Wednesday, June 29, 2011

an open letter to mcdonalds

Dear Ronald,

I was a recent customer at one of your fine establishments, and thought I’d drop you a quick letter about my experience.

My McDonalds visit began quite well; I wound down my car window to yell my order at the drive-thru box, and that unmistakable McDonalds smell filled my car – it is indeed the scent of childhood and birthday parties, and according to rumour, also the smell of homeless people being ground up and made into burgers. If there was any hydration left in my body, that smell would have caused me to salivate, but seeing as I was at McDonalds, it meant that I was as hungover as Charlie Sheen and needed all the moisture my body could produce to enable me to speak.

I don’t know if it was my hangover, my disdain for fuckheaded teenagers, or the fact that the fuckheaded teenager taking my order was exceptionally fuckheaded (possibly a combination), but try this conversation when you can feel your eyeballs pulse with every heartbeat:
“Hi, what do you want?”
“Can I please have a large Big Mac meal, a Gr-”
“Is that all?”
“Is that all?”
“No. A Grand Angus, a six-”
“Is that all?”
“No. And a six-pack of -”
“Is that all?”
“A six-pack of nuggets SHUT THE FUCK UP and a chocolate sundae.”
“Is that all?”
“And a cheeseburger. And that is all.”
“Is that all?”
“Yes. That is all.”
“That’s a million billion dollars, please drive through to the next window.”

It’s at the mystical “next window” that I met the little shit who took my order. I’m not sure why I couldn’t just tell him face-to-face instead of leaning out of my car window and yelling into the speaker, but I’ll leave that up to you to work out, Ronald.

Upon receiving my bag of deliciousness, I drove home, set up a fort made out of cushions and spread out my feast of saturated fats, unsaturated fries and moist ice-cream. On the drive home from the restaurant, I had made a mental plan of how I was going to eat this meal: fries go inside the cheeseburger, take alternate bites of that and sundae (also eaten with fries). Then two nuggets, then the Big Mac, then the rest of my nuggets (while mindlessly stuffing more fries into my mouth). Drink the melted bits of my sundae and scoop out the chocolate with my fingers. Then I would eat the bits of the Grand Angus that my girlfriend didn’t want and finish off with a massive coronary. It was all planned out, Ronald, and it was going to be glorious.

The entrée of fries and cheeseburger began badly when I realised that there was a missing ingredient – the burger. A cross-section of the burger went: bun, cheese, pickle, bun. I am sure about this; I checked it at least twice. I even checked the bag again to make sure that the patty hadn’t been wrapped separately. I know that you are running a very successful organisation, Ronald, I would advise against selling cheese sandwiches. That thing tasted like balls.

The Grand Angus for mains was also disappointing, in the fact that it was a chicken burger with no sauce, and the tomato slice within the burger still contained the stem from the plant (seriously, why are you combining chicken, tomato and cheese anyway? Does anyone actually eat these things before you sell them, or do you just assume: chicken = good, tomato = good, cheese = good, slap them all together and serve them in Grand Angus packaging?) and it looked like the genius who made it wasn’t sure if there was supposed to be lettuce in the burger or not, as there was enough to confuse it for garnish, but not entirely enough for it to be tasted.

The meal wasn’t a complete disaster however, as the McNuggets lived up to their full potential; if anything, I was disappointed that I didn’t get a larger pack. The fries too, were outstanding and hot – I don’t know if this is due to them being freshly cooked, or whether there are new heat lamps being used, and I don’t care. Whatever you are doing there is good by me.

Anyway, that was my McDonalds experience, Ron. While it wasn’t the best time of my life, it wasn’t a complete mess and I’ll definitely do it again soon. However, if I ever get that punk in the drive-thru again, I’m going to climb through that little window and kick the shit out of him.

I hope that things are still going well for you. Say hi to Grimace for me, and you really should make more commercials involving the Hamburglar. I swear that kids today have never seen him.


Mister Evil Breakfast

I see what you did there

Friday, June 24, 2011

Round 16: One Man to Rule Them All

The big news in the NRL this week has revolved around one bloke, and one bloke only – Jonathan Thurston. Thursty was charged with recklessly tackling a referee during last week’s game (and sleeping with his wife afterwards) and could have been ruled out for two games if found guilty; one game being against the Panthers, the other game being the State of Origin decider, so you can sort of see why it held some importance to league fans.

The entire population of Queensland was beating their collective chest and picking nits out of each other’s fur about the judiciary hearing, as the loss of “JT” (not Justin Timberlake) would have put a big ol’ stick in the spokes of the Origin tricycle. Without the Origin shield to display at Queensland HQ (the Big Gumboot in Tully), the Vancouver riots would have looked like a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, and I can assure you that the “Vancouver riot kiss” would have turned into an all-out Maroon-coloured orgy, with thousands upon thousands of misshapen Queensland babies born nine months down the track, all called “Jaytee” and born with shit-house angel wing tattoos.

But we don’t have to worry about freak zombie children from Queensland (too much), as Thurston was cleared of reckless behaviour (but not cleared of syphilis) and will take his usual place in the halfback position for QLD and the reverse cowboy position with Billy Slater’s wife.

The sounds of disgruntled grunts grunting from Queensland this week have otherwise overshadowed a fairly interesting looking round of fooseball – the Tigers and Bulldogs game should be evenly matched with the Tigers missing the firepower of Benji Marshall and the Doggies missing firepower; the Titans and the Sharks battle it out to prove once and for all who is the shittest team; and the previously top-of-the-ladder St George Illawarra Steel Dragons look to shake off a losing streak against the in-form Manly Warringah Northern Sea Eagles. I love a good merger that people forget about.

Tigers vs Bulldogs
Rabbitohs vs Broncos
Titans vs Sharks
Warriors vs Storm
Panthers vs Cowboys
vs Roosters
Dragons vs Sea Eagles

Game of the round:
The Game of the Round was a hard one to pick this week, as the Knights and the Roosters would have been a good one to dissect (to be honest, I would have just talked about how shit Todd Carney is and why I don’t like him AGAIN), but the eventual winner of the prestigious award is the game between the Raiders (woo! RAIDERS!) and the Parramatta Eels.

Raiders vs Eels
Scoring 24 points in a game should be enough to win most league encounters, and is the exact amount that the Raiders have managed to rack up in the past two weeks before fucking out and finding a new way to lose a game of footy.


The Eels are a struggling team – their attack is predictable and shit (and predictably shit), and is done exclusively by Jarryd Hayne, while their defence is solid but has a weakness in that it is all done by Nathan Hindmarsh. According to my calculations, that leaves eleven blokes standing around saying, “Oooh don’t we look nice in our blue and yellow jumpers?”

Sure, the Raiders let Shaun Fensom handle all of their tackling, but they ensure that all thirteen players are involved in their offense, which consists of “the inside ball.” Strangely, the only people who aren’t ready for “the inside ball” are the Raiders’ support players, but I’ve got a good feeling that it’s going to work well this week, and that magic 24-point buffer will hold out nicely.

I also have a feeling that Natalie Portman is going to come over to my house and feed me Tim Tams while I watch Jurassic Park. If both of my feelings actually come to fruition, it will be a good weekend for all.

The Raiders are setting new standards in enthusiasm

MEB cumulative score: 62

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours.

This rare behind-the-scenes photo reveals a lot about the Neighboursverse: Karl and Susan drinking coffee and gossiping about Andrew, who is ordering coffee while talking overly loud to Lucas, and some extras practicing drinking coffee. And a camera left unattended while the cameraman gets a coffee

Ramsay Street is a turbulent place at the best of time, but lately it has been off the fucking chart. We’ve got new characters, old characters, characters who wear ties, characters who don’t wear ties, dickheads, wankers and fuckwits. It’s a ticking time-bomb inside a pressure cooker with a lit fuse just waiting to boil over.

I haven’t been able to keep entirely up-to-date with the residents of Erinsborough, but I’m pretty sure I can go all Sherlock on myself and piece together the pieces of this many-pieced puzzle.

Pop the kettle on, this could take a while.
To kick off, let’s see who was super shit enough to not have their Neighbours contract extended:

Zeke’s gone. He might have headed overseas to pursue his blossoming DJ career, but it’s more likely that he died in a canoeing accident. For some reason, water had a magnetic attraction for Zeke, if magnets had the power to kill.

Steph has gone because she ran over Ringo and killed him and was shipped off to jail somewhere in Fuck Knows Nowhere, Victoria. Following the shocking jury decision (although since the charge was drink driving occasioning death, it really shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to anyone), Lyn grabbed Steph’s ugly kid (not Summer, the other one) and has moved to Fuck Knows so they can be closer to the drug-addicted alcoholic homicidal maniac that is Steph. I love a close-knit family. Except that they left Summer behind (good choice), so I guess Lyn’s pretty choosey about who she wants in her family. When the ugly kid and Steph get props over you, you might want to stop and think about your life.

Lyn’s absence obviously meant that there was an empty house on Ramsay. Better fill that space up with a couple of dickheads:
Kyle (that loveable larrikin who you may recognise as the bloke who always wears singlets, tries to donk anything that moves, drinks shit tins of orange juice at the pub and will only watch movies starring Steven Segal, just like every 20-something male in existence);
Jade - Sonya’s sister who is inexplicably of a different race than the rest of her family; and
Kate’s ex-boyfriend Mr Policeman, who moved in with the idiots above, regardless of the fact that they didn’t have jobs and are about ten years younger than him. I’m guessing that the pull of Ramsay Street got him in the end; it’s a well known fact that if you spend too long on Neighbours, one day you’ll wake up living in Lyn’s house… Also, the fact that the house is next door to Kate’s place probably helped. Because living next door to your ex girlfriend while you’re sharing a place with the girl you cheated on her with isn’t awkward at all, right? Right.

Mr Policeman is in a spot of bother for blowing the whistle on corrupt cops in Erinsborough, and has been “copping” it from his cop friends since he filed a report. Being the great journo that he is, Paul Robinson got wind of the story and threatened to blow the whole thing “sky high” by running it in the Erinsborough News (readership: 10 billion trillion people). Kate asked him not to run the story for the sake of Mr Policeman (I can’t really remember why, but I think it had something to do with bears), so Paul ran a story about high interest rates instead. Phew. Mr Policeman is safe. WAIT… interest rates are at what level? Jesus, I’m never going to be able to afford a house. Good one, Paul, you peg-legged dick.

After being abandoned by her family, Summer was absorbed into Karl and Susan’s house. Fuck. I couldn’t think of anything worse than living with those two douchebags. In a rarity for Neighbours writing, Karl has realistically cracked the shits with Susan and said, “I am so fucking sick of all the motherfucking teenagers in this house.” (the part of Dr Karl was played by Samuel L. Jackson) Susan quelled that storm by replying, “It’s only for a few more years.” Then they had some coffee and forgot about it.

Summer is also dating Rob Farnham aka Andrew, the mysteriously Scottish son of Paul Robinson. Paul has just offered Summer a journalist position at the Erinsborough News, which for a 17-year old with no qualifications is a pretty tidy opportunity. When I was 17, I worked at Woolworths and wanted a pair of rollerblades. The closest I came to being offered anything while I was working there was when some paedophile tried to get me involved in his Amway-selling scheme. I guess kids today are different with their hopes and dreams, and paedos are way more generous than they used to be.

Andrew has decided to focus his attention on his burgeoning entertainment business (what does that even mean?) and can’t wait to finish school so he can really reap the benefits. Apparently Andrew has been running dance parties for years as a side job to being a student, being awesome and having shit hair. AND he’s only about 15 years old. He might also have access to a time machine, seeing as no-one has even thought about a dance party since 1997.

Summer dragged Andrew to the Erinsborough University to do some recon on the campus and students for his ‘entertainment business,’ but Andrew seemed sceptical that the university crowd would be into it. “This guys don’ haf any monay tay partay wif,” he announced. “Noo let’s goo an’ get oorselfs soom coffee. Iss bin aboot an hoor since weef had one.” I’m glad that Andrew knows his target audience so well, and recognises that high school kids earn more money than adults.

In life away from Lyn’s house:
Harold is back from his across-Australia tour, and looky-looky, he’s brought himself a wife - the old duck from the Spray and Wipe ads. The wedding was glorious, as Harold spent most of the ceremony talking about his first wife before they all head to Charlie’s for a drink (orange juice) at the reception afterwards. I loved the fact that the bar was still decorated with advertising despite the reception being held there. I’m sure Mr and Mrs Spray and Wipe Bishop will love the fact that their wedding photos have the dates for Magic Dirt’s 2007 tour in the background.

The Neighbours writers realised that they hadn’t had a chance to use their hospital set for a while, so they made Lou collapse, thereby fixing that little oversight quick-smart by plonking him in the usual private room with machines going “ping” and Dr Karl dropping by to show off his lovely white coat and clipboard ensemble.

I’m not entirely sure what’s in the water in Erinsborough, but Kyle has followed the trend set by Andrew and has also decided to be his own boss by becoming a “professional handy man.” I would have assumed that being a professional man-whore would have been more apt, but that’s just me. I’m not sure where he decided that handiwork was a good idea, seeing as the only remotely handy thing he’s done is apply glue to a shelf, which then attracted a coffee mug and his own hand. Fuck I want to live on Ramsay Street - for one, I’d be able to kill Natasha a lot easier, and secondly I’d be able to become a professional Alec Baldwin impersonator within a week.

I’m going out on a limb and assuming that Kyle is also using Andrew’s time machine to go back to 1947 when handymen still existed. In the year 2011, if your dishwasher fucks out, you call a dishwasher repairman. If your car breaks down, you get a mechanic to look at it. You don’t call a 20-year old kid to turn up and poke around with nothing more than hope and a screwdriver.

Natasha has begun sleeping with a skeezy older man who rakes leaves for a living (seriously, how do I get to Ramsay St?), who makes constant references to the fact that she “looks hot” when she wears her school uniform during their back-seat encounters during her free periods at school. There are two ways that Natasha would ever be described as hot – one is if she has a crowbar sticking out of her mangled face, the other is if you were a skeezy old man. In Neighbours’ latest Community Service Announcement, Tash took a nudie photo of herself (in the toilets at Harold’s café) and sent it to Skeezy’s phone.

To end this Neighbours update, I’m proud to announce another Neighbours first:
Say hello to Chris, the token gay kid. Hi Chris. Chris hasn’t done anything of note since joining the cast, and that will be the status quo until another gay bloke moves in. Because as we all know, gay people spend all their time thinking gay thoughts about being gay. Oh, and drinking coffee, but that’s a Neighbours thing.

MEB’s Neighbours predictions
- electrical fire caused by Kyle’s shithouse handiwork
- Natasha’s photo is going to “go viral” and attract more views than the Erinsborough News and Google* combined. She will cop a mighty punishment from her dad, who will forbid her from having sex with random old blokes
*Note: The Neighbours universe has its own search engine, called “Poodle.” It’s pink and has a dog.
- Mr Copper will continue to cop flak from corrupt cops and will eventually leave the street to save the people he loves (from bears?)
- Karl is going to go postal for a week and recite Ezekial 25:17 before killing a lot of people before apologising and going back to being a boring old dick
- Toadie will get married again. That guy loves his nuptials

MEB’s Neighbours Peeve of the Week
In the opening credits, it shows Sonya and Libby together. They are blowing bubbles in the backyard and having a good giggle about it. It looks fucking stupid and if anyone out there can tell me if they know of ANY women (or men) who get together for a good old-fashioned bubble-blowing afternoon in the sun, I’d love to meet them (and feed them to a bear).

Friday, June 17, 2011

NRL 2011 Round 15: My knee is itchy

So the post-Origin hangover should be well and truly out of everyone’s system by now, and the taste of Paul Gallen’s monstrous 80-minute Lazarus-like knob has been washed out of every sports journalist’s mouth (I don’t count) and we can all collapse back into the regular season.

Congrats to NSW, who did what few people thought they’d ever be able to do – win a game of football. Hopefully this will inspire other retarded teams to go out and dream that impossible dream and achieve victory. Pity the Raiders aren’t playing this week. On the plus side, it gives them another couple of days to (a) keep cleaning the trays in McDonalds restaurants, and (b) recover from the massive round of testicle-kicking I promised them after losing last week.

There’s an awkward feeling you get when you walk out of a movie with your friends and they’re all saying, “That was the greatest movie I’ve ever seen!” and you’re thinking, “I can’t believe that this movie was ever allowed to be made, let alone that I actually paid money to sit and watch it.” I got this feeling after reading some reports about Origin. It wasn’t the worst game I’ve ever seen (I have been a Raiders fan for a long time, after all), but for an exhibition of the game’s best players, there was a lack of spark, fluency and creativity from the backlines of each team. I mean, we don’t expect much from NSW, or for that matter, any team that has Mitchell Pearce involved, but with Thursty “Shit Tatts” Thurston and Dazzler “Batman” Lockyer running the show for the Aubergines, there was a distinct lack of crisp cut-out passes to players running into gaps, sneaky dummies and set plays that were pulled off with precision. As the Blues continued to pile on some great defensive pressure, the Queenslanders just didn’t adapt their game to counter it.

That was a long and sensible paragraph that had way too many insights into the sport. I apologise; it won’t happen again (it might).

Broncos v Dragons
Rabbitohs v Titans
Knights v Panthers
Cowboys v Warriors
Bulldogs v Sharks
Tigers v Storm
Sea Eagles
v Eels

How much did I suck at tipping last week? Yep, plenty. And don’t think I wouldn’t do it again, either.

The Hayne Plane has been grounded due to volcanic ash and the fact that he is shit

MEB cumulative score: 56

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

State of Origin Game 2, 2011: Don't forget to write a witty heading before posting this blog

Tonight’s State of Origin clash is shaping up to be one of the most important games in recent memory. Speaking of recent memories, mine was waking up surrounded by tequila bottles, blood, a shovel and what appeared to be half a prostitute (I’m not saying which half). Perhaps other people’s lives (and memories) are different to mine.

NSW are under massive amounts of pressure to put a halt to QLD’s winning streak, which dates back to biblical times. “And God did say unto Methuselah, ‘Take this twenty dollars to the TAB and put it on Queensland to win.’ Methuselah did as God intended, and won enough money to buy beer and some chips. And God saw that this was good.”

Of course, the Queensland domination of Origin won’t last for too much longer as their key players will give up representative football in the next few years, but winning against a team without Lockyer (retired), Civenociva (old age), Thurston (pubic lice), Slater (rat farming) and Smith (shaving) will be hollow, and for any kind of pride to be instilled within the NSW culture, they need to win this series.

The Blues’ preparation hasn’t exactly been ideal, losing Dugan to injury and Morris to stupidity, and then replacing them with Hayne and Minichiello. Not the good Minichiello either.

Sticky Tricky Ricky “Supercoach Selector Superstar Super Super” Stuart has hocked a giant loogie in the face of his previous selection process by backflipping on the idea of not choosing players out of position, as he has picked fullback Hayne for the wing, lock Gallen as a front-row prop and spastic Minichiello on the field. I’m not saying that Gallen isn’t big enough to be a prop, but it will force him to play a completely different style of game to what he’s used to. His speed and mobility may have been a factor in his controversial position selection, but with rain and heavy ground forecast for Sydney, this may mean sweet motherfucking fuck all. A guy running fast but unable to change direction is about the same as a guy running slowly who can’t change direction, and he will be duly eaten alive by the maroon forwards.

Queensland have made only a couple of changes to their team, with Gringlis taking his place in the centres, replacing Tonga who decided that having two working shoulders was way overrated. Greggie hasn’t had the smoothest of 2011s, but has that certain knack for saving all of his good form for Origin games. If I was a betting man, I’d put a coin or two on him to snatch a try. Possibly the second try.

Mister Evil Breakfast’s Philosophical Tip:
The game will not be won by NSW. If they are to secure victory, it will not be because they won, but because QLD lost.

I am prepared to eat all of these words, by the way. Especially the word “chips.”

Regardless of how many shit tattoos you may have, you can rest easy knowing that Thurston's are worse

Thursday, June 09, 2011

NRL Round 14: Injuries and spell-check

It’s a tough game, this rugby league caper. So is writing about it – without the correct posture, you can really get a stiff back. Phroar. I wonder if anyone has had a typing injury, like if they pressed too hard on a key (the D key looks like a likely candidate) and jarred their finger or something. If this has happened, I would like the blogosphere to make it known that amateur writing is just as hard and dangerous as playing professional football. Especially when you’re doing it at work and ignoring your job.

Injuries have shaken the NRL world to its core, and with Origin on in less than a week, it leaves this weekend’s teams all higgledy-piggledy. FYI, higgledy-piggledy is in the MS Word dictionary. FYI, it’s also in auto-correct. FYI, I misspelled it, that’s how I know.

Origin, injuries and turmoil are the topics taking up the NRL newsbucket this week, as embattled Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore was told “your team is shit,” to which he replied, “Yeah, tell me about it.” I reckon he’s trawling for a new job as we speak. Parramatta bigwigs are also mourning the fact that they didn’t sign Darren Lockyer as a junior sixteen years ago, claiming they saw great potential in the young five-eighth even way back then. Funnily enough, he was playing fullback at the time. It also appears that he may have caught the eye of some Brisbane scouts, so Parra can shove that shithouse story up their Eric Grothe Jr. I could write all day about how I stupidly turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars (the filming dates conflicted with the time that I was alive), or the time I didn’t take the opportunity to marry Natalie Portman (every day). Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that opportunities aren’t there solely for you.

The team doctor measures up players for bogan tattoos

Round 14
There are some tough decisions to make this week as teams take the field without their Origin stars and injured players, so it all comes down to how you reckon the second-string players will go, or how important a left centre really is. Answer: not really integral, but handy to have – kind of like your appendix.

Dragons v Titans
Sea Eagles v Cowboys
Warriors v Tigers
Storm v Roosters

Broncos v Raiders

FOR FUCK’S SAKE. What the fuck happened last week, Raiders? Jesus suffering fuck. Fucking hell.


Giving up a 22-point lead is never a good thing for anyone in any sport. Giving up a 22-point lead to lose by 16 is just fucking unforfuckingivable. What a fucking disgrace.

Right. Onto this week. The Raiders had just one player picked for Origin duty, but he decided to plonk himself on the injured list instead. Other Canberra players decided that the injured list looked like a good list to be on, so they joined him there, including Terry Campese, whose 2011 season consisted of seven minutes on the field, before he tore his groin muscle into confetti. Nice one, Tezza. At least your highlights reel will be a simple editing job.

I’m going for the Raiders in this game, simply because the Broncs always struggle without their senior players who are away on Origin duty. It’s the game that Canberra needs to win, and if they don’t then I’m kicking them all in the balls. Seriously, I will hunt down all of the players and fucking boot them right in the scrote.

On a sad and controversial and angry note, Josh Miller may be forced to leave the Raiders at the end of this year due to salary cap restrictions. Miller is a good young player who bleeds lime green – the Raiders need him to stick around, and should do whatever the fuck it takes to keep him in the nation’s capital. Lose that Orford bloke, or sell half of Tom Learoyd-Lahrs’ name or something. If they lose Miller, he will get bought by another club while he is in the prime of his career and will destroy his opposition. If the Raiders can stop being a springboard club for future superstars of the game, that would be tops.

MEB cumulative score: 55

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Run out without facing a ball in his final Test

Simon Katich’s international career ended on June 7, 2011 – a day that shall hereby be known as Krab Day, in memory of the way that Simon sideways-walked his way around the batting crease.

Even photographs of Simon Katich are known to grow stubble

Cricket Australia released the twenty-five contracted players for Australia yesterday, effectively closing the book on the international career of Simon Katich. Marcus North was also a name notably (and thankfully) missing from the list. When approached for comment, North slurred, “I’ve got me name on the honours board at Lord’s. Youse can go fuck yourselfs.”

CA announced that they were mindful of establishing an effective top order partnership. “It takes time to get a good opening partnership and we now think the time is right to make sure we've got the right opening partnership come the Ashes [in 2013].”

The need to establish a strong opening partnership is obvious, yet baffling when you consider that CA threw another contract towards Phillip Hughes, who plays at the ball the way my gran swishes her hand at blowflies in the summer. His Test form is shit, his state form is shit, and from all reports, his form in the backyard against his cousin (who’s a girl) is also shit and he has to resort to cheating to score runs.

The ‘strong opening partnership’ that CA are looking for has already been found with Katich and Watson, who normally work well together against the new ball. The problems with Australia’s batting come in the middle order as muppets like Ponting and Clarke succumb to short balls, full balls, wide balls and balls pitched in the general vicinity of the wicket. This then brings an out-of-place Steve Smith to the wicket, whose batting technique looks like it's based on watching a handful of scratchy home-made self-help cricketing videos that he found in his neighbour’s garage when he was huffing paint.

The Australian bowling is even worse, and looks like it’s going to be bolstered by a couple of teenagers. It will be a massive honour for them to be sharing the ball with Mitchell Johnson; regardless of whether they’re copping stick from the batsmen, at least they can hold their heads high and say, “I may be shit, but I’m not Mitchell Johnson shit.” They will be released from their contracts the following year and will thankfully go back to their old lives, giving hand-jobs in the back rows of pornographic theatres.

I’m all for the introduction of youth in the squad, but why combine the inexperience of a James Pattinson with the general awfulness of a Mitch Johnson and the ineffectiveness of a Nathan Hauritz? Who are these young kids going to ask when they have questions on where to pitch the ball for a particular batsman? Do they know where to land it to contain runs?

At the very least, we've got Patrick Cummins, whose name lends itself to a handful (snigger) of dirty jokes. "Cummins makes his mark," "Quick Cummins," "Indians choke on Cummins" and "Clarke sticks with Cummins" are all headlines I'm looking forward to.

The axing of Katich is a nail right through the testicles of Australian cricket – it probably won’t kill it, but it’s going to hurt for a long, long time.

Simon Katich has played a different part in all of our lives – solid opening batsman, contestant on Celebrity MasterChef and the guy voted to have the ‘best five o’clock shadow at 10am.' With a Test average of 45.03, including ten 100s and twenty-five 50s, he will be remembered as a gritty performer for Australian cricket both on and off the field, showing passion that was neither practiced or endorsed by Sanitarium.

While strangling his captain for not joining in the team's victory song following a rare win might not have been in his best interests, I think Kat will look back on that moment as one of his greatest achievements. Australian cricket is weaker for not having more people who have throttled Michael Clarke.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

NRL 2011 - Round 13: Living on a Prayer (aka we're halfway there)

We’re about half-way through the 2011 season (give or take) and the shape of the NRL ladder seems to be making itself slightly clearer. I dare say that at this juncture, every team still has the chance to make it into the finals – don’t quote me on that one though, maths and logic were never my forte (kickboxing and astronautical exploration are more me) – but it’s safe to say that not every team actually has the skill to make said finals; the Roosters and the Titans, for example. I wonder if the Roosters will continue the pattern of being shit one year, making it to the Grand Final the next, then being even shitter than the first year, then coming good again? Look out 2012, it’s the year of the chooks.

Not really, 2012 will be the year of world apocalypse according to the Mayans and John Cusack. Bad luck, Roosters.

We can safely say that the Dragons are the form team again/still, and there was one report this week of a bookie who was already paying the punters who had backed the Saints for a grand final win (to do that at this stage of the comp reeks of stupidity and sloppy PR for mine, but fuck it; it filled half a column in the sports section), while teams like Manly and the Warriors are surprising a few people by not being incredibly shit.

It has been easy (and fun) to hate Manly in the past – any team that boasted Geoff Toovey, Des Hasler, Cliff Lyons and Spud Carroll in their playing roster deserve to be hated. But their form lately has been undeniably impressive, which is definitely a turnaround from the days when they had to cheat to win games. Young players like Kieren Foran, Daly Chery-Evans and Will Hopoate, combined with old heads Bretty Stewart and Tony Watmough back on the paddock and playing well has the ratio of fans to parole officers at Brookvale Oval finally starting to even up.

Eels vs Dragons
Sharks vs Broncos
Titans vs Panthers
Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles
Roosters vs Warriors
Rabbitohs vs Storm
vs Knights

That’s an almost obscene amount of away teams that I'm tipping, which just goes to show how shithouse half of these teams are going, or how bad at tipping I really am.

Raiders vs Cowboys
There has a whole Vikingship of contention over whether Terry Campese would make this his comeback game from injury, and from all reports (the guy at the desk behind mine), the answer is “no.” This has given Josh “I’m really not as bad as you all thought I was” McCrone and Sam “TBC” Williams another chance to become the greatest halves combination in the history of the universe. Matt “I can do it coach! Just put me in the game coach!” Orford has been told to pretend he’s sick and given an all-access pass to Timezone for the week to keep him out of the way.

The Raiders’ odds of winning the premiership have also risen dramatically from a fairly outside chance of $58 to a still-fairly-outside-chance at $23 following two wins in a row… Two wins? Doesn’t take much to impress the TAB faithful, eh?

After much-improved performances against the Storm and the Doggies, Canberra has finally shown that they do have the ability to play footy, and their giant front-rowers aren’t a massive bunch of pussies. Meanwhile, the Cowbs have been racking up victories of all sorts – scrappy, gritty, come-from-behind and controlled. If the Raiders can contain Thursty Thurston for the full eighty minutes (possibly by sacrificing one of the players’ wives for him), they’ll go a long way towards giving a massive “fuck you!” to their detractors and a big ol’ “fuck you” to the rest of the comp.

Of course, if they lose, I’ll be giving them a nice “fuck you” from the grandstand. And they’ll have no choice but to love it.

PS. Go Raiders! WOO!

Alan Tongue - undisputed piggyback champion of the world

Did anyone else notice I picked another full round last week? Well I did, and you should have heard about it because I rang the whole world and sent them all email and twittered them and facebooked their inbox and even went on MySpace to let everyone know.

MEB cumulative score: 50