Putoia – football is played here
This simple-sounding line of text has a rather exciting and funny little prequel, which has to be said first. However, it is only gradually that one will be able to understand the connections properly. You have to go a little further. So be patient!
First of all, someone had the idea of creating a questionnaire. Just on a whim. He put it on the world-wide web and waited for people who were willing to work on it and fill it out – but it remained in German. Anyone could participate, no problem, but German-speaking participants were certainly more likely. Partly for good reason, certainly.
In the other event, things were a little more utopian. Thanks to an ingenious – and “ingenious” because it was so simple – invention, you could move freely in the universe. By means of black holes, one could swing through the universe and without the slightest loss of time – time, what was that anymore, considering the infinite widths and speeds? – and travel to any number of distant galaxies, galaxy roads, stars, planets or moons, which at the same time offered an infinite variety of conditions similar to those on Earth and thus, according to our ideas, suitable for life. The only thing you had to do was to let yourself be frozen for a short time beforehand. However, not so that one would survive the journey time well and not age, but so that one would not have to wait another 100 billion years after arrival for one’s birth, since one travelled faster than the speed of light (the factor was about 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 84).
Before the questionnaire maker – subsequently nicknamed “Wanja”, because his friends used to tease him a little bit by saying “you might laugh, but somWANn, YES, there it is, you’ll see…” –, that is, our little friend Vanya, set off into these infinite expanses – as many people did at that time – to explore and inhabit one of these “planets” (let’s stick with this designation from a multitude of possible ones), if it could be arranged, he looked at the results of the questionnaires, which were becoming more numerous, and evaluated them.
The results of these evaluations were available to each participant as soon as they had filled them in completely. In this way, one could compare one’s own views with the general public without being influenced by it, and at the same time a small incentive was created. For surely many would have preferred to know only the results? The danger of informing others about the results was small. After all, as soon as one had answered the questions, one wanted as many others as possible to do the same. To spill the beans is not, let’s put it that way.
A not so stupid thought…
The survey results will be withheld at least for a while at this point – the curious will look for this questionnaire themselves in the uwN (universe-wide net) instead?! Only, Wanja was more and more encouraged by the results to close the survey by looking for fellow travellers, for the purpose of founding a planet. Sure, it was a small adventure, but it was almost considered chic nowadays and was by no means an expensive affair.
More and more travel and adventure enthusiasts were found, young, old, female, male, poor, rich, educated or only basicly educated, sports fans, football fans or those who had long since turned their backs on this sport, but also novices, completely uninitiated, who nevertheless enjoyed the idea.
When a sufficient number had been found – for planetary foundations there had to be a certain minimum number to ensure continued existence, a bit like Noah, but this had easily been exceeded – we could finally get started.
Since the travel time to any planet, no matter how distant, was zero, one could of course a) count on visitors at any time – some made use of the “Hitchhikers guide through the universe” by Douglas Adams –, b) one was of course welcome to stay if one felt comfortable there. At the same time, of course, anyone who was keen on travelling could get an idea in advance of what was so special about this or that planet and what would await them there.
Each planet, however, had to greet its visitors with a welcome message that could be seen from afar. In our little story, however, the workers got the letters a little mixed up. They tried to put them together from memory. They were not quite sure, but eventually agreed on what it had to be. When Vanya saw this, he got angry at first and scolded a little – which didn’t quite fit the planet — and said “What’s that? That doesn’t even exist!” To which the foreman replied: “What do you mean, it doesn’t exist. Can’t you see that it exists? We’re not in Utopia here, are we?”
At that very moment, the foreman’s penny may have dropped and he blushed a little, because he had made it “Putoia”. But suddenly Vanya’s features brightened and he said, “Yes, which one of you thought of that? That’s brilliant! You’re right, maybe Utopia doesn’t exist, but this does and it’s quite real and that’s how it should stay.”
The completed sign looked like this :
Football is played here
But he liked even better the idea that new signs could be put up all over the planet, posters, video screens, advertising pillars, open spaces, house walls, bridges, everywhere these messages could be hung up and spread. He himself had enough ideas anyway – partly taken from the survey results – but there were regular little competitions in which the residents participated and helped to design what else could be spread. The ingenious (simple) thing about it: when you arrived, you immediately knew what it was all about. So if you found a sign saying “fair play here”, it could logically only refer to football? Of course, there was also fair play in other respects, because everyone was inspired by the same idea.
In any case, they were committed to expressing everything in a positive way. Except for the name of the planet, perhaps, but that really doesn’t belong here and thank the builders that this “U” wasn’t at the beginning, with which one would then possibly associate something negative like “none”?
In coordination with the survey results and the residents, one soon found, for example, the following sign: “Here there are only clean victories”. If you wanted to know more about it (“What do you mean, only clean victories?”), you could go straight to the town hall – there was soon one in every town on the flourishing planet — where there was an exhibition and a guided tour and you were informed in detail about everything, given sufficient interest. Whereby, historically speaking, it was not entirely possible to avoid making a comparison with Earth – which sometimes culminated in a “not” or “none”. To return to the initial question: “…only clean victories mean that there are no dirty ones.”
“There is no acting here”. What is behind this? In the Stadthalle, one learns: “No swallows are meant here at all. Acting is feigning injuries to gain one of three possible advantages: a counterattack by the opponent is interrupted with a simulated injury, b) by yelling or falling when a small touch is made, one feigns an assault on oneself to gain a sending-off, c) as a defender, after losing the ball, to suggest a striker’s foul and fall to gain a free kick, d) to gain time or e) to interrupt the opponent’s play.
Of course, there was also some background and necessary explanations on this. However, these can be found in the further course of the story, at later points.
What other messages there were, what background to them, how the ideas were implemented, how the spirit of these ideas was spread further and further through these messages and internalised by the inhabitants, what consequences and what concomitants they had – all this can be found in the further text.