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Bowls In Focus : January 2010
Bowls In Focus 35 Todd's back, in a big way. Our young gun has only been playing for a few years but has learnt the game quickly and compliments his natural talent with a mean competitive spirit. He's back for his first game of the season and has made an eye- popping entrance to our home game on this fine sunny day. With a spin of the wheels he zipped into a parking space unofficially reserved for team manager Minty. All eyes were on the stylish sports car and a few moments elapsed before the doors opened. Todd alighted, his normally blonde hair was streaked blue and red to match our club colours, and his strong, tanned body easily accounted for his over- sized bowls bag. As startling and notable as the sight of Todd was, most eyes were on his passenger. Her long blonde hair and white dress contrasted her olive tanned skin to perfection. It was Tania, Todd's one-time girlfriend and now wife after their wedding and 10-week honeymoon in Europe. Our bellicose collection of rag-tag bowlers, who should have known better, couldn't take their eyes off her, except for Wal. "Would you look at that," he murmured, "check out those curves." Milligan gave him a kick in the ankle and told him to 'simmer down', although Wal was confused and in- dignant, then realised his mistake and hastily corrected himself. "The car, I meant the car," he squawked. He went on to explain that it was an Alfa Romeo 'Spider' and that it was a speedster with superb dynamics, stability, performance and a finish that is pure indulgence. He kept drooling and stopped only when he realised no one was listening, they were all flocking to greet the celebrity couple. There was a barrage of 'G'days', and back-slapping followed by questions directed to Todd about the car, Europe and his new job. But these full-grown, robust men melted to dithering fools with tied tongues when they spoke to Tania. She handled it with ease, smiling and answering, 'Good thanks' when asked the eternal question, 'How are ya?'Tania sidled up to Milligan when she found it impossible to remain close to Todd, particularly as Minty had just arrived and wanted to know which 'flamin' drongo' had parked their 'flash heap of junk' in his parking spot. No one paid him any attention - Minty often had trouble gaining our attention. Milligan was telling Tania that Brenda was due in a couple of months and that he was hoping the baby wouldn't arrive on a Saturday, a Tuesday or a Thursday for that matter. It had something to do with playing bowls, ferreting, country race meetings and pub nights. Milligan was a creature of bad habits, adding, "She'll be along later, you can catch up then." The gaggle sur- rounding Todd thinned as Minty - in an attempt to re-assert his authority - demanded that the duty team get things organised and threatened another half dozen jobs to anybody that lingered near him. Milligan asked Todd if he could have a drive of his car, "Just around the block," he added reassuringly when Todd looked at him apprehensively. Wal, who was passing by with raffle tickets for the lunch break, quipped, "Ya won't fit in, Ya fat-gutted blowfish!" That earned Wal a clip behind the ear. But if Milligan knew how Wal was running a book on the result of Brenda's pregnancy - and that twin beer kegs was a short priced favourite - he would have received more than a friendly clip. Our pennant match was a friendly affair against Clevedon, another small country club like ours. It only took Todd a few ends to get his rhythm working and his presence was soon felt. We had missed his skill and competitive game, and by the end of the day it was nice to be back on the winner's list. Tania and Brenda spent a pleasant afternoon discussing the finer points of matrimonial bliss and pregnancy, while Milligan spent much of the day staring at the shining Alfa in the car park. Minty spent most of the afternoon telling anyone that would listen that his coach- ing was solely responsible for Todd's bowling ability. The Clevedon blokes hung around for a long time, enjoying a cold beer, a chat, and catching up with old acquain- tances. Todd and Tania eventually took their leave as they had a big Saturday night ahead of them. Wal was eager to watch the Alfa's departure from the car park. But there was a delay, Milligan had squeezed himself into the driver's seat and was stuck. Frustrated by the scenario the good- natured Todd called for assistance. Milligan's stomach was trapped by the steering wheel and a leg was caught on the gearshift. Wal pushed, some pulled, while others prodded the pro- truding bits of stomach back through the steering wheel. "Bloated blowfish," grunted Wal as he heaved. Eventually the big man was freed to a round of jeers from the men and a shake of the head from Brenda. There was also a stain on the leather steering wheel, obviously from the dribbled tomato sandwich remnants on the front of his shirt. Milligan had left his infamous calling card. The prodigal son returns to join Milligan and his motley mates 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! Be Up and Shut Up Illustration by Rod Marget Strewth, a spider's grabbed the big bloke!