Gentlemen, it’s time to get organised. The N.R.L. season is underway and the A.F.L. fixture for 2012 kicks off Saturday March the 24th so, the interstate footy trip with the boys is imminent, right? You know from previous experience that if things aren’t meticulously organised the entire experience can grow hairs in a flash and emotions can reach fever pitch, particularly after a late night planning session or two with the lads spent experimenting with ill conceived beverage combinations.
Firstly, booking the flight: Lunch time Friday is good. Not only will this necessitate a day off work, you’ll avoid the morning rush and arrive at your destination at a decent hour. The plane will be quieter enabling extra attention from the flight attendants who enjoy nothing more than dealing with excited men travelling in packs.
Packing: If it doesn’t fit in carry on luggage, don’t take it.
The one item you cannot do without is deodorant. Preferably industrial strength. This is your shower in a can.
Toothpaste would be nice but, let’s face it, not essential.
One pair of underpants per day and then an emergency pair… per day.
Since socks provide dual application, only one pair is required for any two day period. Simply turn them inside out and bingo; fresh… ish.
A suit is essential. It’s uncanny how often you find yourself next to a visiting dignitary at a football match who insists you join him at the Consulate for dinner. The suit will cover this but if it’s formed itself into a crumpled knot in your bag, stick it on a coat hanger, hang it in the hotel bathroom and turn on the hot water.
Tell me how that’s any different to dry cleaning.
However, if you hear sirens at the front door of the hotel followed by an authoritative knock at your door, your in room dry cleaning has probably set off the fire alarm.
Be warned, firemen do not like to come all that way without being given the opportunity to turn on their hose.
The hotel: Although you plan to spend as little time in it as possible, great care should always be taken when booking accommodation, especially when doing so on behalf of a bunch of mates.
It will need to be of sturdy construction just in case ‘Macca’, who’s now pushing 120 kilos, feels the need to celebrate his team’s win with his signature chook dance.
Your room will need to have been designed with sound proofing in mind and the television must be the size of Tasmania so that the replay of the match you’ve just attended will appear sharp, even though your vision may be blurred.
The bed: Always the tricky part of a boys’ weekend.
You’re sharing to save costs, right? You think therefore that a policy of ‘top and tail’ will save any awkward moments when it comes to sleeping arrangements in the same bed, yeah?
There’s nothing more confronting than waking in the middle of the night with a harsh case of the dry horrors only to find yourself staring directly at Macca’s midriff which, since gravity has combined with his considerable girth sending his zodiac themed boxers to his ankles, is now staring back in all its naked glory.
Both heads should begin on their respective pillows.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Even beer and pizza breath is preferable to Macca’s vast underbelly and its associated attachments?
Behaviour: If the guys decide they’re going to run a book on two raindrops running down the hotel window, get your money out.
It’s about the dumbest pursuit known to man but declining will only cause you to be ostracised for the remainder of the weekend.
If Macca starts getting a little rowdy in public and refuses to quieten down, get his wife on the phone, put her to his ear and watch the immediate transformation from boorish man-mountain to trembling kitten.
Illness: Scotch whiskey will cure anything from a hangover to a septic bullet wound. Apply liberally.
Returning home: Do not, at any time, bring flowers, chocolates or perfume home for the wife. She’ll no doubt smile lovingly but behind this forced expression will be a woman churning with suspicion.
Keep all your weekend washing in its bag until the following weekend and then nip it down to the laundrette.
Household washing appliances have been known to explode when confronted with the soiled attire of a boys’ weekend.
And finally: Remember gentlemen, you may think your rowdy exploits are safe under the ‘what happens on the road, stays on the road’ clause you all agreed to.
There’s always one guy in the pack whose relationship with his wife is the stuff of legend. He’ll be recanting each murky detail with gusto and she, rightfully so, will be gleefully texting all the other wives organising coffee for the following day.