Silly cricket wickets and beer

This past weekend was my first official Australia Day celebration, where I learned:

  1. Throwing a boomerang is harder than it looks.
  2. Vegemite, while not the gag-inducing horror I was expecting, is nonetheless a poorly conceived condiment.
  3. I am not complete rubbish at cricket as long as we are using a tennis ball and not using most of the rules.

There are a number of things on my side when playing cricket. First of all the bat is shaped like a cake decorating spatula, long and flat. It’s a 2 x 4 with a handle really. Why we’ve been playing American baseball with these pesky round bats is beyond me. It’s all about surface area.

Also it’s possible, although perhaps not advisable, to drink while playing cricket. And I do mean “while.” Vodka in left hand, field ball with the right. This should be a staple of all games, but may or may not be related to the ball-shaped bruise developing on my left breast and that I played while wearing a cape made from the Australian flag. (It looked awesome when I ran between the wickets.)

Cricket, I discovered, is really a game made for the uncoordinated and inebriated. You simply need to make some sort of contact with the ball. The ball doesn’t actually have to go anywhere and direction is unimportant. Behind you? Fine. Dribbling impotently four feet in front of your nose. No worries. It’s all good. Also there are no strikes in cricket, which is probably how pee-wee baseball leagues should be run, and there are no bases, just two wickets not very far apart. Imagine if in baseball the runner only had to go between home plate and the pitcher’s mound. That’s cricket.

There’s a bowler and two batsmen and a position called “silly,” which makes me laugh. Admittedly, we didn’t keep score. Also there weren’t exactly teams, and by “not exactly,” I mean not anything at all close in any way. Only two of us actually knew how to play cricket, and the rest of us sort of wandered in and out of the game at will, abandoning our fielding positions at any moment to talk to a pal or freshen up a drink. I imagine if cats played cricket, it might go something like our game.

So why are my legs so achy this morning?