Translated by Sofia Masdeu.

We used to have a toy; it was the most amusing toy in the world. We didn’t invent it ourselves, but we played with it better than its inventors did. We accepted some words of its original language: “ful” (“foul”), “corner”, “orsai” (“offside”), but we filled it right away with our own words: “sombrero” (“to flick the ball over one’s head”), “rabona”, “pared” (“wall pass”).

We started playing on the sidewalk, in the backyards, in winter and in summer. Until one day, some among us — the ones who played better — left their jobs and devoted themselves to it…

Translated by Helen Foster and Mara Golibroda. Supervised by Beatriz Sosa Martínez.

By Hernán Casciari

How awful literature would be if cell phones had always existed.

Last night I was reading a very famous children’s’ tale to little Nina, Hansel and Gretel by the Grimm Brothers. There is a dramatic moment in the story when the siblings find out that some birds have eaten the breadcrumbs they had strategically scattered in a foolproof plan to trace their way back home. Hansel and Gretel realize they are all alone and lost in the woods; and it’s getting dark. Right at this turning point in the story my daughter says to me: “That’s ok. They can call up their daddy on one of their cells.”

By Hernán Casciari

I wonder why new countries are born if the ones already there aren’t behaving properly at all.

I liked that theory so I made up a game to discover the age of countries based on the dog system. We were told when we were children that to know a dog’s real age we only had to multiply its biological age times 7. Then, with countries, I thought, we only had to divide its age by 14 to find out the human age equivalent.

Confusing? Not to worry, in this article I give some revealing examples.

Argentina was born in 1816. It is one hundred and eighty-nine…

by Hernán Casciari

On December 14th 1995 I killed my sister’s eldest daughter while reversing my car.

On December 14th 1995 I killed my sister’s eldest daughter while reversing my car. During the blunt impact, my family’s howling and the actual realization that I had run into a trunk, I lived the most intense ten seconds of my life. For those ten seconds, I hung onto time and I realized that any possible future would be an endless hell.

I was living in Buenos Aires and I had travelled to Mercedes to celebrate my grandmother’s eightieth birthday (that’s why I remember the exact date because she…

by Hernán Casciari

An idyllic village succumbs to the destructive influence of financial speculation.

Once upon a time, there was a quiet village where all the neighbours lived happily together. They all led a nice and simple life and everyone wanted to prosper. Pepe was one of them. One afternoon Pepe took a walk through the village and he started getting thirsty. As he continued, his thirst grew and grew. Once back home and while uncorking a bottle, he suddenly realised something no one had realised before: in the village there were no bars! Pepe thought that if he set up a bar he…

by Hernán Casciari

This is an epic explanation, of why an Argentinean prefers to be living in Spain rather than return to his country.

The quick answer is: because of my daughter, because of my wife, because my family is from Catalonia. But if I had to answer with honesty why I’m still here, in Barcelona, in these awful and boring times, it would be: because I’m forty minutes in train away from the best football in history.

I mean, if my wife and daughter decided to go to live to Argentina right now, I would divorce and stay here, at least until the Champions League final. …

by Hernán Casciari

The most famous goal in soccer history, 10.6 seconds of athletic genius that for millions of Argentines.

Less than 11 seconds earlier, when the Argentine player took the pass from his teammate, the clock in Mexico read 12 minutes and 20 seconds past 1 o’clock in the afternoon. In the middle of the scene there are also two Britons and an older man of Tunisian origin. The sport they are playing, soccer, is not particularly popular in Tunisia. That is why the African seems to be the only one who is not in a state of high athletic alert.

His name is Ali Bin Nasser and, while…

Hernán Casciari

Fat writer

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