“Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.”
“What do you mean…. Yawn”, yelled Junior(sq.). The Prof was completely unmoved.
“But I got 89 and smashed them,” he replied with a big swish of his fist “yes, you bloody beauty”.
“Ah, well that is true. But you didn’t smash the window in the commentary box.”
“That’s what will get you onto YouTube. I expected more from you. A moon shot out of the park for example, a mishit straight into the member’s bar or a ball into the press box.”
“That would be worth a laugh,” I said in a ham-fisted attempt to lighten the mood.
I could see that Junior(sq.) was not impressed. He thought he had done well. The big purple vein on his forehead was very prominent. After a while he rubbed his chin then shook his head in disbelief.
“I see your point. Yes, precisely, clearly, elegantly.”
“A good innings, but not a superlative innings.”
Wicky who had been wrestling with 23 across in the local crossword, added his own home spun wisdom.”It’s expected matey. We can all do what you did yesterday. Nothing special. No pressure.”
“3 letters. Unexploded artillery shell?”
“Pup,” someone whispered, blowing bubbles into their beer.
“What? Yeh, ok, I get it. NOPE.”
No one said anything for a while. The influence of Coach2.0 was all pervasive. [Ed. God?]
“Boof is too similar to BOOM which is what happens when an unexplored bomb is triggered by unmet expectation.”
“Boob,” the whisperer muttered.
“Unfortunately not on tour”
Junior(sq.) piped up “Unless you are Warney!”
“It’s a four letter word anyway. I want a 3 letter word, like TON.”
“Dud,” The Captain replied into the ear of the beer blowing whisperer.
The Prof who was remarkably silent made his only contribution.”A palindrome at last.”
The Prof and I moved off to join The Big Show and Tatts watch the YouTube window breaking clip with Coach2.0 for the 12th time. It already had 23 m hits from Australia, 1m from South Africa (100 from Dale Steyn) and two from England (probably KP and Bumble)
“How did you do it?”
“Don’t know. I just hit it, hard and straight. Just like bowling, fast and straight.”
“I wish I could do that.”
“I wish you could too. But 93 was okay.”
“I try to play a technical innings.”
That comment brought proceedings to a grinding halt while Gentle George refilled the glasses with the local brew. We ploughed on until 10pm and lights out, part of tour conditions.
These days Darren, the team psychologist, and Sarah, Director of Marketing, tread the hallways until 10.15pm to enforce the curfew and sing lullabies to those tourists afraid of the dark.
The Prof and I waited until 10.30pm to blacken our faces and prepare to deliver a unique form of room service to my annoying aeroplane companions. Retribution is indeed sweet, but delayed gratification is the sweetest of all.
Tomorrow we resume the battle against South Africa.
This work of fiction (c) Dave Cornford and Jeremy Pooley