Monday, November 27, 2017

Fucking cricket

Cricket, along with golf, is one of the more elite time wasting ways of displaying manly (slash) athletic prowess on the planet. At least the eco-damage footprint of an oval is less than a golf course but on the latter you can drive between holes (and over them if you are Donald Trump).

Cricket was forced on me by sheer dint of being an Anglo male in an English-Australian household of the '80s. With two posh poms as parents there was no escaping the chronic malaise that is cricket.

There were two TV channels then, and in Summer that meant one of the was tuned to just cricket which, like German operas, goes for days. My audio childhood soundtrack is of the distant murder of commentators, and cricket commentary is of the more boring style with long stretches devoted to the issue of seagulls on the pitch, with a sudden burst of excitement that someone rolled a four or a six or they were out.

I hated it and still do. I was forced to play the game as an inmate of an all boys private school (though as a day boy, not a boarder) even after being withdrawn from sport and PE because of my under cooked skeleton. I was in a grade of skill so bad we had to travel 200 kays to find an equally opposing awful team to play. My school had four grades of sporting prowess and I was a D. I once bowled someone out after my feeble bowl landed mid-pitch and rolled along the ground towards the wickets and was about to be ruled a no ball on account of its shitness but the batter took a joke swing at it, missed, and the ball gently rolled into the base of the wickets so he was out.

I fucking hate cricket.

My stupid body was not great for running, catching or throwing things because it was deformed in utero. Yet I was still forced to participate in this ritual of boys to men, until, that is, I went to counselling on Saturdays instead of cricket where instead of failing to throw a ball I had my balls fondled by the cousellor.

Fucking cricket.

I remember the first time I was struck by a ball in the game my body was not able to play properly. I was in slips  about two metres (six feet) from the batter when the ball was cracked into my thigh and dropped me. I still remember the fear of the hard, head killing missile coming at me but striking low instead of high. In my thigh and it hurt. I had a massive bruise and I of course did not want to play cricket. Ever. Never ever. Yet forced to at multiple points in childhood. The last time ever was being a fully kitted up opening batter for the opposing team at my brother's birthday, lumbering out to the pitch in the pads, box, gloves and fucking helmet to have a missile thrown at me and I was out first ball; a birthday miracle for my brother. I hated cricket, hated it, but it was his birthday and he needed players so I mucked in despite my fierce hate.

I hated the hours of sideline boredom where you waited 90 minutes until your turn to bat (as the most shit of the shit I would bat last) but where you were not allowed to read a book because you had to watch the game.

Seriously.

Fucking cricket.

I hated the ads for cricket and that the back half of the weekend news was all about cricket. There could be a war on somewhere in world that would get three minutes then it was off to the sports desk for all the latest about cricket for the next 14 minutes until the weather report which would, of course, impact on the cricket.

Fucking cricket.

I remember the night of September 11, for the attack happened at about 10 pm Australian time, and I stayed up half the night in shock, watching. And from that point on chyrons, the scrolling heading updates on the bottom of the screen, became a thing. So did the use of alarming white on red BREAKING NEWS! for sudden, horrid events.

Only now I see that alarming BREAKING NEWS! has just been employed to deliver important information about ... fucking cricket.

It's something to do with "The Ashes", the Oz on UK cricket contest over the rights to hold a trophy urn that supposedly contains the burnt remnants of wickets and shit from the first big match between the two and then the battle to have it is held with great twin national solemnity by the citizens who have a love for cricket.

The urn is the size of an egg cup.

The world is filled with things more interesting than cricket; I would get more value from watching a doco about crickets the animal than anything to do with cricket the game unless it was a doco about a serial killer that preyed on people who played cricket and likely killed them with one of the many implements from the game that can be easily turned on people. There's the bat, the ball and of course wickets which are sticks with metal coated points. If you were being attacked by a zombie horde then you would have that and armour both since cricket pads are greaves, you already have a helmet, gauntlets and box, and other cricket pads could be refashioned as arm, back and chest armour.

In fact I think that is the only practical use for cricket; that it's dual use technology for when civilisation suffers a societal-imploding event where modern tech has failed.

Fucking cricket; I hate it. If you love it then rock on but I will not stand for it; not in this house. 

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