All suffering from Kathmandu lung, not to mention the shock of being ditched by Alf and Watcharee, and ignored by one Mr. Rande Blackman, the Screwy Tuskers boarded their bus for one final Chitwan Chukker. Upon our subtle arrival right through the middle of the polo field, we headed straight for the bar. With our priorities set from the get-go, we mounted our pachyderms for a practice polo prance, with grace and style, even if a little liquored up.
As the sacrificial Co-Captains, Lisa and Tilman, in the requisite altered state, headed off through the "members only" back door into the Tiger Tops darkness and found their way to Jim's Round Table. As the door creaked open, we were shown to our bench and immediately ordered more jungle juice. We always wondered what happened behind those beaded curtains, especially when Alf came out with a smirk and a killer handicap, and finally there we were, in the thick of things. Immediately we understood the true importance of WEPA in the world scheme of things! Going in we felt somewhat akin to Thelma and Louise (that's what Chivas will do to you), but upon leaving we left a little more like Romi and Michelle (that's what WEPA will do to you).
Screwy Tuskers vs. National Parks - Nepal
National Parks Nepal Team Roster:
Dr. Tirtha Man Maskey (Captain)
Hearing Ram Prit's famous chuckle when he learned that his team would play the Screwy Tuskers was our first reminder that our bout with WEPA'S finest roster could very well set the tone for all upcoming chukkers. Forget skill and attack procedures, our total mission was to protect our bravest Barrista, Lisa, in the goal. If Lisa thought she saw a ton of shots flying through a Saturday morning caffeine frenzy at Starbucks, she was about to have her worst nightmare come true. Each one of us had our work cut out for us to minimize the damage. In spite of Christy's best efforts and Tilman's war cries, it was still up to Lisa to deflect the incoming missiles.
At half time, the Screwy Tuskers still had the lead (or at least we like to remember it that way), so we sent in our second battalion, with Shamane leading the way but looking a little green around the gills. With minutes to go, and the score going in the wrong direction, a switch had to be made. Shamane, seconds away from chucking her chow, parked her pachyderm quick, and Annie was sent in to take over her stick. Barely tied in, miraculously Annie found herself in front of the goal with seconds to spare and scored a final, if not a fatal goal against the Parks.
Hobbling off the field, the Screwy Tuskers celebrated the fact that we held National Parks to below double digits. Knowing them for the gentlemen they are, we'll never be quite sure if that was due to our skill or their pity.
Game Two: Screwy Tuskers vs. Chivas Regal
Chivas Regal Roster:
Peter Prentice (Captain)
Joining us at dinner last night, Soni Kalaan and the Screwys came up with the brilliant scheme to have the Chivas wives muddle up the match by disguising them and sending them out to the pitch in the second chukker to do domestic battle against their mates. With Soni leading the effort, who knew what could happen? But, we were willing to risk everything to shut down the Chivas sideline shimmy. Shamane, Annie, Sian, and Lisa, while keeping the Scotchmen huffing and puffing during the first chukker, forced Captain Prentice and his team mates to rethink their strategy during their half-time huddle, which gave us the chance to render their better halves incognito.
As the second chukker got under way, we eagerly watched as each Chivas player made eye contact with the faces hidden under the Screwy Tusker helmets, and knew the shock advantage we all craved was going to be satisfying beyond all expectations. Totally focused on adjusting his steed, Colonel Raj Kalaan, having missed all warnings, made it all the way to the first ball drop before the light bulb went off. Looking into his Bride's eyes, only he truly knew the ramifications of the outcome of this muddle in the middle. All other players faded into the fog as sticks flew between husband and wife.
Though we lost, it was all worth it to see the Scotch Dealers quiver in their chaps, making them realize that their girls weren't made just for frolicking on the sidelines.
Game Three: Screwy Tuskers vs. The Harry Winston Rough Cuts
Harry Winston Rough Cuts Japan Roster:
Chad Sullivan (Captain)
Sian Shines as She Cuts Those Diamonds Down to Size!
Previous night partying by the Rough Cuts almost caused them to miss the match of the tournament. Of course, the Screwy Tuskers, due to our rigorous training program, were ready to jumbo rumble. Down to the last minute, with Chuck McDougal roaring for the coin toss, in strolled Chad and his cut-ups, still wreaking of the last night's libations, but good natured as always. It quickly dawned on us that a little liquor running through our veins might have just tipped the odds in our favor, not to mention the NBC cameras in our direction.
With no contest, the Rough Cuts get our vote as the most fun team to pound the pitch with. Between their snapping mallots, blinding ice jewels, and flying wit, we'd tussle tuskers with these diamond cutters anytime.
In between all the fun, Christy and Sian managed to keep the diamond dust down, and we won the match, but don't have a clue, or a care, what the final score was.
Chivas Regal Quaiche Cup Semi-Finals:
Screwy Tuskers vs. Cresta Poonanhis
(The inuendos not lost on anyone here)
Cresta Poonanhi South Africa Team Roster:
Ray Botha (Captain)
Anyone who can bullet themselves down a winding ice, death course should be respected, if not feared on the pitch. But, this team of San Moritz dare-devil dogs proved to be no match for the sharp claws of this catty bunch. We had a hard time deciphering which balls to whack as words were more in play than the ball. At first playing like beetles on elephant dung, with Screwys screwing themselves, Shamane managed to spew out of the muddle and cause the Poonanhis to question the suitability of their name and their game.
Perhaps we knew more about the Poonanhis than we ever dreamed thanks to Zandra who had become an honorary Screwy Tusker. Her upcoming nuptials were at stake during this second chukker with threats of her betrothed experiencing a poonanhi strike that hit closer to home. Had the Poonanhis won, the Screwys would be packing their kit for the May 7th coupling of this perfectly matched pair. As it was, with the Screwy Tusker win, we left Zandra only 6 months to negotiate new terms with her hopeful hubby to be. Looks like Cindy won't be booking us those tickets to South Africa after all.
The Chivas Regal Quaiche Final:
Screwy Tuskers vs. Eldorado USA
(The First Ever Stars and Stripes Final)
Eldorado USA Team Roster:
Richard Caleel (Captain)
And we thought the Gore-Bush debates were heated! But, match up a bunch of leftist ladies from the West Coast with a group of Bush backers from the land of gold, and you're sure to have a flurry of fireworks with every wind-up and whack. From the first drop of the ball to the steady stream of stick swapping, the Eldorado Cowboys came out swinging, and it was clear that they weren't going to let a bunch of greenhorns crack their smiles. But crack their smiles we did, as we sauntered off the field at half time with a 3-0 lead.
With Eldorado stretching in the background, the Tuskers made a quick switcheroo and sent in Hattie Broadhead, our favorite barefoot blond, to play goalie. With fans lining the field, the Screwy Tuskers wisely dared not wallow in what appeared to be an imminent victory. With temperatures rising high enough to make their Texan oil bubble, the Eldorados wreaked havoc on the spectators by launching random missiles into the crowd, leaving us all relieved to know that their Captain was a plastic surgeon. In a quick hooking of events the Eldorados' smiles were stretched as they started to score in the last minutes of the game. Looks like their original communication gap with the Mahouts was shrinking before our very ears. With one final blast that hit two Americans and a Brit, Eldorado showed their true polo prowess and are now etched on the face of the Quaiche cup for eternity.
See also: Shamane's December 15 Report