Warning: The article below is over five years old. It may be badly written, poorly considered, immature, obsolete, no longer my opinion, or simply flat-out wrong.

I went to an Aussie Rules match once

I saw Adelaide vs. Port Adelaide at the AFL semi-final last year. It was a bit of a last-minute thing. This weird German girl came up to me on the street, and asked if I was busy that night, as she had a spare ticket. "Try something new!" I thought. I don't get asked out on the street that often and one of the things I'd been trying on my jaunt around Australia was to do new things, things I don't do at home like go to sports matches with people off the street.

God, I wish I'd listened to my inner voice and run for the hills.

So, Crazy German Chick goes home to change and we agree to meet later. We meet, and warning sign #2 (#1 was her asking people on the street to go to a sports match) appears: it's the evening, and we're strictly non-participatory, and she's wearing lycra sports gear. Cycling shorts and a top, along with some ridiculous fingerless gloves. It's Adelaide in September so it's not the warmest of evenings - I was chilly. I look past this and we go to get the bus. Adelaide do this thing where you buy a day travelpass and that lets you use all public transport. I have one and so does she - we board the bus without incident. We make small talk for a while, until she notices some other people going to the game. CGC starts talking to them and asks for some of their alcohol. They laugh but she persists; eventually they give her the dregs of one of their cans. (Asking for alcohol from complete strangers: #3).

We get to the grounds and she chooses this moment to ask for money for the ticket. I point out she invited me because she had a ticket going to waste; she could have sold it to someone at the ground if she'd just wanted to get the cover price back. We haggle and settle for a few bucks off the cover price and I'd buy her a beer. CGC says OK, but tries to sell it to some random bystanders anyway.

We get into the game and find our seats. Although she said she was a fan of the AFL she doesn't know the rules. This doesn't bother her but it bothers me - I like to know what I'm watching. I start talking to the people next to me and get them to explain the rules. Then the game starts. CGC's true nutbar quality starts to shine.

"Go the Crows!" she bellows. Completely at random, throughout the game. People around her were giving her that "Is this person dangerous or merely weird?" look. When people at a football match are looking at you for making too much noise... oh my (#4). At one point she started shouting for a team that wasn't even playing. I pointed this out to CGC. "Well, they must play sometime," she replied (#5). Then she starts cheering for animal rights (#6... I'm not going to keep track any more, we're beyond warning signs now). I'm all for them but I don't see where they enter into a sports match.

But that wasn't the worst part. At least during those moments she was watching the game. See, CGC has decided that I'm a hottie, and she wants a piece. Oh, how she wants a piece. She keeps playing with my hair and telling me "You look cute." At one point she even climbs onto my lap. No thank you! Eventually her pestilent advances get far too much and I fabricate a girlfriend for myself.

"You're very cute."
"Yeah, my girlfriend thinks so too."
"Aww, You have a girlfriend?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Are you... committed?"
"Oh, very much so."

This does not deter her, and I must fend off advances for the entire match. I figure "In for a penny in for a pound," and start fabricating an entire backstory for myself. I'm a 26 year old Scorpio from Birmingham with a job, and so on. I made damn sure she didn't get my surname.

CGC wanders off intermittently, presumably to harrass other members of the crowd, and I breathe a sigh of relief and apologise to the people around me. "She's not with you?" "God no. I'm an unwilling bystander." It's a cold night and I'm chilly. I have a jumper, but it's not doing a vast amount of good. She tries to borrow it occasionally and I explain that no, sorry, it's mine and I'm cold. "Not very gentlemanly," she says. "Well, I'm no gentleman, and you're the one who went to change and came back in tiny lycra."

Eventually the match ends. Port Adelaide got crushed - the game had some entertaining moments but they were very much outclassed. The Adelaide fans are ecstatic; the Port Adelaide fans downcast. We leave the stadium and go to queue up for the bus back to the town centre. CGC starts talking to random people in the queue again; she talks to a morose-looking man with a painted face and head to toe in blue about how much she enjoyed the game and what a good match it was. Similar foot-in-mouth incidents go on for the whole queue but for the most part everything goes fine. Nobody punches her and most people are taking her inane comments in good humour. She panics about not getting a bus and I explain that it's a football match - people will have thought of this. This bus is full but there will be another along in 3 minutes that will be empty, and so on until the stadium is deserted.

We get towards the head of the queue and it's obvious we're going to get onto the next bus. It draws up and people start getting on. It's about 80% full and there are 3 people in front of us. Despite having queued quite patiently up until this point CGC walks past them all, up to the end of the bus without sticking her ticket in the machine, and sits down. A situation is brewing. In the UK if you did this a couple of bag ladies would tut; Australians are not reserved. Why would she ever do this, anyway? She has a valid ticket! She would have got on! The entire bus is now pissed off at her. I wait like a good little Brit and get on, validate my ticket, and explain to the bus driver that she's kind of with me and I'll sort it out.

I go up to the back of the bus where an angry Aussie is in her face. I explain that she does have a valid ticket, and she should go and validate it. Yes, you're on the bus, but there are a lot of people on the bus who hate you and think you're not paying, so for God's sake go and put your ticket in the machine. No buts, go and do it now. She acquiesces and does so; the hostility reduces a little.

She starts to walk back up the bus towards me. In front of her is a heavy-set, middle-aged woman. She's another Port Adelaide fan. Not only is she in blue, but she's got some of those chunky radio headphones on and a big furry jester hat. CGC thinks it would be a good idea to steal the hat - she reaches out and grabs the hat, but gets the headphones too. The woman's just got on the bus so has no idea that CGC is a live one, and she was grabbed from behind so she's got no idea what's going on. The hostility on the bus is back.

"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing!" she bellows at her. CGC looks clueless - what, you're angry? Why? I roll my eyes and jump in again to defuse things, telling myself I only have 30 minutes more of this at most. I tell her to give the hat back, and she does. I apologise for her behaviour but the lady is much smarter than she looks - she refuses to spread her anger around. "It's not you I'm bothered about, it's her!" She tells CGC that she shouldn't be allowed out, and I tell Mrs PA that I agree.

The rest of the bus ride back is uneventful apart from the entire bus staring at her. She's still going on about my girlfriend, and trying to coax me off with her. There's one more incident that sticks in my mind, when she makes a sudden inocuous move and I flinch bigtime. I was that paranoid about what she could do. I lie: two more incidents. She starts eating her bus ticket. God knows why, as she needs it to get home. I try to dissuade her, but it's not my problem so I don't intervene when she carries on.

We get off the bus at the central station and I take the picture I linked to above. I took it for "Yes officer, that's the woman," purposes, as well as to prove to people that she really existed. She tries once more to talk me into coming home with her and to hug me, I rebuff her, and dash off into the station before she can gather her wits to follow me.

Originally published on Kuro5hin.