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Coffee Morning Whispers

Like the rest of us, Patsy has no interest in football but, unlike the rest of us, she has been shielded from the 'delights' of the sport because she was her own woman for quite some time.

While we had to suffer football-mad partners who appeared to lose their mental faculties whenever Ireland was competing in a major championship, Patsy could watch back episodes of Fair City on her laptop.

All that changed when she met Jose. Football is a religion to him. Just mention the word and his eyes roll in his head as if he were auditioning for a part in The Exorcist.

"That is bad enough but this feckin' competition that they are playing in Turkmenistan or wherever the hell it is, is doing my head in.

"We have a Spanish flag hanging out of one bedroom window and an Irish flag hanging out of the other. Not only that, but he got the dog trimmed just so he would look well in a green cowboy hat and a Spanish football jersey."

We sympathised with her and decided that for the Ireland/Croatia match we would go to the Chinese.

We were the only people in the restaurant. The Chinese owner has an Irish moniker (we shall call him Kevin) and speaks in the flattest Kildare accent you have ever heard.


He was wearing a Viking hat and a green jersey in honour of the Irish team.

"Now I don't have to watch the football on me own," he announced, pointing to a very large television on the counter. Patsy sighed loudly as he adjusted the sound quality.

Just as he was serving the starters, Croatia scored. He practically sobbed into the spring rolls.

"For the love of Jaysus," muttered Patsy.

He lost the run of himself altogether when Ireland got a goal and offered us a bottle of house wine in celebration.

Of course, it all went downhill after that but, because of the free drink, we felt we had to watch it.

It must have been the wine because, on the way home, Patsy decided that she would watch the Ireland/ Spain match with her husband. "Marriage means compromise," she said.

I rang her after Spain had beaten us.

"What did you think?" I asked.

"I tell you something, I could definitely help that Torres fella fill out his shorts," she replied.

I suppose that's a compromise...