Off the Clock with The Checkout Girl: Catch World Cup fever (but not with your hands)

Ah, The World Cup. The 80-year-old international football championship tournament is back and turning my relatively sane friends and neighbors into beer-swilling, referee-hating, armchair (or barstool, as the case may be) goalies.

Ah, The World Cup. The 80-year-old international football championship tournament is back and turning my relatively sane friends and neighbors into beer-swilling, referee-hating, armchair (or barstool, as the case may be) goalies. World Cup month (that’s right, I said MONTH) is a time when people all over the world come together to yell about how much your country sucks and cheats and is generally inferior to their home country, all in the name of patriotism and sportsmanship.

But the World Cup has other stuff going for it, too. Like boring facts. Did you know that the first World Cup was hosted by Uruguay in 1930? Well, then, did you know that Brazil has won the most World Cups with four big titles under their meshy shorts? Ok, well, did you also know that they are the only country who has never won a World Cup on home soil? Yawn, right?

Well, then, how about sex? Let’s talk about World Cup sex. Apparently there has been quite a bit of debate about whether knocking cleats made players perform better or worse on the field. Coaches from both Chile and England have declared publicly that they will not allow their players to engage in naughty business during the tournament. England’s manager has reportedly gone so far as to installed cameras in the team hotel in an effort to keep the ladies (or gents, whatever) away from his players. Big Brother-esque or creepy in a Joe Francis taking advantage of young, drunk girls and labeling them “Gone Wild” sort of way? Do I want a sex tape of the English team? Yes. Do I want it to be grainy, security footage? Also yes. But I’d also like them knowing it’s being made. And, if they could say my name at some point (wait, are there microphones on security cameras?), well, that would just about make my day.

The manager from Brazil, has a slightly softer heart when it comes to hard lovin’. He is allowing his players to get it on, but only on off days. Seems like a fair compromise, right? Except that if I am a WAG (soccertalk for “Wives And Girlfriends”) and I travel all the way from South America to South Africa, I am gonna want lovin’ on my schedule (that’s right, some of us have a humping schedule — if you ask, you have to listen patiently while I explain it, that’s the rule).

Argentina’s team doctor, of whom I am the biggest personal fan, has come down on the side of saying yes to the dirty and, on top of that (well, maybe not on top, exactly), beef and wine. That’s right, he says that sex and good food are a part of life and doesn’t believe either will take the edge off of his athletes’ performances. I don’t know much about science, but I do know that whatever happens, the Argentinian players are more likely to be happy at the end of it all!

Speaking of sexytimes, the fans are making up for any dry spell that the players might be having. When South Korea beat Greece at the beginning of the tournament, condom sales in that country increased five-fold. They must REALLY like their soccer there. Oh, and as far as condoms go, before the tournament began, South Africa made a plea to the world. They wanted to have one billion condoms on hand for the inevitable party in the streets (and sheets, apparently). This makes a little more sense when you realize that 40,000 sex workers were expected to visit the country from all over the world to fill the pumped up (ahem) fans’ needs. I know that sounds like a whole lot, but when you consider that about 375,000 fans are expected to attend the tournament, that’s only a little better than a tenth of a hooker per fan. Also, it’s important (and responsible, duh) to note that nearly half of the sex workers in South Africa are HIV-positive, but their President is infamous for having four wives, twenty children, and engaging in sex with a woman (not one of his wives) whom he knew to be HIV-positive but choosing not to wear a condom. Instead, he opted for showering afterward to “cut the risk of contracting HIV”. Yikes. Let’s hope that the people of South Africa are not looking up to their leader in that way. Or at least that fans from other countries are making the most use out of the billion love balloons.

I guess there is something inherently sexy about sweaty men running around, kicking balls, and then ripping off their shirts. And I suppose that the roar of the crowd could be enough to hum you into happiness. But, whether you are actually attending the tournament in South Africa or hanging with the RVA crew down at Penny Lane, the only way to guarantee a 100% safe World Cup is to blow your own vuvuzela.

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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