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Dec 4 – Did you see the catch?

smith-catch“Did you see the catch?” everyone was asking, all night.

“Yep, what a ripper!” I lied.

I did not see the catch.


To see the catch, I would have had to be:

  • sitting in the dressing room, watching the match.
  • sitting in the dressing room, not watching the match but able to look up from the card game/ipad game/jigsaw puzzle/meat pie that was keeping my attention and watched the replay on the big screen.
  • anywhere in the ground with a line of sight of the field or the big screen, or a television of any size.

None of those things applied to me tonight. I was at the ground, but slightly distracted.

After posting a massive 324 on the back of Trapper Smith’s record score, it was clear that we were going to win the game. [Ed. I thought cricket was a funny game?] The mood at dinner was as buoyant as the food was disappointingly lethargic. Nothing was quite hot enough, nothing was quite tasty enough, there were bits and pieces of banana on nearly every dish [Ed. Did anyone send them the memo that Peter ‘The Freak’ Siddle isn’t playing?] and there was no tomato sauce. The chaps were making light of the situation [Ed. Is that what you call seeing if you can get luke warm party pies to stick to the ceiling?] when a large round man carrying an enormous cleaver emerged from the kitchen.

“You no like my food? Bunch of spoiled pretty boys!” The room fell silent, but just at that point in proceedings a party pie dislodged from the ceiling, and fell to the floor with a dull squelchy thud.

“We’re due in the field, lads,” said the Captain, and the team was gone before you could say “Please, sir, can I bat above number 6?” The Prof and I, our senses dulled by not actually needing to be on the field, were the last to stand by a ¬†second or so, which was a fatal mistake.

“You two not playing? Good. ¬†You two pretenders can clean up this mess.”

The Prof was about to say “But it was Puff who threw the most pies,” but thought the better of it. The chef turned on his heals, returning to the kitchen. We shrugged at each other and were turning to leave on tip toes when the kitchen door swung open again to allow two steaming hot sudsy buckets to accompany the chef back it the room.

“You need these,” he said. He drew back his arm and hurled the cleaver across the room where it lodged deep in the timber wall panelling. “And you no leave til you finished.”

The Prof paid a couple of keen young second graders he found in the hallway to do the work, but we stayed closeby to supervise just to make sure. We never saw the chef again.

And that is why we didn’t see the catch.


Australia 8/324, NZ 256.

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