Thursday, 2 August 2012

Just give me the pig skin, and nobody has to get hurt...

I am not sure whether I understand "manly behaviour".  In essence, men and women are so different, and nothing could be more apparent than when they play games.  It starts young, apparently.

We recently had a wonderful picnic in Tunnel Gully, an amazing reserve that encompasses a long tunnel, built in Ye Olden Times, out of somewhat fragile-looking bricks and mortar.  In fact, so fragile-looking that certain stalagtites have started to depend from the roof in certain places, a fact that a mother's mind instantly computes into her trusty inbuilt mom-o-meter of risk. (Mine went something like this: Stalagtites + Water = Instability of some kind minus the fact that the tunnel has been here for literally yonks and has been observed by several thousand tourists = okay, maybe it is safe for family to traverse. But quietly.) 

After the usual wandering through the tunnel, me answering the usual flood of questions in a distracted way due to praying that said tunnel would remain standing for another few minutes at least, we emerged thankfully into the daylight on the other side for a picnic.  It was at this juncture that the Rugby Ball made its appearance.  

Now I have nothing against rugby, per se; apart from the fact that it seems rather a pointless game, a fact which is somewhat mitigated by the general handsomeness of the New Zealand team (after all if that many good specimens of menfolk want to get all sweaty running around after a ball and flexing their muscles, who am I to complain?), but I am not sure that I want my menfolk to be part of that.  I don't think I am in any danger of that happening, to be honest.  But, as far as I can make out, where a bunch of women would probably stand close enough to each other to get a good conversation going and in the lulls, kick a ball cooperatively to each other, it seems as the though the major goal of the manly interaction is to show off how well the ball can be kicked.  Even when that means that the majority of the game is spent traipsing around after a ball that has been kicked so far that it has actually been sighted in orbit by the astronauts in the space station. There is no such thing as gentle kicking to one another so that the smallest and weakest members of the team (i.e. the four-year-old twins) can easily retrieve it.  No, rather, that ball has to have the hell kicked out of it so that, like a pack, they can all run screaming after it to retrieve it.  I think I counted two kicks in the entire game, and about forty minutes of hard running to find the ball as it shot into the forests and even, once, near to the entrance of the tunnel (about a kilometer away).

Luckily for Little Miss Snoopy and myself, caught in that horrible space of having to admire extremely boring manly interactions of this sort, an unknown dog appeared as if in an answer to prayer, grabbed up the ball, and with a single clench of its jaws, and an audible bang, that oval sucker burst with a satisfying pop, and the game was over. 

Score: Men = 0, dog = 1.  Yay - go, dog!

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