Wednesday, September 01, 2004

July 27 (Tuesday): Who smells? I smell! I wake up feeling fine! It’s a slow moving morning and by the time I leave the house, it is getting kinda late. As I walk into town, I get a little abuse from a group of squaddies on a morning run who want ALL the path. F them, fuck off back to the Gulf.

Today is the big day of our cricket match with Birketts. The day starts out rather well when Who gives me a free ticket to any Colchester United match this season (albeit in the family enclosure). At lunchtime I stagger into a find what I have been desiring for almost years: Alf Garnett on DVD! So, suddenly out of the blue the 1972 series of Till Death Us Do Part has come out on DVD. I buy it immediately, it should serve me well for liberal baiting for a few weeks.

The remainder of the day goes by without incident, Randy Pan offers to give me a lift to the cricket in the evening in order to “keep me (him) off the piss�. He picks me up around 6pm and we are headed to the Grammar school cricket pitch. I naturally expect it to be near the wanker school itself but apparently it’s in the other direction towards Shrub End. We have a difficult time finding it and Andy gets really stressed and stroppy over this, its very rare I/you see him lose his cool. We find in the end though anyway. My attire for tonight’s match is last years Millwall away shirt under a plan v-neck white t-shirt, very cricket punk. Jack's son Kev is playing also and he has turned up in an Ipswich away shirt, talk about second strip chic.

The match begins with the weather looking bleak, as if it about to rain. We start out fielding and Stevo is late and does not have directions. I field leg, whatever that is and it starts out well for me as I make a wonder stop, diving along the field. Everyone comments, both sarcastically and not. Our bowling starts very slowly and soon their opening batters are hitting us all over the oval. Fortunately though, their run rate begins to slow down as our bowlers get bedded in and eventually begin to take wickets. As soon as the first few wickets fall, the remainder of the line-up begins to look fragile and soon their twenty overs and history with them barely getting past a hundred runs (if that, didn’t keep score myself). In the field I find I have little to do and I never really top my initial super dive (ho ho).

Despite doing relatively well in field, our team is still nervous about things going into bat but soon our opening combination ringers is getting through the runs, to the point they are reaching their twenty run limit and retiring. I am sixth in the order, having been bumped from ten to nine and now with the partners getting nervous, I’m up to sixth. I suspect the next game; they might be sticking me in to open. After our initial burst, our wickets begin to fall but still we are in a very healthy standing and then it is suddenly time for me to get prepared. The eventual happens and it is my turn to come into bat. Our innings are still relatively young, about halfway through, so the bowlers still have some heat and my position in the batting order makes it look as if I might have something. These of course are all excuses because as soon as I get in, I get out. I take the mound, I mean crease take one look at the bowler, don’t really see the ball and just hear the ball go straight through me and pull my wicket immediately. A golden duck, I suck. How embarrassing! Eventually we win the match with the bosses in bat scoring the winning runs (is there nothing they can’t do?).

After the game we go to a pub called The Crown which is in between Lexden and Stanway where Birketts are getting some food put on for us. I recognise the nibbles as the Asda things I buy when I’m feeling low and lazy. I stay off the booze and make a point of drinking just two cokes while the partners knock four pints before going on their way driving back to town. Socially tonight I give good head, holding my own and actually flourishing in small talk with the solicitors, people I normally play football against and barely speak to in the aftermath of matches. At one point I find myself collared by some guy from their Chelmsford office who ultimately bores me instead of me boring him, I feel my tables turn. Likewise I find Stevo trying to spark a conversation with two of the lads we play football against (the Jake Gyllenhal look-alike) and I come in and at least give it a go but it all remains dry. It goes without saying that the solicitors disappear long before the accountants and as the last of them leave the fit girlfriend who had been hanging about goes to me “you’re Jason aren’t you? You used to go to Tendring�. I reply “yes� and stunned I find out that the girl is Natasha Austin. Oh my, she has changed and now looks fantastic. Back at school she was a funny as hell girl but with glasses and a bit goofy but the greatest personality. Now however she is gorgeous and sounds as if she remains equally as funny. I’m converse real nice nice and regret she did not introduce herself sooner, I really did not recognise her. I wonder how I must appear to her now, as an “adult�. I big up myself and ask her if she still keeps in touch with anyone from school, me adding “usually I try to avoid people�. They leave and the accountants regroup with Jack and son holding court and the other partners, mainly Who and Melchard, attempting to get a word in and sound funny (except only sounding sad in the process). Jack and co makes moves towards town and I want to go along but I'm not invited it seems, oh well, the price you pay for getting a duck. I get a lift home with Randy Pan and as we go into the car park Melchard points at Randy Pan's Jaguar commenting like a complex, “it’s just a glorified Ford�. Ha ho.

Randy Pan drops me off and it’s still a bit early, pre-eleven. I attempt to make something of the rest of the night but instead pass out, reliving my duck in my dreams. Rogue Trader is on TV and more now than ever I understand the financial ins and outs of the details of the film and what Nick Lesson did, the little tinker. What I see of the film (for the first time) I really like but my god how cheesy is Ewan McGregor? Still to the smack and Star Wars mate.

np: Foo Fighters - Wattershed


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