With the hubbub surrounding the World Cup, Americans are wondering what all this "rest of the world" talk is about. Where did these countries come from? Why haven't we heard from them before? Part of this might be explained with a glance at the World Cup logo...
...which suggests that a majority of the participating countries suffer from varying degrees of mental retardation. It's a miracle that these nations can put together a soccer (or "hockey" as it's known outside of the states) team capable of tying their own shoes, much less establish a government and communicate with the outside world.
Now, whenever I mention a sport in one of my updates I get a flood of complaints from scholarly readers who are using the internet, and therefore claim to be much too smart to read humor that's based upon something as lowly and stupid as organized sports. These people claim that football is just a bunch of guys running in circles with absolutely no strategy, and that the only thing keeping players from wandering into the parking lot and getting hit by a car is the roar of the audience surrounding them, which frightens their feeble minds and keeps them within the confines of the playing field. To these readers, sports are a massive waste of valuable space on Something Awful's front page which would be better used to cover more intellectually appealing topics such as Joe Don Baker or Japanese pornography. Luckily for these jerkstores, I'm not going to focus on the game of soccer itself.
Instead, I'll spotlight the numerous backward countries involved in the World Cup which you've probably never heard of before. I have not left the United States in my entire life and I rarely leave my bathroom, so I'm not exactly a man of the world. What is it, then, that makes me qualified enough to sum up the cultural significance of entire nations in a few sentences? When I was twelve years old my mother bought me several volumes of a childrens' encyclopedia set from the supermarket. I glanced through at least half of them while desperately searching for medical illustrations of the female anatomy, and I'm pretty sure the all-encompassing knowledge I gained from that experience will prove to be more than enough.
Let's get to it! Or as they say in soccer: It's clobberin' time!
Spain is pretty much only known for producing Ponce de Leon, the famous explorer. De Leon searched for the fabled fountain of youth for over 280 years in the hopes that he would gain eternal life, but he never found it. Nice try, Spain. Why don't all of you go look for the fountain of fuck off.
This lovely country is also known as Switzerland, Holland, Finland and Denmark. Its populous is entirely comprised of blonde-haired chocolate makers with fair skin and a love of simple yet elegant furniture. Swedes take great pride in the cleanliness of their McDonalds restaurants, which translates to millions of dollars in tourist income each year.
Literally translating to "cot of love", Cote d'lvoire is a tiny island off the coast of Italy (on a map it's just under Italy's boot, resembling a piece of wadded up chewing gum) founded upon the basic tenets of comfortable cots and a mandatory bedtime of 3pm. Three out of every four Cote d'lvoireans die in their sleep. The fourth is thrown an ice cream party and then burned alive.
Australia's inhabitants are most easily distinguished by their sloping foreheads and wide jawbones. They are believed to be the direct descendants of homo erectus and the ancestors of modern man. No one from the civilized world has set foot on the island since an expedition in 1934 encountered venus fly traps as large as a house and mysterious reptilian creatures standing well over fifty feet tall.
Have you ever seen Scanners? You know when that guy's head blows up? Yeah. Trust me, you do not want to go anywhere near Ghana.
Situated on the outskirts of Britain, England makes up the world's largest coastline. Its fun-loving and eternally tanned people are inquisitive in nature, and are often shooed out of their hiding spots in cupboards and cookie jars. England's primary exports are jet skis and women's bras with digital chips in them that emit humorous sounds when squeezed.
Serbia & Montenegro
These tiny countries had to combine in order to put together a full soccer team due to their low populations. Serbia only has twelve adult men in its populace, two of which are senile and five of which are in comas stemming from severe cases of the heebie-jeebies. Montenegro has seven men, though three are clones of John Candy. Aside from that little is known of either country, but it is rumored that a Serbian can pick up a Montenegro man and throw him at an enemy with deadly velocity in a move they call the "fastball special".
Togo is the only remaining third world nation that U2's Bono has not flown to on a private jet and looked concerned in front of a camera, and it plans to keep it that way. The country has changed its address six times in the past two years in a concerted effort to evade detection. As of the last reported sighting, Togo had set up camp in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Made somewhat famous by a Madonna song (don't cry for me Argentina / I'm beautiful and rich but I'll be okay), Argentina is the world's most emotionally unstable country. Its entire populace breaks down in tears at the sight of someone suffering even the slightest bit. Reruns of the Three Stooges have been permanently banned from all Argentinian television networks.
By far the largest of the Latin American countries, Brazil occupies nearly half the continent of South America, stretching from the Guiana Highlands in the north, where it borders Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, to the plains of Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina in the south. In the west it spreads to the equatorial rain forest, bordering on Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia; in the east it juts far out into the Atlantic toward Africa. It is a federation of 26 states and Brasília, the federal district and site of the capital city of the same name.
One hundred percent of the world's tuna is exported from Tunisia's Sacred Tuna Vault, which is secured with a magic seal ensuring that only full-blooded Tunisian citizens may access it. If it weren't for this magic seal and the country's stranglehold on the globally vital tuna market they would have been nuked by their bordering neighbors long ago for playing horrible drum n' bass cds really loud at all hours of the night.
Not a country itself, Saudi Arabia is instead a collective of every nation in the world whose surface is at least 80% covered in sand. Saudi Arabia's king is the leader of all Arabs, and his every whim must be obeyed. Unfortunately, while his subjects are very tidy and organized, the king himself is a happy-go-lucky slob. How in the world can the two live together, and what wacky situation will they find themselves in next?
Angola is a fictional nation created by 18th century Irish limerick writers who were desperate for something to rhyme with "areola". Its appearance in the World Cup was meant as a gesture of respect for a really great limerick, but the world was shocked when actual Angolan soccer players arrived to represent their country. Expect fireworks if they face off against the United States, which has three players born in their rival town of Nantucket on its roster.
This is by far the most geographically fascinating country that I have encountered. The distance from Ecuador's northern coast to its southern coast is no more than a mile or two, but it is incredibly long. In fact, it completely encircles the Earth in a perfectly horizontal line! Since Ecuador is always closer to the sun than any other country, its people have developed an immunity to skin cancer and yeast infections.
There you have it! In one sitting you have gained far more knowledge about the world around you than you really deserve. The next time a stranger approaches you on the street and says "Hey buddy, how about that Togo?", you can smile knowingly and give him a high five instead of handing him your wallet and collapsing into a protective ball.
Prepare yourself for quite possibly the most effective use of "BOWL" as a sound effect.
Who needs three months of endless summer fun? You have a career!
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.