Ker­mie’s Box­ing Day fun

Big Rigs - - BIG RIGS | COLUMNS - LIFE WITH KER­MIE GRA­HAM HARSANT con­trib­u­[email protected]­grigs.com.au

HOW was your Christ­mas? Good I hope.

Ours was very quiet as it was just Rita and I this year.

With 39 de­grees on Christ­mas Day, we took the sen­si­ble de­ci­sion of go­ing up to our time-share to sit un­der the shade of a tree by the pool there.

It was re­ally not much of a de­ci­sion as, true to Mur­phy’s form, he made sure the air-con at home carked it a cou­ple of days ear­lier.

Sur­pris­ingly we man­aged to get some­one to come and look at it on Christ­mas Eve.

Un­sur­pris­ingly they couldn’t do any­thing about it un­til af­ter the New Year.

We ex­pected the time-share to be choc-a-block with kids run­ning around with their Chrissy presents in hand and at­tack­ing us from ev­ery di­rec­tion with their wa­ter can­nons, etc.

Turned out we vir­tu­ally had the joint to our­selves un­til af­ter 4pm when those that came out of their air-con com­fort were very po­lite and well be­haved.

Rita was par­tic­u­larly happy as the “clean up” con­sisted of noth­ing more than chuck­ing ev­ery­thing into the near­est bin.

The fol­low­ing Thursday I’d been in­vited by the good folk at Daim­ler Truck to at­tend the sec­ond day of the test at the MCG.

Now I must ad­mit that I’m no cricket fan but the Box­ing Day Test at the “G” is some­thing ev­ery­one should cross off their bucket list.

I felt guilty as I left Rita at home to suf­fer in 43C heat while I im­bibed and ate in an air-con­di­tioned box and was put up that night in an air­con­di­tioned ho­tel room.

But not guilty enough to share her mis­ery with her.

When I was a young tacker grow­ing up in Hooter­ville we had a choice of two sum­mer sports at school – cricket or swim­ming.

Firstly, my throw­ing and catch­ing skills were worse than Carl­ton’s per­for­mance in 2018 and se­condly, I saw no sense in stand­ing around in 40 de­gree heat, wait­ing for a ball that might come my way and that I’d prob­a­bly drop any­way. So it was the pool for me.

But ev­ery­one had told me that “if you’re go­ing to go to a Test match, the Box­ing Day Test on day two is the one to be at. That’s where all the wick­ets fall”.

They failed to tell me that In­dia had dif­fer­ent ideas, and that they are play­ing bet­ter than we are.

On ar­rival at 10.30am they were two for some­thing.

At 5.15pm they were five for a lot more.

I went out for a smoke dur­ing the arvo, work­ing on my su­per­sti­tion that while I wasn’t watch­ing Aus­tralia would take at least three wick­ets. But even that didn’t work. At 5.20 we got an­other wicket (I ac­tu­ally saw that one) and at 5.25 In­dia de­clared at seven for 443.

By now I re­ally want to go back to the ho­tel for a nanna nap be­fore we head out to din­ner but we have to stay a bit and watch the Aussies get in a cou­ple of runs be­fore the day is over.

While wait­ing for the change over, a roller goes over the pitch, pre­sum­ably to iron out a few wrin­kles.

And a girl does a bit of sweep­ing – with a broom, not a bat. I can do that! Can I join the team?

At 5.40 the Aussie open­ers come on in the form of Finch and Har­ris. Umm. OK. I mean, I know Waugh and Lillee and…But Finch and Har­ris? The crowd gets vo­cal. The first ball comes down the pitch and big gasps. Nearly gone! On the sec­ond ball we get one run.

The first over and the game is in­ter­est­ing, mainly be­cause of the close shaves.

This is not good for us but still, it is in­ter­est­ing. Bum­rah, the In­dian bowler is do­ing it with a panache I didn’t see with our guys.

At 5.45 the crowd chants that some­one’s a wanker (I think that’s what it was), but I’m not sure if it’s us against them or them against us.

Maybe they saw me in the box and it was aimed at moi.

At 5.50 Har­ris is hit on the hel­met and play stops.

We wait and wait and wait... cricket needs a bet­ter in­ter­change bench.

At 6pm it’s all over and we’ve man­aged zero for eight. One of the high­lights for me was watch­ing the lit­tles at half time.

Sorry, I mean lunch. The cricket ver­sion of Aus­Kick. Is it called AusCrick? Would I go again? Sure would – es­pe­cially in a cor­po­rate box! Did I en­joy my­self? Ac­tu­ally I did but I’m glad I chose swim­ming over cricket all those years ago. The high­light of the day? That was later that night when one of the other journos and I were sit­ting at the ho­tel bar and I dis­cov­ered Four Pil­lars Christ­mas Gin!

Made in my old home town of Hooter­ville, this gin has Christ­mas Puds added to the vats.

It comes out a light brown­ish colour and man oh man is it good!

Good enough to down half a dozen of ‘em be­fore bed­time.

Ap­par­ently they sell the pud­dings af­ter. Now that would be a taste sen­sa­tion.

So, thank you Daim­ler for the in­vi­ta­tion (and the gins) and I hope you’ll ex­tend the in­vite again next year when I’m sure Aus­tralia will be so much bet­ter.

And I hope you’ll stick by your word when I sort of in­vited my­self to the Carl­ton v Colling­wood opener and you agreed. LOL.

PHOTO: GRA­HAM HARSANT

CHRIST­MAS CRICKET: Ker­mie en­joyed the Box­ing Day Test at the MCG.

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