Thursday, 15 September 2011

I must break you.

Before we get going congratulations to Rob Haines and Jenny Sargent who tied the knot earlier this month. I consider myself extremely fortunate to count both as dear friends, and it was a tremendous privilege to act as Rob's best man on his special day. Also, regarding my best man's speech, I'd like to apologise to all of those in attendance. I now realise that when telling the story of Rob and the stripper with the dead horse I may have been a tad too enthusiastic in recounting the details. It was never my intention to cause any offence, or make Jenny's grandmother cry. I certainly didn’t mean to refer to the maid of honour as "that turquoise manatee". And while I'm a great believer in the old adage that it takes two to tango, I am prepared to be the bigger man and take responsibility for the fist fight with the priest as well. For this I am truly sorry and I hope my actions did not detract from what was genuinely a wonderful occasion.

Speaking of Rob, let's talk about the Yeti (Gee Note: Because you see Rob is Asian and lives on a mountain like a troll of some type. OK not really. Truth is it's late and I couldn't think of a good segue. I mean you try coming up with a link between a Sasquatch and a wedding. It's not easy). Or more accurately the hunt for a Yeti. Much like his American cousin Bigfoot, every year the Yeti attracts thousands upon thousands of people to remote locations hoping that they’ll be the one who finally proves beyond reasonable doubt that the this cryptic creature exists. And no one, not one single person, ever succeeds. At best we get a blurry video of something moving in the distance that could just as likely be a bear as it could be a Sasquatch. At worst we get a very cold camper who probably needs to have a sit down and a long think about their life. Either way it's generally speaking a huge waste of time.

Still, common sense dictates that if you’re determined to head off to the slopes with the vague intention of not dying and returning with a Man-Monkey then you’ll need to pack some useful items for the journey. (Gee Note: Net gun? Check. Regular gun? Check. Copy of well-thumbed Hairy Arctic Fat Chicks magazine to use as bait? Check). These would include a compass. And a map. And a first aid kit.

And… er… a bloody great big Russian who used to be a champion heavyweight Boxer.

Meet Nikolai Valuev. Actually you probably already know Valuev but may not recognise the name. You see Valuev usually goes by the alias of "Holy shit!!! Look at the size of that guy!!!!". At seven feet two inches tall and weighing in somewhere around twenty three stone Valuev cuts quite an imposing figure. He's a pretty handy boxer too, chalking up a professional record of 50 wins in 53 fights, 34 of those coming by way of knock out. He is a two time WBA World Heavyweight Champion and both the tallest and the heaviest title holder in boxing history. It’s like if Ivan Drago had his DNA spliced with a Dinosaur. My point is it’s a good thing Valuev became a boxer, because had he decided to become a super villain instead we’d have ended up saluting a statue of him every hour on the hour and teaching our daughters the Russian for “No sir, I think you look smashing”.

Nikolai Valuev looking downright dangerous via Wikipedia

Anyway Valuev hasn’t fought inside the squared circle since losing the WBA Heavyweight title to David Haye in November 2009. His doctor publically stated that Comrade Nikolai was in bad shape, requiring extensive surgery to correct “serious bone and joint problems”. And so at 36 years of age the Giant’s reign of terror in the ring had come to an end. Looking for something to do instead of punching dudes in the face Valuev tried his hand at acting, but soon realised that there’s a lack of demand for ogres in Hollywood.

So what does an incredibly large ex-pugilist do with all his newfound spare time? Well he could try to learn a new language perhaps, or maybe take a course on how to fly a plane (Gee Note: Me? I’d spend my time teaching a rabbit how to do sleight of hand magic. Think about it. A rabbit. Doing magic. It would turn the conjuring world on it’s freakin’ head). But then why waste time doing that junk when there’s a Yeti to be found?

Because somewhere in the wilderness of Russia a hairy hominid is rampaging around and getting up to all sorts of ape related malarkey. Specifically near the Azass Cave in Mount Shoriya. Shoriya is exactly how you'd imagine a Siberian mountain to be. Mainly big, rocky, and bloody cold. Anyway in 2009 local head of government Vladimir Tashtagol received 14 letters complaining about a furry menace larking about the mountain.  Most of these came from hunters requesting permission to shoot the poor sod should they ever cross it's path again. Rather than declare Wampa hunting season open, it instead inspired the authorities to take reports of this strange animal seriously, and a group of boffins from the local University were put together to lead an expedition in to the area in June that year. And when they returned they didn't come back empty handed. Oh no siree, they came back with a photo of something-that could possibly-if you hold it upside down-and squint your eyes-maybe-a little bit-looks like-an Abominable Snowman’s footprint. Since then there’s been an annual “Yeti Day” held in November to celebrate the shaggy wonder, where people flock from far and wide to see if they can spot the elusive beast. And to this day people still report sightings of the Yeti on a fairly regular basis.

Which is where Nikolai steps in. Apparently another expedition is heading up to the cave today to see if they can find the Yeti, and Valuev has bagged himself a spot on the trip.

Alas he isn’t too hopeful. Or at least not according to an article on the BBC website. “I’m only here for two days”, said the gigantic slugger. “And I believe that miracles only happen at Christmas time.” (Gee Note: You know that Valuev is a smart man. I mean some people would look at that quote and think it makes no sense what so f***ing ever. But not me. Sure. Miracles. If they happen at all, they only come around once a year at Christmas. It’s an accepted fact. What are you? Some kind of dumbass who thinks a miracle could happen in July or something. Pah! You are so silly. Hahahahahahahaha. You hear that? That’s the sound of Valuev and I laughing at you  fool.)

He continues “I doubt whether the yeti is going to run into the road and greet our truck with open arms” (Gee Note: Especially if you run the poor bastard over). “But I'll let you know if I see anything."

But wait, there's more. The article then goes on to say: A spokesman for the Kemerovo regional administration said that the boxer was keen to "talk to the yeti about life"

Right. Wait. What?

Nikolai wants to talk to the Yeti?

About life?

Are you... what?

Am I the only one who doesn't get this? Nikolai Valuev. The man who could probably tower over a giraffe if he tried hard enough, wants to swap stories with a Yeti? What would they even talk about?

NIKOLAI VALUEV: Comrade Yeti. I have come to talk to you about life.

YETI: Bro. Can you keep it down a bit. I’m trying to catch some z’s here. Woah. Look at the size on you buddy. Where the f*** did you come from? Did humans evolve and get bigger or something? Geez how long have I been asleep?

NV: Yeti I am the great boxer Nikolai Valuev. I have come to seek your wisdom. You may have heard of me. They called me the “Beast from The East”.

YETI: “Beast from the East” hey? That’s not bad I guess. It’s a bit generic but, you know, it could be worse. Take me for example. They call me the “Abominable Snowman”. Can you believe that shit? I mean really? I’m a six foot missing link that lives in a Goddam cave and they can’t think of anything better than “Abominable Snowman”? Not “Terror from the mountains” or the “The Monster from the dark”? It’s not difficult is it? Instead they go with Abominable Snowman. A-bom-in-able. It sounds like a toothless donkey chewing a thorn. And don’t get me started on Snowman. How am I supposed to strike fear in to hearts of people if all they think of when they hear my name is Aled Jones singing “Walking In The Air”? Man, I really hate that high pitched dickweed. You know how many jokes I had to suffer in school because of him? “Hey Yets. How you getting home today? You walking? If so I’ll let air traffic control know you’re coming”. SCREW YOU ALED JONES!!!! If I ever meet that sumbitch I’ll bite his face off.

NV: I feel your pain oh fuzzy comrade. I have made a life getting hit with great force. You have hidden yourself away from the world. We have both faced adversity in some form. We are not so different from each other.

YETI: We aren’t? No. No I guess we aren’t. You with your millions of dollars and your big house and your beautiful wife. And me, having to do poos in the freezing cold snow so as not to stink out the cave in which I sleep. We’re like peas in a pod.

Maybe it's me but, I don't know, I just don't see that going all that well. Still I hope that should this historic meeting take place then somebody catches it on film. Close up on film. That alone would make my decade.

And if not then I’m sure this expedition will still be completely worthwhile in each and every way.

Because Nikolai Valuev is there. And he’s a lot bigger than I am.

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