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‘Cheek to Cheek, Squeeze and Push’ – Monoprint

My rugby playing days were mercifully short. I started training with ‘Cork Constitution’ Rugby Club’s under eights and hung up my boots by the time I’d progressed to the under tens. I hated being wrenched away from ‘Pajo’s Junkbox’ on RTE 2 on a Saturday morning to trudge around a boggy swamp playing a game I could barely fathom.

However, I’ll never forget my first day. Our trainer was a brusque english chap who barked his mantra – ‘Cheek to Cheek – Squeeze and Push’ incessantly. This was supposed to instruct us on the positioning of our faces with regards to our opponents backsides when making a tackle. I could only wonder what Fetchit and Grabbit were up to on telly.

A small blonde haired boy stood out from the crowd with his oversized set of gapless teeth. ‘What’s in your mouth?’, I asked as a few more lads gathered round. ‘Ish a gumsssshi.’ he slurred sticking a muddy paw into his gob to yank out the weird dribbling dentures. ‘A gum-shield.’ he repeated offering them around for a gander. Some of the lads lobbed them in to try on for size. Thankfully I declined.

I was the cleanest rugby player for two years running and I never got my head around ‘Cheek to Cheek – Squeeze and Push’.

Printed in ‘La Chanarama’.

One Comment

  1. John wrote:

    Must forward this to Paul, send an email.
    Gas. you’re an awful man.

    Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

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