What did Kermie's get up to on Boxing Day?
HOW was your Christmas? Good I hope.
Ours was very quiet as it was just Rita and I this year.
With 39 degrees on Christmas Day, we took the sensible decision of going up to our time-share to sit under the shade of a tree by the pool there.
It was really not much of a decision as, true to Murphy's form, he made sure the air-con at home carked it a couple of days earlier.
Surprisingly we managed to get someone to come and look at it on Christmas Eve.
Unsurprisingly they couldn't do anything about it until after the New Year.
We expected the time-share to be choc-a-block with kids running around with their Chrissy presents in hand and attacking us from every direction with their water cannons, etc.
Turned out we virtually had the joint to ourselves until after 4pm when those that came out of their air-con comfort were very polite and well behaved.
Rita was particularly happy as the "clean up” consisted of nothing more than chucking everything into the nearest bin.
The following Thursday I'd been invited by the good folk at Daimler Truck to attend the second day of the test at the MCG.
Now I must admit that I'm no cricket fan but the Boxing Day Test at the "G” is something everyone should cross off their bucket list.
I felt guilty as I left Rita at home to suffer in 43C heat while I imbibed and ate in an air-conditioned box and was put up that night in an air- conditioned hotel room.
But not guilty enough to share her misery with her.
When I was a young tacker growing up in Hooterville we had a choice of two summer sports at school - cricket or swimming.
Firstly, my throwing and catching skills were worse than Carlton's performance in 2018 and secondly, I saw no sense in standing around in 40 degree heat, waiting for a ball that might come my way and that I'd probably drop anyway. So it was the pool for me.
But everyone had told me that "if you're going to go to a Test match, the Boxing Day Test on day two is the one to be at. That's where all the wickets fall”.
They failed to tell me that India had different ideas, and that they are playing better than we are.
On arrival at 10.30am they were two for something.
At 5.15pm they were five for a lot more.
I went out for a smoke during the arvo, working on my superstition that while I wasn't watching Australia would take at least three wickets.
But even that didn't work.
At 5.20 we got another wicket (I actually saw that one) and at 5.25 India declared at seven for 443.
By now I really want to go back to the hotel for a nanna nap before we head out to dinner but we have to stay a bit and watch the Aussies get in a couple of runs before the day is over.
While waiting for the change over, a roller goes over the pitch, presumably to iron out a few wrinkles.
And a girl does a bit of sweeping - with a broom, not a bat. I can do that! Can I join the team?
At 5.40 the Aussie openers come on in the form of Finch and Harris. Umm. OK. I mean, I know Waugh and Lillee and...But Finch and Harris? The crowd gets vocal. The first ball comes down the pitch and big gasps. Nearly gone! On the second ball we get one run.
The first over and the game is interesting, mainly because of the close shaves.
This is not good for us but still, it is interesting. Bumrah, the Indian bowler is doing it with a panache I didn't see with our guys.
At 5.45 the crowd chants that someone's a wanker (I think that's what it was), but I'm not sure if it's us against them or them against us.
Maybe they saw me in the box and it was aimed at moi.
At 5.50 Harris is hit on the helmet and play stops.
We wait and wait and wait... cricket needs a better interchange bench.
At 6pm it's all over and we've managed zero for eight. One of the highlights for me was watching the littles at half time.
Sorry, I mean lunch. The cricket version of AusKick. Is it called AusCrick?
Would I go again?
Sure would - especially in a corporate box!
Did I enjoy myself?
Actually I did but I'm glad I chose swimming over cricket all those years ago.
The highlight of the day?
That was later that night when one of the other journos and I were sitting at the hotel bar and I discovered Four Pillars Christmas Gin!
Made in my old home town of Hooterville, this gin has Christmas Puds added to the vats.
It comes out a light brownish colour and man oh man is it good!
Good enough to down half a dozen of 'em before bedtime.
Apparently they sell the puddings after. Now that would be a taste sensation.
So, thank you Daimler for the invitation (and the gins) and I hope you'll extend the invite again next year when I'm sure Australia will be so much better.
And I hope you'll stick by your word when I sort of invited myself to the Carlton v Collingwood opener and you agreed. LOL.