I spent second semester of junior year abroad in England (ten years ago. Fuck, I am old as balls.). If you attend college, and have the means to go abroad for a semester, and do not, you are a fucking moron. Here’s the money clip from Rules of Attraction to give you a refresher on the importance of visiting other countries in order to debase yourself:
My semester abroad was arguably the greatest time of my life. I lost my virginity (to a girl!). I got drunk at the pub every night (50p shots of Beam on Tuesday night!). I sampled the wares of kebab vans the nation over. I watched a soccer game and actually enjoyed it. The tutorial system my program set up meant I only had three classes every two weeks. I smoked hashish and got into an argument with a friend over whether tomato or vinegar was the most important ingredient in ketchup (my argument: It’s Heinz TOMATO ketchup, not fucking Heinz vinegar ketchup). And, I didn’t have to study a foreign language. Foreign languages blow. An amazing stretch. But, for the purposes of comedy, one story stands out above the rest.
The school I went to had about a million not-too-serious rugby clubs that were open to pretty much anyone, even a dipshit American such as myself. Rugby, if you don’t know, is like football, only with more running and cauliflower ear. You start off playing rugby thinking it’ll be cool. You get to run around and hit people. Sounds fucking sweet. Then you find out you have to play Second Row, which means you have to stick your head between the knees of the guys on the front line, grab their shirts by sticking your hands through their crotches, and then groan in agony as the entire scrum tightens and mashes your brain into a bullion cube. Rugby: it’s not that cool.
Nonetheless, I played. My reasoning was that I sucked at American football, so maybe I wouldn’t suck quite so bad at rugby. Wrong. I sucked. But it gave me a chance to hang out with the lads (that’s British for boys!) and get drunk afterwards. So I kept at it.
One night, I was hanging out with a bunch of people from another program at the same school. I struck up a conversation with this dude named Ben. I think his name was Ben. Anyway, it’s not important. So Ben and I were drunk, and he said to me:
“Hey, I play seven-on-seven rugby with a bunch of guys. We have a game tomorrow. Want to play?”
There is no Second Row position in seven-man rugby. This appealed to me greatly. So I agreed. This was a road game, so Ben and I arranged to meet with two other guys and drive out the next morning.
9AM, I showed up. We all packed into the car and took off.
Ben: How was your night, Drew?
Me: Fucking sweet. I got fucked up. Hooked up with a black chick. She was big! But I didn’t give a shit. More to love, am I right?
The car went silent. Oh well, I thought. It was early. Everyone was hung over or some shit. So I shut my trap and stared out the window. About five minutes later, a conversation started up between the other three guys in the car about which churches in the area they liked best.
Ben: I love St. Mary’s. You can really feel the Lord there.
Fuck. They were seminarians. All three of them, priests in training. In fact, not only were they all seminarians, but the team I was playing with that day was also made up entirely of seminarians. As was the team we were playing against. As was every single fucking team in that day’s tournament.
Deep in the back of my mind, I’ve always known that I’m going straight to hell when I die. But I try and keep that thought repressed, just like I do with that Davidoff Cool Water cologne print ad with the water splashing over this really ripped guy that I think I kind of enjoyed. But, when I was hung over and literally surrounded by holy men everywhere I turned, the former point tended to reinforce itself (and since they were all future priests, the latter one did as well). At one point in the game, an opposing player ran into me by accident.
Me: You fucking cunt.
Other Guy: (sincere) Oh, I’m so sorry.
Me: (thrown off by the incredible kindness) What? (immediately jacked up by another player because I let my guard down)
I spent all day at the tournament. The seminarians were, of course, all perfectly nice fellows. Downright jovial, actually. Still, it’s tough knowing you’re the one harlot in the convent, so to speak. I may as well have painted a red A on my chest. It made me think that maybe I should dedicate myself to being a better person. Maybe I should stop being such a self-gratifying dickface and actually contribute something to the world.
When I got back, I drank an entire bottle of Jameson, watched Caddyshack, pissed out the window, and had to be restrained by a friend from walking outside with my pants around my ankles (my exact words: “I want everyone to see my cock!”). Later that night, I masturbated and vomited next to my bed.
The lesson, of course, is never play rugby.