The World Cup Muppet

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The Dutch team made its first appearance at the 2010 World Cup today. Thankfully, it won and the Dutch couldn’t be more excited.

Dutch aren’t very patriotic people. Basically, displays of nationalism occur on Queen’s Day and during the World Cup. Streets are decorated with orange flags, schools cancelled afternoon classes so that everyone has a chance to view the game, and business have set up TVs in their conference rooms. Literally, the country came to a standstill between 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm this afternoon.

Decorated Apartment Building

As you may have guessed, soccer isn’t really my thing but I try to make an exception for the World Cup for two reasons:

1. I like the display of solidarity that has taken over the country. Small-talk at the supermarket has reached a whole new level. Pre-World-Cup supermarket transactions occurred with a disinterested “hello, thanks, and bye” and no one talked to others waiting in line. Now, people are all chatty and happy and gezellig.

2. Merchandise

I know it’s all just a ploy created by marketers to get me to buy stuff I don’t really need, but these marketers are geniuses. We’ve got dresses, coolers, hats and that’s just stuff you get with a six pack of beer. Supermarkets have a whole assortment of pins, bracelets, figurines, and stuffed animals that are yours for every X-amount of euros you spend.

I took a little trip round the shops to collect some World Cup merchandise this weekend and I found a “beessie” (little animal) at one of the supermarkets. I have no clue how or why this little guy relates to the World Cup, but he’s so cute and I just had to have him… Well played, marketers, well played!

Honestly, though, how could a country that made an orange muppet lose the World Cup?

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