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Join The Club...

26 September 2006 - 6:21pm -- Joseph

I spoke too soon when I mentioned playing football every Sunday a month ago. For various reasons, I haven't played since, until this week. This Sunday, we finally made it down again, but turned up late, so I only got to play about half the second half. The second 'half' was about ten minutes long...

Didimus said he'd spoken to the Club about me registering, and we should go to the meeting place after the match. The meeting place is a bar, about half way between the stadium and home (I think it's called Figaros). Didamus said registration would be CFA10,000. No problem, I thouht, just turn up, sign a form...

Oh,no no no no no....

It turns out what I have joined is equal parts football club, drinking club, tribal male choir and masonic lodge...

The signing on fee is, in fact CFA10,000 - and two crates of beer (which cost about CFA12,000). I didn't have that much on me, so I dashed home and returned with the cash. I went to the President, who took the money and told me fine, sit down. I say down on the chair beside me.

No no no no no...

Not there he says, this is the executive table, you'll be dismissed


So I went and sat back down with Didimus, who was lurking at the back of the group. Turns out, this drinking club is a pretty formal affair. It seemed like there were at least three Presidents, though there was a lot of Pidgin being spoken, so it was hard to follow.

There was definitely a big guy who was Chief Whip, who kept calling order. Then he called me up. I went up with Sylvester, Didimus' brother, who was to be my sponsor (turns out, Didimus can't sponsor me, because he's suspended due to bad attendence, hence why he's lurking at the back).

So Sylvester explained who I was, then I had to explain who I was - and say why I wanted to join the club - and pose for a picture presenting my crates of beer - and then do a little dance for them. After this, the group then voted on my acceptence (subject to me agreeing to abide by the constitution, which I haven't yet seen, but have a feeling will be formal and detailed). I say vote, it was more a cheer or jeer system. Luckily, there was no jeering.

So I was in, all I had to do then was shake hands with and be introduced to all of the thirty-odd members present.

They then did this to another new guy.

Then there were several speeches, which I didn't follow all of, but they were definitely congratulating one guy on becoming a barrister at one stage. Also a feature of most speeches was the pledging of crates of beer for one reason or another (gestures of congratulation and fines, I think). As this went on, the crates of beer mounted in the middle, I think there were about 18 crates at one stage.

Finally, the speeches stopped and they handed some of the beer out. Then they started singing. Loudly. Actually, I think it was part sing-song, part drinking game. As I've said, there was a lot of shouting in Pidgin, so it was a little hard to follow.

One of the guys was the owner of the bar, and at some stage, food appeared. Snake in a spicy sauce. I thought they were winding me up at first, but no, it really was snake - viper I think (like it matters...). I didn't have a plate myself, but I did try some and Didimus' description proved perfectly accurate: it really does taste of chicken!

Didimus and I sneaked off soon after. Tempting as it was to sit around all Sunday afternoon drinking beer on an empty stomach (apart from the snake bite...) I didn't really fancy trundling back drunk to the house, where everyone else would be sitting around politely (and soberly) chatting after church.

I think Sundays are going to take a bit of getting used to...


So are you going to introduce some of these traditions to your club back in Swindon when you return? I could see the snake and dance rituals becoming quite popular.

shhh... no more talk of the 'S' word, your mum may be reading.

and don't mention snakes either....

Oh no !!!
You didn't really eat snake did you? How disgusting.

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