AFL Round 10 – Collingwood v Brisbane: Dr Seuss and the big storm

The mood of the times has overwhelmed me a bit as Friday arrives. The racism, overt racism, casual racism. Harry O’Brien’s celebrated tweet. The commentary. All the other tweets.  The opinions. The conversation is undoubtedly a good one to be having. And despite the events and (often shrill) commentary of the week, the collective “we” have come a long way in 20 years.

But still.

I’m feeling as flat as a shit-carter’s hat. It’s Friday morning and life is all swirling around and I feel a million miles from taking any interest in life, let alone a game of footy.

Until. Until, I’ve a book thrust into my hands.

And it’s perfect. The kids have picked up on the mood and they’ve read the play like Leigh Matthews resting in the forward pocket. “One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” Perfect. It ends with the philosophical flourish:

“Today is gone. Today was fun.

Tomorrow is another one.

Every day,

from here to there,

funny things are everywhere.”

I’m up and away.


By 5.30pm I’m on my way to the All Nations for the launch of “Footy Town”. The sun is long gone. So many colourful lights. Southern Cross station. It’s a warm night. A Brisbane kind of night. That’s where the Woods are playing tonight. Taking on the Lions. Should win.

Swipe through the gates.

I can’t find the Epping line on any of these monitors. Surely the Epping line hasn’t been dismantled yet? Ahh, there we are – it goes on to South Morang now.

Alight at West Richmond for a stroll in the rain to the All Nations. I’m on me Pat Malone tonight. Others couldn’t make it. Funeral.  Kids. Work. Lack of impetus. Dubious decision-making. That’s no bother. I pick up a pint and a tall man says: “You’re e.regnans.”

And it’s Cookie. Whacko.

“John,” he says to John Harms, next to him. “John, it’s e.regnans.”

“Ahh,” says John, “Buddhism,” incredibly referring to a piece I contributed last week.


And so I’m meeting the Footy Almanac life & spirit. And the life & spirit in this small pub is growing fast. I’m upstairs. Buying a copy of the book. It’s sold to me by Dips. I get it signed by Paul Daffey and JTH. It’s incredible. I’m meeting people in the flesh, who I’ve previously only known via the Footy Almanac interweb. I feel like I know these people yet we’re just meeting now for the first time. Much like I imagine online dating to be, but different. Who knows what this is like? It feels odd but good-odd.


It’s hot up here. Like a sauna. No, it’s not like a sauna at all. There’s no off switch here. Then we’re all outside. Light sprinkling of rain, steaming off hot heads. The book is launched. I slip away into the unseasonably warm Richmond night.

It’s been like a Pie Night and like a book launch and like a pub and like a birthday party and like an event of great social connectivity. Grand to have been there. It’s again good to feel a part of something bigger.


I try to tune in emotionally to the Collingwood game, but I’m failing. The game seems like a Small Deal, after recent Big Deals. And then I’m home. Quiet house. Flick on the TV to learn that Collingwood are well up. As I expected, this game has no sting. I’m disconnected from it.


Dial up the Bureau website for a look at the radar. How’s this forecast wet weather coming along? Straight away I see that it’s 16 degrees Celsius where Scott Pendlebury is carving it up, and also 16 right here. Brisbane has come to Melbourne tonight. Unusual.

And then, KABOOM, the sky explodes.

And then again.

And again.

Our spouting is overflowing spectacularly. A small freshwater lake is forming in the backyard. And still the rain comes down.

It’s torrential.

It’s like Brisbane rain.

Perhaps Brisbane has indeed come to Melbourne tonight.


I keep half an eye on the game but what I’m really enjoying is this patrolling of the house. Like a warden on night duty. Perhaps I should become a warden on night duty? The checking of the spouting (“yep, still overflowing”). The checking of Lake Backyardiosa (“yep, still growing”). The checking of the bathroom window (“yep, still leaking”).


Collingwood are well in front. I notice Travis Cloke isn’t playing tonight. Jonathan Brown, suspended, is doing pieces to camera wearing a short and tie (even doing up the top button). I notice that Alan Didak comes on as a substitute. How much longer does he have at this level?


The Brisbane-esque thunderstorm passes but the Brisbane-esque rain continues. It even drowns out CJ’s iPad “rain sounds” app. Tomorrow The Age online will carry pictures of the Merri Creek in flood, not far from here.


The game in Brisbane Town ends. But tonight I’ve had bigger fish to fry. A thought-provoking week, a brilliant community book launch and crackerjack storm. Yes, Dr Seuss, every day from here to there, funny things really are everywhere.


Brisbane 7.9.51

Collingwood 14.16.100

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Dave – nice to meet you on Friday night. It was a ripper occasion.

    One of my favourite Dr Suess is Luke Luck:

    Luke Luck licks lakes
    Luke Luck likes lakes
    Look at the lakes
    That Luke Luck licks.

    Have I got that right? Its been quite a few years since I had to read it to kids.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Good work Dave, enjoying your writing.

    Like the sound of Luke Luck Dips, will have to get a copy to read to my young boys.

  3. Dips – I think you’ll find Luke Luck’s duck also likes, and licks, lakes. I too spent many evenings reading that pot boiler to my kids.

  4. Like your work Mountain Ash. When are you coming back to the Bear Cave? We need some quality articles for the Howzat.

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