Talent Spotting For Dummies

As a young teenager my main passions were football, and history. You can’t “do” history, or at least not if you’re a small boy, because it’s all in the past, and Henry XIII is too busy getting married again to discuss his motivations with you, so football it was. I used to rush around my garden kicking a ball and providing a commentary on the match at the same time. Resting between matches provided ample opportunity for daydreaming, and soon I was walking onto the pitch surrounded by my favourite players while the vast crowd cheered us on.

I was quietly modest, but with a killing touch on the ball which would see me ease down the wing with lightening speed before swerving inside, past the opposition defence and slotting the ball neatly in the back of the net. The real star players seemed to have little to do but stand around and save their energy for applauding me as another of my goals was marked up on the scoreboard. Not a bad life really. Sadly these daydreams did not end with a real life in professional football, surrounded by bathing beauties and men wearing designer sun glasses.  Life in the guise of realism and common sense tactfully advised me that a future as a professional footballer  might not be available to a boy whose other hobbies included bumping into furniture and wearing odd socks. Must calm down and make a sandwich.

I am reminded of another scenario where dreams may become sidetracked.  Some years ago during an English lesson, the teacher, also a keen sports enthusiast  has set his pupils the task of writing a poem. Twenty minutes are allowed and then a selected few can offer them up to the critical skills of their master. “Ok then”, says the teacher, ” Whose first out of the starting blocks.” A small and normally shy boy with dark curly hair raises his hand up and waits to be called. “Yes Shakespeare” says the teacher. “Read us your gem”

“To be or not to be” starts Shakespeare, admittedly a bit nervously. “No No No ” says the master. “To be or not to be” What are you talking about boy ?. ..Either it is or it isn’t, Make up your mind” Shakespeare tries to argue but it is clear his teacher is not going to be impressed. ” All right boy. Sit down and have a go at writing something that isn’t so painfully indecisive.”…  “Right whose next”

“Ah Partridge, said the teacher. stand up and lets hear what the football captain has to offer.”  Partridge cleares his throat and declaimes the following words in a calm and steady voice….”Custard was a clever Boy,…. He liked to eat a lot….. One day he bit off far too much,…. and found his throat was blocked”

“Brilliant” says the teacher. “Short pithy and with an important lesson on greed. Just what the man on the go needs to read in these days of gluttony.”. “Ah there’s the bell. We’ll have a few more poems in the next lesson boys.”

Despite these gruelling examinations of talent,and unlike my experiences in the football industry, some of these boys went on to decent careers in the wide world beyond the school gates. Shakespeare, unbowed by his teacher’s comments, became a noted carpenter, most famous for building the revolving staircase at the Globe Theatre.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, childhood, creative writing, humour, Life, life2, skils, Talent, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Talent Spotting For Dummies

  1. Abby says:

    There’s no accounting for taste, now is there?


  2. nelle says:

    Okay, you had me laughing with this one… and I can’t help but wonder about old Shakespeare had he written, “It is or it isn’t.” Today, that would be followed by, ‘I can’t make up my ******* mind.’

    The college I attended back in the Stone Age had a couple of British players… they went undefeated my first year there. The team had a reputation as nasty, and opposing teams complained. One day I’m sitting on the field just beyond the white line. A referee blows a whistle, a player on the opposing team is standing there looking at the ref, and here comes one of our British players, full speed past me, perhaps another six or seven metres, right into the unaware player. Our guy flattened the player, and then reached down with a hand and said, “Sorry, I couldn’t stop.”

    You all play rough. Wise choice not to pursue that route. 😉


  3. Barbara says:

    Funny stuff Peter! It’s so true how our vernacular changes over time and what is considered the classics now couldn’t get published today. hmm.


  4. Ina says:

    Love it 🙂 Funny poems are the best! I wish I had had poetry at school. No such luck 🙂


  5. cyberian says:

    I thought Shakespeare played centre forward for Tranmere Rovers. Some key facts missing here.


  6. 🙂 I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Link here http://bardessdmdenton.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/inspiration-awarded/ to see my post which contains ‘the rules’ which, of course, are for following or not as you wish. Just wanted you to know how much your creative offerings mean to me! Blessings, Diane


  7. Shonnie says:

    Love reading your ponderings. 😀 They take me back. 😀


  8. Al says:

    There once was a young man named Peter
    Who everyone knew was a leader
    Whether football or prose
    To the occasion he rose
    How could anything be any sweeter.


  9. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Love it how you make me laugh. SO needed that today 🙂

    You’re great! Ah, Shakespeare…


  10. Jane Thorne says:

    You are the maker of the ultimate sausage sandwich…..applause…..admiration…bask in it P. xx 🙂


  11. I absolutely LOooooooVE your brilliant perspective on the world.

    Thank GOD Shakespeare didn’t have a narrow minded teacher like that one! right?

    I shall begin calling you Master Peter. Xxx


  12. Counting Ducks, as he’s known to me
    Often makes me smile
    He reflects on the world in his way you see
    And makes me think a while.

    That’s the best I could come up with on this dreich Monday morning. 😉


  13. You have such a wonderfully interesting way of looking at the world! 🙂


  14. Bumping into furniture and wearing odd sock? Well, that clearly laid a decent foundation for your imagination! Nice post 😉


  15. Julie says:

    So funny. Thank you for this. As an English teacher, I get it big time.

    “Must calm down and make sandwich.” Ha ha!

    The timing on this is brilliant as I felt I was watching the match alongside of sunglassed-donning, odd sock wearing soccer players.



  16. You’re pretty funny, you know that right? I’m wondering what it was that you had on your sandwich? All that jazz about gluttony 🙂


  17. One thing I learned as a student, sticking with the conventional gets you places in school. Maybe not in life, but definitely in school where the rules are clear and no one want a deviant (even if deviance means genius).


  18. eof737 says:

    Do develop that funny bone you have Peter… ‘Tis a rare gift … humor. 😆


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