Last Saturday, I was invited over to our neighbours’ house to watch the rugby. England (the country of my birth), were playing New Zealand (where we have been living for the past nine years) and we were expecting quite a match. We certainly weren’t disappointed with the game, although the final score wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it, and although there were a couple of refereeing decisions I wasn’t happy about, I’m not knowledgeable enough about the laws of the game to really criticise, especially on the more subtle points.
In the coverage I was watching, though, I all but missed out on one of the most entertaining moments of the match. The streaker! I don’t know if you agree, but scantily clad pitch invaders offer only laughs, so it makes no difference it is a man or a woman who is the offender. On this occasion it was a guy and one who is, in my humble opinion a very brave man. Not only was he venturing naked onto a pitch, which was populated only by huge blokes, but the temperature was hovering around the 10⁰ Celsius mark, and would have felt a lot colder. It is probably fair to say that he wasn’t painting a particularly flattering picture of himself. In any event, he was the recipient of one of the best tackles which was seen all night, and was probably saved too much further embarrassment.
In a bizarre turn of events though, this was the second pitch invasion I would have seen in the space of 48 hours, and the unlikely venue for the first was at the local primary school. The week before, we had heard that Fraboo was receiving a certificate at the school assembly, and happily both Mrs L. and I were able to go. Obviously we would be taking five month old Jojo, but due to a big storm which knocked out Auckland’s woeful electricity supply, Boy-Boy’s kindergarten was cancelled and so he had to come too.
We deliberately stood at the back of school hall so that should either of the boys start to make a scene we would be able to sneak out, drawing as little attention to ourselves as possible. As it turned out they both behaved really well, although as the assembly went on, I could see that Jojo was beginning to get a bit fractious. Mrs L. was a little worried about him too, but we couldn’t leave as the recipients of certificates in Fraboo’s class, hadn’t been called. And so we waited.
There were loads of children getting awards for all manner of achievements and they all looked so proud, but I have to confess, that although I am an enthusiastic clapper, my hands were getting a bit sore, and as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I was losing my patience. I managed to catch Mrs L.’s eye and could see that she was feeling much the same as me.
Just as we glanced at each other, I caught sight of Boy-Boy. He was clearly enjoying the occasion, so much so that he wanted to be a part of it. While our attention was momentarily not on him, he took off. He ran to the end of our aisle and ran past the teachers who were sat along the side of the hall. By this time he had gained quite an audience, and there was much sniggering coming from many of the other parents, and some of the students. Or maybe that was just me. Anyway, one teacher tried to grab hold of him, but he neatly ducked under her outstretched arm (it was really setting the mood for the rugby match the following day). Moments later he arrived at the front of the hall and in the same fashion as all of the children who had received certificates, expected to shake the teacher’s hand. The teacher reacted brilliantly, shaking his hand and presenting him with a “certificate” (a piece of scrap paper which she had seemingly plucked from thin air).
He then clambered on to the stage, puffed out his chest and with a very proud expression on his face, showed his certificate for all to see. A very embarrassed Mrs L. had arrived at the front of the hall a few minutes after him and scooped him up. And where was I during my son’s adventures? I was still at the back of the hall, laughing so hard that I almost had tears running down my leg! It was absolutely hysterical.
Fraboo eventually received her merit award, for counting up to 20 and back down again, and although it was supposed to be her moment to shine, the limelight had very definitely been stolen from her by her little brother.