A bunch of stuff about this summer’s cricket … kind of

One of the KFC ads on heavy rotation during the Test Series features 5 teenage boys watching cricket on a couch. The ad opens with 4 of the boys entering the lounge in high spirits with a bag of KFC goodies. Already in the room is a younger boy and he is lying cozily on one of the segments of a L shaped couch. The other boys then nestle on the other segment and the one holding the goodies starts funneling out Zingers. The Zingers are passed on from boy to boy and the first one passed out ends up with the younger boy, who, by all indications, was not supposed to get one. The camera then focuses on a wily expression on the younger boy, and he then springs from his seat and inches stealthily from the room. Meanwhile, the boy funneling out the Zingers keeps reaching into the bag until he realizes it’s empty. He then surveys the room and notices that the 3 boys to his right all have Zingers, whereupon he catches sight of the younger boy as he accelerates into a canter. He then deduces what has happened and screams ‘Connor.’ Presumably, Connor is the younger boy and we the viewer are to be charmed by his opportunism and stealth. Now it’s all very clever in a twee sitcom sort of way, but for me, there’s a glaring blunder. I reckon it was illogical for the boy holding the bag to have passed out the last one. He should have assumed that all the other boys who were supposed to get Zingers, had one, and the last one was his. I mean it’s just unfathomable that anyone could be such an idiot numskull klutz and robotically funnel out the last of these prized snacks. For me, a far more plausible outcome would have been for the boy immediately to his right to have missed out. When the boy with the bag held on to the last one, he should have looked at him with a ‘where’s mine’ expression (and I guess we can leave to the ads creators from there.) I mean, it was really sloppy stuff by KFC – maybe not as bad as a Centurion in epic theatre wearing a wrist watch – but nevertheless, sloppy, sloppy stuff. And oh, one last thing: I reckon they also erred in casting the ad. If they really wanted it to be believable, the boys should have been 95 kilo jumbos. After all, they were all eating KFC.

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Buck Rogers has done an admirable job opening for Australia for the last few years, and as much as he’s won my respect, I can’t say he’s been a pleasure to watch. Sure he plays crisply at times, and sure he’s orthodox for the most part, but I just can’t handle his stance. The side on angle in particular captures a truly unflattering aspect when he raises his bat. His arms seem to morph into the withered looking appendages of a polio sufferer. Worse, sometimes he comes across as T-Rex, with his pathetically short arms, trying to ape Tony Greig. Now, before you accuse me of having a problem with polio sufferers or extinct species with pathetically short arms, can I say unequivocally that I don’t have a problem with polio sufferers or extinct species with pathetically short arms. Indeed, I ask, why the hell would anyone have a problem with these minority groups? Moreover, if there are any endeavors to get polio sufferers and T-Rex playing elite level cricket, I’m 100% all for it. That said, I do, however, have a prejudice against players who aren’t polio sufferers or extinct species with pathetically short arms contorting their arms in an illusory way and creating the unfortunate image of a polio sufferer or an extinct species with pathetically short arms. I mean, in my defense folks, it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do? But, shit, if it is wrong to harbor this brand of prejudice, well, damn it, I can live with it; and especially so if my hate-mongering goes on to thwart a side on shot of Buck Rogers from replacing the one of Jack Hobbs in the MCC manual.

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During the Brisbane Test, Tim Lane did a plug for Auckland Tourism on Fairfax radio, and part of it involved talking up Auckland’s nightlife as another attraction for world cup visitors. Tim didn’t do much of a job of it (I mean, what does Tim Lane know about nightlife I wonder?), and sensing as much, Mo Matthews stepped into the breech:

Great place, Auckland,” he endorsed. “If you’re a dude trying to sniff out a bar, you’ll find plenty in that town.”

Matthews then went on to talk about nightclubs in Bangkok, Hong Kong and just about everywhere else where a ‘dude’ who was ‘sniffing out a bar’ would happily find one.

One he didn’t mention, but might have, was the Espy in Melbourne.

I had the good fortune of coming across Greg Matthews at The Espy in the mid to late 80’s. Matthews was in town with the NSW shield team, and the way I remember, it was a night in the middle of the match. When I first caught sight of him, Mo was leaning against a pillar in one of the Espy’s shadowy alcoves. Of the many things that ran through my mind the moment I saw him, the most arresting was a musing about his jacket. He wore a harlequin cricket blazer and as loud as a harlequin cricket blazer is, it’s amplified 100 fold when worn amongst all the denim you find at the Espy. More tragic for him is how dapper he thought he looked. This was confirmed when I the saw him bustin a move in front of the band. He moshed as though John Travolta himself had styled the jacket and that he was Mick Jagger incarnate (and yes, I did say moshed; and yes, Mo moshing is a horrifying sight!)

I won’t say anymore of what I saw which fits in the ‘what happens on tour, stays on tour,’ category, but something happened a few hours later which I reckon is fair game.

As I made my way out around midnight, Mo was on the Espy’s entrance steps in the middle of a phone call: a mobile phone call. Now this was the mid 80’s and things like mobile phones and www addresses were the stuff of wankers. Looking every inch as much on his ridiculously large phone (it was the size of a car battery!), I passed him as he said, “Catch you in Paris if not before.”

Catch you in Paris if not before?

Who was it that he would be catching in Paris? Paris isn’t a cricket town; it’s a city for lovers; and no lover in their right mind would be catching up with Mo in Paris. It just didn’t add up.

As I continued down the steps, I hoped to eavesdrop more from his conversation, but that’s all I got. Mo was doing all the listening now instead of the talking, and all there was to pry into was his many, many approving nods over what was being said … that is, assuming there was something being said. My hunch is he was listening to a dial-atone. But I’m here to tell you that if anyone could pull off looking like they’re talking to a real person when in fact it’s a dial-atone, it’s Greg Matthews. And even while handicapped by a harlequin blazer.

Footnote: on my hunch that Mo was on a fake call, I think it was a good one. That ‘catch you in Paris’  line just came out so ‘here I am on my prized new mobile phone gadget and my ultimate fantasy is taking calls in iconic public places and talking about catching up with people in exotic locales so as to show the world what an exciting life I lead.’ But hey, maybe that was just my cynicism about what a wank mobile phones were in the 80’s? Guess we’ll never know.

***

Now for the last and very much least of my tid bits

For those of you who don’t know, I run a blog for a character called Viv Tufnell. Viv is a Sheffield Shield cricketer in an alternate universe and as you’d expect, things in alternate universes can get pretty zany. One of the zany things which happened recently was an incident involving a Queensland fast bowler named Peter Roche. Pete bowled a bouncer to Viv, and in evading it, Viv lost his feet and ended up on his arse. Viv, understandably, felt pretty indignant about it all (and especially seeing that it wasn’t much of a bouncer (it sailed a good 3 feet over his head)) and while picking himself up, he spars with Pete in an appalling and profane manner. This resulted in some zany and crazy outcomes; more zany than crazy, I have to say, but nevertheless, zany and crazy. Anyway, the upshot is that things eventually backfired on Viv (as they always do! (Jesus, what a tired formula it’s becoming!)), and as is his bent, Viv goes on to internalize his frustrations in a journal. This one went something like this:

‘Still on Pete

After getting back to the hotel after today’s play, I emailed him about his “bouncer”. I said, “If that was a snorter then snorters are now as devalued as the Zimbabwean dollar.” I said, “You put a Bon Jovi  spin on fast bowling in that ‘You give pace a bad name’.” I said, “With you it’s not chin music, it’s chin muzak.” I said, “When you bang it in short, your toes curl up to avoid being hit.” I said, “They don’t use a speed gun to measure your pace, they use time lapse photography.” I said, “If you were in Douglas Jardine’s attack, they wouldn’t have called it Bodyline, they’d have called it ‘A chorus line’.” I said, “If you were in Douglas Jardine’s attack, he would have ditched Bodyline and reverted to a plan B; it being: lobbying to change the rules of cricket so it was more like Hopscotch.” I said, “Your Cricinfo profile has you bowling ‘Right Arm Pies’.” I said, “Batsmen don’t evade your bouncers, they avoid them the way they would a bore at a party.” I said, “The fast bowling union don’t want you on their picket line.” I said, “If you keep bowling shit like you did today, The Gabba will need to install toilets on either side of the pitch (and one’s with heavy duty flushes!!)”’

Viv then reveals that Pete emailed him back a little later and said he was going to smash his head in. Though, he made out he wasn’t, I reckon that made him a little scared.

About Punxsutawney Pete

Punxsutawney Pete see's a shadow: twelve more months of winter

Comments

  1. Thanks for explaining that KFC add PZ. I watch the cricket with the sound down and take the commentary from the ABC – although Danny Morrison’s a bit hard to take. Flight of The Condors he’s not. Never quite picked up how it was supposed to push the sponsor’s product.

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Hey Zitter,
    Good to see you let Viv out of the bottle again. I can picture Viv and Mo trying to ‘sniff out’ all sorts of things in the mid 80s. Not a pretty sight, I can tell you.

  3. Come on Zitter- give us a rant about over rates!

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    I’m betting Mo has still never been to Paris! Wouldn’t be at all surprised if he still wore harlequin cricket blazers to nightclubs. Maybe they’re cool now, yeah yeah??

    No such thing as too much Viv. Brilliant.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    And all efforts to get T-Rex’s playing cricket should be encouraged. As with all extinct species. A Thylacine v Dodo T20 would surely be entertaining…

  6. Worse still is the KFC advert in which two girls and three guys are eating KFC in an inflatable pool!
    Bad enough to be eating KFC…but eating KFC in a pool? Yuck.

  7. Smokie, the inflatable pool ad is indeed a troubling new direction for KFC. Jesus, how unsanitary. Christ, next they’ll have people eating KFC in the erotic manner of ‘Nine and a half weeks’. And can you imagine how unhygienic it would be nibbling on a chicken nugget slotted in Kim Basingers navel?

    Luke, was I being too hard on Mo? I don’t know, I think the fake call is a good hunch. I love Mo, just for the record. Sure he fails miserably at being cool and funky, but his indefatigable striving towards coolness and funkiness is endearing … well at least it is in the Fairfax box: when he’s striving for it in a mosh pit at the Espy, it’s horrifying.

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