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Diary of the 17th Man – Mar 14 – Part 1

Prof and I finished reading through all the homework last night with The Freak, who kept looming up between us like a lonely albatross. His armpit ganglia stank like a primeval bog.  I reckon he wanted the team selections.  Nothing doing.  Prof has them tucked away supporting his overnight betting market.  Our replacement picks are locked in Coach’s safe.

Reading the homework and Coach’s comments is like staring into a black psychological abyss.  Here are Coach’s hand-written notes on each player and their suggestions:

Lucky:  Said he’d play better three times.  He said he is lucky.  Even luckier if he gets chosen, and scores a ton.
Mr Bean:  Told me to buy some decent clothes.  Then he said sack Darren.  He doesn’t dress well.
Puff:  Said he just likes to hit the ball…more often…harder.  Promised to take more of the strike.  Sack Darren and the girl from marketing.
The Captain:  Score 400 in both innings.  He is soooooooo gracious and supportive
Wicky:  Told me three times he was okay.  He looked bad, hobbling out.  Said he signs his name ‘X’
Jacka:  Promised to stay awake at team meetings.  He gave me Teddy  – who is full of voodoo holes and had lost an eye.  Said I am a beautiful person
Reserve:  Said he’ll get 10 wickets and score a ton.  Sack head of HR. Sack a Selector (me? The Captain?).  Sack the Equipment Officer.  Said he loved me.
The Freak:  Axe the rotation policy.. its b/s he said.  Recruit bats who can play spin, recruit bowlers who can spin – can he bowl every over?  Kidnap the Selectors…its b/s he said
Hollywood:  Told me in the foyer to go to ‘a named School’ (Hell?) and learn to facilitate adult team debriefs. He’d had enough of mashed potatoes for lunch. Sack the Doc. and see a fortune-teller
Rocketman:  Told me he regreted every joke. Wants to bat up the order.  Sack Darren and the girl from marketing.
Mr Darcy:  Just wants to play.  Recruit players who can hit and not get out.  Sack the girl from marketing.  Sack Darren. (Collusion here?)
Plopper:  Told me he had adapted to India.  Sack Darren and a Selector. Said he envies me but to tell the others to clean up the air
Gipper:  Promised he’ll buy a few wickets late in the day.  Said he feels closer to me.  Feels the team is very strong.
Prof:  Mentioned Mohali is his wicket.  Loves my work.  Sack Darren, a Selector, and the whole PR team including the girl from marketing
Other comments:  Sack Darren (2), Sack masseur (1).  Sack Lucky (5) Complaints about the spin bowling (many). Ingratiating comments (50)”

Got a call from Dad at first light.  He’d read a blog saying I was definitely playing.  He couldn’t contain himself.

“Sure, it’s in a team of bloody misfits, T20 wannabes and part-timers with test averages you couldn’t find in a teaspoon of crack. I don’t mind. A Baggy Green in our house!” he said.

I just tried to calm him down, check on Mum,a dn make sure they were including Thea.

He kept going on about the cap. “Just don’t bend the cap.  I hate it when Deb’s do that. Everyone just thinks they’re goofs.”

He wanted to know who was going to present it to me.  Don’t know.  Hope it’s Junior.

“Let me know when its official.  I’ll get on a plane… hold on…(what’s that racket?!)”

I’m note sure what was going on in the background. Through thet rukkus I think I heard Mum say “Fred lost his job yesterday, he’s at home hitting something. Now hurry up,” but I’m not sure.

He wished my luck and told me again not to bend the cap.

Better get to the team meeting on time.  But it looks like rain!

© Dave Cornford & Jeremy Pooley

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