Then, one morning, as I awoke and wiped the slumber-crust from my drowsy eyes, I looked down at the carpet and saw Rosebud. Dead. Signs of a valiant struggle evident in the splashy shadows surrounding the corpse, outlining his fateful, flipping arc from bowl to floor.
As my face fell and my lids blinked back tears, I scooped him gently in the pages of a Dolly magazine and escorted him to the bathroom, where he again joined the sea, albeit in a slightly more rigid fashion than that in which he had first left it.
I let loose a small cry and muttered these distraught, plaintive words softly under my breath and the sound of flushing:
YOU SELFISH. FUCKING. BASTARD.
Seriously. After all I’ve done for you? *
The Philosophy Of Hitting Blokes And That.
Watching all this boxing has opened my eyes to the beauty and glory that is: The Life Motto. I pretty much want everything that ever comes out of anyone’s mouth on this show printed on a t-shirt (except maybe for the phrase ‘JABJABJABJABJABJAB!’, because that’s just stupid). For example:
• Josh, after winning his fight last week, offers: “I just wanna get a new truck and have a happier life”. PRINT IT ON A T-SHIRT.
• Josh, surveying his physical damage: “Me noggin and me beak’s a bit sore, this ear’s a bit sore, but aaah, nup. No dramas. Still handsome”. PRINT IT ON AN ADMITTEDLY MUCH LARGER T-SHIRT.
• Josh (again) discussing his victory (again): “I’m on cloud 69 at the moment”. GET IT PRINTED ON A PAIR OF UNDIES.
• Victor, celebrating Josh’s win: “Time to drink beer! Time to drink beer!” GET IT TATTOOED ON MY FOREHEAD.
In a rush to fill their My Head Is Exploding quota for the week, producers devise a challenge so complicated I’d need a doctorate degree from Vinnie Barbarino University just to work it out.
The boys have to answer quiz questions by dinging a bell, and each correct answer gets them a shot at an archery target. Each ring on the target represents a different score, and the final winner is the boxer who doesn’t think Rocky Balboa’s wife’s name is ‘Elizabeth’. Victor gets so frustrated he knocks over his little bell-table, Nader suspects that someone has messed with the sights on his bow, and Garth wins pushbikes for everybody. It’s like primary school, only more noble and with a higher percentage of dropped testicles.
Also: damn, that Charlotte Dawson can count, can’t she?
In keeping with the quiz-style nature of this week’s challenge, I have two pertinent, fashion-related questions for you.
1. Q: When is a skipping rope not a skipping rope?
2. Q: When is acid-wash not acid-wash?
A: NEVER. Acid-wash will always be acid-wash. This photo of teenage Nader wearing it will be the only thing that survives in time capsules from the 80s. Rubiks Cubes and Bananarama albums are biodegradable. FACT.
The Ladies And Offspring Of The Ring.
In the Nader corner, we have the extended family giving it their open-mouthed all. I’m calling them the Hand Flap Chapter, and expect them to be hoarse in the morning.
• This week was so romantic, you guys. The boxers often remark that it’s unusual to associate so closely with one’s opponent before a match. Eating fried mushrooms together. Training together. Playing pool together. And oh, I don’t know – slow-dancing and taking long romantic walks in the forest together. Stuff like that.
• The Trainer Who Talks Like He’s Drunk comments that Nader will want to fight like he’s in a phonebooth, and Kariz will want to fight like he’s in an open paddock. Leave the metaphors to me, Briggs. And P.S: put the crackpipe down.
• By contrast, Mr Beardy tells us that Kariz ‘whacks hard’. Bit personal, don’t you think?
• Because of Ramadan, Nader can’t eat or drink anything during daylight hours, but he still trains like a madman. WAIT – ‘madman’ is almost an anagram of ‘Ramadan’! Coincidence? Er.... yes. Yes, it is. There’s an exception to the Ramadan rule if travel is involved, so Nader goes for a long drive and has some scrambled eggs. Personally, I always go the Bacon & Egg McMuffin option on a roadtrip, but you know – whatever turns your windmill. STILL NOBLE, BUT.
• I’m not entirely convinced that we’ll get to the end of this series without seeing every single boxer cry, and this week it’s Nader’s turn. It’s obviously noble, but still, man. Step Up. Ball Up. Tear Up.
Things that are hot: Summer. The Desert. Stoves. Fights between Kariz and Nader. Slow motion sweat and grunting never looked so good. Every time the bell rang I thought it was the sound of my underpants approving. Ding ding, my friends.
There’s the usual meld of punching, hugging, huffing, dripping and trainer ramble, but the real competition here is between opposing cheer squads and abdominal muscles.
And then... I... I can’t bring myself to report the result. It’s... the screen’s just gone a bit blurry, is all. Suffice to say, apparently dancing cheer squads are marginally more effective than hand-flapping cheer squads, and Nader doesn’t kick the rope on the judge’s side of the ring because he’s overcome with the thrill of success.
I... I can’t believe... no.