Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Torn, and twisted

Torn is one of the songs from that fantastic debut album by Natalie Imbruglia, Left of the Middle.

The song, the video of which you can see here, is not my favourite from the album but this video based on the song that I’ve posted here is the funniest thing I've seen in the whole of 2006.

You can also see a lengthier version of the same mime act. But this time Natalie herself joins in the act. What a sport! I haven't laughed this hard all year.

'I like monkeys'

I got this in my mail.

I like monkeys.

The pet store was selling them for five cents a piece. I thought that odd since they were normally a couple thousand each. I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth. I bought 200.

I like monkeys. I took my 200 monkeys home.

I have a big car. I let one drive. His name was Sigmund. He was retarded. In fact, none of them were really bright. They kept punching themselves in their genitals. I laughed. Then they punched my genitals. I stopped laughing.

I herded them into my room. They didn't adapt very well to their new environment. They would screech, hurl themselves off of the couch at high speeds and slam into the wall.

Although humorous at first, the spectacle lost its novelty halfway into its third hour.

Two hours later I found out why all the monkeys were so inexpensive: they all died. No apparent reason. They all just sorta' dropped dead. Kinda' like when you buy a goldfish and it dies five hours later. Damn cheap monkeys.

I didn't know what to do. There were 200 dead monkeys lying all over my room, on the bed, in the dresser, hanging from my bookcase. It looked like I had 200 throw rugs.

I tried to flush one down the toilet. It didn't work. It got stuck. Then I had one dead, wet monkey and 199 dead, dry monkeys.

I tried pretending that they were just stuffed animals. That worked for a while, that is until they began to decompose. It started to smell real bad.

I had to pee but there was a dead monkey in the toilet and I didn't want to call the plumber. I was embarrassed.

I tried to slow down the decomposition by freezing them. Unfortunately there was only enough room for two monkeys at a time so I had to change them every 30 seconds. I also had to eat all the food in the freezer so it didn't all go bad.

I tried burning them. Little did I know my bed was flammable. I had to extinguish the fire.

Then I had one dead, wet monkey in my toilet, two dead, frozen monkeys in my freezer, and 197 dead, charred monkeys in a pile on my bed.

The odor wasn't improving.

I became agitated at my inability to dispose of my monkeys and to use the bathroom. I severely beat one of my monkeys.

I felt better.

I tried throwing them way but the garbage man said that the city wasn't allowed to dispose of charred primates. I told him that I had a wet one. He couldn't take that one either. I didn't bother asking about the frozen ones.

I finally arrived at a solution. I gave them out as Christmas gifts.

My friends didn't know quite what to say. They pretended that they like them but I could tell they were lying. Ingrates. So I punched them in the genitals.

I like monkeys.

On the subject of animals, here's another hilarious one I got in my mail.

A rabbit was hopping through the forest when he came upon a giraffe rolling ajoint. The rabbit said,"Giraffe, don't do drugs. Come, run with me through the forest."

The giraffe looked at the rabbit, then at the joint. He dropped the joint and ran off with the rabbit.

They came upon an elephant snorting cocaine. The Rabbit said,"Elephant, don't do drugs. Come, run with us through the forest."

The elephant looked at his razor blade and mirror, tossed them away and began running with the rabbit and giraffe.

The three animals then came across a lion about to shoot up. The Rabbit said, "Lion, don't do drugs. Come, run with us through the forest."

The lion looked at the rabbit and then at the needle. He put down the needle and started to beat up the rabbit.

Horrified, the giraffe and elephant asked, "Lion, why are you doing this? He was trying to help you."The lion answered, "This little f***er? He makes me run around the forest like a f***ing idiot every time he's on ecstasy."

Friday, December 15, 2006

How would have Homer reacted...

... to the spat between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi at the on-going Asian Games in Doha?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How to turn a Test match on its head

They suggested Ashley Giles might have dropped the Ashes, and now the prediction seems to be coming true. England are already 2-0 down, but in whichever case England never looked like they were going to keep the Ashes.

Ricky Ponting hadn't even crossed 50 when Giles dropped him on the boundary, and how Punter made the Poms pay! For most batsmen, their years seem to last one or two years, but Ponting's peak just keeps getting higher and higher. When will this batsman go out of form? That's the question captains around the world must be asking.

Important numbers
There were two significant stats from the Adelaide Test that need to be highlighted.

One is that Ponting's batting average had touched 60 (60.06) during his first innings knock of 142. Although it has now slipped down to 59.99, it is a significant stat considering that only two men ever to have played more than 50 Tests average more than Ponting does now.

Here's a list of the highest averages, headed by Donald Bradman. Michael Hussey, at 81.00 is sure to slip. Nobody — save for the Don — is good enough to stay up there for too long. And even the Don would have slipped had he played more games.

Ponting's closest competitor now is Rahul Dravid, who averages 58.75. Expect it to be cut down, even marginally, during the tour of South Africa.

After their defeat, England became just the third team to lose a Test after scoring 550 runs or more in the first innings.

Ironically, the last team to lose a game from that situation was — guess who? —Australia at — guess where? — Adelaide, against India, where Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman tore their attack to shreds in that historic win.

0-2 down with three to go. I don't see Andrew Flintoff pulling England out of this one. The Aussies are too damn good. IMHO, the Ashes will be returned to Australia by a 4-1 or 4-0 margin.

Remembering Durban 1992

Pravin Amre was a member of the Indian cricket team, which went on its first tour of South Africa, in 1992. A greenhorn taking his initial steps in international sport, he wasn’t given much of a chance by his critics of cutting it at that level. But at Newlands, Durban — on one of the most hostile pitches in the world — with India’s back to the wall, he scored a hundred on Test debut to silence naysayers.

It was a special performance that needs special mention in the context of how India are performing in the ongoing tour of South Africa. Our batsmen are ill equipped to negotiate with pace and have rarely had the stomach for a fight.

Amre was the national junior selection committee chairman till recently and is now coaching Mumbai for the ongoing domestic season. Just before the Mumbai team left to play Bengal in their Ranji Trophy opener at the Eden Gardens, Amre took time out for this interview.


On that tour of South Africa
We didn’t know anything about the conditions in South Africa. It was our first tour to that country and we had no idea how much the ball would bounce there. We only had two practise sessions to adjust ourselves.

What people said about his chances
For me, the Durban Test match was crucial to show that I belonged to international cricket and to prove wrong my critics who were saying I couldn’t handle pace bowlers, that I was good only against spinners.

The moment arrives, as does pain
The first four deliveries, bowled at me by Brett Schultz, all hit me in the ribs. It was painful definitely. But that’s how Test cricket is; it’s also a test of character.

India were in trouble, first at 38-4 and then 146-7, trailing South Africa’s first innings score of 254
Maybe getting a hundred wasn’t a thought that crossed my mind. At 38-4, the situation demanded me to stick around, playing straight, see off their main bowlers and be there till the last wicket.

Out came Kiran More on a mission. He scored 55 from 214 balls
I was fortunate to have a partner like Kiran at the other end. He kept motivating me and we had a tremendous partnership — about a 100 runs — which ultimately saved the match. We played out five hours, because on those wickets, staying on is important.

The one shot in that innings he still remembers vividly
The one stroke that brought me a lot of satisfaction was the cover-drive I played off Alan Donald when I was in my nineties. It felt very good to hit it at that stage in my innings off a top bowler.

Amre scored 103 in all, from 299 balls with 11 fours. The Test, which India could have so easily lost, ended in a draw thanks to his innings. But the current Indian team isn’t showing the same will to survive
This team has the skills; they need to work on their temperament. They need to stay at the wicket longer. The start is crucial because then only you can build a good score. South African conditions aren’t like sub-continental ones where you can cash in on the first 15 overs. It’s the other way around: you have to keep wickets in hand and slog later.

We’ve talked about having fast pitches in India after every disastrous tour but nothing ever comes out of this talk
This time I think things will definitely change because it’s time it was done. But it’s not as if it hasn’t been tried already. Some years back, curators from abroad were flown in to make fast pitches in India but it didn’t work out. Maybe it is because of the soil quality, which makes having fast pitches in India very difficult.

On grounds which could help produce better batsmen
Mohali is a good wicket for its pace and bounce. I have not seen (the D.Y. Patil stadium in Nerul, Navi Mumbai) because it has been under construction but I believe it will be one of the best grounds in India — they have imported their soil and pitch from South Africa.


More about the interviewee
Amre, 38, has long retired from First Class cricket, and his international stint had come to an abrupt end in 1993, when the selectors gave him a raw deal. Maybe it was a tough time to be Amre, with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli and Ajay Jadeja had already established themselves at the top level, and therefore had left no vacancies in the team.

When Amre played his last Test, his batting average was a robust 42.50 in 13 innings. In One-day Internationals, he averaged 20.52, but only because he’d played 20 of his 30 innings at No. 6.

He now coaches Mumbai.