Update from Hemlock

That horde of grotesque, dusky, steroid-sodden, half-naked, latent homosexuals stampeding like spongiform encephalopathy-ridden buffaloes, pausing frequently to writhe in the mud, groping thighs and grinding their faces between one another’s buttocks – the Rugby Sevens, in short – is back in town. For the small elect of Hong Kong’s western population who are too cool to join the crowds marching zombie-like to the stadium, it is just another weekend. For fans of contrived, ritualized, anonymous, mass-fun made bearable by alcohol poisoning, it is the, or at least a, highlight of the year.

Yet, even though an outsider, I get a sense that the event has seen its glory days. I recall the heart-rending piteous misery and grief of innocent expat men, women and children railing on radio phone-ins at the injustice of a ticket distribution system that apparently allocated most of the seats to mysterious and no doubt evil sporting and corporate entities, leaving the downtrodden public to starve. I remember the blistering righteous fury of the Anglo-Saxon lynch mob against the dreaded ‘touts’ – the scalpers who applied the immutable laws of supply and demand and sold precious tickets for whatever the market would fetch. And who can forget the war stories told by survivors about the lines for the toilets?

Nowadays, at least to a distant onlooker regarding no more than an anthropological curiosity, it seems more organized, sanitized and therefore predictable and stale. It is about as exciting as Christmas. The Hong Kong government, I am reliably informed, has sponsored a huge light box on Gloucester Road greeting the Sevens in perfect Chinese – with an English translation referring to the event as ‘Mini Rugby’, the kids’ tournament played (if I recall correctly) as spectators drift into the ground on Saturday morning. When civil servants start trying to help it along, can the end be far away? Lan Kwai Fong Inc herds dazed fans emerging at the end of the day onto buses for transportation to the city’s fakest and most over-priced bars. Historians will ask why they put up no resistance.

If I were more public-spirited, I would intercept the families, couples and boisterous little mobs on their way to Happy Valley, all obediently wearing their sponsored rugby shirts, and try to talk them out of it. “You’ve been brainwashed!” I’d say. “You think you’re enjoying yourselves, but you’re not – you just think you are. You’ve been conditioned to believe this is pleasurable through subliminal propaganda and communal reinforcement. One glimpse of a monster Fijian bicep, and you salivate for a San Miguel! You’re being used! Rise up! Be free! You don’t have to do this! Enjoyment is a spontaneous, magical moment of glee, not something you put your diary!”

But I can’t be bothered. I will, however, have authentic fun.

I declare the weekend open.

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30 Responses to Update from Hemlock

  1. Foxtrotosca says:

    An early version of the ‘lightbox’ proclaimed the Mini-rugby to be ‘Geld’ at the HK stadium… perhaps a subliminal attempt to rid us of the rugby tribes firstborn…..

  2. Historian says:

    Is anyone else troubled by that Cathay commercial showing a nightmare scenario in Economy Class (I know, is there any other kind?). How did that guy with the two cans of beer on his hat get through security, I wonder? Interesting to see how Cathay has regained the confidence, and then some, to sponsor this event again after dropping it like a hot, colonial-era potato after ’97.

  3. oddsox says:

    The annual gay madi gras for homophobes returns. I will baracade my front door and stay hunkered at home with DVDs and food until the affliction passes and the red faced fatties return to their native shores. I may misdirect some to the PLA barracks in Shek Kong if they ask directions.

  4. Maugrim says:

    Historian, I think CX have sponsored it for the past few years.

    I love sport but can’t stand 20,000 plus drunken expats in scooby-doo outfits marketed as being an Asian ‘event’ but being anything but. A good excuse to visit Macau.

  5. Historian says:

    Yes, they have sponsored it for the last few years, but they and HSBC dropped it straight after the Handover for fear of being seen to be associated with anything so evocative of The Good Old Days (or so the criticism went at the time).

  6. Sir Crispin says:

    Ah, so I’m not alone in my desire to hibernate over 7’s weekend every year. I thought I was the odd man out.

  7. realbodyguard says:

    Ah yes, it’s that time of the year again. I remember having to carry yet another drunken gweilo slob..cough…I mean boss..back from the pub after he rail at seeing his favorite rugby team lose. We always get “busy” this time of year. My recommendation, keep clear of the Wan Chai and Lan Kwai Fong bars this weekend.

  8. Virgil Tibbs says:

    Because for the rest of the year you just stand around hoping that you don’t have VPPL (visible posing-pouch lines)?

    I will also be hiding in a bar on the other side of the harbour.

  9. realbodyguard says:

    VPPL? hahaha. No, this is the time, when these gweilos slobs make complete fool of themselves. I suppose I can take a peverse delight in how these normally over-the-hill perverts trying to hit on gorgeous models are reduced to a drunken stupor. But this also means lots of work for us trying to keep them on the straight and narrow and not embarassing themselves…too much. Anyway, time for work.

  10. Historian says:

    Not much of a career being a servant to ‘gweilo slobs’, is it?

  11. realbodyguard says:

    Servants? It’s employee. And they are slobs. Why did I hurt your tender little feeling by portarying gwailos in less then flattering light? Get real.

  12. Vito Andolini says:

    I think a job description that includes “carrying a drunken slob back from the pub” is rather closer to a servant than an employee, but it doesn’t matter to me how a man makes his living, especially as his interests don’t conflict with my own.

  13. Realbodyguard says:

    Oh man, just had a all-nighter. Generally better behaved then I expected at the bars. But still have Saturday and Sunday nights to go. As for the job description, that’s normally not part of our duties to carry slobs. But if our client insist of making a fool of himself, we have to intervene for his sake. We do not want our client to be sued for sexual harrasement or commit any other illegal acts when he has a alchohlic mind. But experience has taught me that it is the Rugby Sevens when these stuff comes out.

  14. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    It’s the concentrated lack of respect for the locals that bothers me during the 7s. Obnoxious gweilos, particularly from Australia, come over here en masse, realise they can be drunk, rude and crude and the locals/local police will scurry away in fear of confrontation with 100kg boors and then they proceed to do their worst.

    On the other hand, they sometimes get their comeuppance at Wanchai when they aggravate the Nepalese bouncers. No timid Asian non-confrontational attitudes there, just a “one in, all in – with knives, bats and broken bottles” approach to confrontation.

  15. Jim Stoner says:

    ‘Knives, bats and broken bottles” in Wanchai confrontations? Take another hit from the bong, mate.

  16. Realbodyguard says:

    Well said Tiu Fu Fong. I just love how these drunk Aussies get their comeuppance with the Nepali guards. They’ve got far more balls then the local police, that I agreed. I will treat them to a round of drinks sometimes after the sevens. They help me keep those gwailos in order and show no mercy to those swaggering drunks who cross the line. Right on!

  17. Todd says:

    I wonder what would happen when the civil servants move the “mini-rugby” to the new stadium in Kai Tak in a few years’ time… will it spell the end of the sevens?

  18. notaeuropean says:

    God I hate the 7s too for all the same reaons. Australia’s worst. Hope it goes down the tubes.

  19. Historian says:

    Hats off to Hong Kong for winning the Shield anyway. The closest we will ever come to international team-game sporting success for quite some time, I expect.

  20. Roddy McDowell says:

    Yes, now that Hong Kong has won the Shield (whatever that is), my weekend is complete.

  21. Plod says:

    The local Police have to obey the law no matter what whereas in the dark & discreet corners of Wanchai’s dives where witnesses don’t linger, the Nepali bouncers have a ‘freer hand’ to maintain order. Good luck to them I say, there’s a lot of expat trash of all creeds & colours in town these days.

  22. you're all too cool says:

    It’s hilarious… the stupid comments about stupid people. If drunken gweilo bother you then why do you live here? They’re a natural feature of HK, they’ve been here since before any of us and they’ll be here longer than any of us. Sure you get idiots amongst them, just as you get them online (clearly) but either you ignore them or you leave but don’t whine about it.

  23. realbodyguard says:

    Well, I’m not saying ALL gwailos are drunken fools. I’m sure many in HK are not. And even those gwailos posting here I’m sure are decent and intelligent lot (yes, even those calling me names and taking pot shots at me, see how generous and forgiving I am despite my muscular physique?! hehehe)
    But the thing is, in my occupation and particuarly around this time of year, you have to deal with lots of shall we say, gwailos then lack a certain thing called a “brain” in their heads and those are the ones that gives me trouble. And we do have a thing call “freedom of speech”. Telling us to leave if we don’t like it is like importing the Mainland PRC laws into HK. Last time I checked, HK does still have the Basic law here. It does protect our freedom of speech, including whining. Ha, I may just be a “bodyguard” who may not be the smartest guy around, but I do know what the fundamental freedoms are.

  24. Vito Andolini says:

    You can act like a man!

  25. realbodyguard says:

    Vito-And your point is??!!

  26. Vito Andolini says:

    I want no inquiries made. I want no acts of vengence. This war stops now.

  27. realbodyguard says:

    Eh, ok Vito, whatever…

  28. Luca says:

    Vito, I do believe you’ve made realbody an offer he can’t understand

  29. Vito Andolini says:

    Luca, my most valuable friend!

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