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Soup of This Day #279: Lay Your @#$% Bare

December 31, 2012

Bark scorpion
A scorpion often has a sting in the tale – Photo: Musides, 2008. Musides is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

Tonight I was writing another post.

Not this 1 – This 1 is sort of about the post that I was writing. If you follow me.

I’d got to the 800 or so word mark, which is a bit of a watershed for me – That’s usually around the time when I work out where I’m going with a post. Not always, to be honest – Sometimes I can complete a 1,500 word post and still not have the faintest clue about what I was on about. For tonight’s effort though I had it all worked out, just shy of 800 words.

In case you are wondering about this current post – I’ve notched up 110 words to this point so there’s only around 700-odd words until this all becomes clear.

And the words will almost certainly be odd too.

But in the meantime, back to tonight (It’s tonight as I’m writing this but it will be tomorrow or the next day afore I’m done with it). As I got to my moment of defining clarity I decided to go to bed, happy that the course had been set. It was late you see and sleep is as precious a gift as I can wish for this holiday season. Naturally then, I pressed ‘Save Draft’ and leaned back into a yawn, calling it a day.

A day that I subsequently named @#$%bugger@#$%day.

Because something went wrong and I lost my work. Almost all of what I’d dreamed up across the previous 3 hours. And because I have this spontaneous just-write-until-the-madness-becomes-clear kind of process it’s difficult to get it back again with the same kind of flow that it had when I originally brought it together.

It’s even more difficult because it is now half of 12 in the morning and I am bloody tired. I’ve also switched the computer off and I’m writing this in a Moleskine notebook with 1 of those multi-hued pens that I fixed for The Noah just this evening past.

I’m using the blue ink in case anyone cares – It suits the mood.

So anything I try to recover now will be disjointed – The jokes will be out of context – Why did the chicken cross the road? Because shut up, that’s why!

Even worse, the writing won’t be true. By which I mean that it won’t be right for that moment and for those thoughts. It can’t be because that moment is gone and those thoughts have fled.

So this will be a new post. And its theme will be the truth.

For now.

The truth is dependant upon where you look at it from – In both time and space. From Earth for instance the stars of the constellation of Scorpius appear to be grouped together into an artfully inked scorpion tattoo. In reality they are related only by our perspective and a healthy imagination – Alpha Scorpii, better known as Antares, is a red supergiant of a star that resides at the heart of the scorpion, some 550 light years from Earth. While Lamda Scorpii, otherwise referred to as Shaula, is a multiple star system in the tail of the scorpion that sits a further 150 light years away from us here. Other stars that make up our cosmological predatory arthropod are as close as just 16 light years from home base. Simply, if we were viewing them from 100 light years off to the right they’d look nothing like a scorpion.

Unless you’ve recently squished 1 on to a blackboard and are looking at the results under a black light (Scorpions glow in UV).

Please don’t do that.

Instead, here are 3 stories of sporting truth for you to read. Longworth72 – It’s more fun than looking at a squashed scorpion.

1st up and we have the curious tale of Michael Clarke. Pup is the Australian Test cricket captain and a popular holder of that honour he is too.

It wasn’t always so. Just over a year ago and Clarkey was not seen as your typical Australia captain. I’ll leave it to cricket commentator Kerry O’Keefe to summarise the whys and wherefors:

‘He was collar up, tattoos, fast car, flakey girlfriend, and they attached the word ‘prissy’ as the word for him, but he’s always been tough.

But they let other factors around in his life affect the adjective to describe him. But he’s been tough from the age of 10. Well, probably nine. Maybe eight I think.’

I think an even better adjective for Pup would be bloodygoodatcricket.

Because he is bloodygoodatcricket. And, yes I realise that crapatgrammar is now an adjective that you could use for Longworth72. As well as makeshisownwordsup.

What’s an adjective again?

Is it the word ‘astounding’ when used in the following sentence: Michael Clarke had an astounding 2012 in cricket? It’s an appropriate descriptive word to be used either way – You’d have to be astounded at the 12 months that saw him become the 1st player to churn out 4 Test double-hundreds in 1 calendar year, and with 1 of those monumental knocks going past 300. When it’s all said and done Clarkey will finish with 1595 runs for 2012 – That’s good enough for 4th on the all-time list.

The man is surely tough – Ain’t that the truth – You have to be mentally strong to bat through long stands, keeping focus and resisting the temptations offered up for lazy strokes and undisciplined cricket. And if you’re the captain of your national side you can pretty much multiply that weight bearing down on you.

As was explained to South African great Shaun Pollock as he strode out to bat in Game 40 of the 2003 World Cup. The knowledge was dropped, not at all subtly but certainly politely, by Kumar Sangakarra, the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper.

The Saffers were 5 for 149, needing to make 230 off of their allotted 45 overs to win the match. And win it they had to – Any other result and they would be eliminated from the event that they were hosting. An ignominious end for a national team that must surely have harboured dreams of a home triumph in a tournament that they had never won.

It had all come down to their talismanic captain and, just in case he’d missed some context, Kumar was there to helpfully articulate how heavy that @#$% was:


No pressure then – For a moment I thought he said 42 million supporters were depending right here on Shaun… Oh wait… He did say that… Awkward.

For the record South Africa made 6 for 229 before rain set in – Under the Duckworth-Lewis method this created a tie and South Africa were subsequently and heartbreakingly eliminated. Crucially they had lost a wicket in the closing stages and this had tipped the race against them.

That dismissal was Shaun Pollock, found short of his ground on 25. The truth it seems, will find you run out.

The last truth of this day arrives via the undershirt of Fulham FC striker Dimitar Berbitov. Some players like to put messages on the tee’s that they wear under their playing kit. At an appropriate moment, and at the cost of a cautionary yellow card, they can then lift up their jersey and display their love for family, sponsors, a free Tibet or most commonly, God.

Dimitar not so much for any of the above.

In a recent game against Aston Villa the Bulgarian revealed an under-shirt adorned with the following slogan scrawled across it:

‘Keep calm and pass me the ball.’

Given that he was pointing this out after he had scored a goal in the 8th minute, you have to think that the man was testifying to some truth there. Sadly his team-mates did not take his honest advice to heart and he was not able to add to his tally for the remaining 82 minutes of the fixture.

Some people won’t believe the truth, even if it’s presented to them on a thermal undergarment.

Lay Your @#$% Bare

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