Rugger is a game invented in 1998 by insane Jehovah’s Witnesses in Guatemala, Central America. They were increasingly bored with all the photocopying and stapling they had to do to produce cultic rags like The Splotchtower and Avast Ye!!, and fed up with doorstepping innocent people who are trying to get on with their lives.
Two Guatemalan guys (they are always guys, never ladies, so please don't start whingeing, you lesbian agit-feminists) strip naked and run down the bank of the nearest river shouting vicious insults at each other. One carries a fresh pomegranate and the other an equally fresh pineapple. While they are allowed an unlimited number of insults, there are strict rules about the wording of them:
(1) No swearwords, like fuck or cunt, are allowed.
(2) The insults must not be true. For example, if one guy says the other is useless at using a lawnmower, the insultee must be a mowing maven, or at least rated.
(3) All the words must be clear. The whole volley of insults is recorded by state-of-the-art equipment in the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording studio, which is driven along by the former pop producer and broadcaster Jonathan King as the contest progresses. At the end of the contest, King winds the tape back and the insults are carefully transcribed by office cleaners, and if any word is inaudible or ambiguous, the user of the word is automatically disqualified.
(4) The words “pomegranate” and “pineapple” must be used once, and only once. It doesn’t matter much who uses them.
Who dares win?
The winner is the guy who is perceived by insult-experts to have been the most insulting within the rules stated above. It’s not easy, but then nor is being a Jehovah's Witness.
Pointless and stupid
Critics of rugger, including Bernard MacMahon, have said that life is basically too short for such a pointless game to be played. Players have argued back that the critics “have a few screws loose and display scandalous morals when it comes to bedtime at their cousin’s house”. Nevertheless, the game has left Guatemala and is creeping into neighbouring Honduras. There are no signs of it reaching Mexico, to the north, which is a relief for all those lazy guys smoking weed in sombreros.
Do the players need insurance?
Yep, and lots of it. The two guys in the contest do a lot of running – both with their legs and at the mouth – and accidents have been known to happen. In 1999, Sid “Silvertongue” Pocahontas slipped on some wet grass as he was accusing Tony “Smart Heckle” Liverpudliano of having half a brain and owning a dumb car and a silly house. Silvertongue fell headlong into the river near some rapids, shouting the F-word, for which he was immediately disqualified. He went home for an early bath, but things could have been much worse. Smart Heckle, of course, has a fantastic car and a glorious mansion, otherwise Silvertongue would have been disqualified.
Will it end?
Sports commentators all ignore the game as if it doesn’t exist. Fewer people (5) played rugger in 2006 than have ever played it since its invention in 1998, and in fact the only guys who play it now are the aforementioned Silvertongue and Smart Heckle, who hate each other so much they find it hard to stop. An attempt to get the game inserted in the 2012 Olympic Games in London has failed hopelessly. Basically, rugger ought to be extinct pretty soon.