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Bowls In Focus : June July 2011
Bowls In Focus 35 The bowling green has been closed since Wal ‘locked it up’ to allow him the opportunity to renovate our seven- rinker after our busy program of club events and the heartache of losing the pennant final. Between working on malfunctioning machinery for farmers frantic to get their crops sown, attending to an array of problems with family cars that are essential for transport in our village, and tending to the green, he didn’t really need Milligan’s dramas to impinge on his time. Likewise, our local publican Pete McGeary also had enough on his plate. Being a sponsor for the local footy team meant keeping the bar supplied at the clubrooms, as well as preparing the pub for the after-match get together, which also included the netball team. The ample mix of genders always attracted a large crowd and Pete had to be up to the mark on the latest cocktail blends because the girls loved them. Milligan’s little escapade was extremely bothersome as today was a home game. Brenda, Milligan’s long-suffering but forgiving wife, had gone cross-country skiing with friends for the weekend. It’s a recreation she loves, but not one that attracted or much suited the lumbering Milligan, he’s not particularly fond of the snow, ‘too bloody cold, wet and miserable,’ he often scowled. It was best to keep Brenda out of things and let her enjoy her time off. I was busy at home where cutting and stacking a pile of firewood was a high priority. After that the spouts needed to be cleaned and the holes where mice were getting inside had to be blocked up. Then there was the backlog of jobs that had accumulated during the bowling season, that I had been strictly ordered, ‘must be attended to’. Milligan was far from my mind and an appeal to come to his aid was more than irritating. The rotund boofhead had taken the opportunity to have a relaxing afternoon with Sean at the pub. Beside the open fire they were able to sit back with drinks, beer for Milligan and lemonade for Sean, who is a very likeable lad. If he got a bit bored the little bloke wandered down to the kitchen where Pete’s wife Maggie would give him little snacks to eat. But he did enjoy sitting with his dad watching ‘the horsies go round’, which suited Milligan because it allowed him to concentrate on his punting. Things were going swimmingly until the phone rang and a frantic voice asked for Milligan. Nettie Hobbs, his neighbour, had been out pruning the hydrangeas when she heard an awful noise from over the fence. Her investigation, brought on by an overwhelming urge to be up to date with all the goings-on around her, revealed a large black dog forcing its way into Milligan’s ferret enclosure intent on destruction. The fearless Nettie managed to chase the dog away but one ferret was badly injured. Milligan rushed from the pub holding Sean, whose feet barely touched the ground, by one hand as they dashed to the car. There are still visible black skid marks virtually from the pub to Milligan’s house three blocks away. His prized breeding doe was severely mauled but still alive. Placing it in a box he and Sean raced to the vet, a 30km drive into town. The Peugeot normally had a sedate life but on this occasion it was pedal to the metal. On route the inevitable happened, red and blue flashing lights accompanied by a wailing siren forced him to pull over. A frantically distressed face accompanied by beery breath, along with an upset child and a bloodied ferret in a box, greeted the constable who thought he had seen it all. Fortunately the policeman was in a community frame of mind and with lights and siren operating, accompanied them to the vet. Sean brightened up no end, but Milligan remained in a dismal mood about the fate of his ferret. While the vet did what he could the constable made a few enquiries such as, ‘can I see your licence?’ and ‘have you been drinking?’ In his rush Milligan had left his wallet at the pub, so he called Pete hoping he could bring the wallet into town, but the publican was in no position to leave the bar. Wal’s reply to Milligan’s request also drew a blank. Mrs Creighton-Brown had landed on him demanding an immediate windscreen repair after ‘some hooligan in a foreign car’ had flown past shooting loose gravel all over her bonnet and cracked the windscreen. ‘Mate,’ greeted me when I answered the phone. Released from my chores ‘for now’, I called at the pub. Pete was in deep discussion with his meat supplier. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘if I serve ham steak with mango instead of pineapple, people think that’s exotic, but Wagyu’s got no hope.’ Pete handed me a betting slip along with the wallet. On the drive into town I made a point of listening to the race results, Dreamline had won so I called into the TAB on my way. Milligan and his son had left the vet clinic by the time I arrived. The receptionist told me they had been taken to the Police Station. There I saw Sean sitting at a desk wearing a police hat and eating an ice cream, while I was informed Milligan was ‘in a cell’. After producing Milligan’s licence I was shown his accommodation. He was doing his own style of ‘planking’, on his back fast asleep, snoring woefully with the repaired ferret clutched to his chest. Released into my care I drove the three of them back to their car. ‘Dreamline, did it win?’ he asked. ‘Na, close second,’ I replied, while Sean told us he wanted to be a policeman when he grew up and catch nasty dogs. The serenity of off-season’s blue and grey hues was short-lived for Milligan and his motley mates in this latest yarn from the pen of ‘bush bowling bard’ Doug Maconachie... “ When you lose don’t lose the lesson” Henselite, Almark, Taylor, Drakes Pride, Greenmaster, Taylor, Greenz, Hunter, Comfortpro, Greenmaster, Aledge, Holland Park, Cathead, Toressi, Domino, Fletcher Jones, City Clubs, Goodrich Biggest range of coloured bowls clothing We buy and trade second hand bowls See our current list of available second hand bowls on our website Contact us on facebook LeaseanewsetofBowlsfor$250/annum “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” IllustrationbyRodMarget Crikey, the big bloke’s become a planker!
August September 2011