In Yorkshire they have a saying: ‘There’s nowt as queer as folk’, and these following illustrations will, I hope, convince you of the truthfulness of this little bit of folk wisdom.
A reporter, well actually a cricket writer, but they’re essentially the same thing, although one covers reports and the other covers cricket, but aside from that, and the fact that you don’t need a degree in journalism to cover cricket (in South Africa, the ability to write whole sentences is enough), he was a reporter of sorts, and he was on the bus to the station to get back to his newspaper, The Yorkshire Herald, to file his report, even though he wasn’t a reporter, on the cricket match he’d just witnessed between Yorkshire and Lancashire. These cricket matches are known as ‘The War of the Roses, after the famous mediaeval war between Yorkshire and Lancashire.
These matches raise the same sort of expectation and level of passion as the actual War of the Roses. Lancashire is represented by a red rose and Yorkshire a white rose, and these matches are fought with the ferocity of an Ashes match.
Anyway, this chap, reporter or cricket writer, call him what you will, was on the bus to the station to get back to Leeds and file his report. This grizzled old chap sitting on the seat opposite, with his flat cap pressed down low over his eyes and half-smoked cigarette moving as if with a life of its own says, ‘Was tha at cricket?’
‘Yes,’ says the chap.
The old man is silent for a while, then looks up. ‘’Oo won?’
‘Yorkshire,’ says the young chap with a broad grin.
‘Aye? An’ what does tha do?’
‘I’m, the cricket writer for the Yorkshire Herald.’
The old man squints through the smoke wreathing his face. ‘An’ where is tha going naow?’
‘I’m going back to Leeds to file the report in the newspaper.’
‘Mmph!’ says the old man, then goes silent again. After about a minute he looks up and says, ‘Well, I hope tha never gets there!’
In the land of the blind, one-eye is king, in the land of the one-eye, Yorkshire or Lancashire would be king. Unbiased they are not.
Closer to home, The South African Dance Studio was in mourning recently due to the death of one of their members, Dougie MacDougal, a tap dancer who fell into the basin and broke his neck. They were shocked, they said, as he was highly experienced, but had been suffering from a sinking feeling of late.
Foul play is not suspected.
And in Cape Town, with the bitter weather they’ve been experiencing, the medical community was shocked to discover that one of their own, a plastic surgeon, had sat too close to the fire and melted. He is critical and unstable, and they have warned fellow plastic surgeons to exercise great care when sitting near a fire, regardless of the cold.
Dr. Cutchakokoff was very popular amongst members of the gay community and performed many sex-change operations. He was, in fact, in the process of developing the Adacoctame, which would have been a rousing success. It is doubtful he will practise again though, and his contributions will be sorely missed.
Moving further afield, Angus MacDonald, of the clan MacDonald, is suing the burger chain because he says he has had a quarter-pounder with cheese long before they came up with the concept. When Mavis McPuke, from Scotland Today, interviewed him, he was quite indignant and in the process of lifting his kilt to prove it to her, but she assured him it was unnecessary.
‘Next thing ye know, they’ll be tryin’ t’ steal oor Tartan! An’ What d’ye think is goin’ tae happen then? War, I tell ye: war!’ He threated to lift his kilt again, but Mavis McPuke hastily withdrew and he contented himself with scratching his sporran instead.
We started with cricket and we’ll finish with it. Alf Gover speaks of the time he was chosen to represent the MCC on their tour to India. ‘There I were, Alf Gover, nineteen-bloody-quick, and I’m picked t’ play for MCC. Touring India. Dream coom true.’
‘Arrived in India and all I could smell were curry, and it were delicious smell, irresistible really, so I had meself a curry. Burned like hell, but it were wonderful!’
‘Next day had practice match against Invitational Eleven and skipper asked me t’ open bowling. I took ball and marked out run-up, then bowled a few warm-oops t’ team mates. Oompire said play and I ran in, good, long run-up and I ran past oompire, past backing-oop batsman, past batsman, past wicket-keeper, out ground and into toilet. I were sweating bullets then, when there were a knock on door. It were th’ skipper: “Ere, can we ‘ave our ball?”
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