In sporting news, our soccer season comes to a close this weekend. Playoffs follow, but not for us, wallowing back in 11th or 12th out of 16. Last year we snuck into the 8th and final playoff spot, earning us a short-lived but spirited beatdown at the hands of the league’s top team. This year we’ve been denied (or spared) that opportunity by virtue of several close losses recently. We did pull out a draw on Wednesday, though, against a team that was several spots ahead of us in the standings and could very well miss the playoffs themselves now because of those dropped points. Their anger and disappointment has been a comforting salve to our competitive wounds. I also picked up my first goal of the season on an unlikely header that rocketed into the very top corner like it had eyes despite the fact my only real thought was aiming for somewhere in the left half of the net. Satisfying, nonetheless, though, especially since my role on this team is mainly defensive (i.e. chasing 20-year old Guatemalans and rarely touching the ball). We are now planning to go out in style with a big upset Saturday morning, hopefully while Arsenal is simultaneously humiliating Manchester United, then an afternoon of double-dose celebrations. Put the cheap litre-bottles of Extra on ice, boys.
I discussed this briefly last fall when we were here, but considering how great a role it seems to play in our day-to-day lives I feel like it warrants another mention. The activity in question: killing flies. By the dozen. An ongoing test of reflexes, perseverance and cleverly-placed fly swatters. Not biting flies, at least, or flying ants, or any other sort of strange Central American type of fly (the kind that love music, firecrackers and riding in the back of trucks, perhaps), just your regular house flies. Moscas de casa, if I had to guess. The bane of my existence, if I had to elaborate. We have no idea why there are so many but it happened last year around this time as well, even though we always keep the kitchen spotless and there are a couple girls who clean our place top to bottom twice a week. Of course, the entire front of our apartment is open to the elements for 16 hours a day, so how they are getting in is really no mystery. But it’s gotten so irritating that Laynni seems to finally be softening her stance on buying fly paper, those really ugly plastic strips you hang from the ceiling that, if all goes well, are soon covered in dozens of dead flies as a horrifying monument to their poor choices. Of course, it’s not the wanton destruction she objects to, simply the unpleasant aesthetics. Our resident ant population would probably be disappointed as well. The hundreds of well-behaved, barely noticeable black ants that continuously inhabit our floor have been having a heyday harvesting all these dead flies, quickly and efficiently teaming up in small groups to haul a steady parade of carcasses inexorably toward the door, then on to…where exactly? Don’t know, don’t care. It’s what you call a mutually beneficial relationship. My highlight of my week was discovering 4 flies jostling over one spot on the counter I clearly hadn’t done a good enough job cleaning, then ruthlessly destroying all 4 in one fell swoop. All due respect to my big goal the other day, but this was a whole different level of special. Which made my hysterical celebration seem fully justifiable to me, at least, even if outsiders may have deemed it more suitable to learning that a cure for Ebola had been perfected, or that Game of Thrones was planning to expand their seasons to 12 episodes.