Friday, September 23, 2011

RWC 2011 - a flag's point of view

I suppose we had better give some mention to this. If you live in the Land of the Long White Sporting Hype you would have to have spent the last fortnight under the Long White Rock to not have noticed that the Rugby World Cup is taking place. Big event, sure, and I am enjoying selected games on the 100" screen. I have not wasted my time with most of the games so far despite the breathless enjoinders of the spinmeisters employed by the organisers. USA vs Russia for example was billed as the 'continuation of the cold war'. In New Plymouth. Tarankai's most famous aviator, weatherman Jim Hickey, is hardly Gary Powers. All this bollocks does not disguise the fact that USA vs Russia is going to be crap rugby and so, apparently, it turned out. One of the teams won (there hasn't been a draw yet) and I neither know or care which it was. I have little enthusiasm for watching any of Romania's games and noted in passing that England looked very ordinary overcoming Georgia. Last night, not five kilometres from Obald Acres, South Africa took on Namibia. Shall I go? Tricky one but after much soul searching I decided not to bother shelling out North of $150 to see a 87-0 drubbing. But you wouldn't know that was the score before the match, you may well say. Well, yes I did. I certainly knew the 'nil' bit (it might have been three or even five - it matters not) and the larger number was going to be greater than sixty and then who cares.

Must admit I was quite tempted to get a ticket for NZ vs France at Eden Park tomorrow night but at $400 a pop it is back to the home theatre at a time when I am normally watching the Saturday evening murdering.

What is in full swing, though and what I am quite enjoying is having loads of cars running around with little flags attached to the windows. About $5 a pop apparently and some cars have multiple embellishments; two common and four not unusual. Vast majority, of course, are All Black flags and depending on where you drive in Auckland second are South Africa (on the Shore where I do most of my driving), Tonga or Samoa (South Auckland). Very few Aussie flags. Some are really inventive and have two countries up - generally the ABs and the country of the driver's origin. Lots of scope for inventiveness here. Two different flags and do you put the ABs on the driver's side or the passenger side? Four flags - two each side, different front and back or, my favourite, diagonally? Not really been tempted to go for car flags for either of the Jags but I must admit I quite like them.

But what do we have in the Herald this morning? Some sour faced Plod 'reminding' people that the flags must be securely fastened to their cars or they may face 'criminal charges'. Wowser on steroids and you can just fuck off.

No, the World Cup is going to be good when the real stuff starts in a couple of weeks. There has been one 'upset' to date which was Ireland upsetting the Wobblies. This has to be the most welcome result of the tournament so far for most Kiwis and will remain so until the ABs give France a seeing to tomorrow. It also gave rise to the best bit of public display of team support I have seen thus far. Flags - good, face painting - naff and so yesterday. But last Sunday night I met an Irishwoman who had an Irish flag in nail polish on every one of her ten digits (she might have done her toes as well but I was not forward enough to ask her to remove her boots). I thought they might have been transfers but she assured me they were all individually painted. Very nice.

I'm off to try and find a Yaapie female similarly decorated - now that would be impressive.

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