The afternoon session

Second instalment of an extended allegorical cricketing yarn, begun as a comment to the post Australia’s worst government?:

Well we’ve just come back from drinks, and there’s little new to report. Adding to the scoreboard we have been a couple wides after a wayward over from Leo McLeay, who is obviously a little out of peak fitness after that injury a couple of years ago. Oh well at least he didn’t try and tackle a streaker.

Strangely, Mark Latham has been taken out of the attack, and he’s not impressed. It looks like he’s been replaced with one of the ‘Glimmer Twins’, Wayne Swan. Many people see Swan as a future national captain, but then up in Queensland they’re still miffed that Robbie Kerr never got the C. Swan is a slow-medium bowler, he’s a rare practitioner of the old art of the mullygrubber, which I haven’t seen in action since my days at primary school. This is a daring tactic by Crean, he’s obviously decided to combat this watchful batting with some equally colourless bowling, the ole fight fire retardant with fire retardant strategy.

Howard braces as Swan comes in, he prods forward and guides the ball to mid on, but decides against the run, Costello gives him a dry smirk from the other end. Yes, there was at least one in that before Macklin scooped up the ball.

Well while it’s slow-going here, let’s update you about the action off the field; where it’s all been happening in the dressing rooms. Earlier we had trouble when fiery quick Bill Heffernan did not take too kindly when he spotted Christopher Pyne and young batting prodigy Brendan Nelson indulging in a ‘male bonding exercise’.

Well turning to resident cricket psychologist Ronald McQuack, who’s recent book: ‘Shane Warne: What a Goose’ is on sale at all major book outlets. Can you explain the incident?

“Well the Heff was not too impressed at this game of thumb-wrestling. He’d always suspected that Nelson was a bit sus, what with that earring and all. For the Heff this sort of conduct is unbefitting of a dressing room of such high-repute. Brown paper-bags are fine, surely that’s just a packed lunch from Mum, but when you start permitting the twisting of thumbs that’s a major slippery slope. You know how it is in this permissive society, you allow them to wrestle thumbs, next thing you now they’ll be erotically sucking thumbs and ring-fingers, next it will be nude Twister.

“Now wise Bill doesn’t want to see the Aussie Tory 11 emulating the behaviour of those decadent Tories in the UK, they’ve being going downhill since the Rule Britannica years of Thatcher. He’d already expressed similar reservations to management about the amount of fruit that Alexander Downer brought into the dressing room, but was told not to worry. However, Bill has remained vigilant in case those fishnet stockings reappear.”

Well following this, the fallout resulted in Bill making a hole with his Clive-Lloyd sized cricket bat, you might recall that this room had already felt the wrath of Cronje a couple of years back. Well let’s just say it’s going to need more than a coat of paint after those couple of swings, maybe the cricket trust will advertise the room as a renovator’s dream.

We in the commentary box haven’t seen Heffernan this angry since he caught one of his teammates reading ‘Portrait of Dorian Gray’ during a lengthy rain intermission. And we can now update viewers that Bill was last seen storming out of the dressing room on his way to his car, making some cryptic comment about looking for ‘rough trade’.

This leaves a little bit of a hole in the Liberals fearsome pace attack. Peter Slipper and Erica Abetz will now be called upon to intimidate the batsmen. But Santo Santoro is also known as a master of the bean ball, and he’s been drafted in as a late replacement after Ross Lightfoot received a suspension for his black crumpet comments after being run-out in an exhibition game against the ATSIC eleven. We hear Santoro has been putting some hard work in the nets, practicing his new extended run-up against his custom-made, ABC-logo-shaped set of stumps, This could come back to haunt Lightfoot, who’ll have to fight to get his spot back. But you know he’ll be crankier than Curtley Ambrose with his sweat-bands removed, if he’s given the new ball in the upcoming World Cup matches.

Meanwhile, in the adjacent dressing room, leg-spinner and twelfth man Andrew Theophanous also seems unable to escape the media spotlight. First there was that controversy a couple of weeks ago when it was revealed that Theophanous had given ‘weather conditions’ to an Indian bookmaker. But we can now reveal allegations just in that Theophanous has been sending crude SMS messages to several women overseas. Maybe he’s a little envious of Graham Richardson, who had such a marked success with the ladies.

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