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World Cup Dad|世界杯迷爸爸

作者: 满分作文大全 发布时间: 2019年11月18日 04:56:30

For most of my 15 years, my father usually said very little to my mother and me. Talking with him could be difficult. When I asked a question, he often gave a monosyllabic1 answer.
  Once, when I was 12, I asked Dad to taste some soup that I had cooked at school. It was the first dish that I had prepared in my Home Economics lessons, and I was dying to2 get his reaction3.
  “How is it?” I asked him eagerly.
  “Not bad.”
  “But  how do you like the taste?” I continued.
  “Fine,” he  said  between   noisy slurps4. I had hoped for a more positive response, but I consoled5 myself with the fact that Dad was actually drinking the soup, so he must like it.
  He preferred reading the newspaper or watching soccer matches on television over talking to his family. Don't get me wrong—Dad was a good father. During my pre-school years we spent many happy hours together doing jigsaw puzzles6. Later, whenever I was busy studying for examinations, Dad would bring home my favorite meal.
  Dad showed his love more by his actions than his words, and I just had to get used to the fact that he wasn't very talkative.
  Everything changed on May 31, 2002. It was the beginning of the June school holidays, and Dad had taken a few days off to spend time with Mom and me.
  As soon as I came downstairs to breakfast that morning, I could see that he wasn't his usual reserved7 self. “Can't wait! FIFA world Cup!”
  He kept jabbering8. “Big match! Must see!” I quickly figured out what all the excitement was about: Dad is a big soccer fan and the World Cup tournament9 was about to start.
  I had never been interested in soccer—it seemed to involve 22 men chasing after10 a silly ball—but Dad's excitement that morning made me more and more curious. I had to find out why this sport was making my normally reserved father behave11 like a five-year-old on his first trip to Disneyland12.
  Dad decided that we should all eat at a little German restaurant around the corner from our house in Singapore, which would be showing the France-Senegal13 match, so that we could combine an evening out with the World Cup. Secretly, I think he was hoping to convert Mom and me into14 soccer fans.
  The match started a few minutes after we entered the restaurant. My father smiled and remarked that we were “just in time.” He stared, transfixed15, at the green grass and the players running around on the television screen. I looked around the restaurant, feeling bored and wondering how on earth I had been lured into following16 him.
  As I was eating my sausages17, a loud roar rose from the television. Startled, I looked up at the screen. “Papa Bouba Diop has just scored for Senegal,” Dad explained. “France will come back! They won the World Cup last time, so they'll be OK.”
  I stared at the screen.  “Why is that man jumping up and down?”
  Dad patiently explained: “That's Papa Bouba Diop. It's normal for them to jump up and down after they've scored. The players get very excited, especially when it's the underdogs18—like Senegal scoring against the defending champions19 like France. Now eat your food—it's getting cold.”
  I was amazed. Dad had explained everything in detail to me. His monosyllabic answers were a thing of the past. I loved the new Dad!
  I  watched  the  rest  of  the match, becoming more and more absorbed20. I noticed how well Senegal fought off the French players. It was hard to believe that they were the underdogs. When, in the end, Senegal won 1-0, my father tried to cover up his disappointment. “Nevermind—France will win all their other games and get into the next round,” he assured me. He then explained the rules of soccer and helped me understand everything that we'd just seen. Terms like free kick21, left-back22, foul23, penalty24 and offside25 entered my vocabulary that night.
  The World Cup suddenly became much more interesting, now that I understood what was going on. When I told my father that I planned to watch more matches with him, he smiled and gave me a cheeky wink26. At long last we had something in common.
  Dad and I watched mostly the important games together, such as the quarterfinals27, the semis28 and the final. During these matches, we didn't always see eye to eye29. I predicted that Brazil would win the Would Cup because their players had much more flair30 and skill, but Dad insisted that Germany would triumph because they defended so well and had a world-class goalkeeper31 in Oliver Kahn. When Brazil won, Dad hung his head and conceded32 gracefully. “You have been taught well by a first-class soccer tutor33,” he said, and we both laughed.
  Since then, Dad and I have continued to watch soccer matches, then dissect34 the games and strategies.
  We especially enjoy the English Premier League35. Once, after Manchester United36 (MU) and Arsenal37 finished in a 0-0 draw, we got into a lively argument over which team had played better. Finally Mom had to intervene38. “Both MU and Arsenal are equally great, and both have world-class players,” she scolded. “If you don't stop, you're going to wake up the neighbors.”
  Soccer has really helped Dad and I get closer and foster39 a stronger relationship with each other. Who says soccer is only about 22 men chasing after a silly ball?

(Priscilla Chew:新加坡 CHIJ Katong修女中学学生,本文为《读者文摘》和《写作指导》为新加坡学生举办的作文大赛获奖作品。)

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