Now I am proud to be a New Zealander.
I just don’t have much of an affinity with the culture surrounding our so-called National Game, Rugby. Ah, hell, actually I can’t stand it. I get so bored with the narrow definition of masculinity that the whole machine imposes on its sedentary legions. I have had enough “brushes” (of the kind that leave bruises) with rugby lads in full intoxicated force in my time to have a strong aversion to all of it.
So, this active disinterest, which is compounded by the fact that I don’t own a TV aerial and thus don’t watch the thing, meant that I didn’t know that last Friday was the day before one of the “Big Games”.
Thus, when, on Thursday, one of the many people higher than me in the hierarchy at school dropped into my class to tell me to wear black the next day, it never occurred to me that it had anything to do with the dreaded game. The school in which I work is rich with practical jokers and their product, so I assumed we were in for another of these. I began to consider which of my black clothes I would wear and had almost made a decision (the black suit with black Dr Martens steelcaps and a black roll-neck jersey) when I encountered one of my immigrant colleagues who was feeling rather left out because she hadn’t been told of the black day.
It transpired that this particular practical joke was to be played on all the non-new zealand-born members of our illustrious staff group. I was incensed! I have experienced being the minority who is singled out too many times to want to subscribe to such ‘game’-playing myself.. but it was worse than that. I had come very close to being duped into wearing the colours of what I could easily perceive to be my number one oppressor!
Needless to say my pink “Monster Children” T-Shirt was bundled into the washing machine and drier and I arrived at school wearing the colours of my own team.
I wonder how this same rugby-following member of staff is going to dress on our up-coming “fairies and princesses” mufti day.
I think I’ll wear black.

One thought on “rugbynation

  1. Christopher Waugh says:

    Post script:
    To his credit, he wore a dress and a wig. And I wore black. The world has returned to balance.

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