Monday, 14 May 2012

I played cricket.

I love cricket. Wait. Don't close your fucking browser. Just because you don't like cricket doesn't mean you won't enjoy this blog. Incidentally, why don't you like cricket? Oh. Your father was killed by an irate wicket keeper? Right. Well, in that case I apologise. I completely understand if you want to close your browser. Again, sorry. Yep. Bye.

Awkward! Yes, I love cricket. I love watching it and a lot of my favourite childhood memories involve me playing it. At night, before I go to sleep, I often picture myself bowling excellent deliveries. That is of course after I've had my customary 4 hour shagging session so, you know, I'm still cool.

Yesterday I played my first ever proper cricket game and it turns out I'm shit at it. I knew I wouldn't be brilliant but I didn't think I'd be shit. For a couple of years I played cricket every night after school and I seem to remember being quite good at it. I'm sure I was. I think I remember being reasonably handy with the bat and I distinctly remember taking a good few wickets. It was only yesterday when I was clean bowled on my third delivery that I remembered that 95% of that childhood cricket had been played with a tennis ball, a pile of bags for stumps, a twelve year old and an eight year old.

A few months ago a friend mentioned that he had played a couple of games for a cricket team. Quickly, I asked if he thought I could be involved. He kindly put me in touch with the team's hierarchy. Cricket is definitely a sport I can excel at, I thought. Now was the chance for me to show it. In the back of my head I've honestly assumed that had I gone to one of them posh schools what I'm always hearing about and had had the right coaching and determination - I could have played for England. Last week I found out that there was a place for me in the team for their first fixture of the season. Off I went to buy full cricket whites. I tried them on. Gosh, I looked good. I looked like a real cricketer.

So there I was yesterday morning taking part in fielding practice in Battersea Park. I looked around at my teammates. Hang on. Some of them look like they might be a bit good and that bloke just used some lingo I'm not familiar with. What's that? He's bowling overarm? Steady on!

The game began and after a fairly poor start from our team I found myself walking out to bat. One of the opposing team's fielders piped up with... "He looks nervous". Perceptive prick. The first delivery comes. What the...? The guy bowls quicker than the 12 year olds I remember facing! I hit it. Yes! I hit it! I mean, it's not gone very far but I hit it. Just a few minutes to get my eye in and I'll be off. The second delivery whizzes past me and I take a swipe at it that for all I know was five feet from the ball. Ok. Ok. Calm down. Focus. Third delivery... watch the ball, watch the ball. Yes. That's in the zone. The Fergus Craig hitting zone. I'm gonna belt this. Thunk. I'm out. Out and not proud. Embarrassed.

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon standing in the field. Every 20 minutes or so the ball would come near me and I'd do everything I could to look like a knew what the fuck I was doing. Most of the time I looked like a mum joining in a family cricket game. I pondered how I'd look back on this day. Hey! Remember that time I decided I was going to play cricket? You know, I went and bought a full cricket outfit. Will I ever be cool, mum? Will I?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ironic racism.

Sssshhh. I'm not really writing. I'm just pretending to write so that the man on the scaffolding outside my window thinks I'm writing. Last week I found myself in a situation where there was a man fitting a window in my living room and I was watching Neighbours on a television screen directly beside him. I think the testosterone deficiency I felt at that moment very nearly led my balls to shrink up inside my body and spit out a vagina.

Since I'm pretending to write I might as well actually write. Here goes. Prepare for something insightful...

One of my favourite pastimes is ironic racism. I first discovered it at about the age of fifteen.  Here's the idea... safe in the knowledge that neither you or the person you are talking to is racist you find humour in saying the most absurdly racist statements. At the age of fifteen this was as close as I got to taking drugs. The sheer thrill of saying something so outrageous and yet feeling that you could intellectually defend it was incredible. Faced with an offended black person I'm not sure I could have defended it actually...

"No, no, you don't get it. You see the difference is I realise what I'm saying is racist and I'm not racist. That's what makes it so funny. No? Why aren't you laughing?"

Now, let me make something clear. There was a limit to how far I'd go with my ironic racism. I wasn't ironically voting BNP and ironically smashing up curry houses. I did probably go too far though. Many many teenage, usually geeky, boys discover the ironic racism high and experiment with it. I think what happens is that each generation thinks they've discovered it and thinks that they are so clever. The giddiness that this new drug gives them leads them into areas they should probably best steer clear of.

I went through a stage of making jokes about the holocaust. It just seemed like the most shocking thing I could possibly make jokes about and was therefore the funniest and most thrilling. The problem was that if you stripped what I was saying down it was difficult to find any irony at all. Although it wasn't my intention, all I was really doing was laughing at the holocaust. Not pretty.

I'm still partial to the odd bit of ironic racism but I think I have a much better understanding of it's power now. That said, that last sentence scares me; the admission that I still partake from time to time. It's fair to say that the posting of this blog will probably prevent me from ever running for high political office. It's pretty obvious that Cameron and Osbourne went through a bit of a cokey phase in their 20s but that's not stopped them getting where they are. But if there was a record of them admitting to racism, ironic or otherwise, they wouldn't have got anywhere. In a court of law irony, I suspect, is not a defence either. So should it be a defence in real life?

Fucking hell. I'm starting to sweat now. I'm finding it hard to defend ironic racism at all. I may have to give it up completely. What about my other vices? Ironic sexism, homophobia and cat murder? Do I have to give those up to? How does one ween themselves off this shit? Please don't ever take ironic rudeness away from me. Nothing gives me more pleasure than responding to a sincere compliment with a simple 'Fuck off'.