This was the bit the club secretary dreaded most. He’d just finished explaining the dress code as laid out by GNAS – or Archery GB, as they now had to call it – and how it fitted in to the club’s own colours and so on.
So –no blue denim, no camouflage patterned clothing, nor olive drab, no strapless tops for the ladies, plain dark green or white preferred if you want to follow the old GNAS rule, and club colours as long as they follow the current rules. Oh, yes – and no sandals, open-toed shoes, or going bare-footed.
They’d thrown the meeting open to questions – and the secretary, his heart sinking – saw the group at the back muttering among themselves. Then a hand went up.
“Can I wear blue denim socks,” asked Sly Sid, the ringleader.
Quick as a flash, the field captain said: “You’d never get your boots on, Sid.”
“How about blue denim underpants, then?” Sid insisted.
The field captain was up to the task, much to the relief of the club secretary. “They’d chafe a bit, Sid, especially at summer shoots. Stick to the usual Y-fronts. White Y-fronts are quite acceptable.”
Sly Sid’s mate, Little Billy, had a question. “I can wear my camouflage hat, can’t I?”
“You are now,” sighed the club secretary. “And I don’t suppose it’ll be a problem at tournaments. In fact, I’ve never seen you without it. Do you sleep in it?”
“Little Billy’s not that little,” someone quipped from the side of the room.
Then it was Big Eddy’s turn to speak. He’d been firing up his brain cells one by one ready to throw a question into the debate. He was up to torch battery power now and green for go.
“Thongs,” he began.
“As in Thing Thomething Thimple?” joked the field captain, who was definitely on form tonight, much to the secretary’s continuing relief. “I used to listen to that on Sunday evenings on the radio with my granny. She had a terrible lisp.”
Laughter all round. Big Eddy, though, looked puzzled.
“The wife’s thongs,” he went on.
“You definitely can’t wear those at shoots,” someone shouted across the room. “Only if they’re plain dark green or white or club colours.”
“No, no – I’ve made the wife’s thongs into a bow string,” explained Big Eddy, sweating at the effort. “Can I use that at shoots?”
“I hope you’ve told your wife,” someone said.
“They were old thongs,” Big Eddy said. “So – is it all right to use a bow string made out of thongs. I can’t be pulled up for it, can I?”
It was the coaching organiser’s turn to butt in. “Eddy – yes, it is okay. But a word of advice….don’t use a kisser, and make sure you use a side anchor.”
Someone else shouted: “If you actually ever find your way to a tournament, warn the technical committee to wear surgical gloves when they do an inspection.”
All this went over Big Eddy’s head, but he’d definitely started something.
“I made a string once from my granddad’s old string vest,” said Sly Sid. “I’ve still got the chin rash.”
“And I used a sock for a quiver once,” said Junior Jimmy the junior. “I used my sister’s knicker elastic to hang it from.”
“Don’t say that,” someone said. “You’ll be giving Big Eddy more ideas.”
“Rubber,” said Big Eddy, holding up his meaty fist again. “Rubber bands.”
The club secretary eyeballed the clock on the wall. He’d just about had enough of this. “I’m closing the meeting and going home. You lot,” he said, pointing to Sly Sid and his mates, “can all sod off back to the parallel universe you emerged from two hours ago.”
“But what’s the dress code for shooting in a parallel universe?” shouted Little Billy as the club secretary vanished through the door.
“Uck owes,” he appeared to say, as the door slammed shut.