Friday, January 8, 2010

Leaving Africa (Or: Why Cricket is a Stupid Sport)

Whoever the hell thinks baseball is boring, needs to bloody well watch cricket. Seriously now. When Raphael went on and on about the need to understand what crumpet was before you knew what cricket was, I thought he was just giving Casey Jones a hard time – but having watched part of a game on TV today, I can say in all honesty that this is the stupidest, most ridiculous sport, of all times.

Now – I say I watched part of a game on TV today, not the full game, and you may think that I didn't give it my all – but understand this, you can only ever watch part of a game in one day. We'll get to that.

Cricket is baseball where people just bunt. They bunt all day. That's it, bunt here, bunt there – but when you bunt you don't have to run. Nope you can just decide that you don't think you bunted far enough, so you stand still. And then you get to bunt again! And if you do think that you made a good bunt you get to run in a straight line back and forth with your buddy until you think, no – we'll stop now, and bunt some more.

And when you've bunted too long the game takes a break so as the players may enjoy their tea, and have a nice light lunch. Oh yes, lunch breaks are built into the rules of this game, my friends. And then after lunch you bunt some more. At about this point you'll have tallied up 254 runs, or points, or whatever they are called. Then for some unknown reason (depending on the rules – because there are multiple rules for this game, nothing can be easy here – you have too many outs, too many overs (i don't know), or you just decide to pass) the other team starts up, and it's their turn to bunt. But the day is growing late by this point, so the game is called. Not to worry, it will start up again tomorrow.

Oh yes – Cricket is played over five days. This is a game that would make competitive Risk: The Game of Global Domination playing seem interesting an lively. When any game ends at the end of the day with 239 to 5, but that means nothing because it will swing right back the next day – well what type of people have patience for it?

And what if you get out on day 1 – do you bother to suit up for the next four days? Or do you just buy some Mad Libs to entertain yourself and your teammates with? Because they sure as hell aren't having fun – only two men on the offense at a time, and this can last hours. Hours.

So next time someone tells me baseball is boring – well just be bloody glad it ends after three hours.

And that was my final experience of Africa. What a way to end it.

From that travesty I headed to the airport, and boarded my flight for Dubai. I watched GI JOE on board, and something else too – equally good, and yes GI JOE was mind numbingly good people. I don't know what was expected, because it delivered just what I had wanted it to. Marvelous.

And then X hours later, I was in Dubai, and another chapter had closed on my tour. Africa is all behind me now.

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