30 October, 2020

A Little Swinging Madness

Don't take it too seriously, but cricketers can really have a ball with a stationary ball too

A Little Swinging Madness

Through fumes of headnotes, litres of Bacardi and clean shots of Scotch, you discover that the innocent-sounding preposition 'about' has lately acquired the versatility of a silicon chip. It had, in fact, gone digital. South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, after five or six Heineken's, you have lost count, tosses the preposition with abandon, trying to satiate your own cluelessness and curiosity about golf. It's about relaxation, Boucher says with a garrulousness close to intimacy. It's about hand-eye coordination. It's also about competition.

You mull over the wide swathes of terrain the 'abouts' were mustering. You figure you had to focus Boucher's memory recall. You coax him for specifics. Boucher obliges: On a Johannesburg course, I asked my caddie what iron I had to use to clear a pond. He suggested No. 8. I failed to clear the pond by about a metre. I got so mad I chucked my club in the water. Since it was my caddie who'd suggested the number, I got mad at him as well. I told him to wade in and fetch my rod. So there he was neck-deep in water trying to feel the club...



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