Viv Tufnell: shield cricketer and complete arsehole (part 10)
Well boy, what a relief that was. Phew!!!!!
Thankfully, as you well know, Danelio snapped out of his coma on the morning of the Brisbane Test, and is expected to make a full recovery. The Doctors are even hopeful that he might be able to go home in 6 to 8 weeks. That’d mean he’ll get back just in time to watch me make a ton in the shield final. It’ll be more good therapy for him.
Danelio’s accident was all over the papers here in Hobart and I have to say this is one time I haven’t begrudged someone else being on the front page instead of me. Hell, for a day or two there I really felt like I was to blame for what happened. Like, that satanic pact thing was really playing on my nerves while he was in that coma. Anyway, now that all’s well, I’ve put it behind me and I’m happily back to my non theistic self. And all I can say is, thank f@#*^g Zeus for that!
As you well know, Danelio missed out on an absolute run fest in Brisbane and though ordinarily this would have thrilled for me, my dalliances with these dark forces somewhat dampened my enjoyment of his ill fortune. Once the dust has settled, though, I expect I’ll find a way of savoring all that transpired. Of course, it won’t be quite the same as doing it in real time, but I still see myself still cracking open a bottle of bubbly, lighting a cuban and maybe putting on some hors d’oeuvres. Perhaps I’ll even have some people around? Who knows? As I said, it won’t be quite the same as actually enjoying the moment, but I’ll make the best of it. I mean, it’d just be wasteful letting something like that going unenjoyed, wouldn’t it?
I tell you, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.
As you well know, Paul Buhugiar debuted for us yesterday. As you also well know, his surprise call up was due to Craig Wigz pulling out at the last minute. And the surprises didn’t stop there either, did they? No, to all our surprise, Paul’s raw, unpolished game then delivered a century – surely one of the most fortuitous centuries ever at Bellerive. Even more surprisingly, Paul then kicked on and kicked on to make a double. A f@#*^g double! I mean that was an absolute right royal f@#*^g surprise, wasn’t it? A big fat pinch-me-to-make-sure-I’m-not-dreaming absolute hum-f@#*^g-dinger of a surprise. But after all these surprises, after all these unexpected twists, of no surprise was what happened next. Yes, on this day of surprises, and more surprises, and a few more surprises, of no surprise whatsoever was what was gonna transpire this morning. Of no surprise what-so-f@#*^g-ever, of no surprise to my seething f@#*^g cynicism, it’s all over the Mercury!
As I’ve touched upon, every one of my 12 glorious centuries has been tucked away in a drab spot in the back pages. One time, I was only afforded 2 sentences: ‘Viv Tufnell chalked up his 8th shield century in this rain affected match. The century included 3 fours and was scored off 460 balls.’ That was it! No mention of the heroic rearguard action I’d marshaled. No mention how we were 5 for fuck all when I came in. I mean had it not have been for the first 3 days of this match being washed out, my innings would have gone down as one of the greatest ever seen in this state. Ever!
Paul’s double ton, as you well know, was all over the front page of the Mercury this morning. As you also well know, it even bumped a massive earthquake on to page 2! Can you believe it? That and a plane crash! More unbelievable is the large action photo, 200 words and a portrait shot lavished across that front page. I mean, they really went to town on him, didn’t they? But that was nothing compared to the back page, wasn’t it? Like, that was nothing on those feature pieces by Boony and Punter. I mean, Boony and Punter feature pieces! Tassie tiger royalty writing about this punk! Unbelievable! Absolutely more galling, though, was how they wrote about Paul reminding them of each other. How Boony wrote that he reminded him of a young Punter and how Punter wrote he reminded him of a young Boony. Like, shit, wasn’t it just a big love in? (and especially the parts where they forgot about Paul altogether, and just wrote about each other. Like those guys really need to get a room or something.)
I, as you well know, made a paltry 5 off 60 balls yesterday. It was just my luck to have a bad day when the nation’s eye was on Bellerive. I mean on the day when journos and ex greats have softened their hardened hearts to write glowingly about someone for once, I don’t have the rub of the green. It’s left me more embittered than I ever thought was possible. If that’s possible? (And it is, coz I’m proof of it!)
Phil Groenehoegen is always walking around the rooms naked. Like, every time he gets out of the showers, it takes him at least an hour to get dressed. Sometimes two! But male currency wise, Phil has a good reason for this: he has a spectacularly large penis; a real outrageously massive appendage. I mean this thing is off the dial huge! Massively huge! Hell, if you ask me it’s a deformity. Like 14 inches is just out of whack.
Phil tries to use his penis to intimidate people. He especially targets young players. Whenever we have a debutant, you can be guaranteed Phil will be in their face – literally. “So what do you think of it?” he’ll ask, his cock hanging all over the place as he props one leg up to the side of the bench the kid’s seated on. “Of Bellerive,” he’ll add, but only after letting the kid fret for a good few moments as though referring to you know what.
If it wasn’t frowned upon in polite society, Phil would have his cock out everywhere he went. Like you’ve never seen a guy more at home walking around naked. All the players are forever urging him to put his trousers on or at least a jockstrap. Especially Dave, our religious Captain. Dave just thinks this thing of Phil’s is ungodly. As for Craig and Andrew, our homosexual opening bats, they’re horrified by Phil’s physicality. I can’t say I blame them. I mean anyone who might one day be on the receiving end of a thing like his would have to be wary. Like, they look at it the way you’d look at an ex-con.
When I slept with Phil’s wife last season, I touched upon whether his size made things difficult. “Oh God, yes” she laughed. “I don’t want him even touching me anymore. He’s a freak.” She then turned to look at my penis and purred, “That’s why I’m so into you, Viv; that’s why I’m so into all manageable 4 and three quarter inches you. Coz your well proportioned; thoroughly symmetrical.” “Now,” she added sultrily, looking to get back to where we were, “what was that dirty thing you were whispering about me being your filthy love slut again?”
Boony dropped into the rooms today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whenever David Boon drops by Bellerive there is pandemonium. Players scramble madly to take their feet off tables and support staff snap shut laptops and clipboards. Shit, even nudist Phil Groenehoegen thinks to put his trousers on … well sometimes.
Boony is, of course, royalty at Bellerive. When he enters the rooms, everyone stands erect and respectful and then primes themselves as though they’re about to receive a monarch. Well just about everyone. I buck the trend. And Boony really seems to respect me for it.
David Boon, thinks the world of me, I reckon. He really does. I think it’s partly because he’s see a lot of himself in me. For one thing, I have a stylish moustache like his and I share his portly shape. I mean we’re not identical twins or anything – like he’s in better shape than me and is taller and much better looking – but still, you’d be forgiven for mistaking us as family; even brothers.
On top our physical similarities, Boony also seems to see a lot himself in my demeanor. As I guessed you’ve noticed in these excerpts, when my bat’s not talking for me, I do most of my talking in these reflective moments. In the clubrooms, I’m a brooding, quieter type like Boony. I rarely fraternize with my teammates, and for the most part keep to myself. (And I ask you, do you blame me? Like, aren’t my teammates just a bunch of jerks.)
When Boonie works the room, he always gravitates towards me. He quickly tires of everyone fawning all over him and pretty soon it’s just me and him chatting in the corner. “Hey Viv.” “Hey Boony”. “Good innings the other day.” “Thanks Boony.” “50 off 300 balls, that’s old school.” “Hmm.” “Well, good talking with ya.” “Same here Boony.” Yep, we can talk for hours!
I reckon Boony also loves the way I’m can hold my own around him. All the other players go to pieces around him. Like they’re always fighting back perspiration or they don’t know what to do with their hands. But when it’s just me and Boony, it’s Tassie great to Tassie great. It’s men of equal stature. It’s me only occasionally asking him to autograph something or another.
Boony only visits the Bellerive change rooms a couple of times a year so when he does, it’s a much cherished experience for all of us. When he leaves, everyone feels like a little bit of magic has left the room. Some players go all quite and stare off into the distance, wondering whether they’d laughed too hard or too eagerly at his jokes. Other players just stare blankly at their iphones, thumbing through the many photos they’d just taken of him smiling by their sides. As for me, I just sit in my corner and study them all curiously, panning my eyes from player to player. This must be the way things are at Glenorchy, I think. This must be how they act after I leave the rooms at Glenorchy. After I’ve radiated a little sunshine into their day … and their lives.
Viv Tufnell won’t be back next season … or maybe he will …