‘Box-Sets By The Tonne’ ..How To Avoid Euro 2012

Sometimes in life, we’re faced with difficult situations and events. If we confront these head on, often we’ll end up a better person for it, more experienced, more mature, more confident. Or, you can just try and avoid them. It’s easier.

Football is one of those things I’ve avoided. I’m not a “footie blokeâ€?. At school, football effectively determined my place in the social strata. When I was assigned to a team, there would be a cry of exasperation; “But sir! He’s gay!â€?

After a few years, teachers gave up with including me in football, and I ended up running laps instead. Whilst I’ve successfully managed to avoid playing football since, I’ve still had to dodge it elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against football. I understand why people love it, they get the excitement of the sport, with the added drama of football news, which is essentially a soap opera about really rich racists. I wish I could enjoy transfer gossip, or the social event of watching a game in the pub, but alas, I can’t. If you’re not interested in “the beautiful gameâ€?, the media coverage can become a bit full on, a bit tiresome. For this reason, here’s some tips on how to avoid the Euro 2012:

1. Stop watching TV.
In fact, depending on how severe you want to be, you may have to adopt a Unabomber-esque lifestyle and live in a cabin in the woods, with only an Al Gore book for entertainment. Sounds like a middle class dream, doesn’t it?

2. Avoid the pub.
This is important. When football is on, people gravitate to the pub. Some football fans can be very ‘passionate’ about the game and when alcohol is added to the mix, things can go pear-shaped faster than a penalty shoot-out. Avoiding social functions is another matter all together, but if you do find yourself at a pub which is showing football, you may have to go undercover. If anybody asks, you support England. If they’re not playing, take a look around and align yourself with the most ‘passionate’ fans in your vicinity. You may need to think on your feet, so perhaps prepare a back up answer if you’re asked what team you’ll support if England gets knocked out. Choose something non-controversial, like Sweden, or Croatia. Blend in by occasionally staring at the TV with an expression of mild concern on your face. This is only a problem if you’ve got external reproductive organs – women appear to have a get out of jail free pass when it comes to football, or indeed, any sport.

3. Consider a News blackout.
On the off chance that England do well, football will inevitably dominate most newspapers on a scale not seen since the Jubilee (so a couple of weeks back then? – Ed). If there’s another racism scandal, and lets face it, there definitely will be, the coverage is going to increase.

4. Boxsets By The Tonne
If you’ve followed the above tips, you’re likely to be living a fairly isolated existence, apart from work, assuming there’s anybody left in the office. TV is going to be dominated by the football, and when a game is on, there’s little quality alternative programming. Bit young to see Twin Peaks first time around? Here’s your chance.

5. Read a book.
Apparently, people still do this, even when they aren’t on holiday. Sample some of the classics – this, in combination with your disdain for football could give you the pseudo-intellectual, angsty edge you’ve always wanted but never had.

6. Spend more time with women.
This applies to both genders. If you’re a woman and you don’t like football, you probably don’t want to spend time with men when the football is on. Chances are, they won’t want to either. If you’re a bloke, most of your male friends will be incommunicado, or you’ll have to refer to point two. Hang around with women, and explore your sensitive side; “No I don’t like football, I prefer the films of Michael Winterbottom… Also reading.â€? (refer to point five)

So there it is. Hopefully you’ll be able to use these tips to circumvent the Euro 2012 furore. If you can’t escape, then I suggest you put some money on it*. Gambling makes everything fun, and you might just care who wins..

*Under NO circumstances should you put any money on England. Not ever.