In his Limerick Leader ‘Hooker’s Diary’ column, John Hogan tries to avoid talking about Bruff’s relegation
Last September I returned to the student life, after a few years spent living the life of the average working stiff.
As I had hoped, the transition has led to a decrease in work-related stress and a significant increase in the number of hours spent languishing in my bed, pondering if I should go with fried or scrambled eggs when I eventually arise some time in the afternoon.
Of course, my new sloth-like existence has also resulted in a sizeable decrease in my earnings. I may be a hooker, but unfortunately nobody is willing to pay me to stay in bed yet.
With that in mind, I gratefully took up employment in Bourke’s on Catherine Street in Limerick. It was while working in that very pub last week that one of the regulars, Mike Payne, told Yours Truly that he had enjoyed reading the most recent instalment of the Hooker’s Diary.
“I really liked the way you wrote a sports column, in the middle of the rugby pages, without any mention of rugby or even sport in general,” Mike said to me as I collected glasses.
I wasn’t sure if Mike’s compliment contained a veiled criticism but just in case, I quietly resolved to keep this week’s Diary restricted solely to rugby matters. I’ve written over 200 words at this stage now, so before continuing I think I’ll have a quick nap.
I’VE gone to great lengths in the past to warn the public about the dangers of having intelligent second rows on your team. Unfortunately for Bruff RFC, our intelligentsia seem to be exclusively concentrated in the engine room of our pack. In the past year, three second-rows have left Bruff for Scotland, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia respectively, in a quest to further expand their massive brains on foreign shores.
This week we were left without yet another second-row, as our captain (and PHD recipient) Maurice O’Connell was in Poland starting a training programme for a new smart-persons-career in England. He told us that the intensive training period is known as “60 days of Hell” amongst the staff of his new employers. I’m not too concerned about Maurice’s ability to handle it though.
After the last few months on the field with Bruff, I’m sure doing a few long division sums with his fellow brainiacs will be a cakewalk.
WITH only one game (and one Hooker’s Diary) left, those hoping to be named and shamed on these very pages are seeing their window of opportunity shrinking fast. Not all requests for inclusion have to be taken seriously, but when Jack O’Riordan enquires as to why he hasn’t yet been deemed worthy of mention, it’s advisable to listen.
You see Jack holds quite a position of power over me, as the minder of the sideline towels on match day, which I use to dry the ball before throwing into a lineout. And as brutal as my throwing of a dry ball can be, I’m a danger to myself and others when throwing a wet one.
With that in mind, I’d like to compliment Jack on the terrific job he’s done all year. With that compliment delivered, hopefully Jack won’t follow through on his threat to fling my precious sideline towels into a puddle prior to next week’s final game.
I’D like to follow through on my promise to maintain a rugby focus to this week’s column, but after what happened today I’d rather write about anything other than rugby.
I’d rather be recounting a tale of how I extracted a few of my own teeth using a rusty hook, telling you how I ingested a bowl of hair taken from the heads of a lice-infected junior infants class, or recalling a class I taught on embracing homosexuality to the Taliban high command. I’d rather be doing anything other than thinking about the thrashing that was handed out to us today.
Captain Maurice had returned from Poland for the game and it’s safe to say that his break from the “60 days to Hell” was a case of going from the frying pan to an industrial incinerator.
Hopefully Mike Payne really does like my approach of treating rugby as an optional inclusion, because I am actively repressing all thoughts of today’s game to the far reaches of my mind.
We have one game left against Buccaneers on Saturday before we’re released to pasture for the summer. Who knows? Perhaps I’ll break with tradition and go with a rugby-orientated column for that occasion. Don’t hold your breath though.