Sunday, 14 October 2007

Rugby for girls

I’m not a watch-rugby-with-the-boys type girl, but I was so glad I did tonight. It was the England-France semifinal and for reasons not entirely unconnected with a broken heart (not mine, happily) my friends Juliet, Johann and I ended up at kick-off in our local pub.

Seriously, I wouldn’t know a tight head from a loose ball, unless it involved handcuffs and lacy lingerie, but I did delight in The Neanderthal Frenchman’s forays onto the field (adore that jutting forehead and furious hair), and Johnny Wilkinson’s kicking left me weak-kneed (and that’s not even counting last week’s hangover damage that I’m still recovering from, see post below).

Every bit as entertaining were the antics of those gathered to watch the warriors.

Young Lucien, the beautiful blond gung-ho offspring of a local farmer, went wild on the hard liquor, and quite quickly spun luridly out of control. He propositioned Juliet (she of the broken heart, so in no mood to countenance slurry overtures) in a rather rough and ready manner and, rebuffed with chilling indignation (lost, of course, on Lucien), moved with mad jerky movements on to a bevy of four 18-year-old maidens lined up like colourful skittles at the counter.

When they looked at him with expressions of horror and bewilderment, he took his act elsewhere, richocheting off all available surfaces until he found himself behind the bar, where no-nonsense publican Surika rules the roost.

She too was having none of him: using elaborate semaphore to overcome the deafening rugby commentary, she instructed him to remove himself at once. This he did (Surika is not a woman you cross if you value your chances of survival) but, determined not to lose face, Lucien posed himself, very fuck-you-ly, chest out and arms raised, at the end of the bar, in full view of all patrons.

Then his pants fell down.

And they say there isn’t a god.

I used up at least two years’ worth of laughter on Lucien’s inelegant crash from grace, but there were other vignettes I would – had they not been offered so freely to me – have paid good money for.

There was Johann, for instance, whose only comment on the battle being waged on that field in France was, in a gay delirium, ‘Oh god, look at their tight little pants!’ And Michael, who, at a loss for words in his support of the boys in blue, kept shouting out the only French word he knew: ‘Croissant! Croissant!’

Lucien, in the meantime, had stationed himself, for reasons known only to fools and drunkards, directly in front of the big screen. An observer, pushed to breaking point by this human pinball, got up and shoved him in the chest. So while the French and English battled it out via satellite, we had our very own skirmish, right where we were sitting. Fortunately, Lucien, having pulled up his pants and challenged the entire bar to a fight, went outside and vomited lavishly into the begonias.

England, as you know, won. I was the only person supporting the White Boys in my part of the bar, and it didn’t make me very popular. But it was only because I want to see the Boks make the English eat crow in the final.

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7 comments:

tonypark said...

Almost sounds worth watching (the pub antics, that is, rather than England V France).

Flags are being hoisted around Satara Camp, today (the day of Boks v Argentina), so I'm sure there will be much brandy and cokery going on aswill.

I make it a point never to be too vocal in my support of one nation over another - particulalry in a country where so many people carry handguns.

meggie said...

No handguns here in OZ, but fists can be almost as lethal!
Of course now that Oz & NZ are out, I am not sure who is the hoped-for winner. Probably varies, wildly.
Pub antics were appreciated here!

audrey said...

Juno, Muriel - I've framed a couple of your coice paragraphs and put them up on the wall in my new house. Pandora's is still there, but I have left the blogspot building in favour of wordpress -

Pop in anytime :-)

angel said...

oh my word, i have GOT to stop reading you at work... this post in particular rendered me a giggling wreck all afternoon!!!

angel said...

can i come and watch rugby with you pleeeezzzz...

Muriel said...

sAngel, any time! Pull in!

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