The insanity of eye gouging
If you try to blind someone in a game of rugby, you should be banned for life.
I don't know the legal hot-water test here, but I saw a couple of eye gouging incidents on the telly this summer that the authorities ducked out of like pathetic little children when, actually, those high-profile players should have been ejected from the game.
And there's a recent one, too, by Stade Francais scrum-half Julien Dupuy.
I thought rugby was stronger than football and could send out a tough message. Now I am not so sure.
I fired up the new motorbike and took it for its first spin earlier this morning. Nothing like two wheels to clear your mind.
Eye gouging. Eye gouging. I used my eyes to start the bike, help me balance the thing, and scan the road ahead.
I tried to imagine someone running their nail along my cornea. I then imagined punching them and had to come back in to settle down.
Now, we've all done silly things in our lives. I think most rugby players can think back to episodes in their playing careers that, well, embarrass them a little. Stupid things.
If I am to confess here and now, I called people a few names, I hit people - with little lasting damage thankfully - and I did even worse on the odd occasion.
But never, ever, did I try to blind anyone.
You see, I am reading a book called "Confessions of a Rugby Mercenary" by John Daniell, a New Zealander who played seasons of rugby in France, moving from club to club as if on his travels, with each move earning him marginally higher money than before.
I don't want to spoil the book for you but he talks about being gouged in French rugby and his prose lingers deliciously on that moment when a player realises that some 19-stone brute was slipping a finger into his eye.
It makes me shiver. And then, in what I thought was the most shocking bit of the book, he found himself so absorbed with, and by, the culture that he resorted to gouging someone himself.
Could you gouge someone? Could you?
Could you feel so angry, or perhaps so calculating, that you would be driven to find an opponent, open your palm, navigate to his face, find his eye, and then actually try to part his eyelids to get your finger in there and scratch his eyeball?
Am I alone? This is verging on the insane.
We perhaps talk too often about the difference between rugby and football. In the latter, football players argue with the referee and feign injuries as an established part of their 90-minute routine.
So, football at most levels has kids from four years old to 40 arguing with referees and feigning injuries.
Kids copy what they see. What they see in sport they bring to society.
And now, rugby children, thanks to some very high-profile pieces of gouging, will copy what they are seeing. Until they are gouged themselves and can't see any more.
Rugby has to give life bans to anyone involved in gouging.