Don Kavanagh: The cup that cannot be named


The World Cup is more about the after-match function says Don Kavanagh.

Get in quick if you want to get the best spots before the English fans. Photo / Chris Skelton
Get in quick if you want to get the best spots before the English fans. Photo / Chris Skelton

I have mixed feelings about that sporting event later this year that we have to be very careful about mentioning.

Apart from the restrictions being placed on business and other organisations about using the actual name (is anyone getting images of Voldemort here, or is it just me?) what worries me is the effect it will have on the hospitality scene.

I'm already worried that beer is expensive enough without an additional "I can get away with it for the World Cup" levy being whacked in top.

Luckily, most bars won't be doing this but some have hiked prices suspiciously high in recent months. When you're paying $11 for a Mac's Gold, something disturbing is happening.

But aside from that, I also worry about getting some elbow room at the bar in the middle of an influx of deeply thirsty Scots, Irish, Welsh and English.

The 2005 Lions tour was a laugh but it also proved that, when it comes to drinking, Kiwis are definitely in the lower divisions.

I remember being in a bar in Palmerston North during the Lions tour and being reminded of an Irish priest's description of what Hell would be like: "You'll not be able to get near the fire there'll be that many Englishmen," he said, with stunning prescience, as it turned out.

It will also be fun watching the visitors trying to come to terms with what passes for a pint in this country. Back in the old countries, a pint is 568ml, but ask for one here and you'll get anything from 400ml to 600ml.

Spirits will be a tricky one, too, especially for the Irish, who are used to a 35.5ml shot. Here, the standard single measure is 15ml, or "a damp glass" as it is also known. All such quibbles aside, it will be nice to have some people here for whom drinking is a social activity rather than an antisocial one.

The level of banter and joking will be high and a good time will be had by all.

And best of all, some fine traditions will be upheld and first among them is this - that England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will no more win the World Cup than a donkey will dance.

But, leaving that aside, they will certainly come up trumps at the after-match function.

- NZ Herald

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