Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Absolut truth.
The Absolut trophy was inaugerated at some undetermined point in the mid 1990s.
Neither myself nor the other competitor, the old chum, former fellow student and global traveller and professional Bristolian, 'Ringer' can recall the exact details of it's birth. Last night we attempted to piece together some of the mythology surrounding this hallowed, yet empty, glass bottle.
We do seem to remember drinking much more vodka in those bygone days.
We do seem to remember playing an awful lot of Subbuteo, FIFA 97,babyfoot, pool and darts.
We do seem to remember that we brought out a bizarre competitive streak in each other, often to the bemusement of those around us.
We definitely remember that out of this daze of student life and the immediate aftermath grew the Absolut Trophy. An empty bottle of vodka that we fought over in competitive sport.
We fought over it back then.
We fight over it still.
In fact last night, 'Ringer' and his lovely wife and tiny daughter came to stay at Fritz Mansions, we ate, we drank and of course, we ushered the ladies into the parlour, we retreated to the games room, lit our cigars, poured the finest brandy and did battle.
The concept is simple. We are the only two who may compete for the Absolut trophy. It's a bit like the Boat race or the Ashes in that respect. The preferred field of combat is the subbuteo pitch but the challenger may choose any form of competition to try and gain the trophy. But really, it's about two grown men stooped over a table , flicking little plastic men about. Flicking little plastic men about in order to get the rights to keep hold of an empty bottle of vodka that we think we drank in 1994, possibly. The actual bottle now hardly features, the last time I saw it , it was on 'Ringer's bookshelf in Bath in 1998. He admitted last night that it's in his loft in Bangkok, in a box.
The whereabouts of the actual bottle is irrelevant, I managed to find a replacement for display purposes for last night.
The real issue is the honour.
Sadly, last night the honour went to Ringer (again).
The practise game went well enough, 0-0, a cagey start. Ringer was insistent upon the format of the competition (a practise game and then a two legged affair with no away goals ruling).
The first leg was also a tight game. 1-1. Going into the second leg, honours even with everything to play for. I could almost touch the glass.
The second leg. Cobblers. 6-1. A rout. A drubbing. A lesson in Subbuteo. Also perhaps a lesson in not drinking to excess if you are about to go out and play in a major sporting event.
My congratulations to Mr Ringer and his fans, the Absolut is yours, for the time being.