Mr. Bean

I've been playing soccer at a club. It not only keeps me busy, but also tired. The club has lots of other things to do in the summer---like tennis, swimming, and day camp.

RJE wanted to do something fun, too, so she joined the camp. The 3-7 year-olds swim most of the time and play tag and do scavenger hunts. They get to do archery class, too, but not with real arrows.

RJE says that she likes going there, but not the swimming part because the water's too cold.

Two of the soccer girls in my training group are nine or ten, and the rest are 14-16 or even 17 years old. My coach is really good and plays on a semi-professional team. She makes us run laps to warm up, lots of drills with the ball, and scrimmages.

Once, when I was on the bus going home from the club, one of the 16-year-olds from soccer was riding, too. She asked me if I wanted to go eat lunch with her and the others at McDonald's, and I said no, that I couldn't.

The real reason was I didn't want to go out with a bunch of 16 year olds. Although the coach said that it was great how so many girls of different ages got along so well in the group, I think these girls invited me only because I'm taller than them.

Two or three of the girls live really far away. They have to take the bus and the metro to get home. We only take the bus, and almost every day some musicians hop on with guitars and play some Chilean music, which makes the ride more pleasant.

During training one day, the soccer girls were talking about a game of the under-17 female Chilean national team.

That team was selected to participate in a tournament of South American teams---to qualify for the Under-17 World Cup that will take place in New Zealand at the end of 2008.

The classification game was in a place called Melipilla, an hour or so from Santiago. My friend invited me, and we went there by metro and bus, to a small stadium that was full (with about 7,000 people, they said).

Chile was playing against Colombia. The Chilean team's uniform was red, white, and blue, of course---the colors of the Chilean flag. The Colombian girls were wearing yellow shirts and blue shorts.

Many of the players didn't look very athletic, but they had big, strong legs. They didn't play as professionally as I thought they would, but they knew where to be on the field and didn't bunch up together, like we do.

In the bleachers, there were only Chileans, who had plenty of chants to encourage their team: "Chi-chi-chi, le-le-le, VIVA CHILE!" and "Ole, ole, ole, ole, Chile, Chile," and "Vamos, vamos, Chilenos," and "Chile haz un gol," and "Sí se puede!"

Being there is different than watching a match on TV. People were blowing horns and screaming and throwing confetti. In the middle of the game, the ball was kicked high into the crowd, and the people who caught it were screaming like maniacs! (but they had to hand the ball back afterwards).

Next to us was the family of one of the players, and they were chanting her name.

I just bought a small Chilean flag to wave whenever a goal was scored, which happened only once, since the game ended with a one-to-one tie.

After that game, Ecuador and Argentina played. We only watched a few minutes of it, but we could tell that Argentina was going to win. Those girls looked like boys, tall and skinny. And when they had been playing for three minutes, they had already scored a goal against Ecuador.

Three days later, that same team from Argentina played against the Chilean girls. We watched that match on TV. Before it started, Dad bet that Argentina would win 4-0, and he won the bet! So it looks like Chile won't get to go to New Zealand now.


RJE loves to help make breakfast and set the table, so she started her own "Mr. Bean Café" in the apartment. She calls it that because there is a café near here that is called the same, and also because of the Mr. Bean character from the British TV show.

At her café, RJE sets the table neatly and wraps the silverware in cloth napkins in a pile on a plate.

When the meal is ready, she rings a bell and makes everyone line up in the hallway---to hand them the silverware, one by one.

Then, she removes the string she keeps across the way (to keep people from "entering" the café before everything is ready) and makes us take our seats.

She plays "Mr. Bean's Café" for breakfast and dinner, and we are starting to feel like we are on the ship again. Sometimes, RJE even makes the beds in the morning and gets them ready at night, before we go to sleep!


My grandparents sent Mom and Dad a supply of "New Yorker" magazines, and I was reading some of the cartoon captions that had been submitted for the caption contest at the back of the magazines.

They were funny, and Dad and I made up a caption for one contest.

We also came up with the idea to do the same type of thing on RatSoap. I have already thought of a few cartoons, and here is the first one:

RatSoap Cartoon Caption Contest

*** contest closed *** See voting options or results in more recent posts.


Write back to the rats at

The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2008
Copyright © 2006-2008 by Sun on Earth Books




Next Previous Oldest