Steve bumped into Rob at the coffee shop on his way to work. Portuguese flags waved proudly from the windows of Rob’s car.
“How’s it going’?” asked Rob as he joined the line.
After a few seconds of awkward silence, Steve asked, “How’s Portugal doing in the World Cup?”
“Not great. We lost to Germany. Barely tied the US. I don’t think we’ll advance,” said Rob.
“Ah,” said Steve. A few more seconds of silence slipped by.
“Are you following it?” asked Rob.
“Oh yeah. I love the World Cup.”
“Yeah? Who’s your team?”
Steve frowned. Rob asked one question he dreaded most. “I don’t really have one,” said Steve, hesitantly.
“Really? Where are your people from?”
“Manitoba,” said Steve.
“No, I mean originally?”
“Everywhere. I’m like Heinz 57. My parents are Canadian, but I don’t know where their parents are from. So, I have no idea,” explained Steve. His face blushed, as though not having a World Cup team to root for was a matter of shame.
“You can always find out. Use one of those ancestry websites. Get in touch with your roots,” said Rob.
“Huh,” said Steve. It seemed like a lot of effort to find a World Cup team.
At that moment Tony pulled into the coffee shop parking lot, sporting a full array of Brazilian paraphernalia.
“Hey Rob!” shouted Tony. “Brazil called Portugal. We’re willing to give you a few lessons on the beautiful game. Portugal’s game is all kinds of ugly. Loser!”
Steve smiled to himself. Suddenly he didn’t feel so bad anymore.