Overheard in Twickenham

Sag took his job very seriously.

Here at the HASK, we like to keep you informed of all activities related to Rugby, both on and off the pitch.

At great personal risk, I’ve managed to sneak in and plant a number of high-tech listening devices in the marketing department at the RFU. You may remember them from such hits as “Let’s wear an all black kit in a tournament in New Zealand” and “Unfortunate promotional video before the 2011 Grand Slam Match”.

Straight from the horses arse mouth:

Indistinct rustling noises. A door opens and shuts.

Marketing Scumbag number 1: Right people, we’re onto something here. We’ve struck gold with this current England side. Not only is the natural order restored, and they’re on their way back to world DOMINATION, but they also seem to be strangely not hated. This represents a golden opportunity for some blue sky thinking, and I want as many ideas as we can possibly have that address the major touchpoints, so we can proactively make the most of this window of opportunity.

Marketing Scumbag number 2: Not meaning to shoot the puppy, sir, but I’m not sure that’s feasible today. We’re running low on freebies, and I always think best when in contact with stuff I didn’t earn.

Marketing Scumbag number 3: (Yells indistinctly)

The marketing department at the RFU

Sound of Door opening and closing.

Intern: Hi guys, it’s great to be working here. Am I in on this meeting? Need a fresh pair of eyes on it? 

MS3: Christ, no. Stop, listen and learn. Why the fuck would we want your opinion? Just go to the stock room and pick up a crate of whatever bubbly is sponsoring England this year. I’m pretty certain it’s Bollinger. If we’re all out, call up Fiona in their promtions department and tell her we have a function THE HASK is speaking at and he’s requested some in advance.

Inspiration by the glass

Intern: Shall I tell James?

MS3: What the fuck would you do that for? Look, he doesn’t care, as he thinks his body is a temple. It doesn’t matter, because if anyone ever asks him, he won’t want to appear to be a moron, so will assume that its associated with his BRAND, and he already had it.

Intern: But I just thought…

MS3: You thought. Do me a fucking favor. You have no brain. No judgement calls are necessary. What you think means nothing. What you feel means nothing. You are here for us. You are here to protect our interests and to serve our needs. So, while it may look like a little thing to you, remember that  it’s your responsibility to see that we get what is best for the RFU.

Sound of Door opening and closing, accompanied by a faint sobbing.

The HASK was unimpressed when he found out that Marketing had nicked his free champagne.

MS1: He’ll be back shortly. Right, where were we? Anyway, we’ve got a great chance to retrofit our entire identity; to undo some of the damage that our brand has taken in recent times. I really think how we move forward will be integral to our entire strategy for the next 6 months. 

MS2: Totally agree. We can start from Year 0, draw a line under the mistakes and take on the new horizon. All I need to know is that any strategy has a distinct on-line presence, but more importantly is fully integrated into social media. Kids love social media.

Blue. Sky. Thinking. (Horrendous)

MS3: I have an idea. Bear with me, because this may be a bit outside the box. But I think it will work.

What we need to do…

interrupted by door opening and closing. The sound of a cork popping is heard.

Fuck, where was I. Oh yeah, this shit. Look- people love the “New England”

MS2: Isn’t that in America?

MS3; Fuck off, I’m spitballing ideas here. I’m a fucking runaway train of inspiration, and you had better hop on board or I’ll crush you.

MS1: Can you two stop bickering here. The longer this takes, the less time we have for corporate entertainment.

The face of inclusive England. He’s from the North you know.

MS3: Yes, so shut up. Look, this is where I’m going. New England, needs a new kit. I’ll contact some designers, and we can come up with something that encompasses the ideals of our new model England. I’m thinking we need some key messaging though.

MS2: It should be about how we’re breaking down the class barriers. We’ve got some Northern lads in, so I reckon our message is inclusivity. I’m thinking it should be a light pastel pink, with a paisley trim.

MS1: That’s fucking gold. Needs support though. Right, I’m actioning you to get on to the designer and draw that up. You call in some favours- we need a video immediately, and full Twitter and Facebook Support. Get that young Farrell kid to model it- he looks like a serial killer, but he’s from the North. We’ll be able to crack those peasant heartlands or my name isn’t Tarquin Fortesque Ampleforth the Third.

You- get me a power point presentation on our new key messaging. Shouldn’t be more than 10 slides or so, but I want it crystal clear for the board.

Now, let’s go out and beat a hooker to death.

Tape ends…

So there you have it, the inner workings of the RFU laid bare.

As overheard on a cunning planted electronic bug in a strategically placed piece of corporate artwork. Transcribed by Dr. Claw’s Cat.

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867 Responses to Overheard in Twickenham

  1. sunbeamtim says:

    Slum in SA or street in Woolwich , its still horrific , RoS . Terrible for friends and family of the victim above all else , probably not made any easier for them by the graphic coverage . Hats off to the handful of people who seemed to interact with the murderers , maybe they stopped them going any further . Very brave . Some hope left for the human race .

  2. CJ says:

    “Slum in SA or street in Woolwich , its still horrific , RoS”

    Of course. Apologies if it seemed I meant anything else. It is just that that kind of brutality isnt common in the UK. Ok there are pockets of gun crime, pockets of knife crime (stabbings) but to chop up a body is pretty unheard of over here.

  3. expro2013 says:

    The guys that did it looked like total moronic losers – they picked an easy target, and seemed to be under the influence of drugs.

    Of course now they will get weeks of publicity, and we’ll all remember their names and what they did for years.

    And worse – they’ve given scumbags like the EDL, and the “I’m not racist but…” mob in the UK Isolation party a platform to whine and generally make things worse.

    The next few weeks will be dire, mark my words.

  4. LarryM says:

    Everyday the world seems to stoop to higher and higher levels of horror.

    Many people seem to feel this way; in fact, if you ever read old news reports (as a nerd like me is wont to do) folk have been saying this forever. I don’t think it’s true at all, I wonder why the impression is so common?

  5. Deebee7 says:

    Cheers for backing Daff up backing me up.
    But where were you an hour ago when I really needed some Saffer support?!

    I am Pierre Spies and I shamefacedly claim my fiver. Come to think of it (as I’ve pondered for the evening) we cook a lot of food with apricots, peaches and the like here – a braaied snoek basted in apricot sauce is absolutely heavenly as are pork ribs with apricot-based bastings.

    Mangoes are another favourite of mine, to be used in curries, fish dishes and with pork in various guises. Open your eyes, good folk, and treat your senses!

  6. sunbeamtim says:

    Karl , it would be interesting to know how much exposure to various graphic images does affect peoples development . I suspect not much if people are part of a balanced , healthy society where they can learn from other people what is morally and ethically right or wrong .

  7. sagmog says:

    How’s the blog behaving for everybody?

  8. sunbeamtim says:

    RoS , no need to apologise , you were spot on .

  9. sunbeamtim says:

    Jumping about , Sag .
    Off to walk the dog and look at the fine show of bluebells .

  10. wolfie says:

    Many thanks – I’ll give it a go…………

    re: Woolwich – where’s our bleedin’ blessed Middle East Peace Envoy (Bliar) when you need him? After all, we’re partly paying for him via:
    – his current salary (one of many)
    – his legacy in the Middle East – twat.*

    *I’m not in a good mood this am!

  11. Deebee7 says:



    Your brother has given you the politically correct version, although I don’t know anyone who calls samosas that. Basically translates as “three corner cookies”. The original version has a derogatory reference to the people who brought them to SA thrown in for good measure. And in SA we pronounce it sa-moose-a, rather than sa-mow-sa. Damned fine food that!

  12. LarryM says:

    @sag – bouncy bouncy backwards.

  13. hairbearhero says:


    OOOOOOOOH You put the left one in, the left one out…

  14. tompirracas says:


    This is Steven Pinker’s thesis as well (eg http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/qa-with-steven-pinker/). It may well be true.

    Also, inevitably, I think this crime will, in time, become a fainter and fainter memory for people. However, almost since the beginning of print there have been pages, pamphlets, books devoted to recounting true crime and this rolling news/internet is just an update on those texts.

  15. Droptheclaw says:

    Morning, all.

    I have a wee favour to ask: it’s my brother’s wedding next week, and I am best man. Thus, a speech needs to be cobbled together. I need some help! Not funny anecdotes or any of that stuff, but just with regard to structure – how does one start, what must one include, etc? Free pint for the best answer.

  16. Strictly says:


    I’d say don’t make it too long


    Memories of the groom growing up etc

    Memories of the couple getting together/ good times as couple

    Read out messages from those not there

    Toast bridesmaids and couple

    Sit down. Relax. Drink

    Adjust order as you feel fit.xxx

  17. Karl1976 says:

    In other news, the BBC really does need to stop advocating the consumption of dangerous foodstuffs:


  18. CJ says:

    DtC, as strictly says. Also if you catch wind of anyone playing “Speech Bingo” make sure you throw in all the words.

  19. Droptheclaw says:

    Wow – thanks, Strictly (and ROS, good point!), I am going to cut and paste this stuff onto a word doc to help shape it later. I could do it in the style of Not Eddie, but no one would get that…..

  20. tompirracas says:

    dtc, thank everyone at the beginning, tell 3 or 4 anecdotes that paint him in a ludicrous light – but don’t mention any other sexual partners he (or she) has had, end with how they’ll make a wonderful couple. Most important keep it short – the only I’ve done was written to be about 5 minutes long. Of course, with laughter and the 3 encores it ran to over 12 minutes.

    Practice it as much as you can and ask for other people to listen to it..

    No one has ever sat at a wedding and complained that a best man’s speech would have been better if it had gone on longer.

  21. tompirracas says:

    Definitely don’t do that stupid returning the keys joke that I’ve seen at 3 weddings.

  22. Droptheclaw says:

    Brevity the soul of wit. Gotcha, tomp, thanks mate.

  23. hairbearhero says:


    Was about to ask why marmite was dangerous, then spotted that notorious weapon of mass consumption, the bay leaf.

  24. Droptheclaw says:

    I won’t be doing any ludicrous gags – I’m going to keep it relatively gentle, tbh. Although the bride may be presented with a Connacht shirt as a welcome to the family

  25. LarryM says:

    @tomp – cheers, I’ll get stuck into that later (and may end up buying another book thanks to recommendations on here.

    Was going to post a few more thoughts, but have realised I don’t want to. Ugh.

  26. tompirracas says:

    One of my cousins got married and after the speech by my uncle and the husband, they introduced the 3 best men. Fortunately, some of the kids had gone off to find an off-licence cos they weren’t being served by the waiting staff at the reception and I offered to go off to rescue them.

    3 years later the cousin’s brother had his civil partnership so both partners spoke, both fathers spoke, both had best men and there was a 3rd best man as well. Christ, it went on for hours.

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