Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Meaningless post today. My brother's thirtieth yesterday, and a couple of us went out the back and played backyard cricket - me, my brother Ryan, my brother's friend Grego and Matthew.

You know how some things make you happy and you can't explain why? Well, times like that, hanging around with Ryan, give me a kind of pure happiness, an ineffable, unadulterated joy. There are two people, maybe four I feel utterly comfortable with in the entire world, and Ryan's one of them. He's someone you feel grateful for knowing.

And playing cricket in the back yard is something it's difficult to make into a task, something where it's hard to set up criteria for yourself to measure your failings and to indicate where you need to improve. For a start we (the players) are all crap. I bowl pace that isn't and spin that doesn't, and my batting technique is built upon a strong foundation of spread-legged flailing. Grego wheezes when he runs in to bowl (smoking), lurches to the side as he releases it (bad knee) and then clutches his lower back where he's ruptured another disc and hobbles off (dodgy ankle). He actually has some ability with the bat, but he doesn't let it interfere with the game. Ryan reckon's he's got got line and length with his bowling, but rarely produces them in the same ball, and last night was bowling a series of perfect offswinging yorkers that were all landing six feet to the left of the batsman.

But Matthew, damn his eyes, can play. He is a modest man who always smiles, one of the most pleasant and adept conversationalists I know, but he bowls long and low and very very fast. In his hands a small rubber ball becomes a deadly weapon. Ryan lasted six balls, Grego five or so, and I faced two bewildering deliveries that hummed between bat and leg before deciding to hook for six, and getting the full velocity of the ball in my scrotum.

Kinetic energy, by the way, is mass (I'd guess a few hundred grams) times the square of velocity (easy over sixty kilometers an hour, dead set). Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and thusly all the kinetic energy of the cricket ball was transformed into other forms of energy. Initially there was only screaming (kinetic) and falling to the ground (potential becoming kinetic), but later there was a fair amount of sweating (chemical energy), walking to and fro upon the Earth clutching the affected part (metabolic) and calling on the name of the Lord (theological energy).

This much energy expenditure required replenishment, so we sat around drinking cider and talking.

God it was good. It was anxiolyic, anti-depressant, deeply therapeutic, cheap and fun. Patient compliance was high and the few negative side effects were worth it the next day. I am going to write to Medicare. Doctors should be able to prescribe backyard cricket for the anxious patient, and drunken backyard cricket for severe cases. Our psychiatric beds, currently filled with the lonely, the frightened, the friendless and the fat, would be emptied in days.



Post a Comment

<< Home