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Ron on Road 1

Wrong Ron On Road (winter 2010)

Added to website 25 Jan 2011

 

Ring, Ring

“Hello, Psycho Anna Liszt speaking”

“It’s Wrong Ron, here, Psycho Anna”.

PAL: Ron, where have you been; I’ve been thinking about you!

WR:  Likewise; that’s why I called you.  I got the job! The Aussie Rules evaluation project job!  I am working for BARF!  The Barometer or Australian Rules Football

PAL:  Great news, Wrong Ron.  I’m free now so you can tell me a bit about it.

WR:  My job is to assemble a team of players who will travel around Australia and promote the game.  There is another team also doing the same thing for BARF.  In September, we will play a grand final and also make a presentation to BARF.  Then one team will be chosen to go abroad to promote our great game – and all this on a generous BARF expense account!

PAL:  So you resigned from the job as spatula boy trainer?

WR: Yes and my understudy has taken my old job.

Anyway, first I had to hire my team.  The team consists of players (way below AFL standard) and we are touring the country running clinics and playing matches.  Each player has another role such as cooking, accounting admin, public speaking etc.

The first one I hired was a bloke called Mal Prop. 

Mal is a bit like Buzz Lightyear because his opinion of himself is too high, but somehow you still like him. He is short and stocky and I reckon he could play as an inside midfielder. He is a Cat fan and was very confident of back to back flags 2009/10. He has no special qualifications, but is a jack of all trades.  I asked him to help me interview and select the team. 

First off, we needed someone to do our accounting and bookkeeping.  After going through a few applications, we interviewed a few.  Mal wasn’t impressed with them as he wanted a bloke who could play good footy and we kept getting nerdy, bookworm types. 

But Mal cheered up when applicant Matt E Matical walked in.  He was 196cm and looked every centimetre a footballer. Before Matt even sat down, Mal told him, “You’re hired!”  I managed to settle Mal down (even though Mal said he wanted to strike while the ironing board was hot!) and check Matt’s credentials. 

He had been working long hours for an accounting firm and was bored.  His hours were so long that he had stopped playing footy.  Matt loved numbers and was a natural a balancing the books.  Mal’s first impression was right; and Matt joined the team.

 

Next we needed a trainer to keep us fit and healthy.  We only received one application.  I sat down and read it out to Mal.  “I am a talented footballer and qualified personal trainer who would like the chance to work for your team.”

“I like him already”, chimed in Mal.

I continued: “I represented Victoria as a junior footballer…

“He is hired!” exclaimed Mal.

… “in the girl’s national championships…”

“Girl!  We are not hiring a girl, Wrong Ron!  No way.”

“Steady down a bit there Mal”, I replied, “we will be running clinics for both boys and girls all around the country.  A female with good footy skills would certainly be an asset”.  I continued reading the application.

…. “To describe my playing style: I kick straight like Tony Lockett; I am quick off the mark like Dane Swan.  Height-wise I am, alas, like Sam Mitchell;  but I can fly like Nick Riewoldt.  Oh, and I am also a bit like Leigh Mathews.”

Mal and I stared at each other.  “LEIGH MATHEWS?”

Leigh Mathews, my football!”, shouted Mal, “I bet she can’t even play.  Here’s the deal.  Let’s bring in her to test her footy ability – one on one with me.  If I give her a football lesson, will you agree not to hire her?”

My mind ticked over…. Vic rep as a junior…. Fast…..Good mark….

“Okay, Mr Mal Prop; you’ve got yourself a deal.  The application ends: looking forward to an interview,

Ann Aerobic. GO PIES!

“Pies!”, Mal bleated,  “Now I’m even more determined to bundle her out; send her packing – I’ll even help her pack!”

 

A few days later Ann Aerobic arrived.  She was skinny and fit looking and around Mal’s height of 160cm.  Mal jogged out onto the ground ready for his one on one contest.  Matt E Matical would kick the ball to them and I was to judge. The first kick went far from Mal and Ann.  They ran back to retrieve the ball.  Ann got there first due to superior pace and delivered a nice pass back to Matt.  This process was repeated and Mal looked grumpy.

“Okay!” Mal moaned, “so she has pace.  But kick the ball up for a marking contest and we’ll see who is boss!”

Matt kicked a high ball.  Mal looked up and set himself for the mark.  Ann had slipped behind in the contest.  Mal thought himself in the perfect position until….. “Jesaulenko, you beauteeeeee!”  Ann did her own commentary as she took a speccie over Mal. 

“Fluke!” said Mal and then Ann repeated the process; this time imitating Travis Cloke.

I noted that Mal had the leaping ability of Tony Liberatore and Ann was like a jack-in-the-box.  After Ann yelled out, “Riewoldt” and came down with the ball a third time, Mal mumbled that she was hired and wandered off to change.  He looked somewhat distressed.

 

I went in to check on him later that day.  He had his bags all packed and said he was quitting.  I told him he had to give notice and asked if would help me meet some local primary kids and have a kick with them.  This proved good therapy for Mal and he forgot about Ann for a while.  The kids loved him.  He threw them in the air, showed them how to execute a banana kick and thoughts of quitting were gone – for a while.

 

That night I mentioned Mal’s state of mind to Ann.  She reckoned it could be solved the next morning.

 

At breakfast, Ann told Mal she needed some help on some aspects of her game.  They went out to the oval with a footy and Ann put the ball on the ground.  “Okay”, said Ann, “you guard the ball and I’ll try to knock you off it.”  Mal complied and Ann made little impression on Mal, who crouched wombat-like over the footy.

“Now let’s swap roles”, suggested Ann.

This time Ann was easily bumped off the ball and Mal was able to retrieve it.

“You’re very strong over the ball”, noted Ann.  “I am too light and get pushed of it easily.  When we play, I will need you to get the hard ball and dish it out to me.  Let’s see you handball to me out in space.”  Mal was a good handballer and performed this task with quick hands and accuracy.  They came back inside and I could see Mal was feeling much better. 

“So how are you similar to Leigh Mathews?” I inquired of Ann, as I didn’t see any resemblance.

“The voice”, came the reply. We chuckled.

 

That day, we interviewed a cook.  Mal had met him first and told us that, judging by the accent, Dan Defensive was either a union shop steward or a soccer coach.  Dan did confirm that he had coached his junior soccer match for 100 consecutive matches without a loss.  “Defence is the key”, he told us.  He cooked well and so was hired.

 

I will tell you about our chaplain soon, Psycho Anna.

PAL:  Thanks, and good-bye Wrong Ron.