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Bowls In Focus : October 2009
Bowls In Focus 47 Objectionable, odious, troublesome and alternatively known as vermin, Milligan’s collection of ferrets have been lumped into this category, and he wasn’t a happy man. The expectant Brenda is entering the nest feathering stage: tidying the cupboards, painting the baby’s room, at- tempting to organise Milligan into being a refined, responsible human being. “And those stinking ferrets have to go, they’re vermin!” pronounced she who will be obeyed. A ferret breeder since childhood, Mil- ligan has rarely been separated from his beloved quadrupeds. Apart from a short stint in the army, where he shone as a gunner, but for some reason his uniform never quite fitted, his brass always tarnished and his ability to conform non-existent. A certain unpleasantness over a firing incident gave both the army and Milligan the opportunity to part company, which was mutually beneficial to both. His father had introduced him to the world of slinking ferrets and now his spouse was ordering them away. He was most upset and wondering if he could keep them in my shed, assuring me he would come and look after them regularly. That had me concerned on several fronts; not the least being that Milligan would be regularly ferreting around in my shed. Putting up with him around the bowling green was one thing, to have him lurking in the inner sanctum of a man’s existence, his shed, was unthink- able. He left to find another solution. With the season afoot there has been much to organize; the ladies have been cleaning the clubhouse, selling snags at fundraisers and getting concerned about catering for afternoon teas. The men have been painting seats, repairing the ditches and helping Wal prepare the green. After work I went down to lend a hand, Wal was in a fearful state. The pump used to spray the green had failed and with a vat of spray ready to go, time was of the essence. I helped as much as I could, but the inner workings of pumps isn’t one of my strong points. With the offending piece of machin- ery removed and sitting on a cluttered work bench in Wal’s dark and equally cluttered workshop, from where he operated as the town’s mechanic, we set about dismantling the errant pump and motor. Wal was rushing, frustrated with the delay and consequently having difficulty finding tools, and when he did find the correct spanner it would slip and skin his knuckles. He grew redder in the face and the language he uttered proved he had learnt a lot in his time as a sailor. Speaking to him in soothing tones I managed to eventually settle him down, and together we began to make some progress, the pump part was fine, the problem was in the motor. It didn’t take long to track it down. “Bloody vermin,” exclaimed Wal, and there amidst the wiring lay the scorched remains of what were once mice. It was unfortunate for Milligan that he happened to approach Wal just at that moment to see if he could keep his fer- rets ‘out the back’. Wal’s nautical language got another airing, leaving the distressed Milligan in no doubt as to his opinion on that sub- ject. We quickly re-assembled the pump and Wal was a happy man again, able to continue with fertilising the green. A week later was our opening day. There was a good roll up, four new members and great enthusiasm for the season ahead. Our newly elected chair- man Vince Sarafino, and supplier of prescription drugs in his occupation as pharmacist, made a welcoming speech acknowledging the hard work that had been done to prepare the clubhouse and the green. He also noted that Minty our team manager was now a bona fide coach as he had just completed the national coaching course. Minty nodded to the polite applause, saying: “Now you’ll have to listen to me.” Vince continued by announcing that he intended to introduce coloured pants to ‘smarten up’ the club uniform and finished by saying he had stocks of a popular blood pressure pill at very cheap prices. A game was enjoyed on the well- manicured green before we sat down to afternoon tea during which, Freda Edwards, the leader of the catering committee quietly told Vince about a strange smell somewhere in the kitchen. Vince delegated Wal and I to inves- tigate. There was a distinct unpleasant odour coming it seemed from under- neath the building. Closer investigation revealed Milligan’s ferrets, Brenda’s vermin. Half a dozen ferrets were enjoy- ing a comfortable existence under the higher end of the clubhouse. The club is now having a working bee, at Milligan’s, erecting a shed far down the back, where it will be screened and out of Brenda’s view. He is a happy man once more. The winter hibernation is over and it’s time for action in this latest yarn from the pen of ‘bush bowling bard’ Doug Maconachie... www.riverinabowls.com.au where champions shop Lawn bowls wear and accessories 529 High St, Echuca VIC 3564 p. 03 5482 1388 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.riverinabowls.com.au Biggest range of coloured bowls wear! We buy and trade second hand bowls Beginners Packs - EVERYTHING NEW! Coloured Lawn Bowls, Bag, Shirt, Pants, Socks, Shoes & Hat all for $600! IllustrationbyRodMarget Strewth, we’ll have to give the ferrets a run!
August September 2009