Sunday, 18 May 2008

How to win at Pro Evolution Soccer

For Hayward. With him I had some of the greatest days spent in the worst living room I know, playing two-player master league.

Here's how to win at Pro Evo you lucky bastards.

Sit to attention: lean forward - you're not watching TV - and try to sit face-on to the screen.

Practice against the computer on level five. If you can't beat the computer on level five more than 80% of the time, forget it, never play again.

Use the radar: not doing so means you can only see what's currently on the screen. The radar is most useful when you win the ball in your own half and want to go on the counter-attack. I will often play the ball from defence to attack using only those useful dots at the bottom of the screen. When I've played against people who insist that you don't need to use the radar, I've always won the majority of games. In fact, I once played a first-to-50 against a friend who had turned off the radar option because he thought it was a visual distraction - unbelievable (we stopped playing after it got to about 20-4 to me).

Shooting: always tap the shoot button, no matter how far from goal you are. Plus, if you always tap shoot, it'll become instinctive; you'll reduce the risk of skying your shot in high-pressure moments.

Never lose the ball cheaply. Always clear the ball rather than pass it out of defence, unless it's safe to do so. Weak goals are inexcusable, be ashamed of that shit.

(Nearly) never use slide-tackle. Instead use the pressure button - but don't simply hold it down like you're going in for the kill; rather, ease in on your prey softly-softly catchy-monkey, like your tapping the accelerator in a car.

Make substitutions. Check the fitness levels of your players at half time and again, if necessary, on around the 70-minute mark. Also, pay attention to the players' form. If they've "got down syndrome", get them out; if they've "got a boner", play them. But not if it's the keeper or a star player, you muppet.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Pass the Dutchie to the correct side - spliff etiquette

For G-Force, a non-profit one-man dealer organisation.

Everyone (who can) should take turns to roll - and it's totally acceptable to goad a reluctant stoner to pull his weight.

Passing the doobie to the left-hand side is not a good rule. Instead, alternate the hand-off, ensuring that the same people from the smoker's circle don't repeatedly get the end, middle or beginning of the joint as it does the rounds.

You can throw the joint to the next smoker if you are outside and sat down - this breaks the silence and promotes movement.

Shout-out to the Beard for inspiring the "toke toll" - if the spliff needs to go via someone to get to the next stoner in the queue, that someone, if more than one-third of the joint remains, can take a drag of the joint as way of payment for his time and effort. This rule only applies if it is someone; and not some two, three or four greedy weed fiends.

Some don'ts and don'ts:

Don't roach someone's rizla packet without asking first. Any missing corner of card is a tell-tale sign of marijuana consumption; which, given some people's desire or need for discretion, you shouldn't leave evidence of without permission.

Don't mock, abuse or lecture a fellow stoner over his smoking technique. Rather, teach by way of suggestion and arguement. Getting high, like all arts, should evolve through the sharing of ideas and not, like bad art, by being dictated to you.

Don't pass someone an unlit joint. If you do, tell them it needs lighting and apologise for not having a lighter. It's rude to watch your fellow smoker go through the uncomfortable experience of taking a drag on a dud spliff.