Monday, July 02, 2007

Tongans, fire and sugar

What did you do this weekend? We had a pig roast in our backyard. With Tongans. That last point will make sense shortly.

It all started at 5:30 in the morning on Saturday. My daughter - aka the rooster - awoke and we snuggled in my bed. As we got comfortable we heard the first of the Tongans arriving at our house, helping my husband with clearing out the backyard and preparing the pit for the second annual rugby club pig roast. The first one was held in our backyard last year.

Next came the pig, a 130+ pound recently slaughtered pig. Craig (known around these parts as Mr. SMID) came up with the idea of using a new mop to help marinate the pig while on the spit. We were told that "back home in Tonga" they would marinate the pig overnight in a tub. Since we only have one bathroom in our 130+ year old farm house, I'm glad I wasn't even asked to offer up our claw footed tub for the effort. I would have said no.

I was enjoying the fact that my little men were hanging with these guys with stories of growing up in the South Pacific. I envisioned my sons recounting how they heard of playing on beaches, running for hours, and never ending sun.

I should've grown suspect when I was asked for the largest bag of sugar we had and two spoons.

Did you know that if you throw some sugar on smoldering charcoal, it will shoot up flames? I didn't either.

I have several (at the time) drunk Tongans to thank for teaching my almost 7-year-old sons this new found knowledge. The first time I saw this skill set one of my sons stood over the pit and had, oh, MILLIMETERS between his lovely head and the flame. With much restraint I calmly said, "Love, could you stand back while you shoot flames into the sky?" Really, I was that calm.

But then I could've hugged the guy who showed my sons the scar on his hand and told of how he was playing with fire when he was 9 years old. He seriously burned his hand. When he ran home crying to his father, the man flicked his son's ear twice, told him not to play with fire, and ordered him to walk to the hospital 1 1/2 miles away. Which he did. My boys were just wide-eyed recounting the story

We brought out the television to watch a recorded match between New Zealand and Australia during the Tri-Nations Games. Folks, if you have never seen a Haka Dance, complete with running commentary from actual rugby players, then you haven't had a good time. Especially if there are jokes about slitting the opposing team's throats and eating their kidneys.

Then came the fire dance, by a drunk Tongan (and before anyone thinks it was only the Tongans drinking, there were Irish, Americans, Australians and some other nationalities running amok with the beer). The performing Tongan though was in a sarong type get-up. He swiped the blue fabric from a local bar owner (much to hard to explain here). For those of you concerned about children's welfare, we kept all children on the deck far away from the fire stick

Aside from some grass catching on fire, it was amazing. Then afterwards my sons made charcoal mud and ripped the teeth out of the remnants of pig.

A fun time had by all.

** yes, I do have plenty of photos of the pig, roasting, kids "mopping" it, etc. However, after 10 attempts to download just one of them, I've decided that Blogger is managed by vegetarians.**


Brillig said...

HAHAHA. Okay, I enjoyed the whole post. I really did. But I DIED LAUGHING at your very last line about vegetarians. HAHAHA. Darn those vegetarians! It's a vegetarian conspiracy to keep dead pigs off the internet...

Lady M said...

Sounds like a blast!

A brother-in-law has attended a few elaborate football tailgater parties with Islander friends. They send representatives to stake out space in the parking lot the night before to start on the pig roast!

Jenn in Holland said...

hahahahaha! I am with Brillig, the last line about Blogger being managed by vegetarians has me spitting coffee against the computer screen!

What a blast of a back yard pig roast! Now that's something that doesn't happen every day. I really must tell my dad about the sugar/flames relationship as I know the next grandson sleepover at his house will include BBQ flame throwing.
But seriously, just how jealous am I that you had an international fest in the yard? Next one, maybe I am coming. I really want to mop a pig!

Jenn in Holland said...

Okay, just went to the HAKA DANCE link and I am all a tingle.
I love the Islanders! The eyes, the grunting, the chants...
I was SO born in the wrong place. I need to be Tongan.

Gunfighter said...

...and can you believe that Australia actually won that game?

I wasn't amused!

I'm glad that you had a good time... the rugby community is full of good-natured, fun-loving people with a real flair for life... which I don't have to tell you at all!

I wish I could have been there.

Oh, and Jenn... Tongans don't do the Haka... that comes from the Maori culture of New Zealand.

Jenn in Holland said...

Thanks for the correction. After I published that comment, I remembered the scenes from Whale Rider, and figured I got my islands mixed up.
No matter, those are beautiful boys making beutiful music. Okay, so it's a little bit creepy with the eye flashing and the neck slashing, but still... it kind of makes me hot.

Mommy the Maid said...

What a great get together!And I too am laughing over the vegetarian comment.

Alex Elliot said...

Sounds you had a great time! What a day for you. Loved the vegetarian comment.