What? You haven't heard about David Beckhams foot? You haven't even heard of David Beckham? Well, just listen to this: Mr. Beckham is the most important person in the kingdom and indeed the world, because Mr. Beckham is captain of England’s soccer team.... a scorer of countless glorious goals.... a superstar who with one sweep of that cultured right foot can break open any defence in the world. He is one of our main hopes in this Summer's soccer World Cup, and when you have as few hopes as England, you can't afford to waste them. Trouble is, he is injured..... injured, what is worse, while playing for his club Manchester United last week ...by a disgraceful and violent tackle from an ARGENTINIAN player ......and what is EVEN worse: guess who England is due to play in the world cup... yes, Argentina.
We suspect foul play and we are ready to retaliate. Invading the Falklands was a minor matter compared to this. The English are talking of nothing else.... will Mr. Beckham's foot, and in particular his metatarsal bone, mend in time? A week ago I’d never heard of the metatarsal bone; now I’m one of twenty million experts. So what can be done to help? Tony Blair let it be known that he and his cabinet had discussed the matter, but nobody expects that to help very much.
Our best-selling newspaper printed a picture of the foot on its front page and invited readers to place their hand over it and pray for his recovery. A man called Uri Geller, best known for bending spoons, has suggested we all visualise the foot and think of it getting better. The high priest of Britain's white witches has built an altar, drawn a circle on the ground, and invoked the earth's energy through a crystal to help. So far to no effect -- Mr. Beckham continues to hobble. We need a miracle. Or drastic action.
A top rally driver called Colin McCrae who was suffering from a broken finger, recently contemplated cutting it off so that it didn't get in the way. I suppose we could do the same with Beckham's foot -- it's not the one he kicks the ball with, after all.