We finally arrive at Missen. Belinda and I with Helvi and Warrigal beam down to the surface onto the lawn at Hardy Cocksure’s house. I can hear a female sobbing uncontrollably in the house. We walk to the front door and knock. A woman answers “Yes” she sobs “Hi there, I’m Sandy, Gordon has sent me” I blurt nervously “Is Hardy home?” The woman cries and brings out a tissue to blow her nose “I’m Pussy” she relates, Hmmm, wow, I can see that but I better not go there “My Hardy’s gone LIMP” she bleats “Limp?” I ask “Yes, that’s right, LIMP, Lactose Induced Meltdown Procedure, oh, anyway, come in.” An acronym, I should have known.
Pussy is Hardy’s girlfriend and she relates to us a story of ICCB troops turning up at the door and drugging Hardy with lactose knowing he is lactose intolerant. Pussy tells us that a short little man in a space suit then comes to the door and says “Tell Lord Climate that the games over and to surrender”, Hmmm, I can smell the Rat behind this. Warrigal does a head to toe and then calls the Regen-o-lance while Helvi, who has morphed into combat mode, does a quick reconnoitre of the surrounds hoping she will find 500 elite ICCB troops waiting for her so she can decimate them and have a little fun.
I contact Neville, our navcom, “Neville patch me into the rodents ship please” I state rather assertively, “Yes Lord Climate, patching now” “Lord John speaking” answers the little worm. “You piece of excrement zark off or I’ll blow you out of the sky” I state in my non parish priest style of voice “Sandy, Sandy, Sandy, temper, temper, you seem to be losing it a bit lately” whines the rodent, “Surrender, without Hardy you won’t win the game and Gordon won’t get to complete his thesis” hisses the scheming rat. “Pig’s Arms” I curse and with that I disconnect.
Just then a man steps into the doorway making the door and everything around him look incredibility small. “This is Big M” says Pussy “He will have to captain the team in place of Hardy and Sandy you will have to play” Me, and avid cricket hater actually play cricket, oh for zark sake, what else do I have to do in this story. “So” I ask full of nerves and knocking at the knees “Why do they call you Big M?” “Don’t know really” says Big M “might be because I’m big and my name starts with M but I’ve never really thought about it”
We go to the game the next day. It’s being held at the main ground on Flong called The Foval, I’ll let you guess how it got that name. Hardy’s team is called Male Nurses United and the opposition is the Oppressed Homosexuals. The OP’s win the toss and bat and thanks to a good opening stand of 114 from their openers Brucie and Waggers they go on to post 324 off 50 overs. Gregor, our spinner took 5 for 49 which is pretty good in a one day game.
We bat and thanks to a well crafted ton from Big M we get to 9 for 319 with last man in and one over to go, you guessed it, me. Helvi gives me a pep talk “Now Sandy you must win the game, you fight and die a hero and a martyr” “Helvi, can you leave out the die bit, I’m a born coward don’t forget” The nanobots in my pants are working overtime as I walk out. Luckily I’m at the non strikers end. The bowler for the OP’s is Les, Les Boss and he pushes off the fence to run it. I can’t even see the ball as my eyes are closed but Big M taps the first few back down the pitch. The tension is rising Les calls out “Hey priest, you’re such a pansy you’re on the wrong team” “Just go back and bowl you shirt lifter” replies Big M. “And you’re a another bone idle, good for nothing, purse carrying nancy boy, male nurse” retorts Les. The next delivery Big M smacks through the covers, must be a four, no well fielded keeping it down to a single. Two balls to go, four runs needed. “Hey, isn’t Sandy a girl’s name?” barbs Les, “Just zark off mate or I’ll tell your boyfriend where you were last night” retorts Big M. The heat is getting hot.
You know batting is difficult especially when you have your eyes closed as I did to the first delivery. Big M comes down the pitch “C’mon Sandy, if we win this there will be strippers, kegs, scoobies and steak sandwiches all night back at the club so c’mon, C’MON”. Just as I face up a voice pops in my head “Use the farce Luke, er um, Sandy, use the farce” says Dad. Only trouble is I can’t think of anything stupid. I remember Astyages saying attack is the best form of defence, so lets attack. I point to the stadium as Les starts to run in. American viewers will probably know this as the Statue of Liberty play in baseball. In Australia this is know as a very zarking stupid thing to do. One never riles a vicious fast bowler that has the potential to kill you with a single blow.
I can see Les approaching, his nostrils flaring, his eyes bulging out of his head. His tongue is wailing in the breeze and his hair forms a trail behind him. He bowls, I swing, I miss, ball hits my head, I’m rendered unconscious, the ball sails over the boundary on the full. It’s a six, the Male Nurses United win, Gordon passes his thesis, 326 is the average number of beans in a 440 gram can, life is a wonderful but strange thing, well sort of….