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Bowls In Focus : February 2010
Bowls In Focus 35 Gravel crunched noisily underfoot asImademywayupthe driveway. It was only nine o'clock but already the morning heat was op- pressive. I rapped on the door; it was pointless trying the doorbell. Milligan hadn't been sighted for a while, even down at the pub. I dabbed a sweaty brow as heavy footsteps approached slowly from inside. Brenda with her distended tummy filled the doorway and you could tell the heat was sapping her energy. With hands supporting her lower back, she explained that Milligan was in the kitchen; and that she was going to lie down in front of the air conditioner. The big man had his back to me and was stooped over the kitchen table, the blue singlet and football shorts did not maketh the man. "Wondering if you were dead, " I said. "Nothing wrong with me mate, been busy that's all," came the sharp reply as Milligan didn't even look up from his chores. I moved around to have a closer look at what was holding his at- tention. It was all I could do to not collapse in a fit of laughter. He was attentively practicing folding a nappy and then pinning it on a rubber doll. His left thumb looked like a pin cush- ion covered with specks of blood. "Tell anyone and you're dead," he threatened as he looked up. After stabbing the poor doll a few more times with the safety pin, wounds that would have had him jailed for child abuse in real life, he asked if I wanted a cuppa. He put the kettle on to boil; ar- ranged cups and emptied the teapot. As steam began to rise from the spout he went to the fridge for milk, paused at the open door, said 'hang it' and produced a couple of cold stubbies. A few mouthfuls and he began to relax. With the baby due soon he had been busy repairing, renovating and painting around the house. They were jobs that should have been done years ago, but bachelor Milligan never really saw the need. But now that Brenda had moved in and a baby was on the way, things were different. Seriously different. But something else had been keeping him preoccupied. And as he nervously shifted in the lounge chair, crossed his feet, and cleared his throat, Milligan shared it with me, "Been working╒ on me vows as well," he confessed. It took a moment to sink in, the heat and an early beer made me wonder if I had heard correctly, but I had. Milligan and Brenda hade decided to tie the knot; "She thought it would be best if the baby's parents were married," the big bloke said with a tinge of rarely seen sincerity. Just a small ceremony in a couple of weeks was how he described it. "Neil Carlson's ar- ranging a celebrant and Monty's letting us use his garden." Carlson had been trying to mend fences around the place after the fiasco of the cheap coloured bowls he had managed to purloin through his 'importing and exporting' business. One of his 'contacts' had recommended a celebrant that was 'cheap and reliable'. Carlson had followed his kind offer up by saying, "trust me." Once word got out that the nuptials were imminent, Milligan's mates from the bowling club reckoned it was only fitting for him to have a bucks party. The ladies committee promptly stipulated it could not be held in the bowling club, but the local publican eventually relented, 'seein' as it's only locals'. It was only locals apart from the belly dancer Todd had arranged. Fortunately she took pity on a bunch of old crock bowlers and kept her 'entertainment' to a minimum. She did however get Wal's attention and he tried hard to emulate her mesmer- izing gyrations. Milligan put a stop to him after a while by banging him on the head with his very large fist. There were only a few minor blues and the pub- lican, on getting some half-hearted offers to help clean up at night's end, said not to worry he would 'hose the joint out tomorra'. It was an evening wedding, which was fortunate, as it also gave us time to find a substitute celebrant after we discovered the one Neil Carlson had arranged couldn't speak a word of English! Minty's garden was a picture. He and wife Isabelle had arranged pots of bright petunias under the spread- ing shade of two large palm trees, while coloured lights were strung about ready for the night's celebra- tion. Members of the bowling club formed a guard of honour as the couple waddled up the drive and into the verdant backyard. Milligan looking decidedly uncomfortable in his hired suit, while Brenda in pale blue chiffon looked cool and radiant. Wal summed it up, "Ain't she a picture, pity about the boofhead." The wedded couple partied with us for some time, and when they left the rest of us should have followed on behind. However, as the night wore on Wal and Minty ripped off their shirts and engaged in a belly dance contest, with both ending up in a tangle on top of the beer keg. Todd uncorked a bottle of cham- pagne and sprayed both of them. The ejected cork hit Neil in the back of the head and landed in Isabelle's ample cleavage. Minty's missus is normally a demure woman but she does have a liking for the bubbly, of which she gulped many, and they weren't always her own! There were only a few minor blues and Minty said he would 'hose the backyard down in the morning'. Love is in the air for 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! If you are given Lemons make Lemonade Illustration by Rod Marget Strewth, it's the big bloke's big day!
March April 2010