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November 14, 2004

scrum into my world

New York City is always exciting. You can feel your pulse quicken a bit when you enter Manhattan. But maybe it's the overcrowding and the traffic. Even if you've been there before, you think you recognize this street or that, but then you realize you haven't really scratched the surface yet. On this trip I couldn't help noticing all the 1940's style ironworks on the bridges and things. I think they look cool, like something out of the movies Iron Giant or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which I'm sure were inspired in one way or another by the big city.

We arrived late into Manhattan due to crappy weather which slowed traffic down to a crawl all the way up 95. Remember: rain kills, so drive 30mph below the speed limit, mmmkay? By the time we arrived, few were willing to travel to the pre-match social, which I'm sure was a blast. I was in bed by 10 or so, my roomate coming in later and noted the next morning that he thought I was dead, as I sleep without making a sound. I guess I needed my sleep.

It was snowing when I got up for some breakfast. Food is remarkably cheap there, at least in comparison to DC, and you can always get fresh cafe or deli food to pack, which is great. I'm glad I did get some stuff to go, as the day would be a long one in the cold.

The Renegurls had an A- and B-side ready, and I was set to play on the B-side, and surprised that I was to play scrumhalf. I was a little nervous about it as I hadn't played that position in years, but I'm glad I did. I was told I played well, and the guy I've had some friction with in the past played flyhalf, who plays closely with the scrumhalf. Surprisingly, we were the picture of peace and cooperation, and we played well together. My passes from the asses of the forwards were very clean, and I had a lot of energy that day to dig the ball out from the rucks, mauls and scrums. We played well as a team and won against the Gotham B and Toronto teams, but lost against a skilled and very large Atlanta team. It was a good tourney overall. I noticed I'm a lot less beat up today than after I would play on the backline, as I have to deal with fewer people who've gained inertia. Fat Dude + Velocity = Pain.

Joe stopped by with a friend to brave the bitter cold and ogle some beef, and took some of pictures:

In addition to the lack of an on-site ambulance (a good idea at most day-long tourneys with multiple teams and dozens of injuries), a set of port-a-potties were absent, and there were no discrete forested areas in which to poop or pee. In most sports, athletes get worked up and the intestines and bladder tend to tense up before the game. Since the tourney was running from 9am to 3pm, that adds up to a lot of rugger piss and shit. Everyone from our team, and possibly others, were using the tiny receptacle in the tour bus we rented. Soon, a thick stalacmite of shit began to form from the bottom of our bus toilet. This would become a nauseating factor on the bus trip home the next day, which I will touch upon later...

After the tournament, it was off to the NY Eagle for a post-match social. While I was wandering around, I heard this noise like Cookie Monster having a feeding orgasm ('AWWMP CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP!') I looked over and there was Joe, positioned at the buffet table stuffing himself silly. Considering his reputation, I was surprised to find him pigging out there instead of under the bar or upstairs in the naughty area. Or perhaps he was just carbo-loading for a marathon later in the evening.

During the evening, I finally worked out a good come-back for when people come up to me in a bar and say, "Smile!" or "Cheer up!" Apparently I look like I'm pouting or pissed off when my face is relaxed, or in this case when I'm tired. I may very well be thinking happy thoughts of butterflies and rainbows or puppies or of my pouty face buried between a set of hairy ruggerbear pecs. I wouldn't go out if I was cranky, believe me. So when the inevitable ocurred, I said, "I am happy, my mouth just goes this way," which was followed by a cascade of very apologetic remarks.

The bar was jam-packed with ruggerbears and their camp followers, but I am rarely up for elbowing for space in a bar after a day of edging out beefy legs during the day. Plus, I figuratively shot my load during the tournament, so despite the hotness and interest, I was back in my hotel and out like a light by 9:30.

After 11 hours in a regenerative coma, I got up for some more lovely deli food, and a stroll around Midtown to see the sights and loosen up my leg muscles. Boarding our bus by Noon, the beat-up team was on their way home. The bathroom was somewhat stanky by then, so visits to the small room in the back of the bus became taboo. Then someone noticed a blue fluid flowing down the right side of the bus towards the front, under our seats. Those of us in the back created a hasty waste contianment boom out of newspaper to contain the spill. Then I opened up the bathroom door to see what the problem was. Blue goo with tawny chunks was percolating up through a drain in the floor, which I stoppered with a thick copy of Sunday's New York Times. Within the hour, the bus driver stopped at a rest area to drain the excess effluent, which helped a little. But the bus still stank for the remainder of the trip, and I felt Unclean, as in Old Testament Unclean, by the time I got home.

Posted by jimbo at November 14, 2004 7:00 PM

Comments

Ewww, you were brave to open that door. Even though I grew up on a farm I have no desire to deal with human poo. And when people tell me to smile, my standard response is, "I am smiling." That kinda shuts them up.

Posted by: homer at November 15, 2004 9:01 AM

What happened to the vacation beard?

I guess you don't need the beard trimmer for Christmas anymore!

Posted by: Marc at November 15, 2004 9:58 AM

Hey! Wait a minute! How dare you! "Considering his reputation..." I should come down there and...

Oh, wait.

Right.

Posted by: Joe at November 15, 2004 10:36 AM

But don't you hate when you get that biblically "unclean" feeling yet have no stanky bus ride to blame? You know, like when you're out with "that group of friends" and you get wickedly drunk only to sober up and find yourself lounging in the steam room of the local second-choice bathhouse?

Posted by: Joe at November 15, 2004 8:34 PM