26 Sep 2001 rachel   » (Master)

So my baby brother Alain turned 32 yesterday. 32! The fact is, people are always as old as they were when I first met them, so that Jeremy is permanently 24, and Kay will never be older than 10, and Alain is 19 months old. We're practically twins.

He's wanted a proper American football for ages, and I tried to buy one from the online NFL store last year, and they screwed me around, so I didn't. So no link for them. Anyway, I was at the Seybold keynote this morning, and after I'd finished absorbing fun facts about Apple (10.1 looks pretty slick), I went into Copeland's Sports on Market and demanded the finest football money could buy.

It was really expensive. But it's pretty fine. It's a Wilson, which is good, apparently, and it's made out of dead pig; also good, I'm told. "Designed for the serious competitor/professional" it warns, in a handsome navy font on cardboard of beaten gold. "To revitalize tacky grip, buff with a stiff brush." Words to live by.

I'm planning to be in Queensland in January, so I'll give it to him then. I thought about keeping it as a surprise, but then, you know, I thought better of it. So I called. Yay, international telecommunications. I love how you can just punch in a number and be talking to your brother 13000km away.

"To revitalize tacky grip, buff with a stiff brush," I told him.

"You bought me a blow-up doll!" he cried in glee.

It's the right football!

"It's sitting on my desk, quietly glowing," I said.

"That's what it'll do when I get it," he said. "Except I'll make a few passes."

"Oh you can't play with it. It's way too good."

"Only indoors," said Alain.

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