The nightmare you can’t wake up from
Reminiscent of a disarming early morning episode of sleep paralysis, I’ve been stuck in a nightmare that I can’t quite wake from.
The pathophysiological response has had me clumsily crashing around my house for 24 hours.
Opening beer. Drinking. Staring into space. Barely functional. I’m hungry, but I have no appetite. I’m tired. But going back to sleep and allowing the subconscious to rehearse its macabre creation is unthinkable.
When will it end? And is this what it feels like to be a Welsh rugby fan?
The last time I remember normal life was about 2:28PM on Saturday. With national anthems dusted, Piri Weepu was kicking off another epic Haka. The English looked resigned to their spanking. Chris Robshaw looked like a man unsure whether to kick for the corner, go for the posts, or scuff a quick hole in the turf and stick his head in it.
But then I must have drifted off, and this nightmare began: The IRB’s comic relief entry for Player of the Year started kicking penalties from all angles. Dan Carter was resembling riff-raff with a slice to the left, then a hook to the ri-aye-ight and George Clancy had entered a similar time warp and taken the ruck laws back to 2004: there were English ruck-monkeys using their unsupported body positions to rip the ball away from under Aaron Smith’s nose time and time again. Unpenalised.
At one point, my delusional state became so morbid, I actually hallucinated that England had gone to the break 15-0 up.
But, and let me tell you, this freakish narcoleptic state just got worse. Wave after wave of coordinated, effective and direct English attack was crashing through the unbreakable All Black defences.
Conrad Smith, Mr 90% himself, suddenly lost composure and faith in his outside defence and let the least effective midfield in global rugby step, out-pace then out-flank him.
Then the bizarrely overlooked IRB player of the year heir-apparent Kieran Read threw a loopy intercept pass to the self-same midfield and somehow they conspired to actually score from it, with the out of form and try-less Chris Ashton even swan-diving in for a score.
Things got so surreal that my subconscious managed to construct a scenario where Dan Carter and Aaron Smith were pulled by the coach and things actually seemed to get better.
Let me tell you, fellow Roarers, it was a simply the most unthinkable mix of the macabre, surreal and tortuous I have experienced since the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
As I sit here, staring into the frosty early hours of the day, I wonder, when will I wake? When will reality resume? When will this nightmare finally end?
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