Last year I lived In Canberra and damn near lost my mind. It was not a good time. Putting aside my myriad of mental irregularities, I had a seven month long headache, so I didn't get a lot done while I was there. Generally I'd get out of bed, buy newspapers, return to bed, and then get out again in time to watch Judge Judy at Three. You do start to wonder where you've gone wrong when Judge Judy features that heavily in your daily regime.
Anyway. Aside from seeing the Raiders running out of the tunnel at the Cathedral of Cold that is Bruce Stadium most weeks, there were still several other stand-out moments. One time, I went into Woolworths and saw two rats tails in two minutes. Not in Queanbeyan, you understand, but Canberra itself. That was a good time.
Rats tails really lift my spirits enormously. I see them and I automatically get an overwhelming sense of well being. Obviously then, Josh Dugan is the high priest and patron saint right here because bitch rocks a rats tail that could shake an empire.
I overheard a guy behind me at a game in Canberra say to his mate in an altogether approving tone that Dugan looked "like he should be smoking crack in an underpass... he looks like a right rough cunt don't you reckon?"
Say what you will about rats tails, because they are entrenched in the NRL in much the same way that non-consensual sex and all manner of assault charges are. If nothing else they signify the host's sustained commitment to a cause. Those things take some growing. I applaud this. I also applaud any refusal to conform to patterns of grooming and presentation put forward by the likes of twits such as Joh Bailey and Napoleon Perdis (I've never heard them condemn rats tails per say, but I assume they would. I know their kind).
If you ask me there should be more of them among us. Attached to the right heads, obviously. Anyone who wears a hi-vis shirt for the course of their working day qualifies. Anyone who's ever spoken the words "dog's eye" and/or "dead horse" while buying their lunch in a bakery*. Boys from Dapto, and Deniliquen. General hoons, hoodlums, hooligans, hayseeds and yahoos. And carnies, of course.
Imagine then my shock when I read that the magnificent meat axe that is Michael Ennis disapproves of rats tails. I actually think I felt my world tilt off its axis a little. According to him, they are an eyesore of the highest order. It was at this point, and this point alone that I came to the realisation that Ennis and I are not cut from the same cloth.
Regarding Corey Parker's now defunct rats tail he says "I've always wondered how the bloke could seriously run out in front of 50,000 people with one of those things attached to his head?" He also says he pulled Parker's offending hair, back in '09, "but that's when he had the rats tail so what choice was there?... I think footy would be better if they were extinct".
Now, I love Ennis. I went to write 'as much as the next person' there, before realising that, well, I'm talking about Ennis, and in all likelihood the 'next person' may well wish for all hell to rain down on him daily.
Not me though. I think he's fantastic. What's not to love about a barbaric hooker who's genuinely partial to throwing down and punching on at the drop of a hat, and seems to love nothing more than getting all up in every bitch's business? Nothing. There is nothing not to love right there. He's old-school, and he plays some brutal, balls-out football. And, if he gets a bee in his bonnet he can hemorrhage penalties like its nobody's business, for good, for ill and for awesome.
Now, lest I play a part in perpetuating the Great Grub Myth, let me point out that Parker was groomsman at Ennis' wedding, and is godfather to all three of his children. Ennis pulls Parker's hair and Parker, says Ennis, is "always good for a sly shove", and they're totally best mates. They talk two times a week! I approve of this entirely; reading things like this delights me no end. Sometimes I even clap my hands in glee. Really.
Also, the man is nothing if not balanced. In much the same way that he cultivates inter-team friendhips, he's also a staunch, stand-out ambassador for the on and off field fued. This also meets with my approval. The fued is a fine feature of the game which I suspect is sorely misses by many a league fan. Most of all me.
In one corner: Ennis the no-frills country hooker who cares not for poncy haircuts. In the other: Farah the flashy city hooker who is possibly the most well-groomed man in league. (He also has something of a shark-like demeanour: it's odd and intruging). I especially love that Ennis apparently banned Bulldog teammates friendly with Farah from attending the opening of his restaraunt, as I too am an ardent subscriber to the 'if I don't like you nobody should' school of thought.
In short, rats tails rock. Sorry Ennis baby but there's no middle ground on this one.
*I myself am rigidly specific in the wording of my orders in bakeries, partly because of the vego thing, but mostly because of this one time when I asked for an iced donut in a fly blown, one horse town bakery and answered "surprise me" to the "what colour?" question only to nearly run myself into oncoming traffic a ways down the road when I discovered that I had bitten into a toxically yellow iced abomination THAT TASTED LIKE FUCKING BANANA. I felt this was a rank affront. I mean, everybody knows that iced donuts are either pink or brown, right? What the hell kind of renegade bakery was that anyway? I'll never know. Nor have I ever asked to be surprised again; not by a bakery, or any other establishment, organisation or individual either. I live in constant admiration of other people's willingness to fly by the seat of their pants though, and I appreciate rhyming slang as much as the next person.