There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune

The Inflatable Doll

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In a recent comment, J-Sun, a friend of my college buddy DrDeath, expressed admiration for the inflatable doll in the foreground one of my photoblog pics. Well, there's a story there. For those of you who are not abreast of some of the historical material that pre-dates "Taking At The Flood", here is an excerpt of an email sent November 19, 2005:

We crossed a ferry to the Asian side of the city to watch the spectacle that would bring the entire country to a halt. Earlier this month, Turkey had lost to Switzerland 2-0 in a World Cup qualifying match. Today, the Turkish side could redeem themselves by beating Switzerland by a sufficient margin to advance to the World Cup. This was the biggest sporting event the country had seen in four years, and mere exhaustion could not keep us away. My friend S____ is a rabid Fenerbahçe fan, and to his great delight this match would be played at Fenerbahçe’s home stadium.

Now I’ve been to international sports events before, and usually I’m “that guy”. The guy who’s face is painted red and white, who has a maple leaf flag draped across his back, has a beer in each hand and is keeping himself entertained by shouting obscenities at the opposing team during the pre-game warm-up. Today, I was the sane fellow in the overcoat trying to figure out the arcane international scoring rules. But the crazies were out in force. Entering the stadium, the Swiss players were greeted by a sign brightly painted “Welcome to Hell”. 55,000 Turks would whistle and boo during the Swiss warm up. When it came time to play the Swiss national anthem, all I could hear was whistles and jeers. At various moments during the match, enthusiastic fans would set off flares and generally behave in a manner that would give a North American fire marshal a heart attack.

But the crowning achievement in creativity goes to one enterprising fan in the rowdiest section. A little background: I am going to the Winter Olympics in February to watch Canada defend its gold medal in Men’s Hockey (I refuse to call it “Ice Hockey”). My buddy Ace and I have been trying to figure out how to properly show our support. We have been kicking around conventional ideas such as painting our faces, dressing up in gorilla suits – normal, boring stuff. Then I started forming a nebulous idea that I should take advantage of the fact that I bought a Jaromir Jagr Czech Republic jersey a few months ago, and could use it to make some sort of effigy of the Czech’s star player. One crazy Turkish fan showed me the way. The nut had brought an inflatable sex doll upon which he had painted the name of a Swiss player. Audacious; outrageous. . .brilliant.

So, I understand that a few of you are considering coming to Torino for the Olympics. I look forward to seeing you there – I’ll be the guy with a Molson in one hand and an inflatable doll sporting a Jagr jersey in the other.

Well, the result of this gambit was that Ace and I were the toasts of the stadium. When I blew the thing up at the Finland game, at least a dozen people took pictures with me, then, as 10 Finnish fans were picking up their beers for the concession stand, I put the Selanne jersey on the doll, and they just went nuts. People were offering to buy me beers, buy the jersey, and generally slapping me on the back for a job well done.

A couple of days later, I very nearly got the shit kicked out of me by inebriated thugs upon entering a Czech bar with my “girlfriend” clad in a Jagr jersey.
Good times.

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About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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