“He’s taking his Power Play!” yelps the commentator excitedly.

“Ooooooh!” go the audience.

There is some loud rock music.

“I really think that we should introduce the Power Play,” I tell the bowls people later on. “Like on the bowls on Sky TV.”

We discuss the mechanics of supplying loud rock music and erecting spotlights so they zigzag crazily across the green, which is what you need for a proper Power Play. It is decided that introducing a Power Play would be impractical due to technical reasons, even if the league did allow it.

It is not as if we really need to inject artificial excitement into the game. The bowls season has been one of drama and high tension: there was some conflict over team selection at the beginning of the year, and then in a game two or three weeks ago there was a disagreement about positioning of the mat. We have also had our equivalent of Tom Jones returning home to the UK after all these years – viz, Short Tony came out of retirement to help us out last night, despite his doubt as to whether he would be any good or not.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be backing you up,” I said.

“Ok. You lead. How did you get on last week?”

I thought about this. “I played the worst that I’d ever played ever, we got stuffed and I split my trousers on the twelfth end,” I admit.

He paused. “Well, thanks in advance for your support.”

“No problem. It is funny – I have never realised that when you split your trousers, they make a comic ‘trouser splitting’ noise, exactly like they do on old sitcoms. I had always thought that noise was some form of comic convention, and that actually splitting your trousers would make a totally different noise. But they actually do make that sort of unmistakeable splitting sound.”

“Look – are you ready to start playing?”

I had planned to do lots of blog reports about the bowls this year, as I know there is great demand – but for one reason or another it just hasn’t worked out. I do not have a phone that I can live Twitter from between ends, but I will try to do occasional updates as the season hots up.

17 thoughts on ““Power Play!!! POWER Play!!!”

  1. Mahal says:

    You know, you can update Twitter via text message. Can your phone do text messages?

  2. Megan says:

    Why is it so impractical? Is there not a banjo available to provide the driving sound track? And what about the adoring bowls fans, the bowls groupies who doubtless line the green all breathless and heaving with the excitement of it all? Couldn’t they be provided with a few torches with fresh batteries? Seems to me that you lot have shelved the Power Play option far to early on.

  3. Z says:

    I like to think of Short Tony on the Green Green Mat of Home.

    And I hope you were wearing pants under your trousers and haven’t left them all behind on your various holidays. I’m not sure I remember a report on your Center Parcs pants?

  4. JonnyB says:

    Oh – er – no. I forgot to photograph them before leaving them in chalet 644.

    I am rubbish at mobile phones. I mean, I can text somebody but it takes me loads of time to do it, by which time the match situation would have completely changed.

  5. Not surprised you’re having trouble speed-twitting. Only natural with those fat fingers to go with your fat arse. You could always switch to one of those tents Dennis Roussos used to wear – that would eliminate any danger of pant-splitting, while not appreciably increasing people’s urge to mock you or horsewhip you. Sorted!

    Whatever a Power Play is, I’m glad I have never been exposed to it, or the self-evidently witless programme that employs it. Every now and then one of your peripheral allusions to current British pop culture provides a glimpse of the Stygian abyss into which my beloved homeland has sunk. I fear it will not be long before the entire country disappears beneath the waves like some shell-suited Atlantis – the Gods will consider it a mercy killing…

  6. Blazing says:

    I’m picturing the next iPhone 3GS ad already. ‘Think Powerplay update’. ‘It’s a load of old bowls’. I’m off to phone Apple’s advertising agency.

  7. jonathan says:

    May I add my voice to the general clamour for bowls updates. I can’t see the League going for Powerplay either (whatever that is) but maybe you could approach them with the idea of adopting the It’s A Knockout ‘Playing Their Joker’ gambit, the deployal of which as I recall would reduce the entire populations of English market towns to fits of Oooh!s long before Sky TV was even thought of. And of course you have the advantage that the only technology necessary is an oversized Jack of Diamonds. Although a lifesize virtual Stuart Hall would also come in handy.

  8. spazmo says:

    Ivan, re: mobile-twitting, maybe we should start a collection to outfit Jonny with a top-of-the-line dialing wand.

    (Although for a sausage-fingered fellow, Jonny still picks a mean banjo.)

  9. “Jonny still picks a mean banjo…” Again with the euphemisms, Spazmo? Anyway, so far as that clip goes I’d say we were taking a lot on trust to assume that it was actually him playing. It rather reminded me of those old “Question of Sport” thingies where you never saw their faces until the panel had run through all their guesses. If it was a lady golfer you just shouted “Navratilova!” and collected your ten points, no sweat. Were the camera to finally pan back at the end of that Christmas message, I suspect that it would reveal some other blogger entirely – someone thinner and less pathetic than Jonny, like Richard Herring. And Jonny, on the other hand, could have a clip doing something similarly un-Jonny-like, such as working for a living or getting up before noon, and we’d all be fooled again. Now, that would be a cool post.

    Not sure a dialling wand would do Jonny any good anyway. How would such clumsy digits manipulate so delicate a tool? He couldn’t even dial 999, let alone defeat Voldemort. I blame Comprehensive education…

  10. Cliff says:

    Two words, Jonny:


  11. Pat says:

    Another illusion shattered. I had you down as wiry Jonny.. Wiry – albeit with a biggish head – but wiry doesn’t split pants.
    And aren’t bowls now played only by old trouts all dressed in white with hats.
    The thrill has gorn!

  12. Wiry, Pat? Wiry? Have we been reading the same blog?

    Spot on regarding the head, tho’…

  13. Pat says:

    Ivan: I vaguely remember a wispy wiry creature during the Post Office fracas and he had a sweet wispy voice to match and I was captivated by his wispy wiry non-aggressive stance. Don’t you agree?

  14. mac says:

    As a compromise, and probably more appropriate to the bowling faternity, you could just play the jingle for ‘super match play’ from Blankety Blank through an old cassette player.

  15. JonnyB says:

    I AM wiry, I AM. I have just got quite a lot of wire, that’s all.

  16. guyana gyal says:

    I’m thinking that you don’t reeeally want to blog live or Twitter because you don’t want to expose yourself.

  17. I rather think that what you’ve got hold of there, Pat, is the animated version of Jonny, as re-imagined by the kindly and non-judgemental folk of Eclectech. I happen to know that they also provide the digital rendering of Colin Firth that makes him look like a half-way presentable human being rather than, as in real life, a grotesque amalgam of disfigured dwarf and hydrocephalic Hitler. Airbrushing away two-thirds of Jonny’s body-weight is all in a day’s work for those wizards of the web…

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