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Last updated on July 12th, 2017 at 10:47 am

This week: three mini-columns.

UPDATE. US reader Daniel F. emails: “Shhh. Don’t blow our cover. We’re working on the secret plan to spring a humiliating cricket sweep on the rest of the world. The cover name for the project is ‘Guantanamo’.”

UPDATE II. A note from Bonney Lake’s Tim Smith: “I’m just finishing a biography of Babe Ruth (Leigh Montville’s The Big Bam). There’s an interesting story in there about Babe’s first exposure to cricket during his 1935 trip to London.” Extract follows:

He made a well-publicized trip to a cricket grounds on the banks of the Thames. Fitted with leg pads and handed a cricket bat, Ruth went to work. Two fast bowlers bounced the red ball at him off the green grass, and the Babe started swinging. He had trouble with the cricket stance, switched to his baseball stance, and did fine. The red balls started flying around the grounds.

“I wish I could have him a fortnight,” former Australian star Alan Fairfax said. “I could make one of the world’s greatest batsmen out of him.”

The Babe vetoed that idea when he learned that the top cricket players earned about $40 a week.

“At his prime, Babe was making about $80,000 per year.

“I just thought this was interesting and possibly relevant to the idea of US cricket being competitive anytime in our lifetimes. I believe the best US athletes would most likely be attracted to the higher salaries in baseball, etc. I think Australia’s dominance is in no danger, from the US at any rate.”

Posted by Tim B. on 12/28/2007 at 06:49 PM
    1. Tracee’s words apply better to herself. She’s pathetic.

      Posted by genius on 2007 12 28 at 07:10 PM • permalink


    1. The best use of Williamson to date was when Australian Rugby used him as a head on a stick and sat him adjacent the field pre All Black Test so he could sing Waltzing Matilda as a counter to the Haka.

      Posted by mehaul on 2007 12 28 at 07:26 PM • permalink


    1. “Old Man Emu was No. 1 on the charts in 1970, when I was five; a generation is forever scarred”

      When I decided to move to Australia, a well-meaning friend gave me a mix-tape (anyone remember mix-tapes?) featuring mainly John Williamson and John Farnham songs.  Plus “Australiana” by Austen Tayshus.  Three times, so I could “get” the words.  “This is what Australians all listen to.”

      I almost didn’t come.

      Maybe that would work for would-be “asylum seekers”?

      Posted by spot_the_dog on 2007 12 28 at 07:27 PM • permalink


    1. Rudd may well have many other reasons to keep the long bald one out of the spotlight.

      After all he does want to give it back.

      Posted by Dave Wane on 2007 12 28 at 07:39 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t think anyone goes away unscarred from a listen to Williamson. True Blue must be the most cringe worthy song ever recorded in Australia.

      Imre Saluzinsky (I think it was Imre) once did a funny piece sending up the overdone Aussie accents of Williamson and Macca (of “..on a Sunday” fame), having them revert to inner city lovie-accents when talking privately during commercial breaks.

      Posted by Francis H on 2007 12 28 at 07:57 PM • permalink


    1. Francis H, mustn’t blaspheme Macca!  One of my elderly neighbours’ claim-to-fame is that once she was on Macca’s “Australia All Over” in a “Why I Live Where I Live” segment.  She has it on tape and recently prevailed upon a grandson to transfer it to a CD, to preserve it for time immemorial.

      Posted by spot_the_dog on 2007 12 28 at 08:06 PM • permalink


    1. Garrett’s old friend Tracee Hutchison, in The Age, was distraught: “I don’t think I know you any more . . . I’m just not sure where to start . . . I just don’t know who you are any more.”

      She’s always getting her tits in a tangle about something.

      After all he does want to give it back.

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      Posted by kae on 2007 12 28 at 08:14 PM • permalink


    1. Does everyone in the office call you “Tripod”, Tim?

      Posted by andycanuck on 2007 12 28 at 08:22 PM • permalink


    1. In more Inspiring News for the Australian Music Industry, Kylie Minogue gets an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List published today.  (More importantly, so does Barbara Broccoli, who created the musical stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

      Posted by spot_the_dog on 2007 12 28 at 08:31 PM • permalink


    1. Did someone here just send me an email? Just checking before I reply.

      Posted by kae on 2007 12 28 at 09:36 PM • permalink


    1. 10 kae

      NO, I didn’t.

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 12 28 at 10:08 PM • permalink


    1. #10 nope.

      Posted by spot_the_dog on 2007 12 28 at 10:19 PM • permalink


    1. “First he indicated the Government wouldn’t oppose that controversial Tasmanian pulp mill in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, then last week Garrett approved the dredging of Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay shipping channels.”

      Haw! Give him a couple of months and he’ll be offering bounties for platypus hides and turning Ayers Rock into kitchen counter-tops.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 28 at 10:32 PM • permalink


    1. P.J. O’Rourke reviews Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. . . . comedy gold!

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 28 at 10:47 PM • permalink


    1. When things go wrong in a Muslim country, there’s only one thing to do.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 29 at 12:05 AM • permalink


    1. #10

      Yes kae, it was me.

      Thanks for the reply.


      Posted by Dave Wane on 2007 12 29 at 12:26 AM • permalink


    1. ”…placed him out of harm’s way by naming Penny Wong as Climate Change Minister….”

      Penny wong’s official title as ‘Minister for Climate Change and Water’, is an example of labyrinthine Orwellian “double think” and “Newspeak” (the method for controlling thought through language) i.e. by using the title we are tacitly accepting that the climate can be controlled by government legislation and taxation.

      “For by using the word (or phrase) one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.” (1984).

      Posted by chrisgo on 2007 12 29 at 02:48 AM • permalink


    1. #17 – yes, it implies (a) that it is happening, and (b) that the minister can do something about it.
      #8 – Andy, there is a minister in our NSW state government, of Italian extraction I believe, named Joe Tripodi. That alone would have done it, but when combined with (probably quite baseless) rumours of him being fond of the ladies, it was inevitable that he got the nickname Tripod.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2007 12 29 at 03:16 AM • permalink


    1. Tripod?

      Well, I reckon Tim’ll be smiling as long as they don’t call him tripe.

      I had a boyf once, nicknamed Tripod.

      Posted by kae on 2007 12 29 at 03:29 AM • permalink


    1. #19 Kae,

      I would have thought if you’d had a boyfriend nicknamed Tripod, you’d have tried to have him more than once.

      Posted by Pogria on 2007 12 29 at 04:43 AM • permalink


    1. He thought of himself as a bit of a stud.

      So I got him a Tee Shirt.

      In big writing there was


      above it in a smaller font was the word “press”

      He loved it.

      Posted by kae on 2007 12 29 at 04:47 AM • permalink


    1. Oh Kae……………..

      Posted by surfmaster on 2007 12 29 at 05:15 AM • permalink


    1. Tripod? Been watching Coupling re-runs? And yes, I think we’ll be glad to capitulate to Australia’s (or anyone else’s) cricket mastery.

      Posted by rightwingprof on 2007 12 29 at 08:44 AM • permalink


    1. Interesting note about Babe Ruth. I saw the same anecdote in Robert Creamer’s biography of the Bambino.

      What’s especially interesting is that in 1935, Ruth had just retired from baseball, after his disastrous final season with the Boston Braves. He was washed up, unable to get around on the fast ball any more. No doubt he hoped to hook up with another team, which is why he made his remark, or maybe he was just being polite. But if Alan Fairfax said that about Ruth in 1935, I can only imagine what he would have thought had he seen Ruth in his prime.

      Posted by Urbs in Horto on 2007 12 29 at 11:20 AM • permalink


  1. #14 – Thanks for that link, paco. P.J. O’Rourke is my Brad/Denzel/Matthew. He’s the reason I have Weekly Standard bookmarked…so how’d I miss this column!!!

    Anyway, thanks, you’ve made a miserable weekend much easier to bear.

    Also, to keep some sort of connection to the original post (distant though it may be)—GO PADRES!

    Posted by KC on 2007 12 29 at 06:36 PM • permalink