Ten random, frustrating, useless yet altogether important questions from the world of sport and music

The first few rounds of AFL, the pending Ashes tests and other observations from the sporting and music landscape have provoked a series of questions that I hope Almanac readers have answers to.

  1. Does the fact that we have picked 5 out of 16 players for an Ashes tour who can open the batting show that we think they’ll all have to face a reasonably new ball during an innings in the UK?
  2. If you had actually been through the desert on a horse with no name, whilst it would I agree be good to be out of the rain, wouldn’t common sense or simple good manners meant you would have asked if it had a name when you got the animal, or possibly have given it a name at some stage along the way?
  3. We had a massive leadership vacuum when Ponting and Hussey retired that showed we weren’t bringing up the next lot of leaders in the Test team, a succession planning fault identified in the Argus report. So we recall two blokes in their mid-30s?
  4. Do you think that when they planned to have a year of 10 Ashes tests and two series back to back, it sounded like a great idea between two equally highly competitive teams?
  5. Would it be hard to take life advice and singing tips from a bloke who calls himself Seal?
  6. A Bookmaker with a long family history of illegal practices, who ironically advertises shamelessly that he has generations of bookmaking running through his veins, has a mother for a leading trainer. They are a close family who talk all the time. He appears regularly on television telling people who he thinks will win. A bookmaker does better when the favourites don’t win. That was never going to end up being a problem was it?
  7. So, umpires regularly call for a review when there are clear goals kicked in the AFL, but in a tight match when there’s an extremely unusual situation of a ball hitting a goal umpire and it being unclear whether it went over or not, you don’t take 30 seconds to use the technology thus confirming to everyone why you introduced the system of review in the first place? What were they waiting for, a goal umpire to actually come out a spoil a player marking the ball?
  8. Glen Maxwell was bought by his IPL team, Mumbai, for $1 Million, and has yet to play in any of their 8 matches. On that basis, is his team’s next fool-proof and canny investment likely to be (a) a Ponzi scheme, (b) a Nigerian prince or (c) Billabong shares?
  9. Paul Simon boldly promised that he was able to provide 50 ways to leave your lover, and then only gave 6. Was he rounding them up just a tad, over-promising or under-delivering, or guilty of false advertising?
  10. Whilst I appreciate the visual comparison and the amusing name it has created, wouldn’t logic and many episodes of Border Security tell you that trying to smuggle a budgie, indeed any small caged bird, down the front of your bathers, would be fraught with danger and have a low likelihood of success?

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Grant Fraser says

    Like it a lot Sean. Re item 6, can we make a pact amongst ‘knackers not to mention his name (in the manner of J.K’s Bad Boy)?

  2. Funny stuff Sean. And hey, about that horse, I’m not so sure I totally agree. The song to me comes from the perspective of someone fleeing a dire predicament. I sense that he commandeered the horse and his mind was a million miles away from these little courtesy’s. Sure the horse deserved a name, but when you’ve just got yourself ‘out of the rain’, you’ve got bigger fish. Call my criticism (in Tennis terms) a gentle lob to the back of the court. Now waiting for a back hand smash from your end.

  3. I’m impressed you didn’t go for any early budgie gets the worm suggestions.

  4. T Bone

    No backhand smash, French Open style moon balls.

    I accept the premise that the desert is either a figurative symbol of being lost and seeking fulfiillment, or a real image of a journey taken to escape something. It is clear that the rider/author/narrator is at times, suffering delusion and is at peace with the non judgemental nature of the solitude of the desert, be it symbolic or real.

    However, what ever happened to go old fashioned manners?

    What would he say when he wanted the horse to speed up or slow down.

    He couldn’t have just called it ‘horsey’, ‘Mr Ed’ or even Phar Lap for the duration?


  5. Earl O'Neill says

    ’50 Ways’ was originally a 70 minute song articulating in great detail all fifty ways one could leave ones lover. The record company balked at releasing a single song over a double album, told Paul “You’re not the freaking Allman Brothers!” and edited it down to a more commercially satisfactory length.

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