“The sand of the desert is sodden red
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling’s jammed and the colonel’s dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke..”
(Vitai Lampada, Sir Henry Newbolt, 1898)
“IN BREAKING NEWS: The door to the Sibble hotel where England Ashes captain Alastair Cook was staying overnight was blown off its hinges this morning by an improvised explosive device. Early reports say Cook was not injured. He described the incident clearly: “It was like losing my stumps to a piece of space junk. Completely random.” Police are investigating and say the night porter saw 6 men with blue caps and a pocket full of marbles running from the scene. A witness said “One of them had bags of blonde hair. Another smelled of peroxide. One of the shorter guys told me to get back in my crease”. Superintendent Hunter S Thompson said this was the work of a skilled stunt man. A tube of hand cream, sewing cotton, and a slab of marzipan were found at the scene. This incident is consistent with a spate of strange reports passed on to the NSW Bureau of Meteorology since last Friday.
On Saturday and again on Sunday English batsmen claimed that the SCG pitch was showered with space junk. Batting sensation Ian Bell said “I couldn’t see the ball for the space junk bouncing off the pitch. The length was impossible to read.” CA Digital Media issued an apology for a deleted tweet “That was more OUT than Dr. Who in a line of Qantas stewards.”
On Monday, a 9 year old boy in Sutherland woke to find his tomato crop missing. “All my plants were uprooted and laid out to look like a broken bat”, he said. “I found a red hanky in the rosemary bush.” A wheat farmer in Yass reported seeing up to 11 galahs sitting in a row on his hay rick. Dubbo Zoo cancelled night time sleepovers because the monkeys were playing cricket with the Giraffes. “I saw them bowling red apples to each other after closing time. Believe me, I’m telling the truth”, a zoo worker said.
At Bondi, shortly after 2pm on Monday, dozens of the BarmyArmy [Ed. They descended on Bondi like a plague of locusts] reported seeing a school of mermaids playing in the waves. Dennis, a Barmy spokesman, said “I saw three bronzed sisters in bikinis ride the middle of one wave. The beach was packed. They were talking up KP and Broad not 10 yards from me. I hailed them but they just wiggled and swam away.” His friend said he didn’t see anything. 12 red sunbathers wearing pink caps said they saw mermaids walking along the beach all day. Surf lifesavers wearing creams and floppy hats are still searching for the missing trio. Beach huggers said there was a strong smell of peroxide on the breeze.”
The anchor woman giggled “The search shifts tomorrow to the Blue Mountains.” She wiggled suggestively and swam to a commercial break.
The Channel 9, 10 and ABC switchboards lit up like a pulsing crowd during a fiery spell. Punters lodged all sorts of complaints. An article in Column 8 on Tuesday morning simply said “There is not enough sex in cricket, and too much cricket in sex. Polly, Hospitality worker. Number withheld, Surrey Hills, NSW”
KP denies the cult following. “I haven’t driven a yellow Ferrari for years”, he said. “Ask Andy.”
Andy said “KP is a legend. Ask Graeme.”
Graeme said “KP is a legend. His head is not up his arse. Ask Piers Morgan.”
Piers tweeted “Binga broke my rib.”
Random events in a week of random cricket in Sydney.
“IN BREAKING NEWS: A man in his 20’s is being questioned in relation to Tuesday’s foiled attack on the Sibble hotel where the whitewashed English team have been entombed since their defeat at the SCG on Sunday.
And in a bizzare incident, 200 white rabbits and 100 piglets were released into the Hotel Intercontinental last night, where the Australian team are staying, by a squad of wig-wearing Santa’s in cricket creams wearing Baggy Green caps. Eye witnesses said one of them was called Jimmy. He smelled of grass. And another had a voodoo doll wearing a back brace. A engineer from Chechnya said “The rabbits went up to the Presidential Suite first in big hessian bags.” A spokeswoman for CA Digital Media said “They squeezed the piglets into the lifts and pressed all stops. The tall one winked, tweaked my nose ring, and gave me a duke ball to keep mum. Tweet that he said. He was so well-spoken.””
I bet he was. The Prof was livid – much more livid than I expected. He was a wide vocabulary.
Deep Third, himself a randomised note-writer, left a note at reception this morning. It was short and to the point, full of pluck and fluff. He made no reference to our Mad Max Ashes demolition [Ed. Ungracious sod] or to the ‘minor vandalism’ last night.
“At last, the press (or one of them) has run dry of synonyms for ‘rubbish’. The pens of the summer are silent. Insolently upbeat from here. Ha, ha.
“…The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
And the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
Play up! Play up! And play the game!”