A very wise woman on Twitter said in reply to something I Twote:
@KStew70 It sounds like the pre-Ramadan stock-up by Middle Eastern expats….I need to head eastwards.
— Paula (@kiwipaula) September 19, 2015
This is true. The context of our conversation was the beginning of the Rugby World Cup 2015, and the way rugby is tied to alcohol consumption.
I would never set a judgment tone for rugby and drinking. I have years of drinking under my belt.
My first experience of rugby was a 1987 All Blacks–France game at Eden Park. My boyfriend at the time was no rugby head, but there I was standing on the terraces, bemused by the levels of piss drinking. And I mean piss. Cheap, nasty cans of Rheineck and the odd bladder of Cook’s Chasseur had been sneaked in down the leg of a trouser or on the inside of a trench coat.
My last, was a game at Stade de France in 2006. The French were universally drunk at that game too; they must have been. They were cheering for the Blacks.
There’ll be plenty of chances to drink piss in the next month. We’ll all be over at Barry and Margot’s. Barry will have been dispatched to Liquorland to get a trolley filled with piss. There’ll be dozens of craft beers, dozens of Steinlagers, boxes of Chards and Savs for the girls, and a tipple for 4am, perhaps a 1000-proof whisky, to finish off the night, and the livers.
Alcohol and rugby are an easy mix, and the government knows it all too well.
Instead of taking a stand at the option to keep bars open at 4am for avid fans to presumably stumble into, even though they’ve been drinking since 4pm the previous day, it was decided that being able to drink while watching rugby outweighed everything else we are being told about moderation, drink driving, high-functioning alcoholism … The current list of reasons to axe the booze is as long as your arm, and yet still we plough on in to the booze fridges of the supermarkets, stocking up like we’re on our last bender before facing some kind of firing squad.
The Countdown flyers are filled with RWC ’15–related booze and Eat Ripples paraphernalia.
No-one is making us drink; no-one can make you drink while the rugby is on.
But it’s hard to separate the two. We are a rugby nation; we are a drinking nation.