ANYONE who knows me will realise that I’m a huge rugby fan, which is to say that I’m huge and I love rugby.
Every few years, I get overwhelmingly excited – and I’m very excited at the moment because the Rugby World Cup is in full flow.
This year, the competition was due to take place in Old Zealand but was switched at the last minute to New Zealand because of problems with tectonic plates and other forms of catering supply.
As a direct result, my body clock is all to cock as most of the games are upside down and taking place at silly o’ clock in a land where water drains down a plughole in an illegal direction.
For England’s first game against Argentina, I was up and out of bed at 4.50am so that I could drive to York, where I listened to the game on my Iphone while sitting in the car amid the tranquil surroundings of the Racecourse.
No interruptions and no grumpy wife wanting to switch the tele over to Saturday Kitchen (although I did later receive a threatening email from O2 which warned that I could be disconnected as I was using too much “data” on my phone).
England won – only just – but I was stunned and frightened by the shoddy, unco-ordinated display I witnessed from the Men in White.
Now I am fearful how much farther we will progress in the competition, especially after earlier watching the All Blacks, who looked awesome.
I realise that it is still the early stages of the event and things could get better, but England seem to be lacklustre and playing without cohesion.
I hope they improve and don’t end up taking an early bath or I might feel the need to go out and find a little bloke so that I can start a fight.
As you probably guessed, when it comes to sport, I am obsessively patriotic.
Which means I find it very hard to show much interest in other teams – unless we are playing them.
I don’t believe in Britain.
For me, it doesn’t exist.
I am English – end of.
Scotland, Ireland and Wales are the enemy.
Always have been, always will be.
In normal daily life I have nothing against these odd little foreigners from the other side of our borders.
I even smile at some of them and remember speaking to one of them about 23 years ago.
But when it comes to sport I simply don’t care whether they live or die and probably wouldn’t notice if they do or did (I know that they feel the same about England ... am I bothered? Course not.)
But, if England get knocked out and any of the unholy trinity are still in with a fighting chance I might be forced into watching them play ... just so that I can get my rugby fix (I was almost sick just writing that sentence).
So here’s the solution.
Any team from a country which is not England but which lies adjacent to England shall be hereby known as Lesser England.
This works for me.
I tried it by watching Red Lesser England get their dangly leeks kicked by South Africa (although I did laugh quite a lot and chanted like a Zulu from the film Zulu, which featured some real Zulus), while, to be shure, Green Lesser England provided a little bouncy munchkin fun when they beat USA.
Blue Lesser Lesser England also trounced Romania and Georgia, which came as a bit of a shock as I didn’t know either of those countries played rugby.
I think England play Blue Lesser Lesser England at the start of next month when, for the day, I shall call Lesser Lesser England ... Scotland.
England will win as they always do against Lesser Lesser England who are sometimes called Scotland because it is impossible to lose against a country which sings a national anthem about a flower and still bangs on about a fight which happened several centuries ago in somewhere called Curmudgeon.
But, before anyone from Lesser Lesser England starts to get crinkly and develop a humour bypass, I would like to point out that my rampant nationalism extends only to sport.
Once the 80 minutes of matchplay are over (or in this case 12 weeks), I will be more than happy to allow foreigners everywhere to congratulate me and buy me a drink (unless they have ginger hair ... that would be too weird).
And while we are at it, we can listen to a bit of Blazin’ Fiddles or Battlefield Band.
I’m quite partial to a jog and reel.
NB: If you are a member of a Lesser English tribe, you can send hate mail to The Orb by writing a letter in green chalk on the wall of the Driffield Times & Post office at Mill Street.
Alternatively, you can bring your own stool and watch The Orb drink beer during “choir practice” at The Full Measure every Friday between 5.30pm and 7pm.