Phone rings. Pat Cummins sees caller’s name displayed.
“Pat ya mongrel.”
“You in town already? I thought you’d be flyin’ in tomorrow?”
“Nah, we got in this arvo. We’ve got a promo thing tonight at circular key. Gonna be a ‘great’ prep for tomorrow’s game.”
“Yeah we do that sh*t all the time: screws my prep too.”
“Hmm. Hey, you free for a coffee around 5:00? I wanna talk remodeled actions with ya.”
“Yeah, 5:00’s good. Same place as usual, okay.”
5:15pm. Same place as usual. Pat Cummins is a little late. He then arrives in a patient transfer vehicle.
“What the hell’s with the ride?”
“Yeah I know. It’s part of my new contract. They have a stipulation that I take every precaution to stay fit. Reckon I should do all my comings and goings in one of these. I even have to lye on the stretcher. The ACB’s chiropractor insisted on it.”
“Yeah. And before this it was even worse. They had me chauffeur driven in a customised hearse. I’d have to lie in a coffin wrapped in cotton wool and straw. Just to be on the safe side.”
“Yeah, the patient transfer thing is a little more palatable after that.”
“Reckon it would be.”
“Hm. So they didn’t pull any of this stuff with you?”
“Hell no. But my new contract’s around the corner; I’ll be sure to read all the fine print after this.”
“Anyway, let’s get a table.”
10 minutes later. At a table
“Caught you against the Stars the other night, Jimbo. You bowled at a good clip.”
“Thanks mate. The new action feels great.”
“Walk me through the remodeling.”
“Well I started bowling underarm sitting in an ergonomic chair and it just progressed from there.”
“You started in an ergonomic chair?”
“Yeah the sports scientists assisting me just stripped it back to something basic and we built round that.”
“That sounds nuts?”
“I thought so too. But look at me now. I’m back out on the park. And bowling faster than ever.”
“Yeah, these sports scientists were really something. CA brought them in after my last injury and I was dubious at first, but they won me over fast.”
“Hm. Yeah, I had one too with my last rehab. But gee, I don’t know?
“The guy was too intrusive. Said it wasn’t just my action, it was pretty much everything. Reckoned my technique was flawed peeling oranges, brushing teeth – just about all my daily stuff.
“Said I had to remodel the lot to take stress off my pressure points. Ended up so I couldn’t even skull a stubby the way it came natural.”
“Yeah it was a nightmare. But I’m back on the park now, so it was worth it.”
Waiter approaches and places two chai lattes on the table.
“Hey pass the sugar Jimbo.”
“Yeah, here ya …arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!”
“Are you alright?”
“Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, I’m in agony. I… think… I… strainnnnnnnnnnn… arrrrrr!”
“Jesus. You must have had ya technique out grabbing the sugar.”
Pat Cummins waves arms to gain waiter’s attention.
Continues to wave energetically, but then an arm gives out.
“Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!! My arm, my arm!!!!”
“Jesus, are you two okay?!!”
15 minutes later – after Pat and Jimbo have limped out on crutches – two new people are seated at the table.
“Hey these funky lookin chai lattes look untouched Skull?”
Skull laughs in his distinctive part Bond villain, part Muttley way. Still laughing, he remarks, “Jesus, we’re not that hard up, Mo. Order some fresh ones.”
And two chai lattes go to waste. Let’s hope two young talents don’t do as well.