In the end it came down to a battle of the Titans. A game taken to the wire. A test of nerve and skill. Of bantering rights and an Adman’s Dream.
It was the week France travelled to England and took on the Rosbiefs under a dark wintry sky. Beer had been consumed. The red wine drunk and bets placed. Englishman versus Frenchman, with the history of cross channel warfare.
The French rugby coach who believed England were sans amies (without friends) and an English coach of few words and formidable stare.
William the Conquerer and King Harold. The bowmen of Agincourt and the battle cry of Joan of Arc. The sword waving Napolean and the booted Duke who rode a white charger called Copenhagen. A nation who sang for liberty, equality, fraternity. Who kept the Sabbath sacrosanct and bought their flowers and produce at local markets. The Blues, who took on the roast beef munching beer swilling Anglo Saxons, who still had a monarch with a head and a super sub, called Jonny Wilko, on the bench who stole the hearts of oval ball addicts both side of the channel.
It was a game which went to the wire. A game neither side could afford to lose. A game of high stakes. A game which saw the super sub bring down the stars as he kicked cold from 47 metres out. A game which finished 17-9 to the Red Rose of England.
It was a week when Ireland ran out winners in the cricket, wearing their lucky green. Kevin O’Brien became the hero of the hour. A one man hammering machine who ate bowlers for breakfast and slogged his way to the fastest century in test cricket. A man who stepped up to the plate, believed and gave Ireland a three day hang over. A warm up for St. Patrick’s Day.
And it was the week that Big Rich took on Gus. David and Goliath. The petrol head versus the Black Cabbie.
It was the week that Big Rich took the driver out of the wrapper. The driver which had been purchased on a run down to the ‘sweetie shop for south paw golfers’. A day out for Big Rich and Divot. A day to try clubs where south paws were not outcasts. Where they were able to wander an Aladin’s cave of riches.
“Sure that’s the one?” said Divot.
“Sure” said Big Rich.
“Why not try some others with different shafts?”
Big Rich was not for turning. He had read all the marketing spiel.
“Sure its not about the car?” said Divot.
Big Rich smiled. The club which promised so much. The club which married the expertise with the knowledge of the petrol head team of Lamborghini. Big Rich knew all the Lamborghini specs. The sound and roar of the engine as it raced through the gears. How long it took to go from 0-60 and the cost of replacement tyres.
“No. It’s not the car. It’s the club”. He hit the rest of the balls on the range, returned to the shop and pulled out the credit card.
And not too far away, Gus made his plans. He trawled the internet looking for what he wanted and found it on ebay.
“Are you sure?” said his wife.
“Sure” said Gus. She sighed, forgot about the new bag and changed the water in the flower vase. The daffodils were still a bright yellow splash in the kitchen and she placed them precisely on the black marble granite work top. Then she put the kettle on and finished the sudoko. Moderately difficult.
Gus taped the numbers of the credit card into the computer and paid extra for next day delivery.
He went to work and picked up fares from Peckham to Primrose Hill. He dropped a couple in Holborn who had argued the whole way from London Bridge and he picked up a solitary soul who cried from Westminster to West Hamstead. He parked up for his break and ate his ham and pickle sandwiches and thought about the parcel winging its way in the post. He collected a fare to the Heathrow and shared their excitement and dreams of finding love and a new life in South America. He filled in the quiet times with a few chapters of Andy MacNab in the desert dodging bullets and got a fare home South of the river.
And in the morning his new driver arrived as he slept through the dawn chorus.
Big Rich took his driver out for a test run. So did Gus.
“Can’t believe you both have new drivers” said Ruggy.
They were in the same four ball. Game on. With the drivers.
“Expect you thought you got a car with that driver” said Gus. “Judging by what you paid for it”
Big Rich would not take the bait. He just ate another cake and smiled. The smile of man who knew it was in the bag. The quiet smile of quietly confident man.
“At least I know where mine came from” he said. “At least I know the head won’t drop off after three holes”.
And so it became the battle of the drivers. And in the end it was not the head of the driver of Gus which came off.
“So how’s your new driver?” said Big Rich.
“Only second trip out” I said . “Bit early to say, but I like the feel and it beats the oven gloves”.
It was a good game. A tight match. A game which went to the wire and the run of the fairways.
Gus took the honours. His club purchased on eBay outgunned and out slugged the driver of Big Rich. Even with all the technology of the petrol heads from Lamborghini.
“Don’t worry” said Gus pacing on another forty yards to his ball.
“Can always trade yours in”. And the further the ball of Gus travelled, the more relaxed he became on his tee shots. The more Big Rich trailed behind the more he put the weight of the cakes and his shoulders into the shots. It was not how the instructions read on the tin.
At the end of the round, it was game, set, match and driver to David and not Goliath.
My driver came off worst. It came a poor second to the Big Guns. Damage to the face.
“Looks like you have been banging in fence posts with it” said Big Rich. “Take it back” he said. “Any problems, refer them to me”.
It was slung in the car.
Big Rich threw his driver in the back of the car. And went to eat some more cake.
Gus went home to have kip before work. Before Peckham to Primrose Hill, Before Brick Lane to Balham. Before Notting hill to Knightsbridge. Holborn. Hammersmith. Harrods.
And he dreamt of his drives. And his 9 degree driver which outgunned Big Rich and the petrol heads of Lamborghini.