February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Taken in that order so as to efficiently lay out what is before my readers here.
Coups, of which the day would produce two. Or not. One for sure, of which John ( et moi le recipient ) can vow; the other more a matter of Australia’s boo-boo-coup!
My own then was an award which formed in the minds of my audience and occupied a growing body of applause among the more informed as we reached the tale’s climax. Together. “Coup d’un chapeau! Bravo!” they called. Rare, I’ll tell you, for the Sox Georges as they are commonly termed only ever applaud their own members and then less frequently than a proverbial blue moon’s appearance so as to eliminate favoritism.
Just as seriously I’ll add how the occasion was one of presenting me with a replacement cap croix rouge. Yes, a second one, they having at last discovered my losing the first in the meleé of my debut’s incident. Yea, SG’s historical high point and hero-maker that it catalysed. Once its victim and thereafter the late great Pith took to their cause with renewed vengeance.
But wait.. slow down John.. lest you leave the good folks behind.. and thus miss the wit and wisdom of Pith’s epiphany. Not to mention the coup de crux…
Leading up to Pith.
I’d been in the city a month. Desk bound offices were hot, stuffy, unbecoming an active fellow in early summer. Evenings I’d take invites to net practice, even an odd tennis match with a borrowed racket. One Sunday afternoon a man called Bradlow had come by to watch me toss a few balls down a line and length my coach rated worrisome to batsmen lacking the correct footwork. A stickler for correct I was to go with this over my whole club cricket career. Which is to say that like him I study people I’m up against.
Anyway, Bradlow had a problem. He was GSCC’s club captain. An allrounder, with medium pace bowling and middle order batsmanship under his belt as it were, yet with real talent in the on-field tactician department. His problem, however, was nemesis by name, Front Foot, star opponent at the dreaded next match.
[ Insert: At this point members figured I was having them on, demanding know who FF really was and to quit fooling around with nom de plumes(pseudonyms) etc. No way I told myself, they wanted a reply so they would get one. My way. So happened that the musical Chess was a huge wow at the time. Borrowing from this I lyriced firmly: Now listen you lot, I am the Arbiter and I’ve gotten the floor, this is about your past, present and illustrious future, NOT, I repeat not, a catspaw. ]
To say Bradlow was psyched by Front Foot was a whole understatement. The star had framed opposition line-ups over many seasons and, in at no. 3 a multi-century scorer to boot. Often taking his team to unbeatable score levels in limited over or one day games.
“Okay,” I said after a few minutes conversation, “I’ll play. One thing though—”
“Gotta level the playing field. Like.. you he knows.. and the others.. but me he doesn’t—”
“Gotcha! You’re our ace bowler.. frum.. frum outta town. Heapsa variation.. pace.. total turd to read—don’t worry this mebbe only club stuff but it can beat the aussie art form (‘sledging’) any day!”
“Thinking me, not you, that’s the way we go.. ”
“We’ll put it round.. then well those guys in the nets just now.. first hand.. wot! Mind you, John, he is good. Once he gets away on the bowling… So.. thanks for… Saturday next.. Kew.. rain or fine.. village green, okay?”
“Not the Gardens?” I responded with a warm smile.
“Sight of, but no not the Gardens, John. If our plan works I’ll see you capped asap..”
Saturday came, we strode onto a freshly marked pitch, took in the splendid green, freshly mown: Bradlow lost the toss and all let out a collective groan. He would open the bowling and have the other guy restrict the oppo’s scoring, too. Fine, just fine for six overs( = 36 balls fyi). Then on a good throw from the outfield batsman one walked. Off.
Front Foot came on. A long-limbed fellow, thirties I figured as he took his stance at the crease and straightened up to look us over. Noted: his longer looks to the off-side field. Mental note: expect drives and cut shots, keen and bowling average-observant bowlers obliging with stuff down his leg side. Receiving hooks and pulls when they got it wrong. And the records said just how much southerners had gotten it wrong.
“Okay with the plan, John.? You roam behind me at long on and off for a looksee. I give him an over then flick the ball to you. Anything special.. in the field?”
“Silly mid 0n,” I said. Adding a warm smile for effect.
“Oohh I dunno ’bout that, John, that’s suicide for my ess em orf, and he’ll tell me that don’t you worry.”
“Tell him ess em off does not work.. doesn’t get him out.. and it’s even more dangerous. Besides, we both know what happens when a pull misfires or the notion of striking a fielder gets to work on a run scorer.”
“Okay, so I tellim, but dontcha expect nothin’.. cos our regular ess em orf is atheist..”
We part laughing.
Humor wiped from our faces at the end of the over with more than 30 runs on the scoreboard. And lanky smirking at his eighteen from 4×4 + a two on the last ball.
Despite which, blessim, I muttered to Bradlow as we crossed the field. “He won’t,” came his reply, “ess em is staying orf. You’d better tellim yerself.”
So I did. Right after taking the ball at my turn and pacing out a run-in. Front Foot playing to the pavilion and taking me on – all the blah and levelling off-field hosed out with a rush of blood those five scoring strokes had graced his ‘for real’ game with – asking the umpire reset his stance at the wicket. Interesting, said I to myself, as I took in how lanky with a pronounced stoop over his bat was dumb enough to risk playing front foot from the center stump of his castle (aka 3-stumps wicket). But bowling him was not the plan. The plan was for a man to move.
That man was not the umpire who, after a look to see Front Foot was ready, nodded to me. Then, as I walked toward him, he asked: “Whaddis it?”
“Excuse me, Sir,” said I and walked on by.
Hooking an arm under the wondrous one’s own. And in the strident manner of Dench’s Lady Catherine to Mr Collins declared, “Moove you friggin fart! Over there. Ess em ON! Safer, see. He’s gonna dolly the easiest catch you ever took. Yeah, because I said so. And you’re taking it. Oh yes you are. Else here and now I’m frog-marching you straight off this field—”
Here endeth the first part.. be back soon to find how a coward was persuaded to become a hero through no flaw of his own.. how the fortunes of SG cricket with the most magnificent dismissal in living memory could never wane.. Not forgetting the coup de crux which had this long-held secret reveal itself… ESSENTIAL READING…
ps: waiting for some info before getting down to the seriously serious stuff I’d mentioned earlier.
February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
What a let down that was..
Yesterday.. the 14th.. February… like always — 08 was another one.. and, earlier 04.. with a whole string of them going back… significantly in my case to 1992 — yea before the known CCF(qv last blog). Nothing! Not even a single red rose at my door!!
Leaders leap. Is what this is about. They give thought to it – four years is plenty of time for thought – and, decidedly, LEAP into action. One reason they have LEAP YEARS. To do this sort of thing.. But NOT here.. not for me at anyrate..
Can’t say I’m all too keen on waiting any longer.. the absence of romance and affection are giving it the appearance of leper-years. 🙂
Though I do promise YOU I shan’t lose any sleep over it. Not being a self-absorbed obsessive like the fellow – a Maori spokesperson really? – banging on about “hope springs eternal” in the matter of pakehas seeing things through maori frames(glasses = spectacles) vis a vis Te Tiriti, grievances, confiscations, “stolen” property etc.
To hear this so emphatically put several times on RNZ’s Talking Heads opportunity toward public debate does IMO reduce what import the messenger would have. Resplendent, as it was, without honestly declared obligations toward pakehas. In their partnership. No—and I kid you not—this fellow was all about what pakeha in the past did and were alleged to have done to maori. [what did maoris(small m for a sense of in the main population) do by way of retaliation. Upon pakehas? And from whom did they resource some frankly despicable belligerence, if not so-called activists etc. And don’t you dare, sir, say nothing or that such was justified!
Maoris of my acquaintance are and have been brave and kind. Progressive. As, for instance, the doctor in the days of plunket post-natal services who, when asked what she considered the maori answer to problems in the health and depleted population, said: “births, babies is the way.” And one knew instantly why she did what she did. Deserving utter respect in the process.
Hearing the above as I did from a replay last evening, I’d have to say how sorry I felt for the presenters. Kim Hill and Mr. Diamond(sorry I missed the given name). Having elicited a sensible call for education pertinent to past, present and future collaborations, reiteration from one so thoroughly obsessed did nothing whatsoever – for me – for the proceedings. Nor I suspect for honest endeavor by the party concerned. His self-education appears warranted, but I won’t hold my breath on his taking sound advice..
Parliament’s Speaker finds himself at a loss in dealing promptly with the MP, Mojo Mathers, situation. Per additional assistance arising from personal disability. In one sense, expected, such disablement having not invited a welcome at Parliament previously. Truly a first. For all parties to it. BUT – a big but I’d have to say – with the Speaker declaring himself unable initiate further funding without government agreement to that end — CAN John Key’s coalition government henceforth sustain actual PERMISSIVE DISCRIMINATION.
Examples of which – should we take care to frame appropriate language – already reside in a ready acceptance that all MPs receive the latest pay rises, and do so regardless of MP skills [ highly skilled rate themselves above(discriminate) less-skilled and/or newbies ]. And, further, by way of favor, political alignment, or powerful preferences, come to remunerate such things. Commensurately. Of course.
Commensurate to capability. Is it not? Democracy in this day and age is truly about capability. Voter me says that’s why I bother. Mojo Mathers entered Parliament on Special Votes, has a distinct appeal to disabled constituency and, rather than find herself discriminated against by her governing peers, ought be enabled exercise those skills in furtherance participation. Remind yourselves, too, that voters exercise judgement. That governments come to rely upon. They do so aware of the goose… and golden egg myths. Nowadays goose and gander go together. Higher conversations demand it. Better ends, yes?
Allow me suggest that Parliament’s “Mr Speaker” be taken off the short lead enough for him to turn his head and address the issue more capably. Y’know (the above revisiting my cerebrals somewhat) once upon a time was a man called morgan. Sounding, looking, disarray his way. What on earth did he and it cost the government of the day..? Nuff said, I’ve had my say.
Po$itively — I little cartoon joke I’ve come across and whose punch line still cracks me up. A Matt (@ Expat Daily Telegraph). Depicting a city of London gents tailor shop in which a pin-striped fellow is standing as the tailor on his knnes with measuring tape looks up and to his dismay says: “Will Sir be lining his own pockets?” I should add how full meaning and mirth can be had under a heading of Austerity in Britain. Sarcastic Matt, to be sure. Hey 🙂
Several things have come up recently. Taking time and blogging opportunity off center. I’m hoping to resolve one or two aspects soon and wonder whether actual cases – from whence new findings, thoughts, lines of R&D, public purse cost savings and better treatments may spin out – would be interesting. Let’s hear back..