Note to Presidents: Always bring sensible shoes
On Friday we noted that Ireland's rugby team was going into action against England in Dublin on Sunday. At stake: the team's first clean sweep of the championship in nearly 60 years. The mood was very much along the lines of "You'll never beat the Irish" (BOBW, passim). The scoreline: Ireland 6 England 42. Wait till October (the rugby world cup). Actually the match was closer than the scoreline suggests but seeking distractions from discussing the outcome in too much detail, we were intrigued to read about a pre-match fiasco that forced the Irish president, Mary McAleese, to (gasp) walk off the red carpet and onto the grass to greet the Irish team in the greeting ceremony. The carpet is rolled out and the teams are supposed to stand each side, with the President walking down the middle to meet both teams. Except that the English team took Ireland's traditional side of the carpet (a superstition based preference). But perhaps emboldened by all those Irish republicans in town that weekend, the Irish team then refused to take the other side and instead lined up beyond the English players. Further out than the length of the carpet. As Le Monde said (our French is terrible so it's slightly less painful to read about our thrashing there):
C'était là la première leçon anglaise de l'après-midi : l'occupation du terrain
We're trying to imagine what a similar predicament for Dubya might look like; perhaps if he's attending any international ice hockey matches, he should bring his skates.