8. Who Is That Fat Unpleasant Man?

Dorking Derelicts 40 Farnham L’Escargot XV 3

You’d need a heart of stone not to have been touched by the unfortunate plight of the Israeli ambassador recalled from El Salvador after being found mortally drunk, naked and tied up in bondage gear surrounded by sex toys.

Reports said he was able to identify himself to police only after a rubber ball had been removed from his mouth.

The plight of poor old Ambassador Tzuriel Refael certainly perked up an otherwise lack lustre week. And, frankly, who among us can say in all honesty they’ve not been that man. Ok, most of us. But what a boy to have on tour, although not in your own room maybe. I think he’d have to be in with Rodders to start with, or possibly Nobby.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

And I think after Saturday’s outstanding performance it is only right that I talk about probably the most emphatic victory we’ve achieved in years.

Having had the better of Farnham’s l’Escargot XV two weeks ago (albeit narrowly) we were in confident mood as we assembled in the bar for pre-match beers and badinage. So when Skip drained the last of his pint – and like the conductor of an exuberant, but unwieldy orchestra, rapped his glass thrice upon the bar top to signal that the afternoon’s performance was about to begin  – we were readier than ever.

The performance was sure to be different. For a start, a depleted wind section. Bassoonists Kinger and The Challice were doing community service, and there would be no Oddjob on tuba, nor Rodders on gazu or indeed Secret Agent Percy on flute or the headless horseman Thorners on piccolo. And as for the absence of Tap, well, there would be no team product testing for the foreseeable future either.

But this orchestra is accomplished on many levels. So with scarely a word of confusion, positions proceeded to tumble into place and the chorus of throat warming gave way to prolonged instrument tuning and the application of a plethora of stinging ointments, home cures and unorthodox remedies that keep men of creaking age supple and therefore eager for an afternoon’s battle. False teeth were removed, undercarriages supported and vaseline, Vick and hot sauce slathered liberally across vast expanses of hairy torsos and extremities, all finally taped tightly into place like a sparky bodging a light fitting.

And then the strangest of things. While we jogged out on to pitch 2 with its less distinctive slope, but deceptive yardage, a familiar vision. To all intents and purposes, my long lost brother had waddled onto the pitch in green to referee the afternoon’s performance. “A fat, unpleasant man,” as a distant girlfriend’s mother rather harshly dubbed me. But it seemed ready made for the custodian of the whistle who proceeded to insist upon the game being played, er, his way.

But, like a good old fashioned cuff around the lugholes from the village bobby, it did us no harm.

Farnham were quickly under the cosh and no matter how they varied their front row the result was the same. Pain, reverse gears and lost ball. Veness was in top form, the colonic irrigation on the Thursday having put quite a spring in his shuffle and he was hooking the pill back at such speed that we had good, fast ball for the backs to work with. And when play faltered Hairnet and Pomf, like dogs scenting fox, were inevitably first to the breakdown to keep our momentum going. Classic stuff.

We went behind to a penalty but were soon back battering away at their line before The Biggest Scrum Half In The World – having consumed an excess of ginseng for brekky – launched his superhuman frame over the line. Within miunutes we were back in similar territory, only this time good work by the Lords of Centre, Greg and Greedy, set that miserable sod Brian away. The grumpy fullback hit the line like a man with a rocket up his ar*e and burst through tackles to touchdown for the second. It was like somebody had spiked the backs isotonic pre-match ale with amphetamine.

It was all going suspiciously well and at the break we were 17-3 up and, well, frankly cruising. Farnham, to their credit, never made it easy and were unlucky not to score when their tubby centre scorched through the defence only to be unceremoniously dumped on his back by Vet Brian. But this was an isolated incident in a one-way half where forward mastery created plenty of openings.

Ginge “Where’s my f*cking port you b*stards?” and  Gez “I’m not sure the name Buzz Lightyear suits me, Moz” were inspirational, setting up rucks and mauling expertly with the assistance of the Colossus that is Gav and the Fat Unpleasant Man’s Brother.
And the tries flowed.

The Count arrived after the 2s got sick of him showing them up and proceeded to add yet more vigour to the back row, while Swerve took over seemlessly at 10 from Gazza to keep it all flowing smoothly. Brian, the miserable vetinary surgeon in the No15 jumper, collected a hattrick with all the elation of a man about to lop off his own thumb, Pomf zoomed in for a brace and Gerbil surprised everyone by taking the direct route to the line for a change, avoiding the temptation to smack into his chasers, wheel round in a circle for another charge at the biggest bloke on the field or even ignore the overlap hyet again. A quite sudden transformation you’ll agree.

I’m sure Gerbil won’t mind me explaining, but I made a point of sending him to see my friend Flossie in the high street for some of her special electro convulsion therapy, of which you may recall, necessitating as it does the despatching of moderately high voltage to sensitive areas. So now, whenever Gerbil thinks of running in unstraight fashion, he gets a deep and alarming sense of unease, sweats and anxiety followed by a desire for exquisite pleasure as reward for when he’s a good boy and Does The Right Thing.

Keep it up lad. After the third session she might allow you to remove the rubber ball from your mouth.

NEXT: 9. Zen, Skip And The Art of Vets Captaincy   Previous: 7. A Visit To Flossie For Christmas

Squad: Prior Arrangement, Scud, Mozza, Skip, Ginge, Buzz, Hairnet, Watts, Reigate Mike, Gazza, Raymondo, Lord Greg, Lord Greed, The Juggler, Bad-tempered Brian, The Colossus That Is Gav, The Count, Swerve, Gerbil, Bushey, Ros.