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Jill Anderson on the Rum Runners

The Rum Runners did their share of touring. Not only did they travel and play rugby in the South Island and in Australia, they also took along their wives and girlfriends (partners, in today's language).

We weren't ever meant to drink on the road, but as long as we kept the glasses and bottles out of sight when we passed through towns, we reckoned we were okay. We always had great bus drivers and they knew it wasn't much use trying to stop us anyway!

The back of the bus was the place to be, for sure. The more the dark liquid flowed, the more the wee-wee stops became important. On one occasion the driver insisted this would be the last stop for some time, so we all got out, girls on the left side of the bus, boys on the right.

We were all busy relieving ourselves when the bus driver, who obviously possessed a wicked sense of humour, drove off. What a sight! On another occasion, two girls were busting for a wee, so we pressured the driver into stopping, just for them. The driver told them to go behind the bus because there were no trees about. As soon as they were off, he asked me to go to the back of the bus and let him know when they were squatting. He also alerted the guy with the video camera. When I gave him the nod, he put his foot on the clutch and the bus began gently rolling back towards them. Well, if you're a female, you'd understand

what it feels like to be a startled kangaroo ... hoppity, hoppity, hop!

Then there was the time we stopped at an old pub for a pie and a rum or two. Outside was a white parrot in a large cage. One of the guys, Geoff, bent down and began chatting away to this magnificent bird. 'Hello, darling, Polly want a cracker? Hello, helloooo.' When we came out, fortified with rum, Geoff was in a stroppy mood, the parrot having remained mute throughout our stay. 'Well, get f--   then,' he blurted at the bird. The bird went bananas: 'Get f--! Get f--! Get f--!' It was hard to tell whether Geoff was more upset at missing out on the lunch break or being outpointed by the parrot!

Rum Runners 1979
Beery smiles for the camera on a Rum Runners, South Island tour, 1979.