French soccer player Zinedine Zidane must have been humming "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" when he head-butted Italy's Marco Materazzi during the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The tune was definitely picked up by English jockey Paul O'Neill, recently caught on tape head-butting his horse for misbehaving. As head-butting sweeps the globe, French President Jacques Chirac seems to be giving it his blessing. He's been reminding reporters that it was a Frenchman who started it all. "Give credit where it's due," he has been quoted as saying. "Merci."
Most horse lovers the world over are horrified by jockey O'Neill's behavior. But Pete the Pragmatist was quick to point out: "Okay, he head-butted the horse. But at least he didn't cut off the horse's head, like you know, what happened in 'The Godfather.'" To Ed the Equalizer, head-butting seems particularly odious when it's between species. "If a guy wants to butt another guy with his head, it's okay. That may not be so bad. A guy doing it to a horse, though. That's a whole other story."
Queen Elizabeth II has indicated that she is not completely ruling out the head-butt as a means of communication. She's been quoted as saying, "We all have to keep up with the times. This is, after all, the 21st century." Royal watchers of the old school are shuddering and quietly agreeing that it's good the Queen Mum isn't alive to witness such behavior!
Her Majesty HAS indicated, however, that head-butting is "definitely off-limits" when she's wearing her crown. Also, the royal hairdresser has been told to stand by 24/7, since there is now a greater chance that a hair or two of the royal 'do' may be knocked askew. Prince Charles is encouraging his mum's interest in head-butting, secretly hoping that she may knock herself out and he would then be called in to take her place.
Meanwhile Press Secretary Tony Snow denies that President Bush is planning to head-butt German Chancellor Angela Merkel the next time they meet. "Believe me, he's learned his lesson from the back massage. This time he'll keep his hands, and every other body part, to himself."