I’ve decided – I’m going to make my own Victorian Zoetrope. I’ll put it where the telly is, and I’ll also build a very accurate motor linked wirelessly to my iPhone. It will start spinning every four years in June, and run for about a month. Anyone who looks at it will ne’er look away, nor be able to put down their beer, nor even notice their wife, until it stops spinning – for it will also be a magick Zoetrope. Not only will it hold a man’s gaze, haplessly trapping him in his seat, as if in leg irons,  perplexed as to why he can’t avert his eyes and get on with something more wholesome;  it will also have the power to make the very face grimace hellishly, the body unwittingly contort, and writhe into hideous and ungodly positions, as if under the wicked curse of Lucifer himself.

There will be a dozen different animations:

1. The Over-Hit Long Ball (followed by team mate’s applause / thumbs up);

2. The Desperate Lunge;

3. The Outpaced Defender, red of face;

4. The Head Tennis, followed by Back To The Goalie;

5. The Tumbling Lumbering Centre Forward, falling like an oak, arm raised in plea;

6. The Early Goal (with boyish shiny faces of glee and promise);

7. The Cross Into The Empty Box, with-no-head-there-to-meet;

7. The Lack Of Control, a.k.a. The Perpetual Motion Bouncing Ball;

8. The Goalkeeping Blunder;

9. The Penalty Shootout (with obligatory two or three cannon shots over the bar, to salute the Queen);

10. The Manager’s Scowl, arms outstretched, turning back and forth between bench and pitch, like a great actor of the stage;

11. The Post Match Excuse, with much scratching of nose and ear;

12. The Go Get Another Beer (this is going to be great / this is terrible).


I have in fact now realised that I’ve been tricked, and somebody already built this Zoetrope long ago. They’ve been spinning it to me for most of my life, occasionally substituting some of the faces, but nothing more.



Filed under Living abroad in China

2 responses to “Zoetrope

  1. Hah – excellent.

    But I’ve accidentally discovered the antidote to this zeotrope. Just try going off the drink for June. All of a sudden the zeotrope and all related gatherings lose their appeal.

    But a word of warning – it’s rubbish. I’m never doing it again. Only another 16 days to go.

  2. There’s a zoetrope in Birkenhead going on – but a lot less animated – possibly only two: drink – fall down, drink, fall down…

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