On the first Day of Shame I was in seat 74, row 3, block 45 of the Lower South Stand.
My Uncle Ian had shouted me the ticket to Twickenham for the semifinal, and we were surrounded mostly by neutrals.
Everything was sticking beautifully to the script for the 1999 Rugby World Cup as Jonah Lomu bulldozed balletically over for his second try early in the second half.
And then the unthinkable. It was as if the Twickenham pitch had been wrenched up at one end, leaving the French playing down the slope as they registered an incredible 33 points on the trot.
The Marseillaise rung out around the ground, a beautiful, triumphal, sickening noise.
There were plenty of New Zealand supporters there - at a guess I'd say it was a third blue, a third black and a third neutral - but all we could summon up was a plaintive, feeble "All Blacks (clap, clap, clap) All Blacks."
The afternoon was immediately dubbed "the biggest upset in the whole of Rugby World Cup history", a distinction it retained for seven years, 11 months, six days and six hours.
On the second Day of Shame, the quarter-final of 2007, I watched from way up in the East Stand gods of Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, amid hundreds of All Blacks fans, most of whom had spent the day in the city, growing bloated with beer and blind confidence.
If the French in 1999 were a freak wave, rising majestically and drenching us, on that night they seemed more a strange, inexorable tide, imperceptibly creeping closer until you look down and your silver-fern towel is soaked in the sand.
The French anthem again resounded, even if not, as I remember it, with the jubilation of 1999. New Zealand supporters watched incredulous at the slow motion catastrophe - the bad decisions, the bad handling, the bad refereeing - taking it all out on their fingernails.
I blamed myself, my friends and the rest of the All Blacks fans. We had failed to lift the team. Our anxiety had radiated directly to those enfeebled pedestrians in grey.
That was it, wasn't it, I asked Anton Oliver, who played in the game: from the stadium, maybe from as far as New Zealand, we made them nervous. "I didn't feel nervous, so there you go," he said.
"We lost for all sorts of reasons that I don't think were to do with nerves. I think that is a projection of mass anxiety that possibly doesn't exist when it comes to the players ... You can unpick the reasons we didn't win on that day, and I don't think it was because we hadn't won a World Cup. I just don't think we were battle-hardened."
Are we battle-hardened going in to the third part of the trilogy, again in Cardiff, another eight years and 11 days on? Maybe, maybe not.
But good luck trying to suggest it's just another game, unconnected to the history, free from superstition and the grip of the gods.
These are the mercurial French, the people who gave us the word encore and the concept deja vu, as well as the pain au chocolat, which is not relevant but is delicious.
Just because we beat them (by the smallest possible margin, remember) at home in the 2011 final that doesn't get the monkey off the back. The native habitat for this particular monkey - cheese-eating, probably, but deeply disinclined to surrender - is Britain.
Incredibly, in four of the seven completed Rugby World Cups, the All Blacks have played their last meaningful game against France: won two, both finals in New Zealand; lost two, both in Britain.
(We also beat them in the 2003 third-fourth playoff.) I'm clinging to the hope that the fundamental pattern of fate dictates that every eight years British soil serves up the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history, because Japan have already ticked that box by beating South Africa.
If bad things do after all arrive in threes, we can start by scapegoating the Prime Minister.
At his weekly press conference on Monday, and in an accompanying statement, he announced that he sets off at the end of next week for meetings in Marrakech and Brussels, thereafter popping over to London, where completely by an accident of timing there is a rugby competition under way.
John Key will "attend events that support New Zealand's trade and tourism interests and All Blacks matches in the latter stages of the Rugby World Cup", he announced, lighting up the hubris-o-meter.
Don't jinx the thing by assuming the All Blacks will still be there when you arrive, Prime Minister. Complacency, Hubris and Schadenfreude are, of course, heavenly bedfellows.
A couple of days after the Cardiff game in 2007, an English friend - make that a former friend - delightedly sent me an email containing a column by Chris Rattue, the Herald's sport columnist and provocateur-in-chief, written a few days earlier.
"Fantastic article!" he guffawed, above a headline which read "France pose absolutely no threat to the All Blacks", and went on to explain why "All Black supporters can already break out the wine".
Rattue - or La Ratatouille Magnifique, as he is possibly known in the back-street taverns of Toulon - has this time round been more cautious, suggesting that Sunday morning's match could go the other way. Nothing hubristic about that. I'm cautiously optimistic the All Blacks will prevail (I'm not going to be there, if that helps) by about 15 points.
I say that, however, having been assured by high-level sources that the gods of sport and superstition, much like online commenters, tend these days only to read the headline and the last paragraph of any given article.
In which spirit I can say with complete confidence, sans nul doute, that the coq, Les Bleus will rise again. Definitely, unequivocally, this weekend the mighty French are going to crush the All Blacks.