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In which John discusses shared mythologies, like the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, which was Ashton’s topic suggestion for the Project for Awesome. The Wimbly Womblys play Plymouth Argyle.

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Twitter: @AFCWimblyWombly

John: Hello and welcome to hankgames without Hank. My name is John Green and this is the national song of Montserrat.

Oh Montserrat, dear Motherland
Your children raise your standard high.

John: There you go. It turns out the national anthem of Montserrat is God Save the Queen 'cause it's technically a British land. It's one of those, like, tiny remnants of a once great empire caused entirely by the fact that coal happened to be close to the ground in England. But anyway, as you can see, Adebayo Akinfenwa is the top scoring player in all of League Two. And also the best. And also the most handsome. And also the strongest!

So, today's, today's topic is from Ashton, who also donated to the Project for Awesome to pick a topic. As you can see, we are starting Bulman, Reeves. We got Meadesy out there on the left midfield, not his preferred position, but we have absolutely no depth. Actually that's an understatement. We have less than no depth.

Anyway, Ashton wanted me to talk about the Loch Ness Monster and shared mythologies across continents. As it happens, I used to believe in the Loch Ness Monster. (Coughs) Funny story. So my mom, my beloved mother, now big believer in the spiritual world, like she believes in ghosts. And I don't. Or at least I don't know. The whole, the whole idea makes me nervous. I start going down a, I start going down a logical rabbit hole that makes me very anxious when I think about ghosts. Or when I think about mythological creatures. Or when I think about, like, the weird fact, that, like, you know, there's a Yeti in the Himalayas and a Bigfoot in America and that, like, you know, across times and cultures we...

What's the issue? Was there a, what was the problem? Excuse me, referee? Sir? Was there an issue? Oh, I was deemed to have cheated for passing the ball to the left which apparently is now against the rules. 

Um, right. So I... Oh, that's nice, that's good. By the way, we are starting Adebayo Azeez up front along with his teammate in name Adebayo Akinfenwa! Oh! Not a great volley-er of the ball it must be said. But congratulations to him just for getting on the end of that cross. That's not easy when you're a 65 speed. 

So yeah. So, right. I mean, I guess the two things that I would say is that I don't, I mean, I don't think that there is an actual Bigfoot. I don't think that there is an actual Loch Ness Monster. At this point, like, Loch Ness has been, like, plumbed to such a degree with sonar and everything else that if there were we would know about it.

But, what I do, what I do believe is that people believe this stuff. Like, over centuries and not just like, and like all people believe it. You know, on some level, like, we all, we all engage in this kind of magical thinking. I actually think this is, like, often this is, like, criticized as something that's irrational about people; that we believe in, I don't know, that we believe that the bread and wine that we have at Communion can turn into the body and blood of Christ or that we believe that, you know, or that we, or the million things that we sort of, like, believe without considering. Like, for instance, that it makes sense to have turf grass on your front lawn when it just doesn't when, you know, you could be having vegetables or stones, something that didn't take up water and money.

And I thought... Ah! This is something that I find, like, encouraging about humans, actually, is that we're able to, we're able to imagine this stuff. I don't understand, I mean, like, you know, I've read my fair share of Jung but even so, I don't really understand why across cultures and across times we seem to invent or imagine similar stories, right? Like why, you know, we always have a trickster character in our mythologies or why...

Oh man. I'm gonna try to, try to pound the ball there a little bit! Oh, that was almost a miracle goal by Akinfenwa because of my Gegenpressing! I don't know what that is but I know that I've instructed my players to do it.

So... Or, like, that, or that, you know, the Yeti in the Himalayas and the... Booshkabah! Bigfoot in the Americas have a lot in common, right? Like they're both, they're both large and hairy et cetera. And these stories arose independent of each other and I don't think it's just attributable to coincidence. I also think, like, when we look at our contemporary shared mythologies like, for instance, Star Wars, you find, you know, you find large and hairy characters like Wookiees and I don't think that's coincidental either. I think that there's something about this connection between the ways that we are animal and the ways that we are not that people find really interesting.

So as for the Loch Ness Monster, I think what people find interesting about it is that it's a place that we all, it's a place that's well known but that is also sort of mysterious, right? Like the water in general is that, is a place that we can know and can swim in but that we can't quite live in. You know, the water for us is sort of someone else's territory, you know?

Gosh. That was close to being a goal and there it is! There it is! The opening goal! And he kisses the ground that he walks on! I don't even know who scored it! It was beautiful! It was a great cross in from my b... Who was... And then Akinfenwa got on the end of it and then it just opened up for him and he's a finisher! He's a poacher! I don't know his name! Who was it, Meredith? Was it Meadesy? Meadesy? Out there on the left? Our usual starting left-back. It was Meadesy! I don't have a good name for him yet. Any suggestions, you should put in comments. Meadesy! (Coughs) I'm so proud of him. That's his, is that his first goal? Is that what that said? I wish I could go back in time and look, but I can't because we're onto the next goal.

Anyway, everybody who said that I was gonna be screwed when we got rid of this... I've gotten better at FIFA is what I'm trying to say. Although admittedly... Although this team is actually pretty good. I think they're in the top five, so this is my first real test of my new, my new FIFA strategy. By the way, I didn't mention this but it's raining in England, surprise.

Right. So I think, like underwater creatures, giant underwater creatures that are powerful and rare fascinate us and they fascinated us across time and space I think largely because, like, you know, the water is a place that is both of the Earth and not, like literally not of the earth, you know.

Did you guys have just a disagreement? I like Meades 'cause he's a little bit of a firebrand. You see how he had a little bit of a handshake but it wasn't just a handshake? That's my Meadesy. Akinfenwa, on the other hand, gentle giant, great captain, takes care of the club, really respect him. Our captain for today, however is Buckminster Fuller just because he is so important in architecture with the invention of the geodesic dome.

So yeah. I think that's where our fascination with the Loch Ness Monster or with, you know...

Oh! That's got to be a red card! You don't treat Adebayo Akinfenwa like that! That's rude and it's mean and it's uncalled for! He got right up because he's a... Oh! You know what? If Akinfenwa had just, like, rolled around on the ground and whined and moaned he, this guy would have gotten a red card, but because Adebayo Akinfenwa is an incredible professional it's just a yellow card. Bad refereeing in my opinion. There, see my shorts? See our shorts, Meredith? They're kind of out of focus but they look beautiful. Wow. "Oh, what did I do? All I did was chop him across the fricking balls!" That guy's a coward. Just can't deal with being beaten. Get there! Oh. Akinfenwa was there, but he's just... The funny thing is he's not particularly tall, you know.

I think it's time to make a substitution. Poor Reeves, I start him every game because we have no other midfielders and he just gets, he's so tired at the end of the game. And then Bulman is tired. Azeez, I'm gonna leave you in there. And then we got, we only have Beere to replace him with. And then Meadesy is really tired! But Meadesy, you just got to suffer through, buddy. And then I think that's it. Oh, we could bring in Tom Elliott. Well, maybe we'll bring in Tom Elliott at the end of the game, or T. S. Eliot I guess I should start calling him. He's a beautiful poet.

Yeah. So that's my theory with why the Loch Ness Monster has, like, resonated in our brains for so long. Like, you know, the UK is a relatively small island and it needed its own, you know, it needed its own, it needed its own creature and I don't think there's... (Coughs) I would also argue, by the way, that, like, just because something is mythical doesn't mean that it's not real. I mean it might not be, like - oh boy - physically...

Shoot. Shoot. Shoot! Oh! Went off the post. Got very lucky there, just could not get anybody to cover him. We're Gegenpressing but we're not pressing on the edge of our own penalty box apparently. That's a nice move. That's good stuff, man. Not quite good enough though.

So I... Yeah. Like, you know, I... Obviously, or I think obviously, like, you know, I don't think there is a physical Bigfoot. I don't think that, like, that means that Bigfoot stops being interesting or even necessarily that Bigfoot stops being real in a manner of speaking about realness. I don't know what that was an attempt to do but I admire how hard he was able to kick the ball.

Like, lots of constructed things are still sort of real, you know? Like, I don't know, desks are constructed and yet real and I think that, I kind of, I kind of think that we approach myth wrong a lot of times when we think of it as provable or disprovable by science. I think that that's just the wrong way to think about the stories that matter to us. I don't think, I don't think myth is history, except, except... Or if it is it's its own kind of history. You know, like the history of, the history of Romulus and Remus is separate from the rest of the history of Rome and if we imagine it as, like, sort of a straight line then we're, yeah. We're just, I don't think we're doing the story of Romulus and Remus any favors.

Oh no. Wow. Super lucky that didn't go in the net. Yikes. Alright, let's just kick it long and see if we can hold onto this one-nil lead. Oh-oh. Oh-oh. It's all Plymouth Argyle right now. I know Plymouth is a real place because that's what they named the rock that the pilgrims landed on so I assume the pilgrims were from Plymouth and I assume that's why they have ships as their little symbol thingy because they are, you know, constantly leaving Plymouth for fairer shores. Get that ball! That's a really, really good series of passes. And it's Azeez! Oh! Wow. But see, that's how a quick counter attack, that's supposed to be AFC Wimbledon's style, that's the style I've tried to build for them, that's how a quick counter attack can work. We never score from corners. Oh man, I feel like we need to... Oh! That was actually closer than we have been.

Let's just take a real quick last substitution. Let's give Adebayo Akinfenwa... I'm so scared of these guys getting injured now because all of our players are hurt. Let's just bring on T. S. Eliot, he's a beautiful poet. He's a wonderful gift, wonderful gift of, like, just for the ear of language. There we go. I know you're tired. I know you're tired, guys. The good news is we've got four days off after this game. Four whole days. Now backtrack, now stay on the ball. Good passing. Shoot! Oh! That's a really good save, that's a really good save. And Beere almost had his first goal of the season. That was pretty good stuff from Beere. Not a great player, I don't know if he has a future with the Wimbly Womblys, but that was, that was promising. That... We're open! Oh! Wow. It's really, really hard to get something to work in the box. Context is everything.

It's the 90th minute, we look likely to hang on to, to our one-nil lead but we've got to defend one last attack. We did it! Pass! Oh! Don't be afraid to score again! That's a really good pass! Oh! With the last kick of the game! Oh! Wow! Who scored that goal? Turn around and show me your name! I think it was T. S. Eliot but I'm not positive. It could have been Azeez! No, it was T. S. Eliot! Of course it was T. S. Eliot. T. S. Eliot with his fresh legs finding a way to open up the Plymouth's rock of a defense. And there we go. T. S. Eliot.

"I grow old... I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."

T. S. Eliot. Let us enjoy that goal until waking voices wake us... What is it? Something voices wake us, and we drown? I need to learn more about that poem if he's gonna keep scoring goals like this. Till speaking voices wake us, and we drown? Till human! It's human. "Till human voices wake us, and we drown." I just had to keep saying it.

There it is! Two-nil! Congratulations to the Wimbly Womblys! Oh, it's a beautiful victory! And you can no longer say that it's just because I'm cheating! Maybe it's because I'm getting slightly better at FIFA, only slightly better admittedly. That's a great win at home. We're going six points clear at the top. Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. Thank you for watching, best wishes.