Tighthead or loosehead?

A prop forward and his ear

This week’s jargon argument with Crossrail, where I got cross – because being told what grown ups have already decided is not a “consultation” (no matter how many leaflets it stuffs through my letterbox) – leaves me in need of a relaxing true sporting jargon anecdote for Friday afternoon.

The moral of the story: when you don’t understand their jargon, don’t commit to an answer. Especially in a job interview.

My friend Stuart, from my judo club, has been practising for many years. He has two permanent cauliflower ears as a result. A few years ago he decided to join the police.

At his final interview the superintendent saw Stuart’s puffy ears and muscular build and immediately decided that this man must be a rugby prop forward (see above). Stuart had never played the sport and didn’t know that, in rugby jargon, props play with their heads on the tight or loose side of the scrum.

The senior officer tried to put Stuart at his ease with small talk.

“Tighthead or loosehead?” he asked.

And Stuart said: “Actually yes, I am circumcised.”

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