At the footy

Wednesday 25 May 2011

The red and the white v the brown and the yellow;
That’s the game to be played in the warm autumn gleam.
Same hue attired fans, be them lass, be them fellow,
Fill the stands, eat the pies, shout the rules, carn their team.

I’m the guest of a friend but the friend couldn’t make it,
So there’s two of us acting as substitute fans.
Been a year since I’ve been to the arena to fake it.
I’m afraid these emotions aren’t stowed in my glands.

I don’t follow sport; I’m confused by the legal.
Is this one the one where you can’t play off side?
But I love its theatre – the players so regal!
It’s food for the masses, the critics one-eyed.

The players – half fumble, half ballet – play forward.
The smell of deep heat permeates through the air.
All action heads south and then suddenly nor’ward
The crowd squeals like kids on the rides at the fair.

A man right behind me shouts animate slogans.
Watch ya doing? Pick the ball up! Get a move on! Domineer!
On the oval the coloured teams battle like shoguns.
When one scores a goal the entire crowd cheer.

A young girl beside me reads Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”.
Her sister, in contrast, eyes the game intense.
She’s covered in badges, from her cap to her britches,
The other just yawns… it’s all mere pretense.

Four beers and a pie with tomato sauce later
It’s time to head home. All is lost. Game is done.
Were the Swans overwhelmed? Did the Hawks just play greater?
Let’s just say, on the day, that the better team won.


The Adventures of Wombat, Swans Supporter – A Radio Play

Sunday 21 December 2008

To celebrate the Christmas period I present a radio script for you to print out and perform. One of my stronger childhood memories is of wrangling my sisters and nieces (there were no nephews) into performing little shows for the adults at family gatherings. The shows were always Music Hall fare that I must have memorised from school – the one that sits strongly is of a journalist doing a scoop on a group of people committing suicide, it’s still a great routine. I should note that I was something like 10 when I was doing this. 

So here’s a jolly piece that involves the whole family: some get to be actors, some get to be sound effect makers, and the rest get to be the audience who plays a just as important role. Make up large signs for the audience to call out their lines.

This was written for a competition to have your radio play performed live from the Sydney Opera House. Needless to say I didn’t win, but I still think this is most possibly the funniest thing I have ever written. It is highly influenced by the work of Marty Feldmen and Barry Took, who wrote Round the Horne, and it makes me laugh out loud every time I read it.

So on that, Merry Christmas and please enjoy!

Clyde

 

The Adventures of Wombat, Swans Supporter


Characters, in order of appearance

NAR: Narrator

SYD 1: Grumpy Sydney Commuter 

SYD 2: Another Grumpy Sydney Commuter

GUIDE: Taronga Zoo Tour Guide

WOM: Brian the Wombat. The Hero

CRAIG: Brian’s Zoo Keeper

FERRY: Sydney Harbour Ferry Ticket Collector (sounds just like Guide)

INSPECT: City Rail Ticket Inspector

TAXI: Indian Taxi Driver

PARTY: Party Girl at a Nightclub

Also…

SFX: A collection of buzzes, whistles, boinks and dings, with the occasional bit of music thrown in for good measure.

AUD: Everything from a lion to an entire football stadium, and even sometimes a studio audience.

 

Casting

Excluding the Audience and SFX Operator, this play could be staged with a minimum of 3 men and 1 woman.

M1: NAR, TAXI

M2: SYD 1, CRAIG, INSPECT

M3: WOM

W: SYD2, GUIDE, FERRY, PARTY

 

The Play

NAR: It was a typical Sydney day. The sun was shining…

SFX: TRIANGLE DING

NAR: The birds were singing…

SFX: BIRD WHISTLE

NAR: And the people of Sydney were their usual happy selves…

SYD 1: Get out the way!

SYD 2: Watch where ya going!

NAR: It was also a beautiful day at Taronga Zoo, where the daily tour was taking place. Please note that due to budget restraints the animal population has been replaced with a studio audience with too much time on a Sunday afternoon.

GUIDE: Hello, welcome to Taronga Zoo, I’m your tour guide. As we move along, on our left the exotic birds…

AUD: SQUARK!

GUIDE: On our right, the lion’s den…

AUD: ROAR!

GUIDE: and up ahead the wombat enclosure… (PAUSE) He’s asleep at the moment.

NAR: But, dear listeners, our hero wasn’t asleep but out the back with his keeper Craig.

WOM: OK Craig, what’ll it be?

CRAIG: Don’t rush me Brian, don’t rush me!

WOM: Come on Craig, it’s only a friendly.

CRAIG: All right, I think it was Professor Green in the Library with the Candlestick.

WOM: (PAUSE) Craig, this is ten stud poker.

CRAIG: I knew I shouldn’t let you watch late night television.

WOM: New game. Your deal Craig.

SFX: CARDS FLYING EVERYWHERE DUE TO A VERY BAD ATTEMPT TO SHOOT CARDS FROM ONE HAND TO ANOTHER.

WOM: You never could hold your cards, could you Craig.

CRAIG: Sorry Brian.

WOM: So Craig, any plans tonight?

CRAIG: Yeah, I’m off to see the Sydney Swans play –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

CRAIG: – at Olympic Park Stadium.

WOM: The Swans! I love the Swans! I was president of their fan club, marsupial division, back in uni. Can I come?

CRAIG: Now Brian, you know you can’t leave the zoo. Besides I’ve only got this one ticket.

WOM: Ah, but Craig, I’m their number one fan!

CRAIG: (TEASING) I’ll tell you what, If you can get your hands on a ticket, you can go to the game. Deal?

WOM: Deal! Craig, hand me that ticket.

CRAIG: Hah! You don’t get me that easy!

WOM: Sorry Craig, you’re much too smart for that, but could you pass me that shovel?

CRAIG: Here ya go.

WOM: Thanks Craig. Now, turn around.

CRAIG: (WITH BACK TO MICROPHONE) Like this?

WOM: Perfect.

SFX: BOINK!

SFX: THUD!

WOM: Sometimes it’s that easy.

SFX: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE THEME TYPE MUSIC

WOM: And so, dear listeners, I began my escape. Pausing briefly to roll the unconscious Craig in a brown blanket to look like a sleeping me, I grabbed his keys, unlocked the door…

SFX: RATTLE OF KEYS, UNLOCKING AND CREAKY DOOR OPENING

WOM: …and started on my way, wearing Craig’s keeper’s cap as a disguise.

GUIDE: Hi Keeper Craig, You’re working back late.

WOM: Hi Taronga Zoo Tour Guide, you have a good day now. (Aside) The disguise was a success! So on I went: to my left the lion’s den…

AUD: ROAR!

WOM: On my right, the exotic birds…

AUD: SQUARK!

WOM: And up ahead the gates, the Harbour and the Swannies! With one heave of the rope and hook, which I always kept about my person for moments like these…

SFX: ROPE GOING UP

SFX: CLANK! OF THE HOOK TAKING HOLD

WOM: I pulled myself up over the wall and to Freedom! I could almost taste the meat pies!

NAR: But, dear listeners, fate had chosen otherwise…

SFX: BACKGROUND – SLOSHING WATER

FERRY: (APPROACHING) Ferry Tickets please.

SFX: HOLE PUNCHER

FERRY: Thank you. Ferry Tickets please.

SFX: HOLE PUNCHER

FERRY: Thank you. (TO WOM) Hey mister, ferry tickets please.

WOM: Sorry?

FERRY: Ferry tickets please. You got to have a ticket to ride this ferry.

WOM: Hey, you sound just like the Taronga Zoo Tour Guide.

FERRY: She’s my cousin.

WOM: Small world.

FERRY: Hey, aren’t you a wombat?

WOM: How can you tell?

FERRY: I’ve been on the tour. Ferry tickets please!

WOM: Look, I haven’t got any money.

FERRY: Why not, cos you’re a wombat?

WOM: Na, cos I left me wallet in me other pants.

FERRY: Sorry, you got to have a ticket to ride this ferry.

WOM: Ah, come on. I’ve got a ticket to see the Sydney Swans play –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

WOM: – at Olympic Park Stadium.

FERRY: What? The Swans are playing –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

FERRY: – ? I hate the –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

FERRY: – s. ‘Carn the Swannies. On you get Mr Wombat, you’re travelling first class with me.

WOM: Call me Brian.

SFX: FERRY TAKING OFF

SFX: FADE BACKGROUND SLOSHING WATER

NAR: And so, dear listeners, our hero Brian finds himself at Circular Quay trying to catch a train to Olympic Park.

AUD: HANG ON!

NAR: All right studio audience, the writers are well aware that you can’t catch a train to Olympic Park from Circular Quay, but please go with it for now so we can keep the story moving. OK?

AUD: OK!

SFX: TRAIN WHISTLE

WOM: Is this the train to Olympic Park?

INSPECT: Just a minute. What are you, a wombat?

WOM: A northern hairy nosed wombat to be precise, but my friend’s call me Brian.

INSPECT: Well listen Brian –

WOM: That’s MR Wombat to you mate!

INSPECT: Look, you can’t get on this train.

WOM: Ahh, lemme on, please!

INSPECT: What’s that sign say over there?

WOM: “At night rave near the guard’s compartment naked with a blue light”?

INSPECT: I mean the one under it.

WOM: Looks like a picture of a wombat with a red line through it.

INSPECT: That’s right – No Wombats Allowed. And that means you, MR Wombat! (NASTY LAUGH)

SFX: DOOR CLOSING, TRAIN LEAVES

WOM: Oh woe is me! Oh Studio Audience, what am I to do?

AUD: (HAIL TAXI WHISTLE)

SFX: SCREECH OF BRAKES

TAXI: You call for a taxi Mister?

WOM: No, the Studio Audience did.

TAXI: Sorry, I’m only licensed to carry four passengers.

WOM: Look, I’m a wombat with no money that needs to get Olympic Park to watch the Sydney Swans play –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

WOM: Can you help me?

TAXI: Hop on board. As luck would have it today is Feel Sorry for Wombats Day. It’s a great Indian holiday.

WOM: I didn’t know India had wombats.

TAXI: It doesn’t. We ate them all, that’s why we feel sorry for them.

SFX: TAXI TAKES OFF

NAR: So our hero reached the Swannies’ game where…

SFX: SOFT THUD OF BALL BEING KICKED

SFX: WHISTLE OF BALL FLYING THROUGH AIR

SFX: UMPIRE WHISTLE

AUD: (GOES WILD!)

NAR: …the Swans’ win!

AUD: (GOES WILDER!!)

SFX: FINAL SIREN

SFX: SWANS’ THEME SONG – CHEER CHEER THE RED AND THE WHITE – FADE OUT

NAR: And finally, dear listeners, Brian the Wombat, through many further adventures, made it back to Circular Quay, only to find he had missed the last ferry home…

AUD: (SAD AHH)

NAR: (ELATED) So he went to a night club instead!

SFX: NIGHT CLUB SOUNDS – HEAVY BEAT MUSIC, GLASSES CLINKING

WOM: Hey little lady, wanna come back to my burrow and see my scratchings?

PARTY: (GIGGLES) Wow! Either a wombat is trying to pick me up or that wasn’t a Panadol I took earlier. Hey Mr Wombat, You’re on!

WOM: Call me Brian.

SFX: CLOSING MUSIC

NAR: That was The Adventures of Wombat, Swans Supporter, starring etc…


Swans vs Cats

Saturday 23 August 2008

I meet my three companions outside the stadium. Two are wearing Swans red and white jackets, scarfs and caps. The third, a Geelong boy by birth, is decked in Cats colours – blue and white. We join the horde of other spectators and flow through the gates and, as luck would have it, are soon separated – two of us entered the wrong bay door. The other two are down by the seats waving frantically, and we’re soon united again.

It is a very cold night. The crowd is mostly in black – warm coats are the go – though there is still a good portion of ‘One-Eyed Red’. Scattered through are also specks of blue, notably a large band stationed behind one of the goal posts.

The siren goes, the game begins, and in 44 seconds the Swans score. A promising start, considering someone had said the Swans were going to be slaughtered. Sure enough, the Cats are soon on the board. The Cats supporters frantically wave their over sized pompoms.

The crowd does its best to encourage the players. A roar travels around the field wherever the action happens to be, like an aural Mexican wave. Unfortunately the match is happening away from us. I’m told it doesn’t matter where you sit; the game is always played on the other side of the field.

Still, that hasn’t stopped my neighbours from joining in. A middle aged woman hugs the fence, her eyes fixed on the game – Come on Sydney! Come on Sydney! Someone yells at the umpire – What game are you watching! Get a new job ‘cos you can’t do that one! An Irishman behind me is also in fine voice – C’mon, do something with it! No, not that! You’re a fookin idiot! A lady a few seats away calls back, “There’s a voice I haven’t heard for a while, we’ve missed you.” The Irishman smiles.

The aroma of satay sauce wafts on the crisp breeze. Down our row two women have just opened their take-away meals and delicately balance the oozing containers on their knees. The smell is equal parts intoxicating and nauseating.

Wait a minute – something happened. Whatever it was the Swans supporters are not happy and the whole oval breaks into uproar. Boooo! The Cats kick another goal and there’s more booing, except for our lone Cat supporter who claps understatedly.

There’s now a sense of desperation in the crowd. The woman on the fence shouts out C’mon Swannies, we know you can do it! Finally, a goal for the Swans! The crowd goes wild – banners fill the sky. The noise is deafening: Sydney! (stomp stomp) Sydney! (stomp stomp) It’s not over yet!

The Band of Blue have become noticeably still, as if they were having their school photo taken. Half-heartedly someone attempts a chant but it doesn’t take on.

But the euphoria doesn’t last long – the Cats score again, and again, and again. At the end of the first quarter the Cats have nearly a double lead on the Swans.

We go to fetch some footy grub. Out in the hallway, little kids in little jerseys punt little balls, while mums take orders for chips and mini pizzas. Pies and beers collected, we return to our seats, but I first stop to chat to a group of ladies, each wrapped in a red and white hand-made quilt. “Our mother made these,” pointing to an old duck knitting away with red wool.

The siren blasts for the beginning of the second quarter. The umpire bounces the ball and it starts all over again.