ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
A young man from out town’s French Quarter has been forced to pop into his local Men’s Shed this afternoon to knock in his new cricket bat after his housemates got fed up with the constant banging.
Situated on the corner of Rue de Branlette and Des Jardins Du Putain, the French Quarter Men’s Shed is a refuge for men from all walks of life to come and do their own projects or work on something together like a possum home or wheelchair ramp for a local sporting club.
This afternoon, Mike Aqauise brought a brand new Gray Nicholls cricket bat down there to knock in.
The 23-year-old spoke very briefly to our reporter, who was visiting the Men’s Shed to change the fiddly batteries over in our editor, Clancy Overell’s, insulin pump.
“It’s my first real bat,” he said.
“Like one that costs more than half a week’s wage. Should be a cracking season, hey?”
But around young Mike and our reporter grew a crowd of interested, mild-mannered elderly gentlemen who’d spotted what Mike was up to.
Like moths to a stadium floodlight, each of the grey-haired helpers took their flying into the glass screen protecting the lightbulb.
“Don’t forget to do the edges, young man!” offered one old bastard.
Another piped up.
“Careful! Don’t hit too hard to begin with! And not with the seam! You’ll put marks in it. God, here. Let me show you.”
Mike politely declined the man’s offer to do his job for him and went back to knocking in his bat incorrectly.
“Do you have any peanut oil? You should be oiling your bat,” said another old fool.
The one that tried to snatch the bat from Mike turned with wide, crazy eyes.
“It’s linseed oil, you stupid old rock chopper!”
A fight between the two broke out and in the melee, the old guy who wanted to make sure the edges got knocked in armed himself with a nailgun for protection. As they pushed and shoved, one fall back onto the nailgun. It accidently discharged, sending a nail through the the linseed oil grandpa’s neck. The nail lodged in the ceiling above Mike.
“I’m getting out of here,” said Mike and our reporter followed.
As the two contined to trade blows with the wounded pensioner writhing and bleeding at their feet, Mike took one look back and started running.
More to come.