Mr B often bemoans the fact that I don't sit down long enough to enjoy a sporting fixture with him. I have, therefore, promised him that I will watch the Ryder Cup with him.
Well, possibly not every waking moment. I do have a life, as you know. I can't, for example, see me getting up at 7.50 tomorrow morning for the delights of watching something called Four Balls. I expect Mr B will be there, in his armchair, watching
every ball fly through the air, or into a bunker or - the aim of the game as I understand it - settle into that very small hole, the one with the flag in it.
did start as I mean to go on by watching the Opening Ceremony. It wasn't exactly the Olympics, to be honest, but it was much more to the point. As in, the teams trooped in, were all introduced by name, national anthems were sung and tomorrow's Four Ballers
announced. I was busy with my Christmas knitting, someone having reminded me that there are only three months to go till the Fat Man sets off from the North Pole. I am one of his Little Elves here in Worthing, knitting away in my home workshop. Or rather in
my lounge, watching the Opening Ceremony of the Ryder Cup between rows. Here, in case you are interested, are my fearless observations.
Oh, dear me, the teams
are being led in by a Scottish pipe band. I should have anticipated this, being as we are in Scotland, "the home of golf" as everybody on the telly keeps telling me. I ask Mr B if it is true that the Scots invented golf and he tells me this far-fetched story
about something called a mashie niblick (not to be confused with mushy peas) or something approximate. I don't believe a word of it but when I check it out he is 100% correct. Anyway, my thoughts are being drowned out by the pipe band which is playing that
well known tune, the words of which are (according to my recollection): "Auntie Mary / Had a canary / Up the leg of her drawers...."
"Wash your mouth out with
salt!" Mr B commands me, sternly.
Behind the pipe band march the two teams. At first sight the American team look like a tribe of undertakers. What is the collective
noun for undertakers, I wonder? A gloom of undertakers, perhaps. A mourning of undertakers. I check it out on google where various Celebrated Know-Alls suggest either an Unction of Undertakers of a Congress of Undertakers. I prefer my own ideas, personally.
A close-up of the American team reveals that they are actually wearing plaid jackets, in homage to their hosts and brown shoes. I take if all back. About the undertakers, I mean. Having made such a mistake over the American team I feel unable to comment on
the Europeans who look smart but boring.
Amy McDonald is invited on stage to sing a song about how much she loves Scotland. I happen to like Our Amy but it seems
a trifle incongruous, her folksy song. I think I would have preferred Rod Stewart in his tartan trews singing Maggie May.
We are introduced to the American team,
one by one. They look like Good Guys. They stand with their hands on their hearts while their national anthem is played. Back in the year 2000 I went on an American business exchange to a lovely city in California called Novato. I discovered later that when
I made my appearance at the city council meeting they were all taking bets on how I would act during the playing of their National Anthem at the start of proceedings. In case you are wondering I stood out of respect but didn't sing (not knowing all the words)
and didn't put my hand on my heart (partly on account of always forgetting what side my heart is on.) I think I got away with it.
Next it is the turn of the European
team. Mr B tells me that, once upon a time, it was just the UK and Northern Ireland who played the Americans and we lost every time. That's when we called on the Rest of Europe to help us out. What a good move! If a trifle cheeky. After being introduced to
the team, one by one, the European anthem is played. This is "Ode to Joy." I have absolutely no idea who Joy is but I am sure she is a sweet girl. The flags of all the European countries which have players in the European team are then raised on a series of
flag-poles. Mr B names each country as its flag is raised, presumably to prove his knowledge of national flags. I am impressed and tell him so. He says, modestly, that it's no big deal.
Next comes the announcement of the golfers who will be playing in tomorrow's Four Balls. Mr B explains, at some length, why the American team is playing its "rookies" in the Four Balls, rather than the Foursomes. I feel as if I should
ask about the difference between a Four Balls and a Foursome but, if I do, he will launch into a long explanation and I am not sure I am completely ready for this. One thing at a time, that's my motto.
Oh, look at this! The teams are all filing off the stage but are being joined by their wives and girl-friends who have all been kitted out in their own "uniform". The poor European wives and girl-friends all appear to be wearing
a version of the navy gaberdine raincoats which I used to wear to school in the Fifties. The American wives, on the other hand, look much more stylish and glam. Though, to be honest, I am not exactly a style guru so it is possible I have this all wrong. The
golfers hold hands with their other halves in a show of togetherness. There is a lot of blonde hair being tossed about. A couple of golfers don't appear to have a Significant Other. Or perhaps their other half wasn't prepared to be seen parading in a school
Mr B says he hopes I will be taking a rather more serious approach to the proceedings when they start in earnest tomorrow morning.
On today's showing,
that seems unlikely in the extreme...