Neanderthal Sport

Having lost the battle of the TV remote I was forced to watched one of the six nations games.   I have of course watched many games of rugby over the years but usually with a vested interest in one of the teams winning.  To be honest whichever side won the match didn’t matter to me; what struck me more than anything else during this particular battle was how close to Neanderthal man we still are.

Great hulks of unkempt hairy muscle closing in on the prey with grunts and groans.  They hunt in droves to win their prize and whisk it away supported by other pack beasts

Neanderthal Prop?

Neanderthal Prop?

thundering down the pitch. Diving and coveting the quarry so no-one else can take it; whilst opposing creatures maul each other in a bid to steal away the prey.    A quick span of the watching crowd reveal vividly preened and painted females cheering on the brutality taking place in front of them.  The prize, in this instance is not the chance to win the love, ownership or dominance of the female spectators but a title which will elevate their prominence and their masculinity until the next competition.

In fact all games, hockey, football, tennis have an element of raw brutality, courage and dominance about them.  The Olympic games, the world cups even inter club competitions are all about being the best, the king of the pride, the undisputed top dog.   Winners not born to this elevated position; win by strength, determination and often sacrifice.  When the time comes, and it will come they will lose to younger fitter adversaries as their vitality falters.

The highly emotive and controversial sport of hunting is another battle of prehistoric supremacy lingering on into modern sport.  A team of contemporary well turned out hunters chasing down not; an unsuspecting ball but a cunning  fox or swift stag.  Opposition protesters protecting the prey who will go to devious extremes to prevent the chase.  Protesting has  evolved now taking its place as part of this quick thinking sport, where  three sides do battle;  hunters, protesters and prey and in this case  it is not always the hunters who win, often the quick thinking cunning can outwit the brawn and magnitude of an advancing hunt.   How many protesters will go home and catch the highlights of the six nation matches later on.      Watching and cheering as the bloodied winners leave the pitch in triumph when hours before their prize as antagonists was preventing the bloodied winners catching from prey.

Of course I feel blessed that my children do not behave in this pre-historic, grunting and intimidating manner.

Although watching No 1 Son playing rugby there are some very similar stances, builds and grunts.  The thunder on the pitch as they stampede towards another try before meeting the opposition with a deafening crunch is definitely reminiscent of the charge from out of control wildebeest. Thankfully No 1 Son’s team-mates are able to revert back from their animalistic instincts following a shower and cooked meal as do the international players.

I am assured by parents and friends alike that the grunts and shoulder shrugging along with the fierce dagger looks from Middle son is perfectly normal and he will grow out of it rather than regress further into caveman mentality.   Maybe if he played more rugby he could channel his barbaric behaviour into something constructive.  His rugby coach is certainly impressed when he finds time to turn up.

Meanwhile Mini Son is still perfecting the art of defending his ball before kicking it past the goalie to score.  Being the fastest and the best at football in the whole school is the only prize he desires. Sexy Sporty Dad and I are immensely proud that he has been chosen to represent the local Area Athletics Academy; one of only 9 to have been picked from hundreds who train weekly. I am not sure how the animal adrenaline will spur him but feel without a ball in front of him his focus will not quite be as motivated.

Having sat through two brutal demonstrations of supremacy and violence I have missed the Saturday afternoon Catherine Cookson weepie on Yesterday; one of the multi channels I could have inflicted on my family had I won the remote control.   Maybe if I am cunning and think like the prey I can hide the remote before the beginning of the Sunday game.  I can then enjoy a serious weep together with my box of Kleenex and a hot water bottle.


I am quite excited that I have actually managed to do some writing.  It was not a press release or a blog it was a short story.   I was given a brief for a story between 1500 and 1700 words relating to a valentines card for a competition.  I thought I might have a go and laboriously managed to get 600 forced words down setting the scene and describing my characters, without knowing where the story was going.   For a couple of days I pondered and added a few words till at 900 I gave up.  I left the characters pondering the card sorry I could not do them more justice.

Two days later the story had mulled and churned through my daily routine, I had tarnished passers-by with the characteristic flaws and failings of my heroine and her workmates.   I re-read the story.  I cut whole chunks as I went, adding in little phrases that had been brimming over the days, to the now growing text.  I became the heroine receiving the unwanted card but why and who from.    I added in all the possible senders filling in little tit bits of information and back fill.  Suddenly I was in full flight and had to finish the story but I was still unsure of who the card came from.

Time now to reveal the sender; the words just tumbled out surprising me as much as any future reader.   I suspect the novel I am reading at the moment may have something to do with the surprise.  I didn’t even realise that I had thought that seriously about the subject except as a background to my current reading. There it was though out and on the page.

My feeble 900 words had developed and expanded into 2641.  I have pared it down now to 1720 with judicious editing but where to lose those extra 20 words.  I feel like a slimmer who has reached a plateau just before her final target weight although I wish it was that easy to slim without noticing it.    I still have a few days before the competition closes so will see what my writing group think.  I may not even send it off as I don’t ever do very well at these things.  The fact remains that I have managed to write and come up with a passable piece of fiction.   If I could only find the same inspiration to finish my re-edit of Memories, it may actually see the inside of a publisher’s office.


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