Dear Almanac community
Remember last year when I ran a trashy, pornographic series on a character called Viv Tufnell? He was an a@$*hole cricketer who played for Tassie who slagged off just about everyone and everything there is to slag off. You don’t remember him? Hmm, didn’t think you would. I mean the serial was as forgettable as they come, wasn’t it? Anyway, the thing this is, I’ve gone off and put my head above the parapet and self published it. I figured there’s a helluva lot of rubbish getting published these days, why not my rubbish. Incredibly, I’ve even found a reputable book store to stock it. You’ll find it on the shelves at Melbourne Sports Books in Brunswick (and I’ll even have it at a couple of stores interstate.) The book … correction … the monstrosity came in at 205 pages and includes 20 parts of Viv’s serial. I believe Santo is flogging them at $15.00 a copy. Anyway, should you want some summer reading that’s not too challenging (i.e. it has puzzles and a colouring in section!) then ‘Viv Tufnell: the book before the sequel’ is definitely for you. Err … all one or two of you.
Here’s a taster from the book, and a merry Xmas, Happy Holidays and a fricken fun festivus from Viv Tufnell to you.
Of all the letdowns ….
Upon getting home from training today, I had a phone message from Gideon Haigh. Like Gideon Haigh! I almost jumped out of my skin. I’d met Gideon at the Hobart one dayer last year and had planted an idea that he might ghost write my autobiography. Gideon ummed and ahhed and sounded off all reluctant, but I kept at him and at him. Eventually, after a good hour’s pestering, on top of some good ole fashioned arm twisting, he eked, “Look, put together a manuscript, Viv, and next time I’m down in Hobart, I’ll look it over.” He then asked me where the restroom was and that’s the last I saw of him. Anyway, 2 months later, as well as 400,000 words later (400,000 heartfelt words later!) I had a manuscript. I then sent off a hard copy to his PA, followed by an email explaining I was too restless to wait until his next visit. 8 months later, I was still to hear from him. That was until today. Yes, waiting for me today was his phone message. It opened: “Hi, it’s Gideon here. Look I love what you’ve done. It’s really, really great. And as for collaborating, I’d be honored to be involved. Um, call me back when you get a chance.” My spirits soaring stratospherically, I excitedly engaged the number I’d committed to speed dial. Six rings later a croaky voice announced, “Gideon Haigh speaking.” I introduced myself and told Gideon how thrilled I was that he was excited about my project. He then said, “Viv, what are you talking about?” I referred to his call and explained how I’d sent off the manuscript 8 months earlier and how it had almost killed me that he’d seemingly snubbed me. Gideon then said, “Look, I think there’s been a terrible mix up. I didn’t make any call.” I then explained that he had called just a few hours ago, and that if he liked, I could play the message to him. It now clicking his end, Gideon said, “Jesus … look I think my PA has mixed my contact numbers; that call was meant for someone else.” “What?” I said mortified. “Yes,” he said, “and sorry again, this isn’t the first time this has happened; she screws up things all the time.” Gideon then went on to explain that his ditsy PA makes a hash at just about everything she does and was supposed to have given him someone else’s number. And who might that someone else be, I later found out in my crestfallen state; who was this literary genius that Gideon couldn’t wait to get on board with? Why none other than Max Walker: yup, turns out Gideon’s all thrilled about hypnotizing Max’s chooks!
Dwight Whelan, our English import, is a real nut! As loopy as they come. Like, I’ve seen some crazy people in my time, but Dwight takes the cake (but only if the cake was baked on a day that he’d made a hundred, and only if its ingredients weren’t packed on days that he didn’t!)
Ever since Dwight came over from Derbyshire three years ago, he’s been on a steady descent into madness. It all started with a few superstitions – putting his left pad on before the right, carrying a dirty rag in his pocket like Steve Waugh, avoided duck meat like it was demonic – you know, your garden variety stuff. Of recent, though. it’s spiraled into the perverse. For instance (and get this!), before Dwight goes out to bat now, he insists that we give him a wedgie. That’s right: a wedgie!! He made his highest score last year right after Steve Phibbs had dished out a nasty one to him (Steve’s always dishing out nasty wedgies!), and now he’s adamant they bring him good luck. “You ought to shove a rabbit’s foot up his arse while you’re at it,” cracked Dave D’Booer our captain, upon hearing about this. Religious Dave, more than anyone, is stupefied by Dwight’s superstitions, and shakes his head in disbelief whenever a new one crops up. As he did today:
“He what?!” questioned Dave. “He’s keeping a Boony doll in his pocket when he bats,” repeated Craig.
Since last week, Dwight has been carrying a Boony doll as a lucky charm. It all has to do with a lucky escape he had last month. He was reclining on the couch when his Boony doll started blaring. Irritated, Dwight then leaned forward to smack it off the coffee table, and at that very moment, a massive picture that hung on the wall flush behind the couch crashed down. “WHAM! Right where I was seated,” he explains. Nutjob that he is, Dwight thereon associated the Boony doll with saving him from that near miss and now considers it lucky. “He won’t consider it lucky when a Kookaburra slams into it,” later remarked Dave. “Shit, he’ll have a Boony shaped bruise on his thigh.” Hmm, a Boony shaped bruise, I mused to this: now that would be something. (And just to segue to other superstitiousness for a bit, can you imagine Boony images materializing elsewhere? You know like the ones of Jesus. I mean, imagine Boony’s taking shape in the rising damp on walls. Or ones on burnt toast! And what about one at St Peter’s basilica! A Boony on the Vatican’s ceiling forming from candle soot!!! Now that would be freaky.)
Another aspect of Dwight’s superstitiousness is that it leaves him vulnerable to omens. Take for instance how we found ourselves at the crease together the other day when a squadron of ducks flew above us. As we were both on naught at the time, crazy Dwight read all sorts of ominous crap into it. I said, “Dwight pull yourself together. They’re only a bunch of birds flying north. It don’t mean shit.” Dwight then says, “No Viv, it’s a flippin sign, I tell ya. A whole squadron of ducks. Shite, it could only mean one fing!” All spooked, Dwight then gets his Boony doll out and starts handling it like Humphrey Bogart does his tombolas in The Caine Mutiny. I then say, “Get a grip ya fruit. It’s just some geese. Christ, you’re freaking me out.” Unable to speak, Dwight now has a thousand yard stare going, as I urge, “Dwight, for god’s sake, pull yourself together. They’re just birds. I mean, the worst that could happen is we’ll get shat on.” It was right about then that I heard a splat (and seeing that it was on my helmet (and not his!!), and that I went on to make a duck (and not him!!) that’s where I’ll leave this!!!)
More Viv Tufnell at www.vivtufnell.com.au