An off topic with a difference! Join us for fun and games with slightly cheekier tone than the rest of the forum!
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By Victor Johnston
Back in the day such was my youthful exuberance and enthusiasm, that even during the festive season, off I'd go to the local park with stumps & ball in hand to practice! Then one particular clear and cool Christmas Eve' I had a surprise visitor..

A Cricketing Christmas Cracker !

As I roved out one 24th of December
in my possession, as I well remember
an old cricket ball to practice my bowling
much more engaging, than simply strolling!

Now bear in mind 'twas Christmas eve
just what occurred, you'll barely believe,
but listen intently, my earnest entreat
this story is true, bereft of deceit!

When in position and ready to go
I heard a gregarious laugh and hearty, 'Hello '
then from out of the shadows, suddenly appeared
a gigantic man, sporting a flowing white beard?

Slung over his shoulder, a most massive cloth sack
which he set on the ground, from off his broad back
and from within he withdrew, a new cricket bat
as nervously I pondered, what was he doing with that?

He spoke to me saying, "Please Sir if you would,
throw me that ball and I'll break in this wood,"
so I ran back and bowled at a very fast pace
at this impostor so alike, the late W.G. Grace?

And for all that I knew, he may of well been?
He was simply the best, I'd ever seen,
a talented fellow, dressed in red and white
who hit every ball with timing and dynamic might!

Then after our game and the bat well broke in
he said, " Well bowled but next time try spin!
Alas, now I must go, no longer to tarry,
thanks for the game and have a Christmas merry!

For tonight many chimneys, I will descend
as on me, little children, hope and depend!
So please take this new bat, a present for you
as well as these parcels, for your good family too!

And just before I leave, may I further say this
never lose faith, in the spirit of Christmas!
For a little imagination is good for the soul
and what's more, can turn dull brass into pure gold! "

He bade me farewell and with a whimsical wink
instantly disappeared, quicker than an eye blink,
so I set off for home and as it began to snow
far off in the distance, a voice boomed out... "Merry Christmas, Ho,ho, ho "  :oops:
Last edited by Victor Johnston on Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Victor Johnston
It's not that long ago when the all conquering Australian side seemed invincible,
though nowadays a pale shadow of their former selves, reduced to accusing their
opponents of cheating cause one guy was seen sucking a boiled sweet ?

Dearie me, how the mighty have fallen...

Ode to Arthur

They came from the land down under,
where woman whinge and men blunder
dressed in yellow, donning baggy green caps,
a touring team of cocksure chaps
each six foot plus and full of muscle,
they'd journeyed far to pillage and rustle

Their coach a moustachioed man named Rod,
a kind of loud, abrasive sod
stood on his soapbox and appealed,
his likely lads were unbeaten on the field
his bowlers fast like Thommo and Lilly,
his batsmen made others look rather silly

And so it proved to be no idle boast,
they vanquished all from coast to coast
with county sides they wiped the boards,
and even stuffed the M.C.C. at Lords
then just a week before the first test,
they boarded a boat and duly sailed west

Their first port of call a country pub,
who's landlord Arthur sponsored a cricket club
himself the chairman of that team,
on recognising his patrons, began to scheme
' would you fine men consider a game,
against our village side? ' He did proclaim

At first they scoffed at his bold address,
considering it a pointless, no contest
Preoccupied, lapping up the liquid black,
like thirsty dingos from the outback
But Arthur was not the least put out,
offering the winners gallons of free stout

The temptation proved much to great
as up spoke Rod, ' good on ya mate
let's get it on straight after lunch,'
then downed a pint with a stiff rum punch
So at two o'clock on a pleasant day,
two sides faced off and began to play

The touring skipper called the toss,
bowling first in hope he'd be back on the sauce
and yes they bowled at lightening pace,
but most deliveries went all over the place
sundries aplenty kept the scoreboard moving,
as Rod looked on so disapproving

Soon one hundred on the board,
even though both batsmen had hardly scored
they turned to spin and a guy named Shane,
but this caused Rod even more pain
as though it turned it must be said,
every ball was short and pitched outside leg

With two hundred runs easily accrued,
the home side declared, Rod now subdued
when his opening batsman took guard,
the umpire remarked, 'towards you a yard'
and on receipt of the first red cherry,
he swiped and missed, no more to tarry

So began a limp procession,
ten hapless batsmen dismissed in similar fashion
no player reached double figures
and with each wicket, louder grew the sniggers
and as for Rod such was the disgrace,
his coiffed moustache fell from his red face

As his rambunctious side began to chunder,
Rod resigned and returned down under
bypassed the poms conceding the test series,
as to why there's lots of theories
the secret known only on the Emerald Isle,
where a landlord pours a pint with a smile?  :lol

( chunder...Aussie slang for vomit )
Last edited by Victor Johnston on Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Victor Johnston
Got the idea for this one from Lewis Carroll's classic Father Ted...

You are old skipper !

Said a precocious nipper, to his experienced skipper;

"You are old yet still a cunning critter,
a very handy hitter, you never miss a sitter,
over point a classy chipper, of the pads a crafty clipper!
And you bowl a deadly dipper, a floating flipper,
mixed with the odd, rotating ripper,
the batsmen's knees tremble and jitter,
when you run in patter-pitter,
the only sound a little titter,
as you release that stealth, stump splitter
to claim another five for, or double hat-tricker!
Not forgetting you are a serial, specialist first slipper,
a great fielder, catcher, grabber, gripper!
Pray tell, what makes you such an all round, cracking cricketer? "

Replied the experienced skipper, to the precocious nipper;

"Now listen very carefully, young snapper-whipper!
Time is much too precious, to throw away or fritter,
for if you choose to wander, or simply be a quitter
you'll end up on the shelf like a moldy kipper
so here are my proven tips, from an expert tipper!
Practice makes perfect and helps get you fitter,
so don't lay around too long, tweeting on that twitter
sending silly messages, by electronic transmitter!
Avoid smoking, or risk being a cougher and a spitter
though a social beer is recommended, or a pint of bitter
but don't go the way of many and become a steady sipper,
throwing away good money as you would the litter!
Find a supportive wife, who does not nag or nitter,
enjoys cricket, is domesticated, a thrifty sewer, stitcher, knitter,
don't fall for the first, who flashes long lashes with a flirtatious flitter!
Finally, enjoy the game and your career will surely glitter,
but remember, the umpire is the adjudicator, judge, jury, the sole arbiter,
his decision is final, so please, no back chat or silly chitter

And if you prove yourself, someday my son...You shall be the skipper! "  :shock:


( Although not specifically about cricket the great game does get a venerable mention within) !

Who am I ?

I am within without, here there and everywhere,
Unseen by naked eye, just as the pure thin air
Blow cold north wind that heralds winter snow,
Then beckon at spring lambs, to leap up high and go
Bring forth the summer sun in most resplendent ray,
When green leaf slowly fades, remind swallow to fly away.

Will on the mighty bird to fly free on the wing
Uplift the souls of weary folk, when little children sing
Inspire the spawning salmon not to relent the fight,
Against the raging current, with journey's end in sight
Returning to that brook, where was its place of birth,
To procreate the seed, then die in happy mirth.

Darwin spoke of theory to figure a solution,
How life formed singularly, the precede of evolution
But I've been here from time immemorial, before all life began
The plants, the creatures and the ape, he said turned into man
No doubt he was a scholar of much vaunted pedigree,
Though at life's end was heard to say, 'I believe in thee!"

I spur on the ailing chick to break the hard, encasing shell,
Awaken sleeping bear, with spring's sweet,enticing smell
Paint the colour in the flowers that captivate the bee
Aid the tiny acorn to grow into a massive tree
Which in turn provides haven and sanctuary
to many wondrous creatures, that dwell within its canopy.

Encourage new born baby, to cry aloud with zest
As mother draws up lovingly,to nurture from her breast
With bowler and the batsman, opposed in sporting rivalry
Who later sit together and enjoy each other's camaraderie
I march with gallant soldier, to answer his country's call
And serenely he shall walk with me, if in battle he should fall.

Many acclaim me as the Creator, or other names of merit,
Though often people refer to me, as Mother Nature's eternal Spirit!  :violin:


Beware a black duck !

Once upon a midnight eerie,
while I pondered weak and weary,
over volumes of old score books dreary,
from the season past and before,
while I nodded nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping
as if someone a gently rapping,
rapping at my front door?
Tis some late caller, my presume
rapping at my front door?
Only this and nothing more.

Ah distinctly I remember,
the cricket all over as was September
and at my fire-side,
flames cast shadows o'er the floor
eagerly I wished the morrow,
for these books brought only sorrow
sorrow as no runs did I score,
not this season nor none before
by my name a zero, a duck,
always this and nothing more!

Again the tapping at my door,
tapping, rapping as before
terror gripped me, nerves all tore,
so now I stood there, heart fast beating,
wondering who was entreating,
entrance at my door,
or maybe just the wind, maybe this
and nothing more?

Presently my soul grew stronger,
hesitating no longer "Sir or Madame,
truly your forgiveness I implore"!
But the fact is I was napping,
when you came rapping
scarcely so, I heard your tapping,
tapping at my front door,
so now I open, only darkness, nothing more !

Deep into this darkness I stood peering,
wondering and fearing
doubting dreams, no mortals dared dream before
and the silence was unbroken,
the stillness gave no token
was there outside a ghostly apparition?
For what I heard, lent to my suspicion,
as when meekly, I inquired,
" somday by my name, a decent score"?
Came back the echo, "Nevermore"!

Back into my room quickly turning,
all my soul within me burning
yet still the tapping,
even louder than before,
again though not certain,
next a rustle at my curtain
then tapping more profane,
now upon my window pane
this mystery I must explore,
pray only my imagination and nothing more!

Quickly, I flung back the shutter
and without fuss or flutter,
in stepped a stately black duck,
from the saintly days of yore,
not the least embarrassed was he,
what business did he want with me?
Jumped down upon my settee, then onto the floor,
standing there and staring,
with beady eyes towards me, glaring,
said I unto the fowl, "What is thy name" ?
Quacked back the duck, "Nevermore"!

Then I thought is he a prophet
come to warn me, time to stop it?
So closer towards him I did draw,
"Tell me now duck, don't be a bore"!
Even closer reclining, thinking and divining,
"Will a century I ever score"?
Quacked back the duck, "Nevermore"!

Ah, this bird he made me furious
but still, I grew more curious,
was he some tempter sent to tempt me
This duck I was beginning to abhor?
Again I engaged it into guessing,
towards the brute, expressing,
"Shall a fifty be mine to score"?
Quacked back it again, "Nevermore"!

Crazy yet more crazy I was going
but I had to keep knowing,
"Quaff oh Quaff, tell this
and don't say, Nevermore!
Take thy bill from my heart's core
and thy form out the door,
leave me for it is late,
dare not stop to close the gate!
And just before you go; "
Is it a duck, I'm ever destined to score? "

"Quack oh Quack" replied he, " You're spot on there mate"
  then left me to lament for now and evermore!  :brickwall:


(This is a parody on the great Edgar Allen Poe classic 'The Raven' substituting Poe's macabre Raven for an equally macabre 'Duck' which haunts a miserable batsman late one night as he sits alone pondering to himself why season after season he fails to score any runs?)

Happy new year all  :dance:
Last edited by Victor Johnston on Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Victor Johnston
The Dawn of a New Season..

As the cricket season draweth near
winter doldrums become small beer,
players and officials most revere
search for crumpled whites and dusty gear,
the great fraternity from hibernation reappear
as an awakening bear, stern, austere,
then imbue each other's speculative ear
with imponderables intended sincere,
like prophets gazing into crystal sphere
their curiosity doth blend and cohere,
long before a ball is bowled cavalier
or struck back eagerly without fear..

Will the sun from a blue background adhere
to shine warm, bright and clear
what team will lift the cup in cheer,
or sit proudly atop summit of premier
which bowler, batsman will domineer
top the averages for incoming year,
long into the night shall they persevere
to confabulate like Edward Lear?
But all must wait patiently to hear
from common man to noble peer
as father time rows forward at steady steer
in pearly craft of gilded veneer
like almighty celestial gondolier,
indeed let's pray almighty hand of zenith tier
shall never bowl a ball ending his career,
for consequence would be severe
as both you, me and the universe
into a black-hole, would instantaneously disappear!  :flamed: 
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By Victor Johnston
Even the most cordial and gentle of folk can morph into someone rather unpleasant when at the crease...

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

Jekyll and Hyde could not confide
Neither agree nor abide
Not two men but one of a kind
Each lived within the other's mind

Jekyll a doctor and gentleman
Do for you and me all that he can,
But Mr Hyde is not so nice
Opens his mouth, not thinking twice

One did enjoy a game of cricket
Though did not last long at the wicket
He made a potion, a kind of tonic,
To help him stay there, turn bionic

From the bottle he took a swig
No time to use a guinea pig,
Thus Hyde was born, the story goes
Hairy eyebrows, crooked nose.

He dare not wait, had to play
Off to the pitch, he raced away
Out in the middle, pads, gloves and bat
Took his guard, then coughed and spat

But all did not go, according to plan
For this rude, obnoxious man
He swung and missed at each ball
Each time to the Umpire, "Wide!" did call

The bowler then bounced one in short
Again to the umpire, Hyde did retort
"Call no ball; it is a disgrace
He clearly meant to hit my face!"

Next ball was fast, full and true
hit his pad, LBW and he knew
the appeal was loud, regards Mr Hyde
though he gauldered, "Pitched out leg-side!"

The effects of the brew, then disappeared
Back Dr Jekyll, so revered
Observing still, the pointing finger
About the crease he did not linger

As he departed, those poignant blue eyes
Looked towards the umpire to apologise,
Then made his way, without refrain
To pour that tonic down the drain
And thank goodness, Mr Hyde, never appeared again!!  :brickwall:

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By Victor Johnston
A 'senior' bachelor bowler at our cricket club failed to see the error of his ways often bemoaning why he was going wicketless for around 15 per over per game? I suggested he get himself down to Monday evening net practice for once in his life and sort out his line & length problems, whereupon he briskly retorted;

" If I were to do that my evening tea dishes would not get washed tiil Tuesday"

You couldn't make it up...Could you ? Though all these years later, perhaps such absurdity was not lost on me........

The Catch !

Standing lonesome and pitiful,
far out by the boundary rope
the day was really beginning to drag
and I was fast losing hope,
I'd failed again with the bat,
yet another calamity
and now I'm watching fluffy clouds pass by,
oh dear, woe is me!

Why did I not invent a paltry excuse,
call or send a text
informing him I could not play,
even though he would be vexed?
Like my second cousin once removed is visiting,
or the cat's not well
but our skipper is a shrewd old bird
and a rat he'd easily smell!

Now don't take me wrong or get confused,
I do enjoy the game
but lately I have been faltering and really,
I've only myself to blame,
as despite his protestations,
I think weekly practice on the whole
is boring so I don?t attend,
that's probably why I never get on to bowl!

Goodness gracious a wicket down,
Geeves has got one to nip back
not a bad effort I suppose,
though perhaps it hit a crack?
My o my he's done it again,
their big hitter has played all around
and now he's taking the long walk,
returning to the visitor?s compound!

But it won't make any difference,
they'll easily overtake our score
although the skipper and young Endicott,
battled as if they were in a war,
they got us to some sort of total,
though hard for me to observe
gee-whiz the skippers bowled his counterpart,
boy, he's got some nerve!

Despite these minor triumphs,
their joviality is mere parole
as this alacrity won't last long,
old Tobias is on to bowl,
I know the old duffer enjoys his cricket,
but it really is a joke
he's getting on in years though I admit,
still a sprightly bloke!

Panic must be setting in a dolly missed,
the ball hits middle stump
then another LBW, two run outs, a stumping,
old Tobias has got the hump,
but they only need a few to win then I'll get home,
ending this servitude
Ah a mighty whack, now that ball is travelling like a rocket,
gaining altitude!

But what goes up must come down,
is more than a clich?
though and behold that leather cherry,
is now fast falling my way,
as I watch it descend,
an ethereal transition overcomes my mind
time slows up and within those elongated seconds,
no longer am I blind!

Like a soothsayer I clearly see my teammates,
through an inward eye
my skipper's fortitude, leading by example
no team of his shall simply 'Die'
and there's Geeves and Endicott, neither born with silver spoon
a proud father and his son, straining every sinew,
each Saturday afternoon!

Finally I see Tobias, a decorated old soldier,
who knew much worldly strife
each week he looks forward to a game
now long since retired from army life,
then instantly this time portal disappears,
I?m back waiting for the catch
and as the ball lands firmly within my eager grasp,
I can't wait for next week's match!  :caffine:
Last edited by Victor Johnston on Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Victor Johnston
The age old attritional battle between batsman and bowler pits the antagonists together in a deadly personnal duel, like two gunfighters at the O.K coral and only one will be victorious..

Why don't you sing along ?

' Big Wood '

To a cricket club in Lurgan rode a stranger one fine day
only spoke with the skipper, didn't have too much to say
No one dared to ask his business no one dared to make a quip
For the stranger there among them had a big wood by his hip
Big wood by his hip

It was early in the morning when he rode into the town
He came riding from the south side slowly lookin' all around
He's an outlaw running loose came the whisper from each lip
And he's here to do business with the big wood by his hip
Big wood by his hip

The opposition had a pacey bowler known as Nasty Ned
Many batsmen had tried to hit him but their stumps got spread
He was fast and he was vicious though a youth of twenty four
And his wickets tally numbered one and ninety more
One and ninety more

Now the stranger started talking made it plain to folks around
Was a former player who wouldn't be too long in town
He came here to put some manners into a bowlers head
Said he'd do it off the first ball, bowled by Nasty Ned
Bowled by Nasty Ned

Wasn't long before the story was relayed to Nasty Ned
But the bowler didn't worry men before had froze like lead
Ninety one had tried to take him ninety one had made a blip
Ninety two would be the stranger with the big wood by his hip
Big wood by his hip

Wickets soon fell quickly but the stranger did not twitch
And by twenty past eleven he walked out on the pitch
Folks were watching from the pavillion, sure he'd get struck
For they knew this handsome stranger was another sitting duck
Another sitting duck

There were 22 yards between them when the umpire called out play
And the timing of the stranger is still talked about today
Nasty Ned barely had cleared leather fore the stranger walked down the strip
Sending the ball far over the boundary with the big wood by his hip
Big wood by his hip

It was over in a flicker and the folks all gasped aloud
As they watched the ball go hurtling, then disappear into a cloud
Nasty Ned was taken off, knowing he'd made a fatal slip
When he tried to bounce the stranger with the big wood by his hip
Big wood by his hip

Big wood Big wood, when he tried to bounce the stranger with the big wood by his hip  :sus:

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