Handbags out of control
June 2, 2006
[Another bloody update:] It won't die.
First the handbag, now the video. The Jolly Poacher Tavern in Christchurch has seen fit to cash in and auction their security camera videotape of "the incident." They are also providing a public service. The stills don't look like much. But the eye-witness testimony of the seller makes it sound like this "attack" is more frivolous than even I had originally presumed.
"This is a one time offer, of footage of The Hand Bag Incident in the Jolly Poacher, Christchurch, NZ.
"The footage is about 30 seconds long, shows Tana playfully swatting Chris Masoe with a ladies hand bag. There have been so many questions regarding exactly what happened, and if this would be available; we have decided to put it up for sale.
"In these frames, Tana is swinging handbag as it makes contact with Chris's head. They are in the centre of the shot, Tana is wearing a beanie.
"The footage is black and white, and grainy, as the still here shows but you can clearly see what is happening.
"There are 4 swipes with the hand bag and then everyone is laughing. Once Tana sees Chris is upset, he gives him a pat on the back. This wasn''t an attack, but a playful swat to calm a situation that had happened prior."
The TradeMe auction closes Wednesday.
[Update:] Inky made more sense about the overblown tempest in his latest commentary:
[Umaga and Masoe] were getting their people around them after a silly late night embarrassment in Christchurch. Masoe's swat at a Jolly Poacher patron who he'd thought tripped him was dealt with on the spot by a Samoan brother. Just as with Lome Fa'atau by Jerry Collins in Bloemfontein, Masoe was immediately disciplined under the stars with the nearest blunt object. Polynesian mothers use sa-sa brooms. Tana chose a handbag.
Tana has been included since in the Queen's Birthday honours list, and the handbag he clipped Masoe's ear with went for twenty grand on Trade Me. Tana's people are pros, and Chris is lucky they're his people too. He's keeping quiet in All Black training, avoiding the coaches' eyes as do all respectful Polynesian boys whether chastised or not.
Anyway, while respectable sportswriters were trying to promote some intriguing fixtures, they were competing for space with every oversexed gossip columnist and can't-grow-a-beard reprinter of spam out there. Maybe Queer Eye isn't doing enough to perpetuate gay stereotypes and there's some agenda here I'm not getting... maybe eyeliner, banging hair and pret-a-porter accessories mean the Hurricanes are fair game for that sort of humour... but to me it seemed the handbag incident dragged on horribly.
Fair enough I suppose, it was like everyone needed a release of tension after two more weeks rugby than they're used to, but the Junior All Blacks and Maori had big games and not many fans seemed excited. It was like the Germans not being interested in an Iraqi war because it wasn't on a grand enough scale for them.
In other words, much ado about NOTHING.
I've been generally avoiding the details over the Chris Masoe-Tana Umaga "handbag incident," but when you see sensational silliness spilling over to the BBC and now indie hipster American sport blog Deadspin, I felt compelled to add my $0.02, which I did and you can see for yourself if you head over to their comments section.
Just so there's no question about my parochialism...