Waitangi Day Pub crawl
The infamous Circle Line pub crawl on the closest Saturday to February 6th each year has a reputation as being a boozy excuse to get boozed (and its often the bozos who do get boozed), a person I know who works for a government department has described it as 'our national shame', with skinny, pasty white, drunk guys stripping off their shirts to yell and dance at a brick facade at Westminster. Personally, I think she is like that because there are very few brown lads with rippling biceps and pecs doing it. Methinks the skinny white drunk guy doesn't do it for her.
So of course, I had to go along and see what the fuss was about!
The day started nice enough, mint weather, a big cooked feed at a mates, eggs, sausage and bacon laid on, and of course beers in hand almost from the front door of the flat. 10am saw the official start of festivities at Paddington station, with everyone not quite yet so drunk that they can make out what everyone else has come as. There was of course no mistaking who this guy had come as:
I also spotted the Wizard of Christchurch, a few nuns and some fellows in gumboots (and a crap load of bogans - but I'm not sure they were dressed up). Also spotted was Clint Heine taking every opportunity to show off his sex sheep :p (it bore a striking resemblance to the sex sheep that made its way to Paris in November last year with our rugby trip, except that it bore no evidence of graffiti with pens, abuse with beer bottles, or punctures...)
Funnels atop phone boxes. One guy got up, everyone started chanting JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! and as soon as the funnel appeared, it became SCULL! SCULL! SCULL!
Throughout the day the challenge more or less matured: not to down your drink and get back on the tube, but to not lose your mates, find a multi national restaurant and make use of the facilities (and grab a cheeseburger on the way out), not get arrested and not run out of beer.
So considering the cops were shutting the tube stations left right and behind you, and there were big queues at the off-licenses (dairies with alcohol for those back home), and improvised games of street cricket popped up everywhere (street and footpath), and it seemed like no sooner had you been to the toilet than you needed to go again, it was a very challenging day!
The main pulling point I think of the whole day is the opportunity to scream and dance at the end of it with our national tango - whether you wanted to righteously hurl abuse for the unsavoury elements of our colonial heritage, or just say the F word really REALLY loud and out of time, with a convenient excuse - there was no doubt that Westminster at 4pm is where it was at.
Until of course, when at 4:15pm, a mate came over to where we had been patiently waiting for the call to strip and said the haka was over. I don't think I'd felt a bigger anticlimax before, at least not since last week when I unsuccessfully fell over.
It seems that a handful of greedy lickers at the front didn't spread the call far enough, OR the organisers got drunk and forgot to bring megaphones. Either way, I felt a little cheated, having lost my mates at Victoria station and ran about a km or two to find them again getting lost again on the way and falling over on concrete and skinning my palms and whacking my knees. I felt like I had earned the haka, especially since I made it there before 4pm.
A spot of lampost climbing. As you do...
Big Ben and big heap Kiwis. All these photos are from my phone so the quality is a bit shite.
The only thing to be done of course, was to head over to the Shepherd's Bush Walkabout and drown my sorrows in a snakebite or five.
I must have needed reminding, because I was surprised to come across some feral bastards at the walkie. One guy in green who kept stepping on my shoe and two guys who elbowed another guy who was trying to get past them with his drinks. I felt a little obliged to help the guy on a crutch who almost slipped over trying to leave because the floor was greasy (not because he was drunk, believe me ;) so I feel like I made up for some of my less desirable compatriots.