29 09 2012

Today I walked into Bakers Delight while shopping.

The lovely Woman behind the counter, who’s always cheerful, asked me if I would be watching the game.

I questioned her,  “The game?”

“The AFL” She said, and then it clicked, I was completely oblivious to it, Football means nothing to me at all.

As with most people, I began to find out about sport, when I was just a kid, and it seemed to me that everyone barracked for a team.

The question was always “Which team do you barrack for” not “Do you like football?”

I never had a team, I could have made one up, (some did, it made conversation easier) but I tended to be the honest sort.

My parents weren’t into footy, so I wasn’t brainwashed into it like so many other kids, I was allowed to think for myself, and after consideration, taking into my brain that playing footy would give me the opportunity to chase a ball, while wearing hardly anything, in freezing weather, being pushed into mud, having bits of my anatomy broken, and potential coma and/or death,  I decided it wasn’t for me, it must’ve taken me ten seconds to work it out.

But I’m not even interested in watching it, I just don’t see anything in it.

So word began to spread that I didn’t like football, and it seemed that I wasn’t into any other sport either.

And people talked, you know, because I was “weird”.

I think conversation went along these lines “He doesn’t like sport… must be a poofta”.

So here was I at the age of ten, being called a poof, and I had no idea what it meant.

So thankyou football for giving me a reputation, I did try to live up to it in later years.

I was born and raised in Melbourne, in case you’re wondering, and I was ten in 1975.

Attitudes have certainly changed, I don’t think there’s nearly as much homophobia around today, and there are many people around, who, like me, simply couldn’t give a toss.

Perhaps I’m a trend setter?


The fall of sport.

8 06 2010

When I was at school, I would much rather read a book in a quiet space, or listen to music or sit in our garden and play with my animals.

I didn’t like cars, dad bought me a few beauts, but they were always pushed aside, I prefered plush animals.

I liked to dream, I had a vivid imagination and liked to fill my head with new ideas, I wanted to know how things worked, the tv and the radio, I loved electronic things and we didn’t have much of it in the early 70’s. at school I had apparently drifted off into a dream so deeply that even when the teacher called my name over and over, I did not respond at all.

A lot of kids didn’t like me, I was often bullied at school and as a result had no respect for the place, school to me seemed to me like a place where my thoughts and ideas were shut away and kind of cramped up, I resented it. That’s not to say that I never had any friends, I did indeed, good ones, and I still know a few of them today.

What I hated most about school was sports, I never wanted to play them… I could dream up new games in my head, why did we only ever have a choice of games that were so rule driven, no wonder I liked Calvin and Hobbs so much… Calvin made up all his games, in much the same way that I had, and they were enough for me.

I didn’t understand why I had to go outside and sit in the hot sun and suffer.

When the time came for me to whack the ball with a bat, I’d deliberately miss it so that I’d be out as fast as possible, so they decided to make me score the game… that was fine in theory, but I’d find myself daydreaming, and besides, I never really knew when anyone scored anything or how much it was worth… football, cricket, whatever it was, would soon drift into a blur as I sat under a bush, trying hard not to be seen and examining a casemoth.

One day we were all piled into a bus and taken to some god forsaken park to watch ponytailed girls leap over hurdles, it was a hot day and many of us had no lunch with us, I relied on the canteen… there were no drinks either, except for a tap leaking over in the corner that one of the other non-playing boys had found. if it hadn’t been for that, then I wouldn’t have had a drink all day. I didn’t watch any of the proceedings and had no idea what it was about, I didn’t care… and neither did many of the others which I sat around and chatted with.

Our school had this idiotic idea that once a year we would do a hike around the area, I had already walked to school and would possibly walk home, I didn’t need this, I would walk pretty far to and from school… Dad tried to take me as often as possible but wasn’t always available, and I’d walk around the school when we were having lunch, I wasn’t lacking in excercise
and nor was I a big fat kid, I was as thin as a rake.

One year I tried to escape the marathon walk and cut through a route which wasn’t in the plan, and almost got away with it… if it wasn’t for some meddling kids *shakes fist*, so the following year I came up with something good. Several of my friends climbed a tree and one idiot who caught us, and we layed there on the roof until the others all returned, the plan went like clockwork, the evasion worked perfectly, I felt like a king!

I was unable to express myself as well as I can now, I wished that I’d had this power then, “Where’s your uniform?” the PE teacher would ask, a skinny, beady blue-eyed, ferret faced little bastard. I wished I could have said, “I didn’t bring a uniform because for one thing I don’t have one and for another you can jam your PE classes up your tight little arsehole” but I was too afraid.

One day the teacher had had enough and sent us, myself and two others, to the principals office. We sat there and I watched
the other two, they were literally shaking in their boots, I wasn’t, I didn’t feel that seeing a man in his office was that terrible, I had been in the office before… but only to deliver coffee to a man who shook as though he had parkinsons, word was that his nerves had gone, and soon after he had retired. We had a new man now, one that got things done.

One of the boys said, “Once I was in there and he did this with his eyes” and performed an action where the man lifted his head from his desk, eyes shut, and then snapped them open at this fellow. He said that he was in agony because it had shocked him but also made him want to laugh like mad, which he tried with all his might to not do.

That did it for me, what if I laughed?

So after some minutes passed, I went into his office, and he asked me why I don’t play sports, and I told him that I didn’t like sports… I scanned the posters behind him, they were full off boys kicking balls and blonde girls with ponytails leaping over hurdles… I don’t really remember the discussion, but it didn’t really go anywhere, and I was released.

I really don’t know if sport is supposed to be fun or it’s just a madness or an alternate religion.

The newspapers and current affairs programs will worry about how fat our kids are getting, diabetes on the rise and all they want to do is sit and play wheir computer games inside, instead of going out in the sun and kicking a ball with their mates, breaking their bones, a hamstring, having their eyes gouged, snapping a collarbone or a rib or two… you know, healthy stuff, well it must be healthy, they keep saying it is.

I detest sports, I suppose I would have been ok with it had it been an option for me to do or not do, like be online and write as I am doing now, but it was shoved and ground into my face far too many times.

Imagine being someone who’s boss had the worst pornographic calendars on his wall and you had to see it everyday, I feel a bit like that.

My cousin is a bulldogs supporter, she’s already taught one of the kids to yell out “BULLDOGS!” and has got them dressed in “cute” red white and blue clothing, which to me is nothing short of brainwashing.

The situation makes me sick, poor kid, I hope she gets to an age where she can fight it off… alas she’s just gained a brother and he, at only a few days old, already owns his own set of cute bulldogs gear.

When someone dies, they will talk about how the person may have been a top surgeon and saved many lives, or how they’d done some other great deed and then “And they were a huge collingwood supporter” and then the hearts all flutter “oh he was a collingwood supporter, must have been a lovely man”.

Dear God, He was a surgeon, he’s saved 300 lives, does that mean NOTHING to you?

Fuck sport, just fuck it.