April 6 2004
Over the silly season, as the period between the end of the rugby season and the start of the next might be termed, all kind of frippery appears on the message boards. One question which has been asked from time to time is the one above – exactly how do you become a Drunken Wasp? The term originated in the summer of 2001, in the Argyll Arms on Oxford Circus. Planning was being done for a trip out to Treviso in the coming November, and the spiritual leader of the Unofficial Wasps Internet Supporters Association, LoftusRoadExecutive, and three of his henchmen, Jar, Slaav and KevinTheB were going through details.
The idea of getting shirts made for the trippers was decided upon, and thoughts turned to the embroidery – what would be appropriate for beer-drinking Wasps supporters? A number of ideas were talked through until a Wasp drinking beer was settled upon. Over the following two weeks, an artist was found and a number of proofs gone through until the design worn today was arrived at. Then, at the final design meeting, in the same pub with the same people, “Drunken” was thought to be pretty close to “Lunden”, and the Drunken Wasps brand was born.
A premium was placed on the final cost of the shirts to raise money for children’s rugby, and the rest is history. To date, around £1000 has been raised solely by sale of leisurewear and Allez!, the fanzine, for good causes.
Coming back to the question, do you qualify as a Drunken Wasp? As posted elsewhere, the criteria for membership are very strict.
1. Are you, have you ever been, or is it likely that you will ever be drunk?
2. Do you support Wasps?
If you can answer yes to both questions, then you're in.
Criteria 1 will occasionally be waived if the answer to 2 is yes and you are happy being in the close company of those who answered yes to 1. Check out PhilTheMascot (PhilTheMascot ) as an example.
So what happens now? Well, the move to Adams Park will confuse things for a while, but eventually the pre-match meeting place will be discovered, and DWs will continue to meet up before and after home fixtures for a beer and a chat, and the overseas support will continue to grow strong.
Some readers are confused between the Official Tours, the Official Drunken Wasps Tours, and the Unofficial Drunken Wasps Tours. Let me try to explain.
The Official Tours and Trips are organised by Don Fowler, with the connivance of the Club. Because they are official, they need to be organised to a certain standard, correctly, in line with what the Club sees as correct practice at the time. I am not criticising either Don or the Club for this – it is the way of official tours the world over.
The Official Drunken Wasps Tours, Trips and Events (such as the Goodbye Nigel and Welcome Warren evenings) are largely sorted out by the aforementioned henchmen, with assistance from certain well-known webWaspies such as James Gurney and Dom. As the original Drunken Wasps, by definition these are the Official Drunken Wasps Tours. What makes them different from the Club tours are the following items.
a) they tend to be finalised earlier – we try to get the best prices by hitting the internet and getting good value before anyone else tries to book anything.
b) there is more risk involved – because everything is done quickly, they are vulnerable to changes by the playing committees, e.g. change to kick-off times, etc.
c) you might find that plans are drawn up with consumption of alcohol as a major factor.
d) you will not have a choice – we fly on this plane, stay in this hotel, pay this much. Do you want to come? Yes or No? Now!
e) Payment is made up front and very promptly. Bookings (often thousands of pounds worth) are made on personal credit cards, so it does not work unless the cash moves quickly.
f) But most of all, the people who travel on these are single-minded Waspies who like a beer and a laugh. From time to time there will be fallings out (plus fallings over!) but these blow over by the time of the next trip.
Unofficial Drunken Wasps Tours are similar to the Official Drunken Wasps Tours, except that they are organised by different people, normally because the Official Drunken Wasps Tour details do not fit in with their personal preference or availability. I am aware of at least two Unofficial Drunken Wasps Tours going to Parma.
Having read all of this, are you a Drunken Wasp? If you are, buy the shirt, and wear it with pride! London Pride if possible! Other than that, any acceptable lager, possibly Jack Daniels or Sambucca, …..