During the 1980’s Gladstone’s residents enthusiastically took up an indoor activity which resulted in severe carpet burns to their knees and elbows – Indoor Cricket!
Six nights a week, Warwick’s Indoor Cricket arena was packed with players skidding across the carpets burning holes in their tracksuit pants; and skin.
During this time, I reckon many folk were hired in companies around town solely for their indoor cricketing ability. They may have been completely useless off the field, but if their batting or bowling averages were good enough, they’d soon find themselves seated in an empty office, or the cab of a crane, with a puzzled look on their dials.
My team was the mighty Pats Bait and Tackle, made up of QAL shift-workers and a couple of ring-ins who knew the rules and could bat a bit. Old Pat spared no expense on our teams’ t-shirts, and although we couldn’t play a damn, by God we looked good when we lurched onto the field.
Now, like most things, except taxes, stupidity and work, the indoor cricket fad came to an end. Today the shed houses acres of arty and crafty stuff, but if you listen carefully you can still hear the smack of ball on bat, or ball on head, and the cries of victory, anguish or agony.
And wafting in the air, is the faintest aroma of liniment mixed with the smell of burning skin.
Those memories are slowly fading; unlike the bare patches on my knees and elbows.