Dave's Mr. Universe competition was the next day, and fortunately, the rugby that afternoon de-hangover-ified him nicely. However, he did not recover fully enough to be at full form for the beer-skulling contest, which was the first round. Then again, that quantity of alcohol (1.5 L) would be hard to take all at once at any level of sobriety. He downed it all, as was expected by the crowd, but not without difficulty. Indeed, some competitors did not finish theirs, and of those that finished more quickly, there were some digestive consequences backstage.
The subsequent rounds included formalwear, swimwear, and two talent rounds -- one to be prepared by oneself, one to be drawn from a hat. Dave did marvellously with the eveningwear, and despite my persistent encouragement otherwise, had decided to go with the respectable swimming shorts. Alas, how were we to know that such degrees of nudity and silliness were so commonplace, if not expected? The collage above was Dave's competition, which helps give one an idea of the sheer madness afoot. There was everything from stripping, swimming, seranading, drag, Dutch pickup lines, brakedancing, Elvis inpersonation, marshmallow-mouth-stuffing, and even a girl competing for the title of "Mr. Old Boys University". I might have cheered for her more, if she hadnt been relying entirely on skin rather than an actual schtick. Another contestant worthy of creative praise would be Mr. Blue Sock, who paraded through a crowded bar wearing head-to-toe tinfoil. In one fell swoop he tore it from his body, to reveal a lone royal-blue sock to hide his shame. (Naturally, he had chosen a knee-sock for the job, which only made the whole thing funnier.) I'll bill him for my therapy later.
Dave stepped up to the competition well. For his swimwear performance, he smartly had grabbed two props -- my silly Canadian toque and a glass of water. Strutting down the catwalk in a way that would have made Derek Zoolander proud, he reached the end, took off the toque, and in a most sultry fashion poured the glass of water all over himself. The crowd went wild, but not so much so as they did for the chosen-talent portion. Dave returned to the stage in his formalwear and got everyone to clap in rhythm. At this point, he produced a harmonica and jammed on it solo into the mic. While the playing itself was excellent, no one had been expecting this; once they recovered from the sheer shock (note, a be-sock-ed man was actually less shocking to this crowd) they cheered even more wildly than before.
In light of the fierce competition, Dave did not win, though it was agreed by all -- including Mr. Universe himself -- that he at least deserved to place. The night was still a very fun time, and we even met a bona fide All Black, Conrad Smith (between the ladies, naturally). For those less familiar with rugby, the All Blacks are the worlds' best known rugby team, and are known to perform a Maori war-dance called "The Haka" before each game to scare their opponents. While I cannot speak for professional rugby players witnessing this dance, the first time I saw it, I felt a strange but urgent need to hide behind a large piece of furniture. Anyhow, from meeting Conrad I can say that he is far less scary than the dance his team does, and it was really neat to meet a Kiwi celebrity.
Also, in many of the above pictures you may have noticed the lovely Ms. Nathalie -- of Brian and Nathalie, where Brian is the guy with the guitar in the previous post. They're Canucks too, and dangerously enough, Nathalie is just as fond as I am of makeup, shoes, clothes, nails, and all that girly stuff... malls of New Zealand, beware! ;-)