Friday, October 09, 2009

Neither Mirth Nor Woe: Eggy Dave

Neither Mirth Nor Woe: Eggy Dave

"So, what did you get for your birthday, then?"

"Cricket stuff. Loads of cricket stuff."

"Nothing personal you understand, old chap, but you're bloody weird."

Eggy Dave loved his cricket.

While other teenagers were mad keen on their favourite football teams – and our school had far too many Tottenham Hotspur fans to be absolutely healthy - Eggy Dave had but one love: Somerset County Cricket Club.

We had pictures of Liam Brady, Ossie Ardiles and Depeche Mode on our walls. Eggy Dave had Ian Botham and Viv Richards and a healthy disrespect for all things Australian.

So, it was hardly a surprise that his old man, being a member of Taunton's finest sloggers, should wangle him a signed bat and heaps of cricket kit for his birthday.

Eggy Dave was so keen on this particular sport of kings that he had his own set of whites, and was the only kid in the school cricket team that didn't turn out for matches in his PE kit.

"So, what did you get for your birthday, then?"

"Signed bat. New pads. Box. Cricket boots."

"Wait... you got a box?"

"S'right. It's a good'un, though. It's in me bag 'ere."

The cricket boxes of our experience were horrible, stained plastic things you shoved down your shorts, and would probably sever your tackle if called into action. Eggy Dave's looked like something an astronaut would wear under his space suit. It is fair to say that this specimen caused a certain amount of school field excitement.

"So," asked Tranny Gaz, standing, as usual, with his radio pressed to his ear, feeding tinny music in his brain, "How much ...err... punishment can it take?"

Eggy Dave was a lad of few words, and kept his facts short and brief: "A lot, I 'spect."

"D'you reckon," Gaz said, "if I kicked you in the bollocks, right, it wouldn't hurt?"

"Probably not."

Tranny Gaz looked at Dave, then, radio still pumping out the tss-tss-tss of some latest chart hit played through the cheapest consumer electronics known to man, gave us a slantendicular look of pure evil.

"Even if I take a run-up?"

"Try it, if you want."

Fighting talk.

Big, lanky Gaz in his Doc Martens marched twenty yards up the field, paused, and with a twirl of his little knob switched off his radio for the first time since we met him.

Then, with a fearful glint in his eye, he turned and ran at his target. Ground Zero: Eggy Dave's fork.

"Wait up – I ain't got it on y..."

As he struggled to free his tackle, he contemplated the strange chain of events that was about to transpire, yet could do nothing to prevent as his nemesis careened toward him, time slowing to a crawl as if he was swimming through custard, boot flying relentlessly toward his stinking bishop.

"Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarn - WHUMP!"

Out for a duck.

Then, clutching his bloated purple tumescence reminiscent of an aubergine, he was sick in a hedge.

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