Viv Tufnell on Gilchrist the walker; Eamon the idiot.

(Viv Tufnell is a Tassie cricketer in an alternate Sheffield Shield universe. He lies, makes excuses and eeks his runs at a 28.3 strike rate, while all the while being very much an [email protected]#*hole.)


Eamon Gallager, our medium pacer, has to be the stupidest cricketer … I don’t know … ever.

“Viv,” he said to me today, “I’ve decided that I’m not gonna appeal anymore when I’m not 100% sure there was a nick to the keeper.”

“Huh?” I said, the idiocy of this instantly frying my mind.

“Yeah,” he continued. “I just read Adam Gilchrist’s biog and I’m inspired by his decision to be a walker.”

He added, “I mean, it really spoke to me, you know: his wanting to play in an honorable way and all. So I’ve decided that when I’m not 100% I’ve got someone on a thin nick, I’m not gonna appeal. I’ll just gonna ask the ump politely what he thinks; you know, in a way that doesn’t put any pressure on him.”

His idiocy continuing to fry me, Eamon clarified, “And I’ll probably let a moment or so pass before I do. That way you allow walkers like Gilchrist to do their walking before anything’s gone down.”

I was still frying.

“I mean, it’ll be like giving them a window, you know. To do their walking. Cos’ if they get a fine nick, they’re gonna walk, aint they? So in those cases I won’t need to do anything.”

My mind now felt like browning chips.

“And I’m even thinking about doing the same with LB’s. Well, not doing any of this window business. I mean just inquiring instead of appealing. That way when I think it’s out, I’ll know I got the decision from the ump in a way that he felt we could talk it through if he had his doubts. You know, like I’d said ‘Come over this Friday night for a couple of V.B’s and we’ll talk about trajectories and adjacency and middle and off being hit half way up’.”

I felt like the fat was bubbling over and gonna flame.

“So, I’d inquire, you know, but I wouldn’t appeal; at least I wouldn’t appeal in the desperate, crazed way I always have.”

This just had me thinking, Yes, you’ve always appealed like a nut.

“Anyway Viv, what do you think?” he then asked: “Do you reckon I’ll come out lookin as honorable as Gilly?”

I thought for a second, mostly about how my mind would look sitting on chip paper with a couple of potato cakes and dimmies around it. “Eamon,“ I then said, and sounding like I was hinting I’d suffered his stupidity one time too many, “if you’re so inspired by all this walking business, why not just become a walker too?”

Eamon looked at me as though not only did he fail to read my hint, but that he had this way covered.

“Nah, nah, I thought about that Viv, but how’s it gonna look if a tailender like me announces he’s a walker. People are gonna say, ‘So what?’”

And to this I countered, “Well don’t announce it then: just do it. Why do you need to hold a press conference about it?”

Eamon’s mind grinded over like cogs on a catapult .

I summarily added, “And if you’re so worried about how things are gonna look, how’s it gonna look if you’re asking the ump over for tea and scones when you ought to be appealing like a berserker?”

Eamon sprung up, thinking he had me on a technicality.

“I didn’t say tea and scones, I said some V.B’s,” he corrected.

I shook my head.

“Eamon,” I laughed, “how’s it gonna look if you don’t get the wicket, when everyone else thought you had a wicket, and the reason you didn’t get the wicket is coz you inquired for it like a lank haired hippy?”

That had Eamon’s cogs grinding over again.

“It wouldn’t look good,” I answered for him. “It’d look you were screwing with the physical laws of the universe, in that bowlers who toil under a stinking hot sun for hard to win wickets will naturally appeal energetically  – and especially on lineball decisions.”

I felt this spurted his cogs.

“Cos’ if they don’t,” I added, “it looks like they’re not really sure or that they’re hearts not in it or that they’d rather be somewhere else.”

Another spurt.

“This is physics Eamon: it’s a release of energy commensurate with the energy that’s gone into it. Think about it: you toil for 30 wicketless overs and the sun’s beating down and the batsmen have been humiliating you hitting 4’s and 6’s all round the park. Meanwhile, there’s all the peripheral sh*t:  the selectors axe lurking in the shadows, your parents disappointment, the fear that your failures will leave you girlfriendless and working at IGA stacking shelves. And then there’s your dream to play for Australia. As all this unfolds, you’re watching it fade and shrivel and wilt like a forsaken flower. With every wicketless over, you’re watching it die on the stem and powder into a gazillion fragments as it awaits a cruel north wind to blow it away.”

This had the cogs in Eamon’s mind appearing as though they were upgraded from the bronze age to the dawn of the industrial revolution.

“But then you get the batsman to nick one!” I narrated excitedly. “Just when all hope seemed lost, you produce a searing outswinger that squares up that arse and has him edging to the keeper; just when your dream was about to wilt past the point it could recover, you dig deep to find something to keep it photosynthesizing. Yes, Eamon, you big crazy, half witted lug, you found something herculean in you. Now are you gonna tell me you’re not gonna explode into an appeal like you always have? Are you gonna tell me you’re gonna make polite inquiries to the ump, with a caveat that he can come around later for a coldie if he feels he need’s more time to think it through? Huh, huh, HUH? Of course you’re not. You’re gonna appeal in the crazed banshee way that you always have. You’re gonna fight for that wicket the way a seagull fights off the flock when someone’s thrown em a chip. Coz that’s what you are Eamon: a fighter, a survivor, a warrior. You’re gonna appeal hungrily for that wicket like it’s the last wicket you’ll get, just the way gulls appeal hungrily when they sense it’s last chip they’ll be thrown. You’re gonna fight, damn it – you’re gonna appeal with [email protected]#*^g gusto until the ump raises his finger. Just as you always have, Eamon, and just as you always will, Eamon … aren’t you?”

And to this – and a fair old ‘this’ if I can pat myself on the back – he says:

“Yeah I kind of see what you mean, Viv, but the thing is, when you were talking about wilting flowers, I remembered that I hadn’t watered the garden this week, and I kind of got distracted.” He looked at his watch. “Hmm, I better nip home, you know, and get the hose on it … and I reckon I’ll pick up some fries at Maccas on the way: that stuff on the seagulls fighting for chips has got me famished.”


(Punx Pete had the misguidedness to self-publish Viv’s trashy anecdotes. He has a few copies left and lists them on ebay.)



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About Punxsutawney Pete

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


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Onya PP. If yer gunna appeal it may as well be like a Berserker !!

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Of course Eamon is just a medium pacer. No genuine quick would stifle their appeals!

    Surely Viv is just a 670 ball double century, and a S.Marsh hamstring, away from a crack at the Test number 6 spot??

  3. PP, it’s been too long! Welcome back mate


  4. Barry McAdam says

    Bloody fantastic. And funny. More Viv please!!!

  5. John Butler says

    Viv! Welcome back!

    If ever there was a man for the times….

  6. Punxsa-and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    Thanks for readin fellas … nice to know that Viv is welcome back at the knackery after thinking he was a big shot and goin out on his own as a blogger.

    And though he’s trying to put a brave face on it, he’s well and truly coming back with his tail between his legs, after being a miserable failure in the blogosphere.

    Finally. to all the people out there who list their email addresses on the stakeholders page of cricket club websites, Viv apologizes for the spamming over the last couple of seasons … he hopes he wasn’t too much of a nuisance.

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