Wrong Ron On Road – Warrnambool and beyond

Wrong Ron On Road – Warrnambool and beyond

Added 16 Dec 2013

Dear Pyscho Anna Liszt,

This is Wrong Ron emailing in.  I tried to call you but couldn’t get through.  Hope all is well.

We arrived at Warrnambool for part 1 of our pre-season training. Ann Aerobic had us going through our paces on the beach.  The intensity of the training was pretty high and most went for a dip in the sea immediately after – except for Wong Sing Lish.

He headed straight for the Dragon Inn Restaurant and polished off a bowl of noodle soup, char siu with a century egg, some dumplings and a revolting bowl of red bean soup to conclude.  Why not fried ice-cream?  By the time he got back to base, the rest were sitting down to eat and he joined them for yet more food.

Sister Fibrosis scheduled a meeting with Pastor Mark Buck and me about her two patients.  It seemed that they were overly stressed by exposure to all the new technology.  I had missed the fact that the tour of Kardinia Park put a whole lot of technology in their faces all at once.

A set of guidelines were established to cope with the situation.  General Sawness and Private Leigh Seething were to be a bit more isolated from the team.  The rest of them were not to use any modern gadgets in their presence for a while (even a mobile that weighed as much as a brick was considered to be “modern” for the purposes of the exercise).

Sister spent much of the day with them.  When she had to leave them alone, she would play re-runs of old movies and TV shows.  While this was happening, Private Leigh Seething was beginning to fill in General Sawness of what happened between 1965 and 1975.

The first time she came back to check on them, Leigh was looking at the side of the wall-mounted TV.  “Did they build the cathode ray oscilloscope into the wall?” he inquired.

Mark went in to visit the two old fellows and General wanted to ask a serious question.  Mark had mustered all his counselling and prayer skills, but General asked, “How many flags have Melbourne won since I went into a coma?”

“What is the last thing you remember about the Dees?” replied Mark (buying some time).

Well, the last thing I remember was the mighty Dees won round 12, we were reigning premiers and sitting at 9 wins and 3 losses.  I reckon we were bound for another premiership under the great Norm Smith.

“General”, interjected Leigh, “the Dees sacked Norm the Friday night after you went into the coma!”

GS: I didn’t know my injury would have such a profound effect on the team.  How could they do such a stupid thing?

PLS: Apparently he had upset some at the board or something like that.  Anyway they reinstated him soon after….

GS: Now you’re talking sense

PLS: …but the damage had been done, it seemed.  Things were never the same since.  Melbourne only won one more game for the year and they missed the finals.

GS: Somebody wake me up from this nightmare.  So, Mark, how many Dee flags have I missed while asleep?

PMB: Not sure if I should tell you straight out.  The answer is a four digit number

GS: let’s see, then…. Four, five, nine…..nine seems the most obvious.  So does the answer end in an “E”?

PMB: yes

GS: Good! that eliminates a miserable four flags.  Does it start with an “N”?

PMB: Yes

GS:  Oh well, we won 6 in 10 years with Norm Smith while I was awake.  I had hoped for a least a dozen, but nine flags will suffice.

PLS:  I’m not sure of the answer, but there were none from 1965 to 1975.

GS: NONE!!! You mean, none in a whole 10 years!!!  Wait a minute, “none” is another four letter number – of sorts

PMB: None!  No flags from 1965 to 2013!

GS: Surely this is a nightmare and I am still in a coma!

PMB: In fact, the Dees first finals’ appearance during your long sleep was 1987.  But, on a slightly more positive note, they made the grand final in both 1988 and 2000; only to lose by 96 points to Hawthorn in 1988 and 60 points to Essendon in 2000.  How are you handling this news?

GS: I think I’ll need a sedative from Sister soon.  But please cheer me up and tell me how many flags Leigh’s miserable low life team Carlton has won since 1965.  Oh, how useless they were, as I remember.  They hadn’t won a flag for 18 years back in ’65.

PMB: Are you ready for this Leigh?

PLS:  I know we won in 1968 with Ron Barassi as coach.

GS: Ron Barassi! He’s our man.

PLS: He left in 1965 to coach Carlton; then we also won in 1970 and 1972 – all with Barass as coach.

GS: There’s three flags we let slip just there.  Oh well, I was hoping for zero, but three flags since 1965 it will have to be.  But I’m calling them Melbourne premierships, because it was only made possible via the Melbourne man Barassi.  Was that all with Barassi?

PMB: Yes, then he went to North Melbourne and won two flags there as well.

GS: That’s 5 flags we let slip away!  Anyway, I know just how useless the Blues really are without outside help.  You would have hardly made the finals when Barassi left.  So, Mark, just confirming that those 3 flags is all that Carlton won since 1965.

PMB: Let’s see, now….there was also 1979…

PLS: Go Blues

PMB: 1981, 1982, 1987 and 1995

PLS: Go Blues times four!

GS: give me the biggest sedative sister has got.

Sister re-enters the room.

PMB: I think I inadvertently distressed the General again.

SF: What about Leigh?

PMB: I made him deliriously happy.  Will leave them to you, now sis!

GS: Sedative quickly, Sister!!

Anyway, Psycho Anna Liszt, the General is slowly coming to terms with the history of the Melbourne Football Club.

Ann Aerobic had us training quite well.  We then wanted to move camp, having visited all the schools in the area.  We let Mal Prop select the next training venue within the boundaries of Victoria.  He said he was going to take us somewhere for altitude training.

Mt Buller or, perhaps, Falls Creek was expected.

I allowed Mal to work with Dreamy Dave on the whole deal, including all the various meetings, training grounds, accommodation.

Penny Dredfell was the driver.  All we knew was that we were going to postcode 3585.  “Must be really mountainous terrain”, I thought.

Penny programmed in the postcode and the magic GPS invented by Eee Madgin began to direct us.  We were heading north.  “Maybe to Hall’s Gap”, I pondered.

Penny noticed a small button on the side of the GPS.

“Here, what’s this button do?” she asked.

“Don’t touch that button!” screamed Eee.

Too late!  The GPS started speaking in Chinese.

“Quick, Sing Lish, come up here and interpret”, yelled Penny.

Sing List came to the front, but said nothing for some time.

“Well, don’t just sit there; say something”, pleaded Penny.

“It is a strange Chinese dialect”, replied Sing Lish. “Let me try to interpret lah…. turn left into phone booth lah…your mother is a turtle….no lah, it is all too hard.  Hey Mal, where are we going for this altitude training?

“Swan Hill” came the reply.

Ann Aerobic chimed in.  “Swan Hill!  What has that got to do with altitude training?

MP: Hill…….altitude; I thought it was obvious!

Ann just sighed and shrugged her shoulders.

PD: Wrong Ron! You’re old, unlike most of us. Can you come and read the map for me.  I haven’t used a map for ages.

So I went up and grabbed the map.  I directed Penny on to road A200, from there to B200 and went entered swan Hill from the west.

MP (seeing a flat looking Swan Hill landscape from 2km away): what happened to the hill?

Chuckles were heard from various sections of the bus.

MP (franticly, as though a life threatening emergency had just occurred): STOP THE BUS

Penny pulled to a halt at the roadside.  Mal, having already spotted a local, jumped out and had a brief conversation

Mal got back in the bus, looking somewhat relieved.

MP: Anyway, I found out what happened to the hill.  It’s been taken away temporarily for maintenance work. What rotten luck.  Now to look for a swan!

We checked in to our accommodation.  Mal went looking for the tallest building in town – so we could run up to the top floor and down as out altitude training.  We eventually settled for running up to the top of the grandstand and back at the Swan Hill footy ground.

Sister Fibrosis decided to take the General and Leigh out for a drive.

“Take me to Nyah!” insisted General Sawness.

Twenty minutes later, they arrived.

GS: Take me to the trotting track

SF: Well, it’s moved recently, sort of.

GS:  Moved!  It was only being built last time I heard a few weeks ago…. errr….back in 1965.  My uncle had a horse called Skulduggery and he wanted to run it at Nyah.

SF:  General, that horse would have been dead now for decades.

GS: Pity; I never got to see it run.

SF:  The “Nyah Trots” are now held at Swan Hill.

GS: All right, take me to the Nyah Golf Club.

SF: That’s closed, too!  How about the Nyah West Golf Club.

GS: No; awful sand scrapes.

PLS: Sister, just take us down to the river.  Surely the river is still there.

They sat down by the bank of the Murray.  It turned out to be good therapy.  Sister was able to tell them about some changes in the world in the midst of a tranquil environment.

Meanwhile, back at the camp!  They completed their block of training and visiting school kids.  Their next journey was to a far away place and a translator was sought.