I'm afraid I introduced Bob Dylan to European Soccer.
These things never go how you expect them to.
We were going through a period of sampling orange cognacs at the time. I like orange cognacs. Bob was willing to be convinced at that point, but wasn't quite...yet. We were getting very close with the Grand Marnier Louis Alexandre. We had a lot of special version Grand Marniers we were working our way through.
Then I tried to show Bob a soccer clip on my phone.
"Is this your Messi fellow again?" He rasped with that touch of irritation he likes to affect.
I ignored it and Messi commenced to do something bewildering. Suddenly Bob got attentive, but not at Messi.
"Who's that?" He asked with interest, pointing to an animated speck on the screen, not much contributing to the play, but bounding about like a puppy.
"That's Riqui Puig" (pronounced "Ricky Pooch") I replied.
After that it was all Riqui Puig all the time with Bob.
"Who is Riqui Puig?" you ask?
He is a young midfielder for the Barcelona team. He very rarely gets to play. The coach doesn't like him. The coach is grumpy, and finds Riqui's exuberance irritating. The fan base is split three ways on Riqui Puig. One group hates him in support of the coach who they feel deserves their devoted respect and protection because he is the coach and so must know what he's doing. One group tries to remain neutral and fails. And one group utterly adores Riqui Puig, devotedly, for his spirit, his passion, his darting runs, and his occasionally daring and brilliant forward passes.
Bob is in the last of these categories.
"My next album is all about Riqui Puig." Bob told me the other day.
Yes, Bob, now 80 years old, is working on another late masterpiece. And apparently this one will be about Riqui Puig.
"How can that be any good?" I asked.
"No one will know it's about Riqui Puig." Bob said wryly.
"I will!" I exclaimed.
There was a lull in the conversation.
"Let's try the Grand Marnier Cuvee Quintessence." Bob suggested.
"Whoa. That's pretty." I said admiringly of the impressively elegant bottle.
It tasted like oranges, yes, but also of hazelnuts and peaches.