I was in my hometown of Devonport in early April this year, watching on miserably from the old wooden grandstands on the wing on a bleak, rainy day at the Devonport Oval as the Devonport Magpies (the first footy club I played at) took on The Burnie Dockers, losing comprehensively as the rain came in sideways as a thunderstorm descended onto the picturesque ground (situated only several hundred metres from the coast). Two of the light towers on the far wing were knocked out temporarily by the heavy thunderstorms, meaning that the game was played in darkness on that side of the ground for quite some time. Would have been a great time to get some cheap shots in…

I was trying incredibly hard to imagine myself sitting on a warm beach in Bora Bora, or somewhere else similarly tropical, when I overheard a man several metres away from me speaking glowingly about his son to the gentleman next to him. Evidently his son was on the ground (although I’m surprised that the man could tell with the rain coming in as hard as it was) and I thought, “Oh that’s nice that he’s come out to watch his son play, even in these conditions.”

I kept eavesdropping to try and ascertain which of the half-drowned rats fumbling for the waterlogged ball his son could possibly be, and then I heard the following comment and my world was irrevocably rocked.

“You swore Darren, and I know it wasn’t at me, but FIFFFFFFFTYYYYYYYYYYYYY METRES!”

“Yeah, he has had a great game, he’s made some great calls and he’s really controlling the game well.”

What the fuck? His son was the fucking umpire?

I couldn’t believe it. This man had dragged himself down to a football ground on a cold Tasmanian winter’s day to watch his son officiate a game of Statewide League football?  Not only was he watching on intently, he was beaming with pride at his son’s efforts. I wanted to stuff a lukewarm Four & Twenty’s pie down this twat’s throat with such ferocity that the tips of my fingers touched his oesophagus.

I mean, seriously, does anyone grow up wanting to be an umpire? They’re all such pussies, aren’t they? You never see an AFL umpire say anything with any sense of authority, they all have effeminate voices and prance daintily around like gazelles bounding through the high grasses of an African savannah.

I tell you one thing. If I ever have a child and that child happens to be a boy and then happens to grow up to be an Australian Rules umpire, I will do the following;

1)      Eject him from my household

2)      Disown him

3)      Frame him for the murder of someone that I don’t particularly like

4)      Visit him in prison (I’m not a total monster)

/end communication

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