Eskimo Land

David Spicetti charged down the mid-field, his golden boots pounding on the hard frozen pitch. He dribbled the heavy ball adroitly around a white fur-clad opponent and passed to his right, hoping it would come back to him as he ran forwards. He was dressed in grey furs; it was hard to tell the difference between the teams sometimes, especially when it snowed.

He looked to the right, partly blinded by his fur hood and reflective one-piece snow goggles. But there the ball was, rolling towards him, as he had hoped. The goal was some thirty metres in front of him. One of his long, gliding shots would surely achieve victory for his team this close to time. He aimed, and kicked with all his might and skill. But the whole world groaned as the ball only rose some two metres in the air, hit an opponent on the head and rolled off to one side. He just couldn’t get used to these whale meat balls, covered in seal skin, although they didn’t make much difference to his game. They were so greasy and smelly, apart from the weight.

David Spicetti was a Sporti-Sub, taking up his position with his new club in Alaska for the Yukip Eskimos. He chose them because he thought they would speak English and had something to do with UK Independence. His own language skills were atrocious. That French Club had been a fiasco; even after he had got used to the idea that they still played on large wooden tables, blowing a ping-pong ball from side to side. At least here the Americans could just about understand his soft Essex drawl, though they couldn’t play football either.

These damn Eskimos could, though. One had picked up the ball in front of him and was dribbling back towards David’s goal. It was down to him to stop him. He lunged forward to tackle and slipped on the icy ground. A collective remonstration of hurt and pain arose from his fans all around the world, tuned-in on Oodles to his performance, as he rolled in agony over and over on the pitch, collided skilfully with the other player’s feet and knocked the ball away. The hardened referee blew his whistle and waved play on, glancing at his watch.

David had moved to Alaska three months ago at the suggestion of his wife, Alberta Spicetti, a Celebriti-Sub. She too wanted an American life-style, among the glitterati on the southern coast, now the Alaskan Riviera, in close contact with her previous girl-friends. The east coast of America was a no-go these days; New York was a drowned city and the states inland seemed to be under a perpetual two meter snow drift. The west coast was threatened daily by earth tremors. Here on the Riviera it was far more pleasant. The new cities of Resurrection Bay, Anchorage, Seward and Homer sparkled in the Arctic sun, and the beaches of Gore Point were favourite bathing and parading spots.

Of course David preferred the south too, but his team were hardened Eskimos and preferred the cold north, the colder the better. He had to make a weekly commute across the Inuit plains by electric powered ski-sledge. Was it worth the million dollars a week he was being paid?

He cursed as it began to snow; he wouldn’t be able to see the lines on the pitch now, though the others seemed to manage fine. He was just about to gain possession again when a large Husky ran onto the pitch, grabbed the ball with his sharp, fierce-looking teeth and ran off with it, surrounded by a pack of yelping, barking dogs, all intent on a piece of the meat. The referee blew his whistle again, resignedly, calling time and the end of the game. David and his team had lost two-one.

He was sporting a very tasty hair-style these days – shaved bald on one side, and dreadlocks on the other, which, he said, kept him warm at night, providing he slept on the bald side! Alberta was quite pleased with her new creation, but already had wilder plans; it was some time since he had had a beard. She thought that might keep him a bit warmer and snugger at night, when they did occasionally snuggle.

He had a huge following around the world. All the mums loved him, and secretly wanted to get in bed with him, so they tuned-in to Alberta. Unfortunately, she was as frigid as the ice-box outside in the igloo at his Club digs, so they didn’t get much action.

David and Alberta were constantly posing for views for their “Goodbye” on-line magazine. It was called that because they constantly seemed to be saying good-bye to teams, places, promotions, celebrities, events and each other. There was constant talk of their imminent break-up, divorce, get-back-together, and the renewal of their vows, and the attendant parties, to which everybody who is anybody – but not that odious Jacqueline, of course – is invited.

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