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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Touching Me ... Touching You ...

The following is a true account of how Lebanese people watch rugby.

So, I really do not care for sports at all, something that was confirmed at my weekly pub night with Mr. B, MadGlam and co. The evening started out well enough and as per usual we caught up on a variety of interesting, mind stimulating topics ('remember the swipe?'). Eventually Mr. B and co. left and we were joined once again by the very exciting Mr. Borrring (yes, he is still bored) and his friend. As we continued our intellectual discourse, a mad group of over-excited sports fans stormed in and before we knew it, we were caught up in a raging rugby match that had just started on TV. Oh lucky us.

(By the way, just an off-hand observation, I don't think your average Lebanese guy is into sports either, unless he's lived abroad, has another nationality and thus follows the team of another country. Of course the exception is soccer, in which case every Lebanese man either supports Brazil or Germany because unlike Nelson Mandela who used rugby to unite his country, we Lebanese have no such national team. Yes, I watched Invictus.)

MadGlam, who is as into sports as Mr. Borrring is into yoga, was excited that her fellow Frenchmen were playing 'football' against some team in red (Wales). Someone points out that it's actually a rugby match and we all decide to support France because 1) Wales isn't even a country; 2) none of us gives a rat's ass about rugby; and 3) no one even remotely understands the game - yes, even though I watched Invictus - which is demonstrated by my discussion with Mr. Borrring on whether or not a score was called a touchdown or a goal. "No, no, it's a touchdown," says Mr. Borrring confidently while puffing on a cigar, which is how Lebanese men watch sports. "Are you sure? I think it's a goal," I interject, although I have no idea what I'm talking about - yes, even though I watched Invictus - and am more concerned about the effect of the cigar smoke on my freshly washed hair. "Yeah, yeah, I'm sure," settles Mr. Borrring.

Our loud (if mock) enthusiastic shouts of 'Vive La France' draw the attention of a rabid Welsh fan, who comes up to our table for no apparent reason and asks if we're into the game. We reply that sure, we are soooo into the game. He then asks if we're with France. Again, we (faux) passionately exclaim our devotion to the French team. Rabid Welsh Fan then asks if we understand the game, and we say, "Sure, sure we understand the game." And just to emphasize how much we all understand the fine nuances of all things rugby, I ask, "So, is a score called a touchdown or a goal?"

RWF (who by this time has revealed that he is in fact Irish) gives me a face of disgust. "Urgh, you Americans always take a fine, respectable sport and turn it into a vulgar game. You took rugby and made it into American football and took cricket and made it into baseball." I interrupted his stimulating diatribe with, "Uhm, can you just answer my question." "Oh, it's called a 'try'." Man, we were so off base. A try?? Stupid rugby, not even their scoring makes sense.

Not in the mood to get into the whole 'America ruins everything, even good sports' discussion, I turn to MadGlam, and say, "At least American sports players are hot! Rugby players look like toothless cavemen." "They look like hobbits," she says. "Yeah," I agree, "hobbits carved out of tree trunks." As you can tell, we don't care about the game, the talent, or even the team - to us, if we have to watch sports, for the love of Prada, at least let the players be hot!

Anyway, MadGlam, then bursts into fits of hysterical laughter and takes a napkin to wipe her eyes. By that time we are joined by another friend and we all look to the giant screen to see what has so captivated our companion. We see a bunch of stalky, squat men in short shorts in a huddle grabbing each other's asses (no lie) - it looks like a scene from a gay porno, but with clothes, except when one guy pulls down another guy's shorts and we are treated to his bare buttocks. Suddenly, Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' pops into my head: Hands, touching hands; Reaching out; Touching me; Touching you ... Good times never seemed so good. Could be the rugby theme song.

I look over at RWF and wonder how he thinks American football is vulgar compared to this!! "At least Tom Brady never looks like he's auditioning for an x-rated version of Brokeback Mountain! I shout ... in my head  ... but still, I'm right, right?

And that's how Lebanese people watch rugby.


  1. L to the power of 10

  2. If those guys were smart, they would have been watching you and not that game! You, my Anissa, are the Tom Brady of beauty, and I want to be your 'center'!!



  3. I wish you were a tv channel because I would watch you all the time!


  4. i think it time to change the name to "the blog that some people read"