A load of old cobblers
I’ve got a fairy tale for you. It’s all about a little boy who became too big for his rugby boots. For the purposes of this story we shall call him Adolf, although this name is purely representative to protect the chances of his heirs and graces getting all angsty and sending a death squad after me.
That might seem a little over-dramatic, but we have to remember young Adolf and his brother Rude Boy both joined a club when they were boys, that had a bit of a rep. Club might not be the right word, here – I think gang might more accurately describe the bunch of misfits they hooked up with.
Anyway the point is this group liked to play with lethal gas and did not tolerate others whose colour, religion, dress sense, or ideology differed from theirs.
Anyway young Adolf wanted to be somebody when he was growing up and so he trained as a cobbler. Shortly after WWI he began making his own track shoes and eventually involved Rude Boy in the business and they made them for some of the athletes at the 1928 Olympics. They made a breakthrough at the 1936 Olympics by providing the shoes for Jesse Owens, who probably wouldn’t have worn them if he had realised that by this stage Adolf and his brother had joined that gang run by the other Adolf.
When war broke out (sounds like a case of acne), Adolf who we shall call Ad so we don’t confuse him with the other Adolf, managed to stay at home making footwear for the Wehrmacht while his brother went to the front. Now Ad must have become aware of how much more money he would make if there was only one brother in this business, so when Rude Boy was captured by the Americans, Ad told them he was a member of the SS.
Needless to say the two fell out quite badly and after WWII their shoe factory was split in two. Presumably one took all the left feet and the other the rights Anyway Rude Boy took his cobbler’s awls and began his own company in competition with his sneaky bro. Ad re-named his company in his own image and Rude Boy eventually named his after some other cat.
The pair set themselves up either side of the river that divided their town and turned that geographic feature into a symbol of a divided people. Intermarriage was verboten between the two camps (quite apart from the issues regarding close family ties!) as the two siblings tried to outdo each other.
The rivalry continued with expansion into all sorts of sports equipment until both died in the 1970s. But along the way their companies had grown to become global entities; or as we doctors call them, arrogant corporate bastards.
Ad even had an evil son who was able to ‘secure a few contracts’ for his Dad’s company through his ‘connections’ at the highest level of international sport. All of this led to an inbred sense of entitlement as Addled Ass (Ad’s company) began to take liberties with staff, retailers and especially their end users. – I’ve never actually met an end user and I am not sure what one does with an end, and I’m not even sure why Ad decided to make them, but that’s probably another story.
Anyway things came to a head (there’s that acne again) when Addled Ass pulled out their best dirty trick for a sporting tournament that shall not be named for fear of dire litigational consequences (R**by W**ld C*p). This tournament was to be set in what is perhaps a 70 percent clean and green country at the bottom of the world.
As sponsors appointed by none other than the big guy himself, (No, not God – the IRB fulla that does that stuff), they decided to make a rugby jersey that everyone would want to wear. Ad’s legacy remained and of course the obvious choice was to be the jersey of the glorious Fatherland. However once their ‘people’ had pointed out that the glorious Fatherland actually couldn’t play rugby for peanuts and had failed to qualify for the afore(un)mentioned tournament, they halted production on the five million red, black and gold jerseys they had begun to make and hoped they could one day flog them to Waikato at a severely inflated price.
Eventually the researchers at Addled Ass realised there was only ONE jersey that EVERYONE would be proud to wear and that was the one worn by the team who has performed more consistently than any other sports team in the history of mankind. So their researchers sent out more researchers to discover what colour the All Blacks wore. (They are studious humourless types and the obvious doesn’t always occur to them).
Once they found out how the jersey looked they set their team of crack seamstresses (two 11-year-old Indian girls working out of a small hovel at the edge of the Ganga (that’s a river not an intoxicant). Soon the masterpiece was in pieces and all they needed was someone to cobble it together. With Ad gone they no longer had a cobbler so they plumped instead for a corporate salesman who had been well steeped in Ad’s philosophies.
Unfortunately they forgot that your goods will only sell if you don’t piss off the natives by inflating the price to a level where a small mortgage over one’s home is necessary to effect the purchase of what would normally be a $39.95 item at the Warehouse. Thus their marketing nitwits decided to stiff the residents of the one country where they could have guaranteed to kit out nearly the entire nation with these jerseys.
In one fell marketing swoop they managed to blow away the wispy gauze and enable everyone in that small nation to see their boiling pustulent flesh, red rimmed eyes and 666 tattoos.
The people of the small 70 percent clean and green nation set upon the Addled Asses and rent their clothing (or at least they would have if anybody wanted it after they’d torn it). The scales had been removed from the people’s eyes and they were much wiser for the experience. They boycotted Addled Ass from that day forth (or was it the fifth?) and they lived unhappily ever after.