Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A mad Monday in Melbourne

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I happened to be in Melbourne on the occasion of my 50th birthday. I was with a tour group of NZ meat retailers, about 40 in all, husbands and wives, seeing what we might glean from observing the craftsmanship of our Aussie counterparts.

My fellow travellers decided to put on a surprise party for me in the lounge bar in our hotel. I’ve should have known I was going to be the meat in the sandwich when I observed that most of the attendees had brought along their video cameras.

Half an hour into the celebrations the door opened abruptly and a rather large female burst into the room and demanded to know “Where’s Ricky!”

The revellers parted like the Red Sea leaving me in the middle of the room with all fingers pointing my way. The scantily-clad lady placed a ghetto-blaster on the floor, chained me to a chair and proceeded to strut her stuff dancing to an appropriate tune blasting from the cassette player. The video cameras worked overtime.

The raunchy Australians are apparently inclined to send a strip-o-gram to young men on their 21st birthdays; for 50-year-olds it’s a fat-o-gram.

Fortunately for all concerned our performer didn’t strip down completely, ending her erotic routine still wearing an over-burdened bra, skimpy bikini knickers and fishnet stockings.

Her final act was to sit on my knee, announcing she was going to kiss me and said if I put my tongue down her throat she would bite it off.

No such instruction was necessary.

A few months later I happened to walk into a pub in Geraldine. I was the National President of the New Zealand Licensing Trusts Association at the time and the CEO and I were visiting the South Island trusts. I was surprised at the attention I was receiving from the patrons standing around their leaners. They were all looking at me and appeared to be talking about me. One gentleman called me over and said “You’re that butcher fellow from Masterton aren’t you?” I allowed that indeed I was and he told me that the previous week I was the star on the big screen in the public bar.

It seems the local Geraldine butcher had his video camera at Melbourne and had proudly shown the pub patrons the main highlight of my fiftieth birthday party. The evening had been well advertised and was well attended

They all said they recognised me, only my face was more florid in the video.

Well it would be wouldn’t it?

This all came back to me last week when the NZRU blunderingly downplayed the seriousness of the Chief’s “Mad Monday” escapade and justifiably copped a fair bit of flak from a wide cross-section of the community.

I’m certainly not condoning what the reckless rugby team got up to with the hapless young lady with the unlikely name of Scarlette, but it occurred to me that from time to time boys will be boys and middle-aged men and women will also be boys.

But I was happy with my own conduct. Chained to a chair and with my hands tied behind my back, my behaviour was impeccable.

“Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their relations with men, in their relations with women, all men are rapists, and that’s all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws and their codes.” - Marilyn French


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