Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cross Cultural Imperialism

Saturday was amusing. After dancing Friday night with the crew, I crawled out of bed at 11.30 for breakfast at Casa Madeline. Pancakes and mixed berries and sundry goodness. Uncle Mac Mac had done well.

After people disappeared into the day, I took up a cause from Sui. One of his glassblowing friends is Dean, an American. He was keen on sports and wanted to try cricket. I had enough kit to show him the ropes, so we found some nets in Dickson and got to it.

Sui got padded up while I bowled a few. Real ball. Sui was not much chop, but managed to stand in the right place and mostly hit the ball. I showed Dean the bowling action. He got close -ish, but was always chucking, and the attempt to straighten the arm cause a strain, so he gave up and was simply pegging them down. I showed him medium pace, offspin and legspin just for the sake of it. He was never going to be able to duplicate them in one lesson, but he has at least seen them all.

When Dean went for a bat he was nice and fearless, and was happily bashin away. Within the context of cricket, he was spooning them all to midfield, but in the nets he was bashing them and feeling good. He got the shock of his life when there was a terrific crack - the corner of the bat broke. The bottom corner came away, about the size of a playing card. He was terrified, but the bat was a three year old county 'never oil' Kashmir Willow - three years is a remarkable amount of time for one of those cheapies. Still, he didn't know that and heard that a bat cost $400. True enough, but not this bat. If I had a good bat I would never have leant it out!

I considered a broken bat too dangerous for others to use, so I had a bat. I was merrily hitting out, and trying to show as many shots as possible. I was hitting to the nets, in order to not put them in danger, but make the big noise of cracking shots. I was putting everything along the ground, and trying to show coverdrives as a default.

I hit one very hard, but slightly off centre. So instead of heading for the net, it went straight back at the bowler. Dean watched it, and tracked it quite well, but then the ball hit a bad patch and honed in on the groin. Luckily he jumped, and the ball hit upper thigh and then rebounded to the groin. If he hadn't jumped, it would have been much worse.

A full blooded shot still but him down on the ground clutching, but was up in minute or so. Having broken a bat and nearly emasculated someone, we though that was enough for one morning.

Wings of War:
Next I nicked off to Stephen's with Meesh and Sui for some Wings of War. It's a WWI aeroplane combat game, and lots of fun and simple to pick up. We play the simple version of the rules as well, making it more action packed and less tactical. We had played free for alls previously, but now it was time for missions. Over the missions, I proved I was a sound killer, but couldn't prevent bombers from making their runs. I always flew my Naval Camel.

First mission Stephen and I in fighters tried to prevent BJ and Meesh in Bombers and Sui on fighter escort from bombing a target. I played tag with BJ and swept around behind Meesh when she tried for her run, and killed her, but only after she had successfully bombed. Stephen got jumped and shot down, and I put damage enough BJ to finish him. Sui snuck home, heavily shot up and considering the adventure a success.

Next time Stephen was in a bomber, and we faced a fighter and a bomber. The situation was similar - the bombing run was made, Stephen was dead, and I had two kills. So I could knock them out of the sky, but not stop them from making their mission.

Robbie had been trying to convince me to go to Wrestling for a while - this was the first time I was doing nothing on the right Saturday night. It was hilarious. We decided to just hook in, and scream for the good guys, and boo the bad guys like idiots. It was hilarious. The quite passive Canberra crowds couldn't believe it, the actors (I mean wrestlers) loved it, and after a while the kids got into the screaming like an idiot vibe, and the noise was right up. It was funny as hell, and strangely theraputic. I was also one of only two sober people our group of 15, so watching from that perspective was fun.

Favourite chants "Rex wrote and X" when they did the old 'contract' schtick - "Go cry Emo kid" - "We're not worthy". And the poster "Russel, I'm knocked up" (only held by men), and "Look out behind you."

It was fun, and I'll do it again.


Flinthart said...

O lord... wrestling.

At least you schooled the American chap in true sport first.

Oh -- bastard of a draw the Brits managed to scrape, eh? They soooo did not deserve that.

YsambartCourtin said...

Ahh, but once you make the abstract leap and stop thinking 'sport' and start thinking 'scream therapy with bad actors' it all works.

But they do throw you out of the cricket for that.

63 balls at two tail enders? That is Rourke's drift and the Zulus. Heroic, so long as you are not one of the outnumbering Zulu horde. Metaphysically speaking of course. What test cricket needs more of - heroic draws. Pity about the delay crap.

Samtreea said...

You were 1 of 3 sober people. I only had 2 drinks before the wrestling and 1 after in a 12 hour period.

Also the best cry was "GO HOME EMO KID" and "REX CANT READ REX CANT READ"

YsambartCourtin said...

Ah. I mistook your "I don't want to drive in Canberra" as a "I've had too many drinks to drive in Canberra".

yankeedog said...

"At least you schooled the American chap in true sport first."

Oh. I thought he was being taught cricket...

Mighty decent of you to try to teach him at cricket. There isn't much of that sport up here, at least outside of the cities.

I've seen Indians (Pakistanis? South Asians, anyway) here at our local baseball games. I picture them being a bit befuddled by the game.

"This doesn't look like cricket!"

I don't know about a cricket bat, but when one of our baseball bats shatters, you can get some big splinters flying around. And it's mostly the maple bats-the ones made of ash tend to hold up.

YsambartCourtin said...

Nah, most Pakistani's will know baseball. It's just an update of rounders which most foundlings of the old Empire still play.

If you learn a good cross bat swot you are well skilled for both games :)