Well, well, well… who would’ve thought, eh? Not me, not me that’s for sure.
What I’m talking about here is that weekend. You know the one. The one of the 15th and 16th of September 2018. The one where everything turned upside down in the southern hemisphere.
The weekend where being a rugby supporter could do you some serious damage.
You see, it all depends on who you are, where you come from, and who you support. So ‘damage’ might not necessarily be the case in some or all incidents. Rather a roller-coaster ride of emotions is generally guaranteed, and that in itself can do damage. Serious damage.
This past weekend started out innocently enough for me. I got a compulsory invite to a barbecue. Usual story. Someone had won a meat-tray the night before, at the local pub, and it needed to be cooked and consumed.
“We’re having a barbie, come on over!”
All good so far.
It was only a small intimate gathering. And as the drinks clinked, as the air hung with the aroma of a variety of sizzling meats, and the convivial conversation bubbled along, I was suddenly asked… “What’s up with those Wallabies of yours mate?”
Bang! Immediately a bomb went off in my head, and I suddenly wished I was at a larger gathering so I could disappear into the crowd. Escape. Disappear. But, no, no I was trapped.
And as the questioner zeroed in on me with steely gaze I knew what was coming next… ridicule.
Luckily for me my phone rang, allowing me to make an excuse and take the call. And funnily enough (or not) it was from a rugby mate. Sadly for him, he had the misfortunate of making his call at the wrong time and in the process copped a profanity ladened minute or two of my angst.
“What’s up with those Wallabies of yours, mate?” I repeated a few times.
After I had drawn breath my mate actually managed to get a word in and what he said next stumped me…
“Mate, don’t worry ’cause I reckon the very same question is probably being asked around barbies across the nation. And not just here in Aussie mate, but in South Africa, in Argentina, although probably not in NZ, those smug sheep… So forget about it, Just enjoy the barbie. Enjoy the food. The drink. And the fact you can.”
“Oh, OK” I said.
After our call had ended I pondered this more in my own mind. Yeah, everyone loves a barbie. Yeah, forget the baited questions. Yeah, barbies are for eating, drinking and enjoying yourselves. Yeah!
Further, I got to thinking what would a Braai be like in South Africa, or an Asado in Argentina, or for that matter a Hangi in NZ? And like what sort of stuff would they throw on to cook-up?
Australians will pretty much throw anything on the barbie, even crocodile and kangaroo. Not Wallaby though, they’re a protected species but the way things are going this may soon be revoked.
Thus, it was with these continued thoughts in mind that I sat down to watch the weekend’s games: first NZ hosting SA, then followed by Aussie hosting Argentina. All pretty straight forward stuff you’d have thought, eh?
The almighty All Blacks to smack the spluttering, stuttering Bokke, while the Wallabies to just, just beat those ever improving Bargies.
But it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen that way at all.
History will now recall that the impenetrable darkness fell to a defiant and proud Bokke in NZ, while ‘my’ Wallabies gifted those Bargies their first ever win in Aussie.
Hence, this weekend I’ve decided not to have a barbie but to have a Braai instead. Yep. A turn the tables type of deal. A switcharoo.
There’ll be sosaties, boerewors, marinated chicken, pork, and huge juicy steaks of springbok, ostrich and kudo. I’m sure my butcher has the contacts to come good on this. Likewise, my local ‘Cellar Masters’ will provide me with just right Stellenbosch cab savs for the occasion. And the beer will be chilled cold and crisp.
And, as the only ‘sure thing’ in Aussie presently (and possibly the world) is a horse called Winx – so there’ll be no horse meat.
“We’re having a Braai, come on over!”
PS: And don’t forget to leave your money on the fridge. Thanks.