I like drinking with Dan because he always tells me interesting stories. Sports stories usually, ones that I've never heard, that sound dramatic and theatrical. And so it was the other night.
We were in the basement beer house Hashigo Zake, and Dan (with the West Ham wallet) was telling the story of the 1953 Christmas cricket test between South Africa and New Zealand. If Christmas 1953 sounds familiar, it might be because that's when the Tangiwai disaster happened.
The story is deeply moving. It has it all: drama, action (the pitch was terrible and players like Burt Sutcliffe were hospitalised), and lost love. It also has the best part of any good sports story, an underdog fighting back against adversity.
When Dan had finished his story all I could think was: why isn't this a movie? Fuck Invictus.
Jonathan Brugh had the same thought and without a Clint Eastwood sized budget instead wrote a stage play. I strongly urge you to go and see The Second Test in its run at Bats. To be honest I got emotional just reading the press release, the story is very powerful.
"Out of the gloomy tunnel beneath the stand, into the clean white sunlight, Blair walked slowly, fumbling with his gloves, and as a man the spectators in the huge stand stood for him, stood in complete and poignant silence. Grown men, among them the New Zealanders in the pavilion and the South Africans on the field, shed tears at this moving moment, and they were not ashamed."
The run is timed to coincide with the test at the Basin which starts on Friday.
And speaking of that, we'll be there! By "we" I mean me (under strict instructions not to talk lest it disrupt some mystical cricket mojo), Emma (who promises not to ogle too much, well, maybe too much) and Keith ("I'll be there but don't expect me to cheer, and if I do, don't expect me to mean it"). And of course you're invited to join us. There was talk of a sign at one point, but I'm sure you'll find us either way.
Afterwards we'll be finally having those Wellington Public Address drinks that y'all love so much. The official start-time is 5pm at Hooch, so pop along after work and meet some folks from the Public Address System in "real life".