Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Idler, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cricket tsunami threatens

CRICKET in England could be struck by a tsunami of barbarism as the administrators seek to eliminate the intricacies of the game and reach out to potential spectators who at present know and care nothing about cricket.

Vic Marks, writing in The Guardian, says the 100-ball format of the game – "The Hundred" - being currently punted could mean the end of the County Championship, the T20 Blast, the One-Day Cup and the Women's Super League.

"The England and Wales Cricket Board has achieved the difficult feat of bringing English cricket into broad agreement. Almost everyone thinks its idea stinks, whether they're from Middlesex, Surrey, Lancashire or any one of the four corners of Yorkshire, whether they love T20 or Tests. The most enthusiastic responses run to lukewarm caution."

Horrors! May the idea never spread here. Many of us have reservations as it is about T20 cricket. It's just a little too like baseball for comfort.

Now it seems they've dreamed up something even worse in England.



LAST week I mentioned that my old musician mate Smelly Fellows has adopted the nom-de-guerre Maloliente, meaning "Smelly".


However, I wrongly presumed that this was Italian. Smelly/Maloliente now tells me it's Spanish. The Italian for "Smelly" is "Puzzolente", he says.


He signs his missive "Le Droch Fhaileadh" , which he says is Scottish Gaelic (and I presume also means "Smelly").


Smelly/Maloliente/Puzzolente/Le Droch Fhaileadh … Ah yes, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.



Colour confusion


INVESTMENT analyst Dr James Greener joins me, in his latest grumpy newsletter, in deploring the lack of colour contrast in Super Rugby.

In the Sharks' most recent match – a night game under lights – they were in black, the Stormers were in a blue that showed up as nearly black and the ref, for good measure, was in Episcopalian purple.

I caught a glimpse on TV of the Bulls against the Rebels. Both sides were in only slightly different shades of blue – jerseys and shorts.

As Greener puts it: "My ageing eyes increasingly find it hard to distinguish the teams and there are clearly occasions when the pass goes to the opposition, so the players are also bamboozled.

"At the very least one side should be in different coloured shorts. And who at the Bulls game, when the two sides were in hues of blue, thought that putting the ref in mauve was sensible?"

Yep, it's totally weird




READER Geoff Caruth points out (correctly) that "Ulster" is not quite another name for Northern Ireland, as I said last week.

Three of the counties of the ancient province of Ulster are in the Republic of Ireland, the remaining six in Northern Ireland.

Yes, I used the term a bit loosely in the context of Brexit and the Northern Ireland border that is tormenting Prime Minister Theresa May. She relies for a majority in the House of Commons on the support of the Ulster Unionists, who are directly affected by that border.


Long stretch

A JUVENILE detention centre employee in Brownsville, Texas, stole fajitas – a spicy Mexican food delicacy – worth $1.2 million (R14m) over nine years.

Gilberto Escamilla would order the fajitas on the centre's behalf but, when they were delivered, would sell them on himself.

He was caught out when he took a day off for a medical appointment and a fajita supplier phoned to confirm an order of 400kg, according to Sky News.

"Escamilla" – the name seems to have "scam" built into it. He got 50 years in jail.

Longer stretch

THE US courts don't pussyfoot around. The Supreme Court has just rejected the appeal of a man sentenced to 241 years in prison for crimes he committed when he was 16, according to the BBC.

Bobby Bostic committed several violent crimes in 1995, including armed robbery, but his lawyers argued his sentence was unconstitutional.

They cited the Eighth Amendment, which forbids "cruel and unusual punishments" and demanded a retrial, but in vain.

The teenage Bostic had robbed people delivering Christmas presents at gunpoint, shot and injured a man and stolen a car.

Yet nobody died. It does seem harsh. Bostic will not be eligible for parole until he's 112.


WHAT'S furry, has whiskers and catches outlaws?

A posse cat.


Last word

THE oboe is an ill wind that nobody blows good. – Groucho Marx

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