I told you we were going to the cricket on Saturday, right? Well, we did. It was Day 3 of the fifth test of the Ashes Series. (Yank translation: It was the third day of the fifth match in the biannual five-match series between Australia and England that’s been going on since 1882.) Australia had already secured the series 4-0 and were looking to sweep for only the second time ever. The only seats we could get were on the Hill… which meant we were going to be sitting amongst the Barmy Army. (Yank translation: We had to sit amongst 15000 crazy rabid British cricket hooligans.) The day started off badly; we had to wait half an hour just to get into the stadium because Security was going through every backpack and cooler. (And when you’re attending a seven hour sporting event, you always bring a backpack and a cooler.) I was still in line when Steve Waugh (my favorite player) got out. Bloody hell. By the time I settled into my seat, I was ready for a day of misery. Instead it was pretty fun. The Barmy Army were great. (One of them came up with a great cheer: “We’ve got three dollars, to the pound!” sung to the tune of “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” There’s no comeback to that one.) The only problem was the heavy police and security presence. Every half hour they’d just swoop down on someone and kick them out. It kinda put a damper on things. I’d also like to report that I knitted during the first three hours of the match! (The Snook and Steve were mortally embarrassed.) But at least Moire will have the satisfaction of knowing her Slytherin scarf was knitted at a traditional English sporting event!
Oh! The cricket also introduced me to a new concept: beer wenches. You know how they’ve got vendors that bring cans of Old Milwaukee to you in the stands at American baseball games? Yeah, they don’t do that here. You’ve got to get up and go to the beer stand. This gets to be quite a pain after a while. So some enterprising group came up with the idea of “beer wenches”. Basically, you get a bunch of guys together who pay for two scantily clad hoochies to do nothing but buy their beer throughout the match. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. Two skanky blondes in ripped T-shirts and Daisy Dukes traipsing back and forth, carrying four beers each at a time to the inebriated Aussies in front of us. (I heard a fellow spectator mention that the girls had to earn at least $300 each.) About an hour before the match ended, the cops decided that the easiest way to quiet the masses was to cut off their beer supply. Hence, the beer wenches got kicked out. You should’ve heard the uproar. You’d have thought they’d set fire to the flag. 🙂
Anyway, here are a couple photos from the day. In the first you can see the large group of yellow-shirted Aussies in front of us. (They were the ones with the beer wenches.) They were sorta the anti-Barmy Army. They had some good cheers at the beginning, but they faded as Australia started sucking. They also had an Elvis impersonator, who kicked ass. Next you can see two patriotic Aussies holding up their version of the nation’s flag. (The real version has the Union Jack on it. This version had it removed with the federation star blown up in its place. In retaliation the Barmy Army sang, “Get your shit stars off our flag!”, to which the Aussies replied, “You’ve got Scotland on your flag!”. Again, no comeback is possible.) Next is an extremely blurry shot of Steve, Snookums, and me, as taken by the idiot in the row in front of us. Lastly is another shot of the crowd that shows the police presence as they swoop down on some unsuspecting fan. Bastards.
I keep meaning to post my extended “rules of cricket as explained by baseball analogies” essay to the site and forgetting. I should do that.