We have this thing. With “we” I mean my friends and I. Some people prefer to do their thing in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Some even do it in the bedroom. We’ve found the best way to add spice to our thing, is to do it in the company of each other. It creates more atmosphere, ups the excitement level and it’s always a thrill seeing the expressions of my friends when our thing turns out better than we expected.
If the moment is truly epic, then there’s loud, roaring cheers and high-fives all around. And why not, most things are simply better when you do it with friends. Except off course falling out of a window. That would be bad with or without friends. Especially if the window is like really high and you end up falling on concrete and… sorry. That’s not our thing. Our “thing” is the LOVE of rugby. Oops. I meant to say wives, the fact that we love our wives. And to watch rugby.
The crazy eight, which co-incidentally is also the name of a new Quentin Tarantino movie, came up with the brilliant plan of watching the Springboks conquer the world on their road to the final of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The brilliance doesn’t lie in the mere fact that we would watch all the games but in the fact that each one of us would have the opportunity to host a game in turn. Two weeks before kick-off, the knights gathered around a rather long, rectangular table and stuffed a few dates in a
hat beer glass. (It’s not what you think, my name is not Bill Cosby.) We simply drew a date from the glass and got assigned a specific game. There was a few simple rules:
- Have a working television and a paid up subscription with a pause-live-tv-function so we can go for re-fills without missing anything.
- Inform your spouse of the pending game so she has enough time to stock the fridge and remove the curlers from her hair.
- Invite the crazy eight and their families on a Monday so we can survive the week by having something to look forward too.
- Decide on what food we would consume after the game as hungry men are angry men.
- Receive confirmation of attendance by Wednesday so we know exactly who is ditching who and egg their house.
- Supply a welcoming drink. And remember that with “drink” we imply, and expect, an alcoholic beverage.
- Make a fire because men need fire like women need foundation.
- Make sure the Boks win, which is kinda stating the obvious.
Excitement was bubbling like a fart in a bath. Everyone was geared for an epic journey through the first four play-off games. The moment finally arrived. The whistle blew and here’s what actually happened:
Game 1: South Africa vs Japan hosted by Chris with a welcoming “Springbokkie.”
It was a disaster. A sure-win turned into the Japanese having Springbok-sushi on the day. It remains the biggest surprise attack by the Japanese since Pearl Harbour. As the game progressed, spirits fell like meteors out of the sky. Needless to say, we lost. Spectacularly. It was our own version of black Sunday, but on a Saturday. Our host made the effort and we weren’t raised by barbarians. At least not all of us. Besides there was food and fire and friends, a support structure. Initial feelings of dread slowly drifted to the hidden corners of our minds as we made a conscious effort to numb the pain with alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. And some steak. It worked. We eventually stopped crying.
The country was still in shock and agony over our surprise loss to the country with a red dot on their flag. A few of the crazy eight couldn’t pitch, already suffering from World Cup fatigue. I’m kidding, they all had valid excuses. The absence of the few didn’t do anything to release the tension that was palpable in the air. The confidence in our team was still in tatters. Nervous energy filled the anxious room as they sung their respective national anthems. The rugby gods were gracious on the day and we won. Then we had some hamburgers. We were back on track.
Game 3: South Africa vs Scotland hosted by yours truly with a welcoming “Melktertjie“
Scotland trashed Samoa in the previous week and our victory over Samoa didn’t constitute a “trashing”. We still had concerns as the ghost of Japan hovered in the room. Needless to say the Boks made us proud and won. The night couldn’t be more perfect. Everyone was there. Victory is sweet. So… Men make big fire. All eat many pizza. We hug wives. We drink beer. We hug wives more.
We also experienced the event that shook the world as England bowed out of the World Cup in a disastrous loss against
Wales Australia. It’s always bad when the host country cannot get out of the pool.
Spirits were soaring and the sugar at the bottom of the Mojito was a nice surprise as a few of the crazy eight are trying to reduce our intake of the substance. And not because we need to lose weight, merely because we can’t afford to buy bigger clothes. It was the first and only game played during the week so the guys opted to take it easy. Hungovers are something we fear more than mother-in-laws or dirty diapers. Needless to say the BOKS won the game against the USA and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all my American friends…64 times.
It wasn’t the greatest showcase of rugby ever seen on television but we will take the win, thank you very much. Top of the pool. Go BOKKE!
Now we have to wait and see who the BOKS will need to win in order to proceed to the semis. It’s going to be the loser in a match of Wales vs Australia. Or, in case you forgot, the teams that destroyed the dreams of a country and probably sent the English coach on early retirement.
Next up, Quarterfinal play-offs: South Africa vs Wales hosted by George with a welcoming…
Unfortunately I am going to miss this glorious event, partly because I work for Hitler. Someone who expects me to travel to the US and attend a conference during the same damn time when the Rugby World Cup is reaching its peak. He is a sadist and clearly doesn’t want to see me happy. He says he didn’t get my memo where I made it crystal clear that he is NOT to expect an ounce of commitment or any level of productivity from me whatsoever, at least until someone is holding that trophy.
As a result of my
abstinence absence (damn auto-correct), I will have to rely on my friends to give me the rundown of what will happen on the day. Chances are slim of getting an accurate version of events as I’m sure there will be no man standing at the end of the night, irrespective of a win or (god forbid) loss. The crazy eight will drink to celebrate or they will drink to forget.
If we do win, we’re probably going to meet the All Blacks in the semi-final. I hate the All-blacks.*
*- This is not a racist comment