Tag Archives: rugby

Award 20: The Terrible Poetry Contest

This is not an award as such but the writer of this blog has won the Terrible Poetry Contest three times. My special thanks to Chelsea who initiated and manages such a fabulous event.

Each time the poems seems to get badder and worser. Such inspiring brilliance emanating from my writing device perhaps stems from an anonymous poem which was my favourite in my teens (and possibly still is):

What a wonderful bird the frog are
When he walk he fly almost
When he sing he cry almost
He ain’t got no tail hardly either.
He sit on what he ain’t got almost.

Being thrice the winner of such a notable thing as the Terrible Poetry Contest has prompted me to reflect upon other highly successful moments in my life of seventy years. There have been so many fabulous successes that I barely know where to start.

1. Rugby coach. Many years ago, when I coached rugby, the team had won every game in the rugby-playing season. There was only one game left to play to make it an “unbeaten season”. We arrived at the playing field to compete against Newlands College. My team came to me and protested: “They’ve stacked their team with better players who are not in their usual team.”

“Don’t worry,” says I. “Just beat them. Victory will be so much sweeter.”

After a very long game no points had been scored. And then in the last minute, Newlands College scored some points. Have you ever driven a bus home with 20 or so eighteen year old men bawling their eyes out? “Don’t be silly,” says I, “it’s just a game.” But on arrival home I shut the door and had a good cry myself.

2. Just recently my local village ran a competition. The village is called “Stratford” so every street is named after something from Shakespeare: Prospero Place, Romeo Road, Ariel Street, and so on. Four new streets were waiting to be named. There was a monetary reward for the person who came up with the best suggestion. Not only, the blurb said, should the name be connected with Shakespeare, but it should also if possible have something to do with the history of the village.

I came up with the perfect suggestion! In fact, it was so perfect that I spent the reward money on firewood ahead of the winning announcement.

My suggestion was “Arden Street”. Not only was Mary Arden William Shakespeare’s mother’s name, but “As You Like it” was set in the Forest of Arden, and a hitherto unknown-authored play – “Arden of Faversham” – had just been declared as “now known with certitude to have been written by the Bard”. On the local front, an early settler in the village here was Joseph Arden whose landscape paintings hang in galleries up and down the country.

I had certainly thought up a winner. Anyway the local town council chose Midsummer Street. Thank goodness I’m not a bad loser. They can shove their stupid midsummer pile of crap up their noses for all I care, the bat-poo infested, snot-ridden creeps.

3. Around about 1957 the local rural schools of the area held a combined festival. There were all sorts of categories that the primary school students could be involved in. I chose the event “Design a carpet pattern”. I drew on paper around several things from my school bag and coloured them in. And there! On exhibition day! The twenty or so entered carpet designs were pinned on a large display board. There was 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place – with two “Highly Commended” designs. Mine was highly commended!! I never saw that they made a carpet out of it but I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

Years later, when I lived in St-Victor, Quebec, a number of my friends worked as fabric designers for curtains, bedspreads, and so on. I never told them they were talking to an award-winning carpet designer. They would’ve been so jealous.

That about takes care of all my successes in life. Thanks again to Chelsea for initiating and keeping the Terrible Poetry Contest. Do visit.

And as an Addendum: If you have sort of enjoyed reading this, don’t hesitate to nominate me for any Blogging Award that comes your way, deserved or not. Despite the naming of Midsummer Street, it seems to be raining here a good deal of the time and I’m stuck inside with little to do other than create terrible poems and compose award acceptance blogs such as this.

I hope your days are as filled with stunning accomplishments as mine.

620. Jim hated rugby

© Bruce Goodman 22 June 2015


Jim hated rugby. He went to an all-boys secondary school, where rugby was compulsory. In a single season rugby would turn a boy into a man.

Jim hated the violent tackles, the scrums, the rucking. He hated the aggression.

“Make yourself angry,” said the coach, “and you’ll play better.”

Jim hated the culture that went with it; the brouhaha, the ruckus, the hubbub that excitedly surrounded those in the top teams.

“There’s one of them now! There he goes! Let me touch him!” It’s like everyone in the school except Jim was a latent homosexual, and yet the inference was that the gay life was Jim’s preference because he hated rugby. He hated rugby, the queer.

Jim hated the mud, the smell of liniment, the boots, the sprigs. He hated the showers after the game, fifteen young guys all crammed into the open shower unit. He hated the talk.

“Yours is bigger than mine,” like they wanted to borrow it or something. “Fuck yeah.”

Jim hated the whole damn thing. He loathed school because of it. He dreaded life for the fifteen weeks of the season. Boy into man… boy into man…


One day a scrum collapsed and Jim broke his neck.

The school was shocked, chastened, mortified. They consoled themselves. All teams wore black armbands the following week. Jim’s obituary read:

He died doing something we all love.

343. Naming rite


Vicky and Rick Smith had a baby boy. How wonderful! They were so excited, as is usual for brand new parents. But what to call the boy? They’d had months to think up names. Every name each suggested was not liked by the other.

“We’ll wait until he’s born,” suggested Vicky. That way we’ll see if a name suits.” It was just an excuse. They simply couldn’t agree.

Now the baby was five weeks old and still didn’t have a name. A compromise was reached: the rugby was on TV. We’ll call the baby after the first person to score a try. There was Josh, Andrew, Glen, Todd, Justin, Carlos, Taine, Simon…

“What about surnames?” suggested Rick. “They can be quite fashionable.”

There was Kronfeld, Mehrtens, Osborne, Marshall, Spenser, Randell, Culhane…

“Let’s go for the surname,” said Vicky. And that’s what they did!

The first try was scored! Wow! At last, the baby had a name! Welcome to the world, Blackadder Smith!