Two of my pet hates in life are skiing and golf. If I need to give my reasons, you must be a skier or a golfer. I’m not either, and my experience of both made me wonder how anyone could try them twice. But beyond even participation in these sports (or, worse, watching them with on television), there’s the aggravatingly incessant enthusiasm of habitual partakers to contend with, and their utter incredulity that people wouldn’t want to try their chosen pastimes out: “But you have to try it! You haven’t lived until you’ve sampled the piste in Pistoia. You’re dead from the neck down if you haven’t paraded your plus-fours around Pumpherston.”
For us non-participants, these activities are made all the more tedious by the bores who extol their alleged virtues. I would love to shove all those sozzled après-skiers into a log cabin, fill it up to their Alpine rear-entries in muesli, and threaten to torch the place until they get the message: “We do NOT want to go f***ing skiing!” As for golfers, they can just t*** off.
Still, I’ve realised, this past week or so, that these relentless middle-class sports advocates are now in serious danger of being eclipsed in the tedium stakes by music festival goers. Now, I’m in no doubt whatsoever that Oxegen 2008 was the greatest show on earth for those who made the trek, even those people who paid eight Euro for a beer – and then still have the neck to whinge about the price of petrol. There were also, apparently, those couldn’t bring themselves to leave the campsite to actually watch some music and they still had a ball; and, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for all of you and accept your enthusiasm in good heart.
But, for heaven’s sake, Oxegen veterans, please don’t look me up and down as if I’m the bloke who ate crisps and farted in church when I say that I didn’t go to Oxegen, and that I wasn’t absolutely gutted about the fact. For your information (and this is where you automatically lose interest and reminisce about MGMT), I had a wonderful weekend while you were all camping, necking Buckfast, getting sunburned and dreaming up superlatives to adequately describe Battles or Band Of Horses For Courses. It just isn’t newsworthy and doesn’t earn me cool points.
So, thanks to you people waving your photos and souvenir t-shirts in my face, I’m thinking of compiling a book entitled (something like), 101 Social Pariah Things To Do Before You Become Interesting, Or Die – Whichever Happens Soonest. No doubt, it’ll sell like hot cakes – three in a paper bag for a Euro.
Now, I must return to my colleagues, and the praise they’re heaping on Open Golf champion Padraig Harrington – for one week only, he’s the new Munster.