Taking Stock - October 17, 2011

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Apparently, for the past few weeks, a number of large men have been busily engaged chucking eggs about in New Zealand.

Now, normally, I’m not one to get excited about rugby – I was forced to play at school and have some fairly miserable memories, not least because the main practice pitch backed on to a rendering plant, resulting in some rather fragrant mud.

But, this being a world cup and all, I’ve tried my best to show at least some interest despite the fact, in truth, I’d much rather have been watching the Cod Army or my beloved Clarets.

Of course, England did what English sportsmen do best and went out in the quarter finals, forcing me to declare myself “a little bit Welsh” (well, I did live in Cardiff for a year) and throw my weight behind those plucky boys from the Valleys.

Mind you, at least my relative detachment, in comparison to the round ball game, meant I didn’t shed a tear as England packed their bags and headed for home – or at least to the nearest ferry terminal for a quick dip.

I like to think I’m a proper bloke.

Tears are reserved for family bereavement and football.

I blubbed the year my boys missed out on the playoffs by a single goal. I welled up when they made it to the promised land of the Premier League and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when they went straight back down again.

But that’s it, you understand – except it’s not.

I might put up a front up being all British stiff upper lip but, in truth, I’m a bit of a wimp and a cryer.

Some things are acceptable.

I cried when all three of my children were born (whether that was through emotion or the thought of the extra strain on my wallet I wouldn’t like to say) and when my favourite dog died.

That sort of thing, I’m sure, is perfectly fine, although you might not admit it on a night down the boozer.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Films, I’m afraid, have the power to reduce me to a snivelling wreck.

Not bloke movies, you understand.

There’s nothing tear-inducing about the end of Star Wars, or melting Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark – proper films and a couple of my guilty pleasures.

Chick flicks, on the other hand, can have a terrible effect which I’ll try to hide at all costs.

“No, it’s not the film,” I’ll protest, lip quivering, “Darn those onions.”

Call me an emotional cripple, if you like, but I’m not one for all this public outpouring of grief business.

Crying is something private, which I’ll only share with myself, oh and a few thousand strangers in football shirts and duffle coats.

Isn’t humanity odd.