Australia Day is over for another year, so there'll be no more binge drinking in this house. At least not until the weekend - tomorrow. I was glad that it rained most of the day because Australia Day usually means fireworks, and fireworks scare the bush chocolate out of me. Yesterday they were rained off so I didn't have to hide in my straw with my paws over my ears. Both my male staff and I are proud adopted Australians so we find it a shame that Australia Day has in part been taken over by flag waving rednecks bent on jingoism. My male staff has an Aussie friend who compares the whole thing to a Hitler Youth Rally. That might be taking it a bit too far but there is certainly an element of that about it. In one high profile case former international cricketer Rodney Hogg tweeted "Just put out my Aussie flag for Australia Day but I wasn't sure if it would offend Muslims. So I wrote Allah is a s... on it to make sure." Smart tweet Rodney, so witty.
Mind you, Australian cricketers aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer at the best of times. They frequently come of second best in a sledging contest. (For the uninitiated, sledging is the art of insulting or "getting into the ear" of an opponent in order to put them off their game.) Here's four prime examples. The two West Indian batsmen Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan were known to be very good friends. Aussie bowler Glenn McGrath was getting ratty because Sarwan was scoring a lot of runs from his bowling.
"What does Lara's dick taste like?" Said McGrath to Sarwan.
"How should I know?" Replied Sarwan. "Ask your wife?"
McGrath then became even more ratty and said the F word quite a lot.
Australian wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh once said to England's Ian Botham. "Hey Ian, how's your wife and MY kids?"
Botham replied. "My wife's fine, but the kids are retarded."
The great, but somewhat Porky Aussie bowler Shane Warne invariably managed to get South African batsman Daryll Cullinan out very cheaply, but it had been a couple of years since they had met on the cricket pitch. As Cullinan strode to the wicket to face Warne's bowling, Warne said "I've been waiting two years for this.
Cullinan replied. "Looks like you've spent it eating." He was out to Warne's bowling for a big, fat zero moments later.
Sledging is not confined to Australians, though they are the world sledging champions. Brilliant Pakistani batsman Javed Miandad called the beer gutted Australian bowler Merv Hughes "A fat bus conductor." Moments later Hughes got Miandad out and as the batsman walked disconsolately past Hughes on his way back to the dressing rooms Hughes merely said "Tickets please."
So, what's the moral of this story? Easy. Sledging is at best a waste of time and at worst can be used against you. As Shakespeare once said. "Shut your bloody gob and get on with the game."