Euro 202̶0̶ 21 is here. That’s exciting, isn’t it? At least it is if you like football. And you
should like football because it’s very good. Not only is it (sometimes) exciting, it’s (occasionally) amusing and (often) a reason to shout unreasonably loud swearwords at the television in full earshot of your family.
Maybe you’re one of those weird people with stupid tastes who doesn’t like football. Perhaps you – wrongly – prefer rugby. You may even be a woman (some people are). Yet like it or not, you’ll be hearing all about the European Championships over the next month. So why not embrace the fun and organise a sweepstake for it?
Think of it like Eurovision. Except it goes on for four weeks, isn’t nearly as fun and any homosexuals taking part are so far in the closet they could have played for Narnia had they not been called up here.
With this special COPYRIGHTED Shit Things in Reading sweepstake you can have fun even if you don’t know what football is. Just print off the following list, cut out the countries and distribute randomly amongst you and 23 others. Throw a small amount of money in to make it fun! Throw a really big amount of money in to make it even more fun!!
To truly get into the tournament, why not go the extra mile and
really get behind your adopted country, eh? To help you do just that, here’s the sweepstake, along with some STiR tips on how to honour your new nation in the town you call home (Reading)…
Drawn Italy, eh? We suggest you buy a Vespa and a pizza slicer from Facebook Marketplace and ride about the IDR crying about your mother and trying to slice pedestrians’ buttocks. Then drink four of those big bottles of Birra Moretti, ride up to Caversham on your daft new moped and have a Puttanesca pizza from Papa Gee’s. Make sure to wear an electric blue Puffa jacket and gesticulate with genuine emotion at traffic.
I mean you could eat a load of chocolate or melt and slurp a full wheel of Dairylea or something, but unless you’ve got some Nazi gold to fence, the best way to inhabit the Swiss psyche is just to be neutral. Form no opinions, side with no one over anything and refuse to put your car in gear when attempting to drive up Alpine Street.
The Ottoman empire’s been gone a century now, so you don’t need to worry about buying an expensive ottoman from that poncy Beadle Crome place opposite the Pentahotel on the Occy Road. It’s called ‘Turkey’ now (like the bird!). Embrace your sweepstake nation with a large Grade 1 skin fade from one of six Turkish barbers on the Caversham Road and enjoy a large doner from Marmaris Kebab.
Bad luck, you’ve drawn the Welsh. It’s cheese on toast and a drive down the M4 for you. Maybe see if they’ve got a Gavin & Stacey DVD box set in Cash Converters. Turn the telly up when the Go Compare ad comes on. Sing loudly. Be obnoxiously pissed in a quiet pub during a Six Nations match. That sort of thing.
Excellent, you’ve hit a BOOZE NATION. Get yourself down The Nag’s. Bottles of Delirium, Leffe, La Chouffe and Rochefort 10. See how many you can drink before passing out. Of course, that’s not how the Belgians drink their beer, they just sip tiny little glasses of it. But sod that. You’ll be alright, just scoff down a few waffles when you get home. Yeah, of course Birds Eye Potato Waffles will do. Piss artists can’t be choosers, dear.
This one’s easy. You’ve drawn Denmark. Celebrate your adoptive nation’s history and traditions by nailing a crate of Carlsberg at Legoland (even though it is in Windsor).
… Moomins cosplay?
Get into the Siberian spirit by downing a few white Russians down Milk and then annexing Hampshire.
Oooooh… bad luck. You’ve picked Austria. It’s Fritzl or Hitler, isn’t it? Actually, no – scrap that. Just watch The Sound of Music. Try not to lock a family member in a cellar for years or invade Europe.
There are lots of delicious ways to celebrate Holland: throw some Edam, tip a few pints of Amstel down a drain, smoke a tulip. Be imaginative, they’re a ridiculous nation, after all.
“When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer… Eric Bristow’s only 27.” Maybe go see if they have Oliver Stone’s Alexander on Blu-Ray to rent from Reading Library.
Find out which of your friends, family or colleagues drew Russia. Go hang out around with them until they steal your shoes and BATTER you.
Croatia, eh? Get yourself down to Sewmaster on West Street, pick up a new Singer and some red gingham fabric and make yourself a nice tight checked catsuit.
YEAH! You’ve selected a BOOZE NATION. March on down the Oxford Road and step into the first of the many Eastern European ‘skleps’. Buy all of the tins of Staropramen, Budvar and Pilsner Urquell on offer. Repeat until you’ve been into every sklep. Maybe take some bin bags. Be sure to ‘Czech’ the receipts! Ho ho!
Congratulations! You’ve picked out the only PROPER country here. You’ll definitely win, so start celebrating now by nailing a load of Bombardier down the Monk’s and then chucking their outside seating about Friar Street! VINDALOO!
You’ve pulled Scotland. Ach. The Scotch don’t stand much chance of winning the Euros, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun embracing the culture and cheering on ‘The Tart and Army’ over their three group game defeats. You can get those Russ Abbott ginger wig ‘n’ tam o’shanters off Amazon for like three quid. Not sure if the Turtle still sell Tennent’s, but most offies sell Buckfast. Get a bottle and head up by the old Central Swimming Pool. Ten quid’s worth of brown should do you a night. Stumble up to the Murco and grab a Scottish egg and a tin of Irn-Bru and you’re well away. After all, mony a mickle maks a muckle, ya wee boabie!
Trips to Piwnica (ask for the ‘tomahawk’ raspberry vodka and tabasco shot) and The White Eagle (ask for the ‘ Ciechan Pszeniczne‘ beer – well, try asking for it and then give up and point at it) should get you in the mood. Or just very, very pissed. Either way.
Find out who drew the Czech Republic, get into a relationship with them and very amicably split up.
With Picasso’s – and even La Tasca – now closed down, you may have to make do with sitting at home with some cubed potatoes and ketchup. Maybe team them with a few cans of Sammy Gell or Es Stella. Unless you want to hang around the RBH. There are loads of sexy young Spanish nurses and doctors and that working there now. I don’t mind going to the hospital nowadays. What with all the sexy young Spanish nurses and doctors and that working there now.
What better way to immerse yourself in Swedish culture than by getting stuck in traffic getting in and/or out of IKEA. Don’t pronounce it ‘Eye-Kia’, though. Say it the annoying bloody Scando way, “Ick-ia”. Daft Swedes, saying their own bloody words wrong! Still, you can’t argue with ’em. They are all 60 times better looking than us.
You’ve picked former superpowers of European football and genocide, Germany! They’re not as good at either anymore, so don’t expect to win. If you want to get into the Germanic spirit, why not treat yourself to a few Paulaners down Bierhaus. Have six or seven and then storm into Piwnica, run up a huge tab and refuse to pay. Do the accent and you might get away with it. Wunderbar!
Slap a man in Patisserie Valerie and blow Gitanes smoke in a child’s face while muttering ‘pourquoi?’ Then drown yourself in the Kennet.
Hungary, eh? Er, why not pop down to Geo Cafe, see if they have any, er, goulash? I know that place is Georgian, but Georgia and Hungary are probably near each other, aren’t they? I dunno. Puskás? I’m running out of steam here a bit.
Portugal, eh? Look, the Maddy thing mostly wasn’t their fault. We need to let that go. Tap into the Portuguese energy with a visit to O Português, where Bart’s Grill used to be on the Woky Road. Then stand to the left of whoever drew Spain and rattle on about sardines a bit. There you go, that’s that. Wasn’t too painful, was it? #CONTENT