Wednesday, March 18, 2009

That's My Boy!

My little one in his Greater Birmingham kit. It's a shame you can't see his team-mates (I didn't want to ask for permission, so I cropped the photo) because without the comparison, you can't quite appreciate his thighs, which are almost double the size of theirs.
What might be part of a 'great physique' on a rugby player, used to look seriously out of place on the girl he inherited these from (poor little me!). Their circumference was only a few inches short of that of my waist, and my calves were equally 'impressive', giving rise to my Dad gleefully referring to them as footballers' legs. - He was equally charming about my backside, but that's another story (1). - As there was no girls' team in our area, their usefulness in this respect was never further tested than playing on an open field with the neighbours' son (who, nonetheless, became a professional footballer later). Since my main sporting outlet is pushing a trolley along food aisles as fast as the other shoppers will allow, a less muscular outfit would have sufficed. However, all the years of distress over my deformity melt away when I see The Boy putting his physical inheritance to such good use in the pushing and 'driving' required in scrums and what I have recently found is called a 'ruck', not a 'rook' as I erroneously called it here. Well, I had never seen it written down, and believe me, the way they say it in this region, it sounded like the latter. Still does.
'Ruck', of course, makes far more sense, being a nice Anglo-Saxon word. Apparently, it is believed to be of Scandinavian origin, meaning a pile of combustible material! In German, 'der Ruck' is a jolt, jerk, tug or yank, and 'Hau ruck' means 'heave ho!'
What a shame I've been banned from shouting anything from the side-lines...
(1) My behind, apparently, was as broad as the Krämpfer Tor. No, this didn't mean anything to me either. In fact, it is only now, courtesy of the weird and wonderful web, that I have found what it refers to.
Once upon a time, in the days of the Cold War, behind the Iron Curtain, there was a town called Erfurt. This town, in existence since the 8th century, was keen on defending itself, building massive city walls in 1066 (had they by any chance heard of William the Bastard?!), and by the 15th century, the walls had several gates. The Krämpfer Tor is one of them, and I guess it was big.
Considering that I fitted into a size 8 at the time (which would probably be a 6 these days - UK sizes), I daren't think what he'd say now - Marble Arch? Arc de Triomphe?
Come to think of it, had he not been quite so unsupportive... - maybe, just maybe, I would never have tried to weigh as little as a waif and therefore wouldn't have had any weight problems later. (More about that some other time...)


Joanna said...

Great post. If it's any comfort, I recently looked at a photo of my grandfather aged about 21 in his rugby kit and thought, why have they used my legs in that photo? The only saving grace is that he was a fly half, rather than in the scrum, so not quite the physique of your boy. Great stuff :)


Zabeena said...

LOL! as they say - and I literally did laugh out loud!
I've seen the wonderful post about your grandfather, and I remember that you share his birthday (you didn't mention the legs!)
According to The Boy, the fly half is the most important person on the pitch, and I sort of understand that,although I'm still miles away from even a superficial grasp of the game!I have come to LOVE it though!