LOAFER’S GUIDE TO THE WORLD CUP

NZ Rugby World Tournament Guide - - CON­TENTS -

The Loafer’s Guide to the World Cup: how to get away with do­mes­tic mur­der dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

Th­ese pages are ef­fec­tively a man­ual for men across New Zealand to clutch dur­ing the tour­na­ment. It pro­vides ad­vice on how to get away with spend­ing seven solid weeks watch­ing rugby from the sanc­tity of the couch with­out be­ing nagged. The Loafer’s Guide is the tour­na­ment bible for real men who are self­lessly pre­pared to sac­ri­fice the gym and other phys­i­cal pur­suits to sup­port their na­tion at a time of great need.

PRE TOUR­NA­MENT TRAIN­ING CAMP

THAT’S RIGHT, EVEN THE LOAFER HAS TO PRE­PARE FOR THE WORLD CUP. Ob­vi­ously we are not talk­ing about do­ing hard yards or any­thing ridicu­lous like that. No, but the ex­pe­ri­enced loafer will know that to be able to cut cor­ners later, it’s ad­vis­able to start cut­ting them early so the path of least re­sis­tance can be en­joyed.

This phase of prepa­ra­tion is ef­fec­tively about con­di­tion­ing ‘oth­ers’ rather than the loafer. We know that World Cups are all about pres­sure and not be­ing caught by sur­prise. So the last thing any­one needs dur­ing the tour­na­ment is a wife/part­ner/mis­tress/flat­mate/ girl­friend or any com­bi­na­tion of sud­denly fir­ing up about the end­less loaf­ing. That would be dis­as­trous be­cause more than likely pa­tience will snap at around the quar­ter­fi­nal mark which is pre­cisely when the ded­i­cated loafer will be hop­ing to hit top form and barely move for hours at a time. The six weeks be­fore the tour­na­ment is when a good loafer will play oth­ers into form. There are a hand­ful of All Black tests be­fore the tour­na­ment which are per­fect to set stan­dards early. Rather than turn the game on five min­utes be­fore kick­off like usual – make the build-up part of the pack­age.

En­durance run­ners talk of time on feet: the loafer should be think­ing about time on couch. Get ev­ery­one used to see­ing you there: get ev­ery­one used to the idea that rugby is never end­ing – the build-up, the game, the post-match anal­y­sis, the high­lights pack­age. Make them all think this can’t be missed and that you are bravely dig­ging in to do your bit for the na­tional cause.

What you are re­ally do­ing is es­tab­lish­ing the pat­tern you want at the World Cup: peace and quiet while you watch hours of rugby.

TIPS FOR THE SMART LOAFER

Sell the six-week build-up as a chance to in­doc­tri­nate one of your kids or a flat­mate/ friend into the ways of rugby. The for­mer is an easy sell – great bond­ing time. The lat­ter is just as good – makes you seem self­less and ded­i­cated.

Don’t go over­board or set a dan­ger­ously high bench­mark, but be pre­pared to do a few spon­ta­neous do­mes­tic chores in the build-up: it’s amaz­ing how much good will [and un­in­ter­rupted loaf­ing time] can be ‘earned’ by ran­domly do­ing the dishes or mak­ing din­ner.

CAM­PAIGN PREPA­RA­TION

YOU CAN’T JUST TURN UP AT A WORLD CUP AND HOPE TO LOAF THROUGH SEVEN WEEKS WITH­OUT HAV­ING DE­VEL­OPED A CAM­PAIGN STRAT­EGY. That’s am­a­teur and lazy – but not smart lazy.

This is the pin­na­cle of the world game we are talk­ing about so ev­ery good loafer knows the need to come in well pre­pared with the aim of be­ing in top form by the knock­out rounds.

First task is to buy a good World Cup guide – so con­grats...box ticked. Se­cond, study the draw and iden­tify the must-watch games and be cer­tain about kick­off times. This is crit­i­cal be­cause you will need to work out which games you can watch live and which you are go­ing to have to record. No loafer re­ally wants to get out of bed early and cer­tainly not con­sis­tently early – so build a view­ing sched­ule that isn’t too in­tru­sive on sleep time.

As tempt­ing as it is to try to ‘dom­i­nate’ the tour­na­ment from the pool rounds, be re­al­is­tic and pri­ori­tise. Be brave enough to im­ple­ment a rest and ro­ta­tion pol­icy where you skip Ro­ma­nia ver­sus Canada and Ge­or­gia ver­sus Namibia.

TIPS FOR THE SMART LOAFER

After tar­get­ing spe­cific games, en­sure you clear all so­cial en­gage­ments well in ad­vance. You prob­a­bly shouldn’t skip things like wed­dings or granny’s birth­day. But note – we are only say­ing ‘prob­a­bly’ shouldn’t.

Or­gan­ise ac­tiv­i­ties for oth­ers on days you want to loaf for longer. Dou­ble points to be scored here with wife/part­ner/ mis­tress/flat­mate/girl­friend or any com­bi­na­tion of. You look like the deep, car­ing, con­sid­er­ate type when you say, ‘dar­ling, I have booked a ta­ble at...[nice, but not overly ex­pen­sive restau­rant] for you and the girls’. She’s happy and you have the place to your­self so can up the stakes and loaf in your stub­bies and vest.

In the weeks lead­ing up to the tour­na­ment drop a lot of hints at work about feel­ing tired and then con­fide in one per­son – prefer­ably some­one you know who can’t keep a se­cret – that you have been di­ag­nosed with a rare virus that drains you phys­i­cally but that you don’t want any­one to know. You don’t want peo­ple to know be­cause you couldn’t stand the sym­pa­thy and are go­ing to bat­tle on, put work first and haul your car­cass best you can. Word will spread and with it un­der­stand­ing when you come in late a few times dur­ing the World Cup.

PRE­PAR­ING THE VENUE

THE SEA­SONED LOAFER WILL BE HAPPY WAL­LOW­ING IN THEIR OWN FILTH but equally con­scious that oth­ers won’t be. You have to play the ref­eree. So if your wife/ part­ner/mis­tress/flat­mate/girl­friend or any com­bi­na­tion of, is a bit par­tic­u­lar about clean­li­ness and tidi­ness, do the bare min­i­mum to keep on top of that.

The lazi­est thing to do is to put the bulk of ef­fort in pre-tour­na­ment with a ‘ma­jor’ clean up. What this means is take ev­ery­thing off the cof­fee ta­ble and chuck it in your wardrobe. In fact, any­thing not se­cured to the floor or wall – chuck it in your wardrobe. In­stantly the place will look neater. Dust the TV – only be­cause you will be able to see it bet­ter and then put this guide on the cof­fee ta­ble. Game on.

TIPS FOR THE SMART LOAFER

Bring two rub­bish bags and a hand-held vac­uum into the lounge for the tour­na­ment. This is ba­sic stuff – you can lob beer cans and chip pack­ets straight into the right place with­out even mov­ing.

As for the hand-held vac­uum..? You may, be­cause watch­ing all this rugby will be ex­haust­ing, feel the need to lie down while you are snack­ing. Have the hand-held vac­uum handy, so you can grab it while hor­i­zon­tal and then sim­ply give your­self a good go­ing over to re­move snack de­bris from your clothes.

Lightly baste the re­mote con­trol in some­thing sticky. Don’t dam­age it – just a ve­neer of honey or jam or fizzy drink will be enough to en­sure any­one who strays way off­side and picks it up, will quickly put it down. Think of it as ruck­ing – the best way to deal with those on the wrong side try­ing to get their hands on the ball.

Now here’s a big play to try. Make a big show when you are tidy­ing up – shoo away any­one who asks to help. After ev­ery­thing is safely in the wardrobe, take a glass – there is al­ways col­lat­eral dam­age in the best plans – and where no one can see ‘ac­ci­den­tally’ smash it on the floor. Use a bro­ken piece to in­flict a tiny cut in your hand – enough to draw claret and then go down like a sack of spuds, but of course make sure at this point, that the blood and agony can be seen. You are or­dered to the bath­room to take care of your­self, mean­while wife/part­ner/mis­tress/ flat­mate/girl­friend or any com­bi­na­tion of, will rush to clean up glass and you just know, they will get the vac­uum out for the last tiny bits and won’t be able to re­sist do­ing the whole room.

HY­DRA­TION AND SUS­TE­NANCE

VI­TAL PART OF THE GAME THIS. Just as it would be mad­ness for an ath­lete to put the wrong fuel in their body, so too would it be crazy for the loafer to ig­nore the im­por­tance of nu­tri­tion.

Snack­age is where the best loafers come into their own – es­pe­cially deeper into the tour­na­ment. The first part to get right is, ob­vi­ously, not be­ing the one who has to ac­quire the food. Good tip here is to spread the pur­chases across nu­mer­ous ex­pe­di­tions. It would be a con­cern to wife/part­ner/mis­tress/flat­mate/ girl­friend or any com­bi­na­tion of, if they were sent out to ac­quire 48 fam­ily pack­ets of chips, one vat of beer and two-thirds of the world’s pop corn pro­duc­tion. A lit­tle here and a lit­tle there so by kick off, the pantry is bulging but no one no­ticed.

Note, there are plenty of morn­ing kick­offs so break­fast-ap­pro­pri­ate snacks will avoid sus­pi­cions be­ing raised that you are quite rad­i­cally ‘let­ting your­self go’. On that list should be Rashuns – they are ba­con flavoured and ba­con is a break­fast food.

THE LEGACY

EV­ERY BIG TOUR­NA­MENT THESE DAYS they talk about the legacy. No one likes build­ing huge white ele­phant sta­di­ums that are never used again or fail­ing to cap­i­talise on all that in­spi­ra­tional en­deav­our and pro­file.

A good loafer should be think­ing the same way: work­ing out what ap­pallingly lazy habits can be sus­tained long af­ter the tour­na­ment fin­ishes. Turn­ing up late for work is risky but not so much if you played the mys­tery virus card be­fore­hand. In fact, would be sus­pi­cious if you were sud­denly ‘cured’ when the World Cup fin­ished. Best to play that hand through to Christ­mas.

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