Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Christmas)

“Ah Shit, Here We Go Again”: This is one of the most popular memes from the 2004 action-adventure video game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas And this is how we act when we prepare for the greatest Italian comedy: Christmas dinner.

What to do, how to avoid it, how to live with it. Personally, I have to admit that I'm not a Grinch killing the Christmas spirit or an Ebenezer Scrooge looking for salvation, but sometimes sitting together at a table for hours can be difficult and that's why I developed this method to stay sane to arrive at bingo. At some point I turn off my brain and fly over a field. And I ask myself, “Which players would I invite to Christmas dinner?” From then on, my body sits calmly at the table while my mind prepares to open the door for the first guest.

Premise: Everyone chooses and, if he wants, destroys his own Myths. I have a penchant for chaotic situations, so my guests downstairs will usually be loud. I'll start from the bottom.

First guest: Sebastiano Rossi. Perhaps many of you remember him because in the 1993/1994 season he surpassed Dino Zoff's unbeaten record (903 minutes) and became the first leader of the Insurmountables in the Serie A single group with 929 minutes, ahead of Buffon and his obsessive Stubbornness, really unromantic He couldn't break the record in 2016 with 974 minutes.

However, I didn't invite Seba Rossi to talk about records, but rather about punch and cigars. Remarkable is the tackle with which he eliminated Christian Bucchi, who wanted to receive the ball that Nakata had put into the net with a penalty in a very banal 2-1 game between Milan and Perugia. At Christmas we live on stories and Seba is full of anecdotes, so I would ask him to tell me the following newspaper headlines: “Hitting a police officer: Seba Rossi agrees to a fine of 14,000 euros“; “Slap in the disco. Seba Rossi before the judge“; “Kidnapping, former AC Milan goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi acquitted“; “New legal trouble for “Seba” Rossi: investigation into cocaine ring“.

It seems like a good start, so I arrange the table decorations and put them on the playlist Michael Buble, the only spirit of Christmas. The doorbell rings again and I go to open the door.

Second guest. To tell the truth, there are two. They enter together and crowd like teenagers running out of the classroom because recess is over. I am Lorenzo Pirola and Matteo Lovato. The working class in paradise, but above all – considering that the worker is an outdated myth – the anti-stars who can only play football. There is no outside world for these two. It's all training and dedication away from the spotlight, even in your 20s. Twenty years ago, Moreno Torricelli and Sergio Porrini, Enrico Annoni and Marco Lanna would have arrived. A while ago everything would have been normal, now they seem to be the exception to me.

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Third guest: You always need a guiding figure. Eugenio Fascetti enters with his ever-present reindeer jacket once appropriate to the climatic situation (not like in the heat of Bari). The coach enters and is immediately controversial. He tells me that the table is too tidy, the cutlery is too shiny and the plates are too white. He asks me to do it all again, to make a mess, because life is as chameleonic as his 1982 Varese. I obey and replace myself Whistle of champagne with coffee cups.

Fourth guest: unexpected for some, essential for others. Adam Masina. The Gift from Bolo, born in Morocco It's like a professor's brother who often doesn't come home because he teaches abroad, and when he speaks, you listen to him in silence. It doesn't make you feel stupid or deficient, it just reminds you that our bestiality is a construct and can be changed. Just like when he read Twentieth century from Baricco in his first interview Sports Sunday. Christmas dinner, like life, is made up of moments and at some point we all have to go back to Adam to hear a better story.

Fifth guest: Daniele De Rossi. At this dinner, Captain Future not only represents a good turn-off and an undeniable source of anecdotes, with the added possibility of starting an alcohol train. At this dinner, DDR is the uncle of the two Americas, the one who crossed the ocean and arrived in Argentina, the deceased immigrant, the perpetual dreamer. Tell me uncle, what do they say in Buenos Aires, how was the bombonera? But then what do you think of Milei, uncle? “Can’t we even” – replies Uncle DDR – “talk about politics?”

Sixth Guest: Michael Olabode Kayode. The classic surprise guest. Luca Ravenna in the first season of LOL. I would like to remind you that this article does not claim to be scientific and is not based on Transfermarkt's “detailed report”. However, this remains my imaginary Christmas dinner to which I invite whoever I want. Micky, rejected by Juventus and raised among the amateurs of Gozzano, is the little brother of the school-work transition who has made it and tells us how the world works. He is the one who left home early, not like us who stayed here, and who saw things that only his stories can imagine. Mickey sees the future and since some of us are old now, they sit and listen hopefully.

Seventh guest: Jack Grealish. In keeping with transatlantic travel where colonialism never rests, enters the boy from Albion, king of the hop company. Jack brought gifts for everyone: a discount voucher for a three-sided solar lamp, a set of child-sized shin pads to show off with socks pulled down strictly, a set of hair ties and headbands, and two boxes of JB. Jack is the crazy cousin we all have or wish we had. It's like fireworks in church. Fantastic. As soon as he comes in he says he brings greetings from Paul Gascoigne and then throws himself on the carpet to imitate Gazza's famous celebration at Euro 1996 after scoring against Scotland. Delirium.

Eighth Guest: Perhaps at this moment our most dramatic character is about to cross the threshold, the thoughtful character of this comedy. Enter Paul Pogba. With the alcohol already flowing freely and the laughter overwhelming even the most hidden thoughts, the appearance of “Oktopus” Paul screams like a broken needle on a record. Everyone turns around, some didn't know you invited him. A second of silence and then everyone hugs him. We don't have to say anything special, it's like the 883 song “Cumuli”, a hidden pearl in the masterpiece North South West East, in which Max Pezzali talks about the return of a friend from a recovery community. And then we all gather around Paul and start singing:

here you are / I'm glad we waited for you

Tell me a little about what it is / What you had to do in the community

We are proud of you (seeeeee) / Yes I know

That there are temptations every now and then / You'll get over it, yes

I believe the gap will never be filled / It's like that for everyone (seeeeee)

Yes, because it is a certain emptiness for all of us / We are working so hard to close it

We try and never succeed / Then we might as well live with it

Ninth Guest: I hear a knock on the door. The only one who knocks, the only one who still uses his clenched fist. Enter Cristiano Lucarelli. And so politicians officially entered this dinner in thought of the eleventh guest, with all due respect to Uncle GDR. Cristiano brings as a gift the book by former CCCP guitarist Massimo Zamboni entitled “La Trionferà”. He also brought a large pot of homemade cacciucco. He puts it on the table and asks if anyone smokes cigars. Seba Rossi starts laughing.

Tenth guest: the Spanish women's national football team, which won the 2023 World Cup with Jennifer Hermoso and Pandoro Bauli. There are several reasons for this invitation that amaze my guests. First reason (completely internal): A real contrast player has to attack his teammates with a straight leg, even in training. Always. We will deconstruct toxic machismo not by replacing and resisting, but by bringing different minds together on the same playing field.

I imagine your reaction, but I say it with love and then remember that you are in my head. Second reason: Imagine the havoc world champions could wreak in a testosterone situation like this. Her arrival is, to use the previous Christmas metaphor, like Lady Gaga singing at the Pope's mass. A situation that not even two gender scholars like bell hooks or Judith Butler could theorize. And in any case, we don't have to solve everything at this dinner.

Eleventh Guest: I did that on purpose. Enter Paolo Di Canioand from that moment the house explodes.

Twelfth: He is an even more imaginary guest because he is no longer there. Connected via Zoom from the miners' paradise of Grosseto, Luciano Bianciardi. The only true intellectual who could sit at this table, the one who, when he wrote in Guerin Sportivo, admitted that he did not understand offside in the sense that he did not like the technical details and sophisms that tell us about the intentionality of the Letting handballs speak when we don't even know what free will is. Luciano, who sabotaged his career, would be the only one who can talk about the Christmas dinner that's happening in my head.

Kind regards, contrastists!

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