Silent World Cup (The Glass House 5/7/06)

Buddhist monk patriarch Non Nget has warned Cambodia’s 40,000 Buddhist monks that they risk being defrocked if they make noise or cheer during the World Cup. Lucky Cambodia didn’t qualify and they can remain neutral.

Buddhist monks traditionally lead a life of quiet contemplation, which is ideal preparation for sitting out a nil-all draw.

(calm monk impression) “Yes, it will be a goal. No, it is not. Yes, it is. No the goalie stopped it. Yes. It is in. I am content.”

They aren’t allowed to watch the Games in public, cheer, or bet on it – but they are allowed to write a koan about it. “If a player fouls and no-one sees it, is it still offside?” “Can one person do a Mexican wave?” “What is the sound of one fan clapping?”

The monks aren’t allowed to watch the games in public; they have to watch it in private, and only when it’s their turn on the monastic TV set.

Cheering, betting and watching the games in public were considered actions against Buddhism. Breathing is permitted, but only when absolutely necessary.

Monks are great fans of soccer; their shiny round pates are perfect for headers!

If they make noise or cheer, they will lose their monkhood, and just be left with the rest of the robe…

It’s okay if they lose their monkhoods; they can just go to the merch stand and buy a monkhoodie.

“If they make a noise or cheer as they watch, they will lose their monkhood,” said Buddhist patriarch Non Nget. That’s the problem with Non Nget – he’s so negative.

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