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In which John talks about a current predicament. The Wimbly Womblys take on Norwich City.

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Twitter: @AFCWimblyWombly
John: Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank. My name is John Green, I'm the manager of the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys who today find themselves in the Premier League against Norwich City! Which is, uh, I think going ba- well maybe going back to the Premier League depending on if they win their game this weekend. Which I think for you is in the past, but for me is in the future.

I don't know if you can hear it, Meredith, can you hear it? In my voice? A little bit? No? Meredith says you can't really hear it, but I've, um, I had oral surgery 3 days ago and one of the ways in which they deal with the just astonishing pain of this oral surgery is they, uh, every morning you go into the dentist's office and they give you this special numbing medication. They inject it into you and it's very painful, but not as nearly painful as the thing itself. They inject this special numbing medication into you- numbs you for 10 hours. 

As you can see we're in 8th, that is not good. We have to finish in 4th. This is the kind of game that we have to win, my friends. Um... so even though my mouth is numb and will be for the next 10 hours I just feel like it's important here we- you know, Meredith, we only have 9 games left in the Premier League season? I feel like it's vital- she just said that's a lot. I feel like it's vital, absolutely vital, uh, that we win today's game. 

As you can see we've got, uh, Jim Hanks, lesser known brother of Tom Hanks playing, um, Butterfield! Which is a fantastic name, I wish I lived in a field of butter. Um... yeah. So I've been in a lot of pain in the last few days. Really the last few weeks because there was my, uh, my failed implant was a metal rod sticking out of my body, uh, that had emerged from my jaw bone and, uh, very uncomfortable- can't recommend it. 

Oh that's, that's not a good ball, BUT I kinda like the way- you could've maybe brought it back a little more, but there was still some spirit there, Di Filippo, and I liked it. Um... yeah so it's just been a rough, uh, rough few days here. Pain is so weird like uh... first I'm a catastrophizer and I know many of you are as well, my son is also a catastrophizer.

Like when he says, uh, like when I say, like, "Henry, you know you can't play Minecraft anymore because the rule of us playing Minecraft in our family is that we play it as a building game and as a relationship game and not as a killing game". And then I will catch him playing Minecraft and all of the pigs will be on fire and, um, and all of the villagers will have been lit on fire because the village is burned down because of the lava.

And  I'm just like, "No more Minecraft alright? That was not building that was definitely killing". And he'll be like, "They're not dying, they're just on fire!" And I'm like "Okay I don't want to get into a semantic conversation with you". Um... and um... so point being- what was my point, Meredith? Killing game? Catastrophizing! So then Henry will say- God your so good, Meredith!

You're such a great assistant coach and remember when you won that game for us by giving the really good advice about the right substitutions to make and then Dicko scored? It was beautiful. You're really- you're great! Anyway, um... uh, then Henry will say, like, "I'm never going to get to play Minecraft EVER again!" And that's catastrophizing, you know, where you take something that- that's a minor set back and you make it into a major setback. 

When I am feeling pain and particularly in this case where it's been, you know, like my mouth has hurt on and off, but mostly on for the last, like, 11 years. Um, it's impossible for me not to think like, "Oh this is going to last forever. This is going to be the rest of my life. I'm going to have to go in for daily injections at my dentist and slobber will drip down the sides of my mouth, as it is doing now, and"- Oh Dicko!

Oh Dicko! God, that was a great move from Dicko. Take it to Deeney, take it to Deeney and score! Oh, Deeney! You've gotta have more courage than that! I don't like to cast aspersions, but I know for a fact that Deeney was out late last night. And I was like, "Deeney I don't know if I can start you". And he was like, "I'm fine! I do this all the time! It's who I am!"

Oh, oh! Is he, is he? Is he still great?! No. Is he?! Oh! That was a good save! Don't give up on the ball boys! Focus, focus. So, I have to confess that I am catastrophizing my pain a little bit right now. Even though I know that I'm not supposed to and everything because I just- it does feel at times like it's never going to go away. And it's super frustrating. Pain in general is so- physical pain is so frustrating.

I mean I don't want to take anything away from like psycho-spiritual pain. But the thing about, like, emotional pain is that we, like, have a pretty good way of talking about it, right? Like everyone knows what heartbreak is. Um... that's not a bad ball, but it kinda went to the wrong guy. Um, everybody knows what heartbreak is. There's a billion novels and songs and records about heartbreak. 

There's very few- relatively little artistic work about physical pain and I think- including like, even when- I wrote a novel about people in pain in The Fault in Our Stars, but I wrote relatively little about pain itself. I tried to write sort of around the edges of pain to give a sense of it rather than trying to reconstruct it. Because I just feel like... I really do feel like pain kind of resists language.

I've been talking about this book that I really love called The Body In Pain that was actually given to me by Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel. And one of the things about, one of the things that Elaine Scarry writes in The Body In Pain is that to be in pain yourself- oh! To be in pain yourself is to be certain, right? Like when you hurt your ankle, or whatever, whatever physical pain you're in, you know, right? Like it is certainty, it is ineradicable this pain. Like you can't... you know... you can't help but be certain of it. 

But other people's pain, in the same way that your pain is certainty, other people's pain is doubt. Because you don't really know what their pain feel like, you can't be totally confident that their pain is really real. Um, and... you just don't know. And so this tension between the certainty of one's own pain and the doubt of another's pain, it's just a huge problem.

Um, and it's a problem that I don't think language does a particularly good job of, um, I guess resolving because when people are- like I can read all I want about someone else's pain and one of two things will happen. If it's effective writing, I'll shut down because I don't want to feel that pain myself. And if it's ineffective writing, I kind of will remain in doubt about this pain. And it just doesn't prove as narratively compelling to us as, for instance, stuff about- that was a handball, but I guess that we're not calling that anymore in this game. 

I guess you're allowed to use your hands now! Um, as you know, other kinds of pain, like heartbreak or grief or other kinds of like, uh... social pain or psychological pain. I'm completely fascinated about this. About how, like, physical pain kind of doesn't get it's due in our culture because it's so hard to talk about, because it's so hard to describe. By the way we cannot, we cannot draw this game so I'm moving to attacking right now. We cannot- a nil - nil draw is good as a loss for us at this point. 

Seb! Thank you buddy! Good job there... kicking out the ball... putting on the Ritz! I don't know why I like to call it that. Pass, nice... nice, and shoot! It's a goal! OHHHH! "Dicko, Dicko, Dicko, Dicko! Dicko, Dicko, Dicko, Dicko. Dicko, Dicko, Dicko, Dicko! Dicko just scored a goal!" What a great- it was just crisf. Sorry I can't really say my s's and my p's. Crisf, cristh, cristh- clean passing... friends. Oh and this bearded guy doesn't get to play anymore, he's being substituted off. 

I'm sorry for your loss Butterfield! If you ever want to home with the Wimbly Womblys, we do love ourselves both butter and fields. Um, yeah, so I'm telling you all of this to tell you that I am in pain, but that I don't expect you to be able to, um, to meaningfully empathize. However I appreciate all of your support.

Um, if uh... if you want to do something nice for me while, um, while I have this searing constant pain in my mouth, uh, donate to the Save the Children campaign- Oh, Dicko, Dicko! Ahhh, Dicko! Probably should have passed there, but you know Dicko gets eyes for goal and, uh, there's just nothing he can do about it. You gotta love something in this world and for Dicko it's goals. 

Um... yeah, but, uh, I do- yeah so if you wanna do something for me in my time of pain there's a Save the Children fundraiser that I started, uh, there's a link in the dooblydoo. But basically... uh, I was thinking about how much I dislike this pain and how distracting it is and how impossible it is to get anything done. And then I was thinking about how incredibly lucky I am to be at they very far edge of the curve in terms of access to topnotch healthcare.

You know, I have a very good oral surgeon, I have a very good dentist. They're invested in me and my care and they take my problems seriously. All that stuff that you don't always get from healthcare professionals. Flus... Fluff! Sorry, I really can't talk very well. Plus I live in a highly developed country with a relatively good- this is a disaster! Seb Brown! Relatively good healthcare system, um, and so I'm able to get really good care. 

Anyway, it all made me think about what it's like to experience physical pain when you don't have all of those advantages. And, um, particularly when you're a kid and, uh, you don't understand why, why physical suffering happens. You don't really have any context for it and it's just super miserable. That was a foul on them. And you should get a yellow card for being naughty! Well you were naughty! I had the ball, you were mad at me for being so good at defense and then you got extremely naughty! 

Anyway, uh, let's raise some money for Syrian refugees, particularly, uh, children who need access to the kind of healthcare and, uh, educational opportunities that Save the Children is providing in refugee camps. Um... it's not a lot and there's a long way to go and a lot of problems to solve, but it's something. So there's a link in the dooblydoo. I will match all of your donations up to $20,000, um so every dollar that you donate counts as $2 so, uh, please consider donating.

And hopefully making  something slightly good from my really annoying... Gaulden Child is coming on. What this game needs is a hot slice of Gaulden Children! Does that sound weird, Meredith? She says that it didn't. No, just kidding, she said that it did. She said that it sounded super weird and that I should probably just shut it down. Um, Hells Pells is coming on as well. Hells Pells is a name that I can't say in my current state. 

Um... yeah, so we've already raised I think $10,000 which is just amazing. Thanks to everybody who's donated. I'm glad that something positive could come from my incredibly invasive oral surgery. We're making 3 substitutions all at once just like the pros do. And, uh, we're looking good. You know, my main complaint about Juan Maresca, he had a good game today, but as usual his haircut was just- it was deeply offensive. Deeply offensive. 

Get in there! Oh! Meredith are you familiar with the rapper Too Short? He's extreme- he was a Seattle rapper... emerged in the 90's. His, I think, iconic album was called Get In Where You Fit In. And, um, there's a lot, there's a lot to like about Too Short. There's also a lot to not like, especially his misogyny.

I got fouled from behind, there's been an injustice! Oh... (Sneezes) I had to sneeze because I was upset about my foul from behind. We'll talk about Too Short another time. In the meantime the Wimbly Womblys have emerged victorious in a game they absolutely had to win and did! Alright, we're working our way up the table. We're 8th now, may we be 4th in 9 games. Smell your pits in shame, Norwich! Thanks for watching. Best wishes.