The crowd stood on the touchline is a little discerning, and that is the only reason we keep air-kicking or letting the ball roll between our legs. Because normally we are really good. In a really good way that doesn’t normally attract crowds that is. Things become really odd when it starts to rain and still they don’t disperse. Gradually it dawns on us though: the crowd aren’t watching one of North London’s finest football collectives just ironing out a few glitches in their practise match –because normally we are really good – but are instead looking heavenwards. We pause, curious (and taking any excuse for a breather). And then we see it, leap from one tree to the next. A squirrel monkey!
We resume our match, able to be really good like usual now that we know we aren’t the focus of attention. Nonetheless I raise my game, aware that the monkey has a grandstand view of the pitch.
Two hours later, our match finishes. The monkey still leaps from tree to tree and the zookeepers still mirror it’s movement down below the foliage, clearly out of ideas. I offer to kick the ball at it.