban.

If you ask me, they’re being too tough on the guy.

Firstly, Suárez’s argument for why he bit Chiellini is both compelling and tough to contest – he says his intention was not to bite. “I lost my balance,” he says, “making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent.” Basically, he just happened to fall teeth-first into Chiellini’s shoulder. Fair enough. Losing your balance is a valid argument – and common enough, judging by all the times Ronaldo has lost his balance when in close proximity of a member of the opposing team.

It’s obviously a coincidence that this has happened to Suárez twice before – apparently, he has very bad luck when it comes to accidentally tripping into delicious shoulders.

If Suárez’s own statement and his puppy-dog face aren’t proof enough for you critics out there, that’s okay. We’ll do it your way. Let’s say that Suárez really did intend to bite Chiellini and that he was yearning for a bit of Italian as a palate cleanser after his prior gustatory experience with Dutch and Serbian.

I still think we’re being too quick to judge Suárez’s actions.

In the world of Twilight and similar wild, exciting vampire romances, a 27-year old Uruguayan footballer can hardly be expected to not indulge in a little experimentation. Frenzied young girls everywhere swoon after brooding young men with pale skin, an aversion to sunlight and neck fetishes. Perhaps Suárez wanted change the dynamic of his fan-following. A younger, largely female support base might do wonders for Uruguayan football. Suárez’s intentions were good, surely – he was willing to take one for the team. What’s one little live televised mouthful when there’s victory at stake?

Or maybe I’m reading too much into this. Perhaps Suárez wasn’t trying to change the support base, and was simply trying to see what all this vampire nonsense is about anyway. It’s something I’ve often contemplated myself.

We could see this another way too. Sportspeople often clench their teeth (this is called bruxism) when stressed. Clenching the teeth stimulates the release of stress hormone cortisol which produces the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response – causing them to fight back or run away. Suárez was stressed by the imminent possibility of losing the match. So he clenched his teeth. And unfortunately, due to an untimely combination of fate and the tendency of footballers to entangle themselves in a mess of assorted body parts, the Italian’s shoulders happened to get trapped between Suárez’s jaws.

It was Chiellini’s fault, really.

But my best theory comes from the most experienced biters themselves (other than Suárez himself, of course) – babies. Babies bite constantly and intractably. Why? Apparently, the gums are more sensitive than the fingers. So when babies bite, and put things in their little mouths, it is a process of learning. It helps them discover their environment and (get this) helps them find out more about the object or person they bite. It’s how they learn.

So when Suárez bites footballers, he’s learning more about them.

This is quite revolutionary. Suárez has taken a toddler’s favourite activity and made it his own. I’ll bet that, with all his experience, he’s probably honed it into a skill by now. When he bit Chiellini, god knows what sorts of things he was finding about him – what his favourite food is, what he likes to do in his free time, his favourite colour.

No wonder all the Uruguayans (including the Uruguayan President) gave him a hero’s welcome when he returned home after the ban was issued. Those sneaky Uruguayans have been hiding an undiscovered genius. His unique skill could be, in fact, the evolutionary trait mankind has been waiting for. All we need is for everyone in the world to do what he does, and then maybe, just maybe, this skill could evolve into the homo sapiens’ sixth sense.

So go out, reader, and get biting! A friend, a neighbour, a homeless man, anyone!

Evolution is in your hands.

P.S. Thanks, Suárez. The others may not recognize your genius but as a thank you present I’ve sent some a delicious Indian your way!

How to not play basketball

Physical exercise is really not my thing.

I had this epiphany a week ago when I was peer-pressured into playing basketball with some friends at school. I knew this day would eventually come and I was hoping like mad that something would stop it from happening, like rain. Or God. Or a runaway ostrich on the school court.

But none of that happened.

I don’t blame God, see? I understand why God would want to watch me play a sport. In fact, If I were God, I would do everything in My Power to ensure that a person with my sporting skills would have to play basketball every day of his/ her life. If they made a reality TV show called Mushroomsup attempts to play basketball (or rather Mushroomsup tries not to get hit in the face by a basketball) it would have higher viewer ratings than Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

It didn’t start too badly. For a while, I stood at a safe distance and focused on camouflaging with the scenery. I was convinced that by expertly pretending to be a malfunctioning chameleon, I would not get hit by the ball. That strategy worked surprisingly well. For a while.

We (*they*) weren’t really playing basketball – rather, they were taking turns trying to get the basketball through the hoop from the farthest distance possible. Eventually, though, a friend noticed that I was standing yards away, perfectly still, wearing a distinctly reptilian expression. Slightly alarmed, she invited me to play. I walked towards the players reluctantly. They smiled at me patronizingly and handed over the basketball. When I say ‘handed over’, I mean ‘threw it directly at me with no warning whatsoever’.

Long story short, I offered to retire hurt because I didn’t want my serious injury to disrupt their game.

My kindly, considerate friends however, did not see this as an option. A few minutes later, I was standing in front of the basket, basketball in hand, looking up at the heavens for any signs of divine laughter. All around me so-called friends were encouraging me to “throw”.

So I threw.

I can assure you, I did everything right. I aimed at the hoop. I bent my knees slightly. I put in all my upper arm strength. I really have no idea why the ball hit a small child playing in the adjacent football field.

Anyway, after some apologizing, my friends and a teacher who had been asked to supervise the game following the unprecedented attack that I had been responsible for, tried to nurture some semblance of hand-eye co-ordination into me. I had to be taught how to hold the ball in the correct position, how keep my wrists steady and how to avoid throwing the ball at the hapless kindergarteners playing on the far end of the school field.

Their tutoring worked to an extent. I managed to get the ball within ten feet of the hoop, at least.

Impressed by my progress, my friends began to play again. While they stood fifteen and twenty feet from the basket and managed to get five baskets in a row, backwards, I stood minus two feet from the basket and practiced throwing the ball up into the air and then running away quickly to avoid the ball landing directly on my head.

I’ll have you know that I was (for the most part) quite successful at this.

Eventually, my attempts at the game attracted a large crowd and my failure became a spectator sport. Cheers of ‘You can do it’ and ‘Go on, throw the ball!’ resonated around me and inspired by all the encouragement, I threw the ball towards the hoop with all my might. It touched the rim and then bounced away towards the crowd, the members of which quickly scattered out of fear for their lives.

But I had managed to touch the rim of the basket! It was a proud moment (especially because I’m rather short).

My friends and the teacher were less impressed than I expected. The teacher booed me as I triumphantly strode away from the court and my friends laughed at me from behind some trees (where they had taken shelter in lieu of my haphazard throwing). I, however, was unperturbed. I said (and you can quote me) – “I don’t need to do any physical exercise. I exercise my mind.”

I found out today that my mother does NOT agree with that.

I’ve been on vacation and after a few days of loitering around the house aimlessly, I was thrown out and told to not return until I ‘get some some fresh air.’ I can do that standing at the window, but I wisely decided not to say anything. Also, I had already been locked out of the house by then.

So I went to the park and walked around a bit. And then I got in over my head and tried to overtake elderly ladies to fuel my self-esteem. That was a bad idea.

By the time I got home, I was half-dead. I couldn’t move a muscle. There were aches and pains everywhere. To think that exercise is supposed to make you feel better.

I’ve decided that I’ve now had enough physical exercise to last a lifetime.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be playing on the Wii Fit.

Writing makes me feel like Iron Man.

The first story I ever wrote was about an anthropomorphic tiger named Timothy. I was 7 and the story had been lifted directly from a book of bedtime stories that I had read multiple times. It was my first act of plagiarism. Not intentional, of course, but my naïve young mind believed that this story was a product of my own wondrous imagination. For all the adulation I received, I believed that I was a child prodigy, like Mozart, or Christopher Robin.

I wasn’t, obviously. But that’s when I realized how much I liked to plagiarize write.

I wrote my first poem soon after. It came to me in a flash of brilliance. I called it ‘Baa Baa White Sheep’. It was exactly like ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ but with ‘White’ instead of ‘Black’. I suppose I was a little racist back then.

Eventually, I understood the concept of originality and wrote my first real original poem. It was called ‘Wishes’. It went like this:

Once Peggy broke five dishes,
A genie came and gave her some wishes,
‘I want a pony’ Peggy said.
Four wishes left.

Once Peggy broke five dishes,
A genie came and gave her some wishes,
‘I want some cookies’ Peggy said.
Three wishes left.

And it continues like this until Peggy exhausts all of her five wishes.

It was basically an amalgamation of my experience with Disney movies, household chores involving crockery and Enid Blyton books. Also, some sporadic rhyme thrown in for good measure. Till date, it is the best thing I have ever written.

My point is, I’ve always loved to write. When people ask me what my hobby is, I say, “Writing”. Some people look at me like I’m soft in the head when I say this because they think that I mean just writing in general – putting a pen to paper and writing random words. Okay, I’ll admit, that is kind of what I do. But not in the ‘practising my handwriting’ sense, of course (which is what people often assume I mean). The effect is amplified if I say “Reading and writing”. It’s like something a kindergartner would say – “In class today, we practiced our reading and writing.”

I’m not going to say that I like writing because it gives me the freedom of expression or that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ Honestly, I can express myself just as well through speech, and swords can kill people whereas pens can’t (unless wielded by dangerous psychopathic criminals).

I like to write because it makes me seem smart.

I agree – this blog is definitely not evidence for the aforementioned statement. But when you write you can simply string together a random set of words without people thinking that you’re crazy. For example, if I write, “Onward he writ, a walk from lands away”, people would have a thousand interpretations for it and I would probably be lauded as a literary genius. In fact, this was probably William Shakespeare’s modus operandi. He just looked around his bedroom, wrote down any observable nouns, and then filled in the gaps with archaic pronouns, preposition and punctuation.
“Thou hast no wardrobe for thy portly attire, light bids thou farewell.”
Voila! You have an instant Shakespearean quote.

On the other hand, if I actually said something like that out loud, I would face one of two possible outcomes:
1. I would be in the hospital for treatment for possible aphasia OR
2. My mother would yell at me for “sassing” her.

Other than the fact that writing can make me sound smart (something which is so difficult to put across verbally in my case) I also love to write because it gives me a sense of power. I don’t advocate that a pen can be used as a weapon of course. Homer’s Odyssey on the other hand…pretty potent, that. I speak from experience.

No, what I mean is that being able to write allows you to write anything that you want to read. If it hasn’t been written, you can write it. Well, you can write it even if it has been written, as my childhood writing exploits have demonstrated. But this is generally frowned upon by society.

So there you go. Writing is fun. Writing makes you sound smart. Writing gives you power. Basically, writing is like being Iron Man.

It’s a wonder more people don’t do it.

Did you miss me?

I don’t know how to begin.

It’s been a month since I last posted and I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write. Honestly, I’m having trouble stringing words together to form coherent sentences.

Of course, this inability to write coherently can also be attributed to the fact that, for the last month or so, I had been giving exams. Lots and lots of exams. By the time the exams finished a couple of days ago, my sanity had been irreparably damaged. Evidence for this comes from the fact that I had my French orals today, and during the discussion, I vehemently and passionately explained to my French teacher that all French people are named ‘cheese’ and then tried to convince her that I have a twin sister who is a year older than me.

I don’t even have a sister.

So pardon me if I sound crazy today. And tomorrow. And for the next couple of years. It’s left a lasting impact.

This brings me to my next point: I haven’t posted in a month. I am deeply sorry and to make up for this, I will post twice this week. Twice, ladies and gentlemen! Prepare yourselves. And as for why I haven’t posted in a month, I’m sticking to my excuse: the exams did it. In fact, I hold that exams are responsible for every problem in the world. Irregular blogging. Global warming. Excessive bee swarming.

(Sorry. Rhymes are my defence mechanism.)

Coincidentally, in this one month away from the blogosphere, a lot of important things have happened. I got nominated to be a BlogHer Voice of The Year (VoTY) for the post ‘All I Wanted was to be Rich and Famous’. I got Freshly Pressed a second time, for the same post. And it was my birthday. (I got A LOT OF chocolate. Score!)

So this so-called apology post is now going to transform into a rambling, teary, warm and fuzzy acceptance speech. Feel free to stop reading. I’ve made a list of people to thank because I don’t want to forget anybody.

1. The BlogHer people. I don’t know who you are, but I will find you, and I will hug you.
Or maybe not. I don’t like hugging.
But seriously, you people are awesome. Many, many thanks for choosing my post.

2. The WordPress people. The first time I got Freshly Pressed, it was for a post worshipping the nameless, faceless WordPress gods and promising to be their humble servant.
This time, it was for a post that was nominated for the BlogHer VoTY.
So I don’t feel like either of these Freshly Pressed badges is a legitimate award. No, I’m not angling for another. I’m very, very grateful.
So WordPress, I’d like to thank you for acknowledging my sheer magnificence and giving me two Freshly Pressed badges (And I’ll be waiting for a share in your company).

3. You guys. A big thank you to everyone who took time out to read, like, comment or follow. I’ve come so far, from having five followers to touching three thousand. It’s all because of you. So to celebrate, visit my blog tomorrow at 3 pm. I’ll be handing out free virtual chocolate-chip cookies. Yes, you read that right. Chocolate-chip!

Okay, so that’s the end of my thank you speech. Let’s move on.

Thanks to the overwhelming response to my post, I’ve begun to feel really guilty about not posting in a month. I promise you, this won’t happen again. Well, okay, it might. I can’t predict the future. Don’t be so hard on me.

But I can assure you that, if at any point I realize that I won’t be able to post for a while, I’ll put up some pretty pictures as a filler. Maybe some advertisements. It’ll be like a movie interval. You can go grab some popcorn or something.

I told you I might sound crazy today.

Ahhh, I missed this.

P.S. New post soon! I feel like I need to warn you so that you can shield your impressionable children. Insanity is infectious.