JEPPSQUARE / Simon Jepps
JEPPSQUARE
The Micro Blog Of Simon E. Jepps

www.jeppsquare.me


Living With The French ~ Chapter Five

V

The Sporting Event

Thursday 8th April 1993

Today was the most exciting day yet. It was the day of the Handball match. It was a sunny day and as I woke, the rays of sunlight came streaming through the French windows and across my bed.

Of course, like everything else, I had no idea that there was to be a Handball match today. I only found out when the time actually arrived.

The day passed sooner than expected and towards the afternoon Arnaud announced, "Simon... Il y a un match d'Handball aujourd'hui."

"Ah..." I said, "A quelle heure?"
"Maintenant."

Right now? I thought to myself, but I don't know how to PLAY Handball! Nevertheless, I followed Arnaud along some pleasant paths near the back of the school until shortly, like a distant mountain becoming visible through the haze, a very, very big gym made itself known.

Inside the gym there were long stadium type benches for the crowd. Of course, I was already very nervous about where I came in this sporting event, but after managing to extract some relevant words and phrases from Arnaud, such as, "Ehhrm nowhere...", to my relief I found out I wasn't playing after all and was merely just supposed to be a spectator.

Phew.

Arnaud disappeared into the changing rooms and I took my perch on a bench, preparing myself to root and cheer for "our" team, Max Linder. I mean, we're all family now.

Sure enough, some time later Arnaud and his team emerged from a door in the gym wall, all dressed and ready to impress.

Go get 'em chaps!

The whistle was blown - the match had started and Arnaud's team had the ball. It was surely a great start and they looked to be controlling the court, until soon enough the ball was taken away by one of the players in the opposite team, Cologne Sué.

And as was to become all too familiar - they didn't wait around.

They charged down the court! They rammed their way through our defence, knocking players aside from here to there. Then! Like a bolt of lightning, the enemies' best player jumped up in the air, span 'round like a propeller and - CATAPULTED the ball into our goal! It was incredible! It was like nothing I had ever seen in all my life - not even on T.V.

Five minutes of playing had passed and the score was 1-0. Having never seen the Max Linder team play or even a Handball match before I had no idea what to expect. I just sat there on the bench and prayed we'd come back.

Yet alas, the enemy had not finished with their thrashing us. They stole the ball again. Their top player, like a missile, bombed down the court! He jumped... high in the air... then with the ball in his right hand, he whirled his arm 'round twice... and thunder...! SLAM! Another goal! We were being THRASHED.

2-0!

None of the players could believe their eyes! Even Arnaud, a very good player, was flabbergasted! My jaw dropped down and hit the ground. But the storm was far from over. One of our players was rolling around on the ground clutching his right knee. He was injured! He was carried off the court. What would they do?

Now being down to four players against a fully armed and capable opponent, this could not possibly end well.

Then I noticed in the cluster and bustle of the dispaired conferring players, ONE of them was pointing at ME. What are they pointing at ME for? I thought to myself, I haven't done anything... oh, hang on... Arnaud waved his hand and called me over... I've got a really bad feeling about this.

I climbed down from the spectator benches and walked cautiously onto the side of the pitch where Arnaud greeted me with a fabulously new and fashionable smile I had not seen before.

"Er..." he said in the best possible accent he could, "Can you er... play for us?"

SHOCK. Now there's a word. Shock melted down my face. This was shocking, but not only was it shocking... it was cruel. Furthermore, it was a decisive moment for my reputation and for my representing England. I couldn't exactly reject their request. What would people think? Not to mention my friend Arnaud?

After spying the enormity of the gym out the corners of my eyes and the gigantic well fed opposition gleaming with utter delight... I tried to look as concerned as I could, without hinting I'd never played the game before. I cleared my throat.

"Alors, naturellement." I replied, calmly.

So onto the court I went. Heads turned, people pointed. Who is this new kid? Not even I knew what I was doing there, but I stood there, like a lemon, trying to look like the newest star in modern sporting times.

The whistle was blown again. Yet again the enemy gained the ball and scored, yet another goal.

3-0!

Needless to say, my recent entrance had not improved our situation. The best I could do was keep running up and down shouting and waving my arms in the air like the others do, in the sad hope of blending in.

The team was in very bad shape. Was there nothing we could do against this herd of charging elephants? Well, as it happened... yes. We had Arnaud! Well don't get too excited about it - he's only the boy who saved our bacon!

Arnaud had the ball. He charged down the court, bouncing the ball as fast as he could. BANG! He was knocked over, but still with ball in hand. To my amazement, he then jumped up backwards, did a sort of flip in mid-air (honestly) and MISSILED the ball into the goal, knocking over the goalie in the process! What a fascinating goal!

3-1! We were coming back!

The whistle was blown again and the game continued. The opposition fired the ball at our goal as soon as they could. Luckily, very luckily, the ball rebounded off the cross-bar and landed right back into the arms of our pal, Arnaud.

A gift from God.

Arnaud rammed himself through the bodies that stood firmly before him (at this point I had decided just to walk up and down the court in the direction that the ball was travelling). None of the opposing players could catch Arnaud up, he was so fast.

SLAM! Another goal from our fellow comrade.

3-2!

The atmosphere now was amazing! The crowds were shouting, "ARNAUD! ARNAUD! ARNAUD!"

The whistle was blown again with only ONE minute left of play.

The opposition had the ball and yet again their best player charged down the pitch. The ball kept getting knocked back every now and then, but still the enemy charged with all their might!

Their best player got himself into the scoring pose, and... like slow motion, he threw the ball with tremendous power... closer... and closer... until... finally... BANG! It hit our goalie on the forehead, REBOUNDED and flew up into the air... higher... higher... then stopped, still spinning.

Then! As it came down... Arnaud jumped HIGH into the air... he caught the ball... and fell to the ground.

Sudden silence seemingly quaked through the stadium. As he clutched the ball beneath his crouching sovereignty, we all felt and knew... this moment here and now would last an eternity.

With only five seconds remaining, Arnaud, like the quiet yet ominous sound of a volcano about to give its final roar, arose from the floor like a leaf upon the wind and, with a kind of hidden power summoned from within, he COMMANDED the ball through the air with a rocketting fury... all the way from our end of the court... unto the other end of the court... and...

PLOP! It just bounced through the goalie's legs!

"OUUIIIIII!!!" The crowd ROARED! They roared and roared with all their might! Arnaud had equalised the game! It was finally a draw after all that nail biting action of crawling to our peril!

"ARNAUD! ARNAUD! ARNAUD!" The crowd cheered.

Arnaud was the King and everyone loved him. All the players took him into the changing rooms where we all sang and praised, ARNAUD, The King of the Max Linder - Cologne Sué, match of '93.

Open Vault / Alt Pages ⧎

Games Vault

Chess Variants

Many of these PDFs are from an archive created over the years whence originally hosted on previous personal blogs, as such they may show cosmetic detailing of a particular website theme, which is different to that of jeppsquare.me.

Jeppscha'nga ~ PDF
8x8 variant of Chaturanga employing Classical western pieces and also Conkers.
Conqueror ~ PDF
10x10 variant featuring Wizards & Conkers.
Conqueror 64 ~ PDF
8x8 transposition of Conqueror.
Genie Of The Lamp ~ PDF
8x8 variant featuring counter pieces.
Chec Toe ~ PDF
4x4 variant featuring dice, infinite movement & wizardry.
Jepster Chess ~ PDF
10x10 variant featuring an evolved Jester piece.
Siceirawan ~ PDF
8x8 variant featuring a modified Seirawan ruleset.
.............................................
Ckess ~ PDF ↷
The JEPPSQUARE featured game, whilst not officially a Chess Variant, is played with a Chess-like philosophy and strategical mindset. A two player Checkers variant, featuring a touch of Chess and Indian Chaturanga.

Other Games

SKEIGHT / Simon JeppsSkeight ~ PDF
Quite possibly the best dice game ever conceived! Played like boules/bowls, Skeight is a two-player tactical dice game utilizing eight D20s (twenty sided dice) of different colours, as rolling ballistics. A Jeppsquare favourite.

Wxyzaerds ~ PDF
A majestic, multi intuitive diceword strategy game, for two or more players. The objective of the game is to create highest scoring words through the rolling of letter dice, whilst juggling your strategical providence with the Cobra Paw die. Yet the true magic of this game resides in the creativity of the players, who can create their own Wizard Words and Wizard's Dictionary, opening a whole new universe of magic, chance, chaos and ultimately the wonder of spells.

Krikkit ~ PDF
Download Score Sheet
A strategic dice game for two or more players, based on The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy novels. It is played similar to Yahtzee, but also features a challenging quiz, risky space faring obstacles, extra abilities to outsmart your opponent, and the opportunity to trade in cosmic real estate!

Hippo ~ PDF
A humbling variation of Conkers, played by rolling them across the ground and attempting to maintain a continuum of points accumulation, before all your Conkers are eliminated. This is a simple yet very warming game for all the family and can be played with as many people as you like. I invented this game once upon a time, whence meditating under a Horse Chestnut tree.

Alt Pages

CKESS / Simon JeppsThe Game Of Ckess
A two player strategy board game, played with and like Checkers, only featuring much more indepth tactical challenges. A modest blending of Checkers, Chess and Indian Chaturanga.


JEPPSAX / Simon JeppsThe Jeppsax
A hybrid musical instrument made by marrying a custom styled
Hohner Melodica with a custom configured Seydel Big Six harmonica.


LWTF / Simon Jepps
Living With The French
The short novel, or "diary story", of myself a foreign exchange student,
whilst living with a French family during my childhood in the 1990's.

JEPPSQUARE / Simon Jepps