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In which John plays Swindon Town against Wallsall, and tells the story of first meeting the Yeti in high school.

 Introduction (0:00)

Hello and welcome to HankGames! Today - there's no Hank, by the way. Today we are the Swindon town Swoodilypoopers, we're in white, we are playing...I don't know who we're playing but it is the last game of the League One season, and our next game is against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final, so I am starting no one. I am starting none of my top eleven players.

 First Half (0:31)

We, the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers, have an entirely new lineup today, featuring a bunch of people from the bottom of the barrel, the bottom of the Swoodilypoopin' barrel. I got no idea who these guys are, you're going to have to name them for me in comments. Also, please in comments, tell me what to talk about, because I don't know what you want to hear about. You have to tell me, and then you have to vote up the comments that you like.

What was wrong with that? That was just some good old-fashioned football playing by some guy whose name I don't know.

I mean, to give you a sense of the lack of quality--lack of depth in the Swindon Town squad, I am playing guys whose overall quality is 34. So, yeah. This isn't necessarily gonna be pretty, but hopefully it'll get you ready for Manchester United tomorrow. You must tune in to watch the FA Cup Final as the heroic Swoodilypoopers face Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

So today, I am going to tell you a story, although it's going to be a brief story. It's going to be about my wife and our relationship in high school.

So, as many of you know, I met the Yeti in high school, but we were not friends, we did not know each other, and we...she was three years behind me in school, so she was a freshman when I was a senior. That in and of itself was not... (goal! Mmm...I'll tell you what, Bald John Green puts that in the back of the net ten times out of ten. That's...that's a goal that Bald John Green frankly never misses. That's unfortunate.) So, uhm, but I did know the Yeti in high school. I mean, like, she had a reputation.

Get it! Get it! Get it! Yes! (2:02 - V. Péricard, 14') V. Péricard! What's his name? Victorious Péricard? Voluptuous Péricard? I don't know, you tell me. Great goal, though, from V. Péricard, whose overall skill level is I think in the fifties.

So, anyway, when I was a senior, there was a whole rash of senior guys dating freshman girls, including, in fact, one of my good friends dated Sarah, dated the Yeti herself, my friend Townsend Kyser. Townsend Kyser, who is famous for a few things, but perhaps best known today as one of the most successful catfish farmers in the entire United States of America. Townsend, really great friend of mine from high school, just an amazing, amazing guy. I would love to tell you stories about Townsend, but, uh, I don't want to get him in trouble.

Goal! (2:58 - V. Péricard, 21'). V. Péricard. Voluptuous Péricard. Man, he is voluptuous. That's just great stuff. Look at the guys celebrate there, in the middle of the screen. They're just like, unh, give it up, unh, unh.

So, yeah, the only thing I knew about, I mean, I knew a little bit about the Yeti because I knew she was dating Townsend for a little while, I mean they only dated for a couple weeks or something, but, you know, I always liked Townsend, so I figured she would be pretty cool if Townsend would date her. But there was quite a lot of, like, seniors dating freshman, and I dated a freshman, I dated a good friend of Sarah's, who's still a friend of ours, Leah Green, if we had gotten married her name would have been Leah Green Green.

When I say I dated Leah Green, by the way, I mean that I took her out to one movie. And I remember, like, the age difference was going to be a bit of an issue when we went out to that one movie because we went out to dinner, and like, I am a terrible date, I am a bad conversationalist, and I'm extremely nervous, particularly when I was in high school, I was extremely nervous around girls, because they had this, like, magical power that I did not understand, and so I was really awkward with Leah Green, but I realized it wasn't going to work as a romantic relationship because she, you know, she was a freshman. And we went to the movies, and I was like, what do you want to see, we can see Pulp Fiction or Richie Rich, and she was like, I think I'd like to see Richie Rich, and I was like, Argh, this is not a good thing.

By the way - Pulp Fiction and Richie Rich are films from the nineties that none of you have ever heard of. Pulp Fiction - really good movie. Richie Rich, not as much.

Anyway, the only thing I really know about...I mean, the only thing Sarah know about me, she always says the only thing that she knew about me was that I walked around, like, with this cloud of tobacco smoke following me everywhere I went, which was true, I did smoke a lot in high school, and I was really, like, glaringly, obnoxiously obvious about it. So that was all that she remembered about me, but she did think that my cousin was cute. Isn't that a typical Alabama thing, that, like, you've got this whole mess of cousins, yeah, anyway. They never dated, thank God.

But...all I really knew about Sarah was that she was uncommonly intelligent and mature. She was sort of...we all thought, kind of hilariously mature. Among the ninth graders, she was the one who acted like she was in her forties. Sarah always tells this story that when she was a kid, like when other people would play in, like, dollhouses or whatever, she would play 'graphic designer,' in which she would work eight hours a day as a graphic designer.

Fat Lucas...I LOVE YOU FAT LUCAS! What a great goalkeeper. My God. He's so beautiful and fat. I love him. I had a song about Fat Lucas but I can't remember the words. But it was all about how great he is. Rest assured.

So...but I did...we did end up going to a party together, and that party involved my friend Todd's pet squirrel Trippy. And I will tell you about that party in the second half because it's really my only memory of Sarah. Sarah has no memory of this at all, but it was really in some ways, it was like the moment I fell in love with Sarah, even though we did not really fall in love for another 11 years.

Please don't point at the penalty spot. Please don't, please don't. Okay. We're good. Everything is fine. What did I get that yellow card for? Dissent? For being handsome? Oh boy. Oh boy. I'm just hitting buttons. Let's face it, I don't know what I'm doing. Oh boy. Oh...Fat Lucas! Hero.

No! Why are you pointing at the penalty spot? That is an inappropriate place to point! Oh, I'm very upset. Morrison's upset, Jean-François is upset...S. Morrison has gotten a yellow card, everything is...just, really unnecessary slide tackle there by S. Morrison. Just, this is a disaster. Alright, so I think I might have learned something about penalties, which is that I use the other stick. And...oh, I didn't do anything. (7:08 - Macken, 45' (pen)). I gave up a goal. To Walsall FC. It doesn't really matter, the result of this game, but I'd still like to win it, because, you know. Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers, they're winners.

So, I am going to tell you the story about this party, though.

 Second Half (7:28)

So, the year after I graduated from high school I lived in Birmingham, after...I went to my freshman year of college at Kenyon College, and then over the summer I moved back to Birmingham and I lived in an apartment on...with three of my friends, and we had jobs. I worked at a restaurant called Outtakes. (Get the, get the goal! Argh, that's disappointing, Voluptuous). I worked at a restaurant called Outtakes, they worked at a bakery, and you know, it was fun, it was a good time, and we threw one party the entire time we were there.

The reason we only threw one party was because we had a pet squirrel, and, you know, people just don't like really going to parties with pet squirrels, and then also we were always a little bit worried about the welfare of the pet squirrel, like, maybe, you know, someone at the party would not realize that Trippy was our pet, and would think that he was just a squirrel, and they would let him out, and then we wouldn't have Trippy anymore.

So um. But then, in a tragedy that isn't funny at all - that's just not the kind of goal-scoring I look for in a forward, which is why John Green and John Green are typically upfront - uh, Trippy died. He uh- he died. Of- probably of old age. He died at an appropriate age for a squirrel. But he still died. It was very sad.

And then afterwards, we had like a Trippy memorial party. And Sarah- Sarah came to the party. Which was really, I mean, by the time- then she was- it was the summer after her- she was sixteen or seventeen and I was, I guess, eighteen. And it was the summer after her sophomore year. And like, I thought she was super cute.

And I spent the entire night trying just to talk to her. Like, trying to like, get her attention and like, show her how cool I was and tell her about all of the cool things I was doing now I was a college man. And she was like, you go to college in a cornfield. Like, why is that impressive?

Um. So. It didn't work at all. But! I remember thinking, at the end of that party, I was like, God, I bet she- she's just so cool, like... I bet it would be so cool to date her. And then I get to date her for the rest of my life! It's such a big win for me! So, you know. If there's some girl at a party and you're like, urgh, that girl's never gonna like me - just obsess over her for the next twenty years, and then maybe some day it will happen. That's terrible advice. Don't do that.

Oh! Oh! Voluptuous Péricard! You're better than that! You're better than that. Oh, that's a disappointment. Um. So yeah, I don't really remember anything else about Sarah from high school. I remember thinking that, you know, she was like... Among those ninth grade girls, like, they were all- they were all really nice. In fact, they're all still really nice. They're all still friends of ours.

And uh, I remember thinking that she was nice but not really being particularly... Inclined toward her one way or the other, except that one night at that one party. Um. All she remembers about me, aside from the smoking, is that I was um, sarcastic and the teachers used to talk about me a lot. Which is true. For better or worse! I didn't have the love of my teachers all the time, but I always had their attention! Which is of course what like, class clowns, nerdy class clowns like myself, really want on some lev- come on! You had the entire goal in which to score! That's reprehensible.

Um. You know. All I really wanted was attention from my teachers. Um. And that's- I mean, on some level, that's still kind of true. I still care more about the opinion of my high school teachers than pretty much everyone else. Like, it still matters to me.

They taught my book- they taught Looking For Alaska one year at my high school. That mattered to me more than all the other things that have ever happened to Looking For Alaska. Like, I was literally more excited about that than I was about the movie deal or about all the- you know, being published all over the world or. I mean, it was just the coolest thing that could have happened, was to be in my high school's curriculum. That's just amazing to me.

Um, and uh, it was one of my old teachers who picked the book, which was particularly meaningful because she did not like me as a student. Um. She liked me as a writer. But I was a little bit of a snot-faced student, you know. I was one of those students who was always like "do we really have to analyze this book? Like, did the author really intend all these metaphors, or are you just like, trying to ruin my life?"

Um. I know a lot of you are like, "but seriously though, the author didn't intend all those metaphors." Yes she did! And even if she didn't, it doesn't matter! Oy gevalt! I am such a grown up! I know I'm such an old man.

Can I get- can this guy get a red card, please? That was a clear scoring opportunity. All he gets is the...?! Oh, come on! Alright, I've never scored in this situation. I'm sure that's gonna change here with V Péricard. No it's not. That was a poor shot, V Péricard. Poor.

Oh, man. I just don't do quite as well with the um, when I've got the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers B team playing.

Oh, the other thing about Sarah is that she was great at soccer! Uh. And I- I went to all of the women's soccer games because- we had a great women's soccer team and um. And like, everybody went. We had all these cheers, and it was just a lot of fun. And uh, she was really good, even in the ninth grade. I think she was on varsity as a ninth grader.

Um, go score. Go score! Come on, Voluptuous Péricard. Do it for your team! Noooo! Golly! (laughs) I just said golly. I must be thinking too much about my time in the South.

So that is the end of the game. The last game of the season for the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers. We are headed up to the championship! Huzzah, huzzah! And tomorrow, you will see the FA cup final in which we play Manchester United.

Alright, I'll see you then! Actually I won't, but you'll hear me then! Best wishes.