So after much talk, the Red Lions finally made their day trip to Fulong, on one of those most beautiful, sunny summer days. Alas it was only a handful of the promised people who turned up, several Lions pulling out at the last minute with rather piss poor excuses, several not bothering to even let the organisers know they were not coming. Gayer “Rob” the Polack called Mao on the Friday night, trying to get the chairman to cancel the event. Mao was having none of it, but conceded to checking the weather the following morning before giving the green or red light.
The early morning on Saturday was peaceful enough, and Mao was up early checking on the progress of the tropical storm Muifa, to see if it was going to hit land in Taiwan or – as predicted – head north to the Korean Peninsular and China. And it could not have been better – overnight the storm had indeed once more changed direction, and so the party in Fulong was confirmed. Messages were sent to all who had confirmed, and Mao set off early on the mountain bike, getting in an 85km ride in to balance the calorific intake expected on arrival at the Fu Bar.
Initially following the river to south Taipei, Mao then crossed in to the capital, heading over towards Taipei Zoo and then in to Shenkung. A quick drink stop followed, then up in to the mountains of Ping Xi, where a Mitsubishi tonked past him, only to brake hard and stop on the side of the road. Out of the car popped Mao’s father in law, so a quick talk ensued, the father in law moderately impressed by the destination. He would not have been quite as impressed had Mao informed him how many beers were going to be consumed. Thank the Lord for censored press in China.
Hitting the peak of around 300 metres, Mao was tiring at the 60km stage, stopping for some photos, and a welcome rest as he turned right towards Shuangxi. Through the tunnel, and then it was all downhill.
Just under 5 hours after leaving Bali, Mao arrived at the Fu Bar, Captain “Oh Captain my Captain” Cooke plus the ever efficient Germanic partnership of Mirko and Mrs Mirko waiting with an ice box full of nice cold beers. Not long after, Panda, Spike and Spike’s other half arrived at the temple, getting lost 100 metres away from the Fu Bar, before Chancy spotted him and guided him to the bar.
A little later, Mrs Mao and Mini Mao also appeared, beers were drunk, stories told, laughs shared. Fred and Phoebe were called, and promises were made that they would be on the way, and would arrive not long after. Gayer “Rob” the Polack and Dumbass “Don’t call me Thomas” Dumbassini (aka Dumb and Dumber) were called up, the Polack coming up with the worst ever excuse of not attending an event since Kim “On the hook” Sun Il told his ex-girlfriend that he could not take her out for Valentine’s Day because he had to stay at home and wash his hair.
Dumbass gave the excuse of having to work the following day, which was surprising because there were still trains available to take him back to Taipei that very same day, thus rendering his excuse almost as gay as the gay Polack’s. And Clovis… well this is a man who changes his tune according to the situation. Firstly citing family as the reason he could not attend, he then changed his story to fiscal issues after it was mentioned that he could have brought family with him. Truth is that with a rich boyfriend, he can no longer allow himself to associate with the rabble which travels by public transport. He would only have found it within himself to go had there been a Ferrari or Porsche of sufficient horse power and cleanliness available. There wasn’t.
For offering the poorest excuses of all time, Dumb and Dumber are both fined rounds for each of the next six months. The State – and indeed all of those who DID attend the party in Fulong – has spoken.
As the sun set behind the mountains to the west, and not one drop of rain had fallen, the fantastic spread of South African Boerewors, lamb chops, and other meaty goodness was delivered to the table, along with vegetarian pita breads filled with cheese and a variety of other fillings. Vegetables and salads were also supplied, and everything was washed down with ample beer. The Erdingers were flowing, the food disappearing and then replacements brought out – our fine host making sure that there would be no complaints of not being full.
After the excellent dinner, the guests and hosts were divided in to three teams for the first annual Fiendishly Difficult Fulong Beach Quiz. Mao had come up with a bunch of obnoxiously hard trivia questions to confuse and annoy, so the three teams ended up as Eurotrash – Mirko and Fred plus partners, The Damn Southerners – Alex, Chancy and Spike plus partner, and the Fubar team – Etienne, Brigitte and Kevin.
Eurotrash got creamed. With the two other teams tying for victory, Eurotrash had to buy a round for the winners. Mao, Mrs Mao, Mini Mao and Kevin all left at this time, the noise and merriment of the party at the Fu Bar continuing until the early hours, fuelled by vodka and Red Bull.
All those Lions who failed miserably to turn up missed a classic Red Lions evening. Those who were there will remember it – although the latter stages of the evening may be remembered hazily – for a long time to come.