I try to remain calm as I reach down to open the lid of the lap top; I reach out and press the power button. I know the boot and start up process should take at least a minute. I’m tingling from head to toe and I start hopping from one foot to the other. I know I’ll have difficulty entering my username and password; it’s a challenge to concentrate when I’m giddy with excitement. I click on the homepage icon on the browser toolbar; bam!!!, the AFL home page and the new season’s match highlights. With no new Aussie Rules Footy highlights the last six months have been painful to sit through; the first game of the 2019 Australian Football League season was played on Thursday, 21 March. Matches between the AFL’s eighteen teams are played Thursday through Sunday; during the 6 month season highlight video’s of the week’s nine games are on the AFL web site.
I felt a sense of contentment as I started watching the Sydney Swans v Carlton Blues game highlights; even though I knew the final score I became caught up in the action as each team exchanged goals. It was a close scoring game up until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Just before the final siren Buddy Franklin, known for his long range boundary line scoring bombs, took a specky and went back for his kick; he launched one that sailed through the big sticks for a sausage. As the siren sounded he reached up for his mouth guard, removed it, and put it down the front of his footy shorts. I don’t think what footy players wear has changed much over the years. I don’t remember many of them ever wearing protective gear but I think in this day and age, they may be encouraged to wear a body hugging garment such as tight fitting lycra underpants. I don’t think it matters who it is; if you’re playing four quarters of Australian Rules then you’re going to experience sweat drenched undies through the last two quarters of the game.
Snug fitting Chesty Y fronts were the first undies I remember wearing; they’re the only undies any true blue mum would ever buy their precious little ones. Chesty was a cartoon caricature trademark for the Australian clothing company Bonds. He had a powerful jutting jaw and a stunning physique; he became a superhero when he pulled on his trusty athletic singlet. Back then, we called our underpants undies or underdacks; they later became Reg Grundies, which was shortened to grundies. Reg Grundy was a pioneer of Australian television, and a household name to all Australians. He created many Australian television shows, but was best known for Wheel of Fortune and other game shows. As I approached adolescence, and wandered into adulthood I drifted away from Y fronts and started to wear Bond’s low rise sport briefs; boxers, boxer briefs, and the thong held little fascination for me.
It was the mid seventies and I stood at the fork in the road. I packed a few low rise briefs into my blue, metal frame, back pack. I had trust in Chesty to see me through the Thai, Malaysian, Burma and Indian humidity; I reasoned if the elastic was taut, and the fabric feels fresh and soft, then goodbye chaffing and sweat. Little did I know that cotton underwear has very poor moisture wicking properties, and once they’re wet, they’ll stay wet for as long as you’re wearing them. The Thailand I remember was transforming from a Vietnam War recreation and retreat escape into a tourist mecca. Bangkok still had a flat skyline, and it’s streets were clogged with people, motorcycles, tut tuts, and buses. The temperature nudged the nineties, and the humidity matched the air temperature. Every mid afternoon a brief thunderstorm topped up the humidity. My Chesty low rises were constantly moist; either from the rivulets of sweat that trickled down my back, or from crotch sweat. There was always a damp pair of just washed low rises resting on the end of a bed; or hanging somewhere in a dank hotel room.
I wonder if Buddy’s grundies had the same degree of moistness as mine had in Thailand; if so, he must have experienced some serious chaffing. I don’t know if Prickly Heat cooling powder is available in Australia. It’s a great remedy for damp grundies chaffing; but it does take a little while to get used to the lengthy after burn sensation. Maybe the Australian Football League needs to make Prickly Heat a must have for all eighteen clubs.
After a couple of unforgettable months in Thailand we prepared for the journey into Burma and the ancient city of Bagan. The gateway to Burma was somewhat open; the military dictatorship had started issuing one week visas, and the country was becoming part of the South East Asian hippie trail. Upon entering the country you had to show your confirmed onward travel, and declare all of the foreign currency you were taking into the country. You were given papers showing that amount, and told to always get a receipt from the bank when you changed money. The receipts, and the amount of foreign money that you left with a week later, had to equal what you had declared on entering the country. You learnt from other travellers to take duty free Johnnie Walker and Marlboro cigarettes into Burma, and to hide US dollars somewhere on you; all to be sold and exchanged on the black market.
That last night in Bangkok I tortured myself; racking my brain as to where to hide my US dollars. I had to declare some of the dollars; the rest was my nest egg to exchange, when needed, on the black markets of India and Pakistan, the Middle East, and Turkey. I toyed with putting the wad of dollars into the front of my Chesty low rise sport briefs. I practised stuffing and then sitting and walking in the dank hotel room, and then strolling the moisture laden steaming streets of Bangkok; when I returned to the hotel room I reached into, and down the front of, my grundies and pulled out the wad of US dollars. The wad was a spongy ball of paper mache.
Even though there was a bulge at the ankle bone in each of my socks I still walked with a jaunty step into the customs and immigration area at the Rangoon airport. I declared a small amount of US dollars; just enough for what it should cost to travel the hippie trail for a week in Burma, I think the customs and immigration officers knew where every traveller’s Johnnie Walker and carton of Marlboro was heading; and I think they knew that we all had undeclared dollars somewhere. The military was making the rules, but the people were keeping the country functioning.
If Buddy’s grundies had the same degree of moistness as mine did in Thailand, then I don’t understand why he’s cramming his mouth guard down the front of his footy shorts instead of shoving it into his socks; maybe he doesn’t want any of his teammates borrowing his mouth guard. I think he’d have to give it a good soak in a glass of Dettol though before slipping it back into his mouth. The trainers would have to have a few bottles of it handy if Buddy is taking his mouth guard out every time he takes a mark, or at the end of each quarter.
It seems I had the same idea of where to hide my US dollars as most people do when they’re trying to smuggle something.
Prominent bulge in man’s trousers found to contain four smuggled kittens: a man attempting to cross from Malaysia into Singapore was found by immigration officials to be carrying four kittens in a bulge in his trousers. Officers were prompted to conduct further checks when they heard meowing sounds coming from the bulge in his pants.
Traveller arrested smuggling live hummingbirds in his trousers: a traveller was caught at Rochambeau airport in Cayenne, French Guiana trying to smuggle more than a dozen live hummingbirds in special pouches sewn into the inside of his underwear. The birds were individually wrapped in cloth and taped up to prevent them from escaping from their sweaty travel container. That would be some pecker in your pants.
Man tried to smuggle 51 turtles in pants across border: Canadian Border Services, seized 41 live turtles a man had taped to his legs, and 10 he had hidden between his legs. The collection included eastern box turtles, diamondback terrapins, endangered spotted turtles and red-eared sliders. Fortunately there were no snapping turtles.
Man caught smuggling snake in pants at German Airport: security officers noticed a large bulge in a traveller’s pants. When he was stopped and told to reveal what he had hidden in his pants, he pulled out a bag tied with a cord. Inside the bag was a 15.75-inch boa. That is some trouser snake.
Man caught with live pigeons down his pants at Melbourne Airport: when customs and border control officers stopped a traveller from Dubai they found a multi-vitamin container holding two birds eggs in his pocket. A further search revealed he was wearing tights with the two live birds stuffed inside; one in each leg.
This bloke can’t be the sharpest tool in the shed. The owner of RG Equipment of Fresno, California, is asking for help to find the man who stole a chainsaw. The shop’s video surveillance camera shows a man taking a chainsaw from a display, nonchalantly stuffing the blade of the power tool down the front of his pants, and then covering the engine assembly with his jacket.
I think I’ll have a backyard cricket party this summer. We’ll probably use a hard cork ball instead of a tennis ball. I think I’ve got an old Cricket Cup in the basement that everyone can wear when they’re batting; what a great way of getting rid of your fear of a hard, fast travelling, round object whacking you in the groin. Amazon has packs of 3×84 Dettol antibacterial surface cleaning disinfectant wipes so there shouldn’t be a problem sharing the Cup.
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