The old black and white Geebung Magpies colors run deep in a Bunger boy’s blood; so does the notion that there’s black and there’s white and we all swim like salmon in between
I recently recounted to Archie a brief version of the premiership-winning Geebung Primary School Grade 7 Australian Rules Team’s season, as coached under Bamford, J, the greatest school teacher that ever lived.
(eds note: and the sexiest)
I’ll be quick in reminding you now.
Old Bamford made us play dead against our two main rivals, the toffs over at Aspley and Aspley East. (Interestingly, those 2 teams contained the kids of 2 of the doctors who drove every day over to the Geebung Clinic to treat us – Balthes, Blair-West and Claxton – though I can’t remember which 2).
Bamford let those Aspley buggers thrash us through all the fixtures of the season. He’d do things like put OUR MATE A DISABLED KID at Centre-Half-Forward, (you know why that’s cool but quirky), or not play some better players.
Everyone thought Bamford was a lunatic (eds note: he was, but then so is the rock star writing this), even the parents all got quite upset, but come the finals he let us play our real hand and then we absolutely steamrolled everybody.
Fucking hell it was good fun. I’ll never forget it. It nearly killed me having to delay gratification like that for a whole season, but then to eventually be able to let the Geebung pig out and run riot on the kids from the flasher part of 4034 – priceless!!!
The pow-wow before the game
I love how seriously we took it. Even if it really didn’t matter – at that moment, it mattered – the adults didn’t treat us as morons and invested us with a bit of responsibility. Personally, I loved that.
And it was all for one and one for all – look at little OTHER KID WITH DISABILITY there, soaking it all up, lucky to be alive, and would probably would not survive a tackle, but he got a run, and we all looked out for him. How good is that? ….. and watch out for how happy he is in the winning photo.
Macca and I were co-captains and broke the crepe paper in unison. He looks like a steeled and supremely-ready fighting unit. I look like a clumsy freshly-born foal, supremely unready foranything whatsoever – a bellwether for my adult life.
KC and Wardy, the grade seven spunks, watch on. The guy in blue-collar is a very cool dude who is my fave man in the world.
Leaving the field victorious over Aspley-East
Until this GF these toffs from across the tracks had been undefeated. But old Bamford had been foxing, as they were soon to discover.
Just look at the faces on these kids – over the moon…..except me…possibly because I seem to have no pants on, but more likely because I was a worrier, and was just relieved to get the job done.
A joyous win for the Bungers!
This is where I’m happy to look back with rose-coloured specs on our time at that school. I’ve banged on a bit about this to Archie already. In some quarters at our primary school, and down the road at WZAFC, I got taught very fucking hard and very fucking fast that it’s everyone’s job to look out for everyone else – a lesson I definitely did not get taught at my high school, nor by my university. You guys may not have had the same experience but I can guarantee you this was mine.
You know that top hollow bit of your chest, right next to the shoulder joint, just under the collar-bone , above the top rib? As a kid, I got a few pointed adult index fingers poked in that chesty area with a some force – it was the “learning” area. Maybe it’s not the best delivery method, but I got the message when this was applied.
Bamford (a champion teacher) was one who did this. He took me aside more than once, poked me in that “learning area”, and told me in no uncertain terms that it’s my job to make sure everyone is looking out for the likes of THE 2 DISABLED KIDS. Fleming (another champion teacher) also laid this on me.
That was the message that went out to more than just me, and I have to say, I ate it up. It still sits irrevocably encoded in my now-addled middle-aged brainbox (eds note: I told him those pills with the smiley faces on them wouldn’t be good for him in the long run. The wanker never would listen. It’s why he hit the cricket ball through the Principal’s window when we were in Grade 6. Or why I told the Principal it was him anyway).
The flow chart in my grey matter has a massive over-riding arrow that keeps pointing back to it.
OLD FRIEND, I know next to nothing about you as an adult but I’ve learnt a bit about Archie lately through his writings. Obviously, he’s a knob (eds note: the author of this piece has always been a c*nt, and jealous of my success with the sheilas) but I feel enormous pride welling up in my “learning area” when I see his ferocious sense of social justice.
Archie boy, I tip my lid to you – I don’t know where you got it from – me, I learnt my lessons in 4034 (eds note: he f*cked off to the inner city to become a rock star long before I had to move out of the Geebung Polo Club so that I could claim two doles)
As already referenced above, I actually appreciated being invested with such responsibility as a tacker – the adults were taking me seriously – I was given an environment early on where I could practice this and fail, and learn how to do it better. That’s pretty cool…innit? …..and look at THE 2 KIDS WITH DISABILITIES in this photo – they could not be bloody prouder of what they have achieved and been part of.
(eds note: while I agree with the spandex pant wearing clown’s analysis, I must point out that boys from Geebung who didn’t piss off to Pommy Land so they could play at Wembley don’t say ‘innit’)
In footy terms, they couldn’t get a kick out of a damaged power cable if they were holding it with 2 wet hands, but they were totally and utterly part of it. I’m getting all teary just looking at it.
This photo above, represents my Geebung.
C’mon you two. This is fucking cool isn’t it?
Total and utter mongs …look at the state of all of us. A bunch of dickheads (eds note: speak for yourself you bare torsoed drummer boy) who put their brains and muscles together as one – OLD MATE do you remember this???
In this photo, I also give you KC again, Swan Lake, and Sutho. Babes one and all. And then in the front there’s Bozo, the cracker of a kid from grade 6 whose dad was a War Vet with PTSD, here he was helping us make merry – great kid.
Finally, the Mr. Holland-designed Geebung logo, for what it’s worth.
Archie – this should be normal. Life should be like this.