Monday, April 22, 2013

FBI Wins Marathon in Sprint

Congratulations to the FBI, I must admit I thought quick arrests in such complex situations only happened this quickly on television. A piece of a back pack, an old stove top cooker and a grainy photograph and the forensic scientists have all they need.

The backpack narrowed it down to students, tourists, cyclists or terrorists. How many of them could there be in Boston? A college city, on a public holiday, during a major sporting event? The evidence of a backpack did rule out hipsters as they all have shoulder “mailbag” style bags. And they never would have left the bag behind. They do not leave it anywhere, even their own home. Going to the movies, shoulder bag, dinner, shoulder bag, ride on a vintage bike with a front basket whilst wearing your grandfather’s trousers, button-down pattern-print shirt with tie and loafers – shoulder bag. They could be going to a black tie Broadway premiere and be walking the red carpet in a tuxedo they would still have their slightly worn shoulder bag firmly in place. You never know when someone is going to give you an important document that needs to be filed!

The cooker helped narrow down the search. Students often only have one pot, that also serves as a plate, cereal bowl, casserole dish and meth lab. Law enforcement agents now just had to visit all of the student accommodation to see which ‘kitchen’ no longer had a pot. (insert marijuana joke here).

The grainy photograph showed a person wearing a hoodie. One could easily be mislead to believe that this offers no assistance to investigators. If so one is forgetting the computer geek every law enforcement has lurking in a back room just waiting for their moment to shine during one scene approximately 2/3 of the way through the episode.

A click of a button here, a scroll of a mouse there then project it up onto a multifunctional, interactive screen and the photo is suddenly as clear as if the suspect had posed for one of those airbrushed, soft-focus-lens studio portraits that only girlfriends and mothers ever seem to enjoy.

To complicate this investigation, the crime took place outside in broad daylight. From all of the police dramas I have ever seen clues can only be found in the dark, with the assistance of a very small torch. When will criminals learn not to leave clues that glow in the dark?

And semen?

On television, regardless of the crime there is always semen, irrespective of the crime. Burglary, semen. Murder, semen. Assault, semen. White collar investment fraud, semen. Except rape, inexplicably there is never any semen present in cases of rape, or other sexual crimes. I am sure some criminals do get sexually aroused as a result of their actions, but struggle to believe that they are all spontaneously climaxing at the scene. Alternatively are criminals masturbating during their crimes? Burglars are demanding cash from the 7-Eleven attendant, gun in one hand, erection in the other.

The Boston police would have needed a lot of blue lights to find the semen in such a large crime scene. I pity the person that then had to sort through the samples to determine which belonged to possible suspects and not just runners pleasuring themselves as part of their own personal celebrations for completing the marathon, or exhibitionistic spectators trying to heighten their arousal by having a quickie in such a public space.

Investigating officers did get to use infrared cameras. Not that they really needed them. A guy noticed blood on his boat sitting on its trailer in his back yard. He pulled back the tarpaulin to find a young man covered in blood hiding inside. His suspicions were further heightened when he realised the stowaway was wearing a hoodie and looking for cooking equipment amongst the stored camping equipment.

The property owner calls the police. The police attend. He tells the police that the suspect is lying in the back of his boat, near the camping equipment and that no-one has left or entered the boat since I first pulled saw him in there. The police are all “that’s here-say and speculation, we need to prove it for ourselves. Besides we have these really cool goggles and cameras we want to use. So far in this investigation we have not been able to use our torches or semen lights, we have to use something.”

The case did have a shoot out with one of the suspects. All the case needs now is a car chase and a love interest and this is a ready-made Hollywood script. Producers are hoping that during the trial it is revealed that the motive for this violence was that the two brothers were both jilted lovers with the a head chef (hence the cooking pot – come one keep up) of an inner city restaurant who coincidently had won the marathon some 10 years earlier and was now financially profiting from the boost in tourism the race brings to the area.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sssshhh...Australia Won A Sporting Competition

We have a winner, finally. Adam Scott has broken through the final glass ceiling of golf and won the American Masters. In his generous acceptance speech he praised and thanked Greg Norman arguably Australia’s greatest golfer who famously lost the Masters in playoffs or just making a complete dogs breakfast of crucial shots in the final round of tournaments which also makes him one of Australia’s greatest sporting “chokers”. He is right up there in his ability to snare defeat from the jaws of victory with the Collingwood Football Club, which managed to lose 8 Grand Finals in the 1970s in an era known colloquially as the Colliwobbles.

There is no question about the difficulty of the game, but why does the crowd have to be silent? I could understand the level of concentration needed if a ball of that size was being hurled at the player by the opposition like baseball. But is not. The ball is sitting still on a tee, just like t-ball and then on the ground like croquette. In each of these games the crowd can cheer in fact participants even talk to each other. And there is no opposition.

It is only tennis that seems to frown on spectators actually getting involved in the activity. But I am too busy trying to work out how the scoring system was devised to worry about tennis crowds. 15, 30, 40, the intervals are not even equal...

Basketball the crowd jump up and down behind the transparent backboard whilst the player is trying to shoot a basket. In football (soccer) there are songs, chants, fights and flares in the crowd and the game continues unheeded. Sure nothing really happens during the game and it could be argued that if the crowd was a bit quieter that the teams might be able to concentrate more and the game would become higher scoring. It could equally be argued that if the players did more on the field there would be less need for the spectators to entertain themselves by rioting.

Ice hockey the spectators are right up banging on the glass while the puck moves across the ice at up to 190kph. Cricket fielders have to concentrate on balls coming at them at similar speeds of the bat or from great heights to take a catch. They have to concentrate on the ball as it moves across the colourful moving and loud back drop of spectators. And they do time after time after time.

In darts they have to throw a weapon at a designated area on a circle of cork that is hung nearly 2.5m away. The spectators are loud, drunk and occasionally yobbish. Heck the players are sometimes seen competing with a beer in their hand.

And yet in golf...quiet please.


Earlier I said that there was no opposition, technically that is misleading as there are other competitors in a game of golf, and the winner is ultimately the player with the overall lowest score. However the competition is really between the individual and the course, as the game’s of the other players do not directly impact on anybody else’s game. It would be a much more interesting game if there was an opposing player trying to stop the ball from entering the cup. Like a goalie. The defender would not be allowed to leave the green and would have to knock the ball back using a club either on the full or after only one bounce from the approach shot. If the ball gets through and stops on the green then the attacking player gets one shot at the hole, like a penalty shot in so many other sports.

What did Adam Scott win for his efforts? US $1.4 million, a trophy (name on the real one and a replica to keep) and a green jacket. Keeping with golfing traditions I think it more appropriate that is they are awarding garments that the winner should be given a pair of tartan knickerbockers.

That would shut everyone up!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ouch, That's Gotta Hurt!
Kevin Ware, famously snapped his leg in half playing basketball in a US College game. A sickening injury as the leg bent as though all bone had been removed. In reality some bone had moved to the outside of his skin. I saw a horse suffer from a similar injury in a lead up race to the main event on Melbourne Cup Day 2007. Thankfully for Ware his trainers did not erect a curtain around him on the court and shoot him.

It made me think of the worst injuries I have suffered during sporting pursuits.

During a game of mixed netball in 2001 I was playing Goal Keeper against a man mountain of a Goal Shooter. I was winning the battle, mainly on the basis that he either could not or chose not to run...until the last 2 minutes of the game.

I ran out to a loose ball and he decided to follow. I can to a stop as I neared the “third” line. If you step on or over the line in netball the bears don’t get you, but the umpire does and then gives the ball to the opposition. My opposition proved that he stops as easily as he runs. I braced myself for impact and was subsequently sent sprawling to the floor. The outside edge of my left knee cap was the first point of impact with the cement floor. It turns out bone is not a good cushioning devise.

No bruise, but a lot of pain. X-rays showed nothing so no medical assistance was provided. For three months. I hobbled and limped. If I was standing I could not easily sit and if I was sitting I could not stand without pulling myself up with my hands gripping to whatever was available, mantle piece, bookshelf, other people...

In a 1400km drive from Adelaide to Sydney during this period, I was a passenger. We stopped every two hours to stretch our legs. It took me the full 30min stop to be able to straighten my left leg and be able to put any wait on it. I would be finally be standing when the call rang out ‘Ok back into the car!”

All of the limping led to sciatica, leaving me with a continuous tingling in both legs. This sensation worsened to unbearable when lying down. This meant that I could neither stand or sit nor lie. A physio working on my back to ease the pain from the sciatica referred me to a sports-med surgeon. As surgeons do he suggested surgery – albeit that he had no idea what was wrong. Just a little “look-see”.

He saw a fragment of bone that had broken off from my knee cap (or patella if you will) and was floating around the joint often getting caught between the femur and tibia whenever I moved my leg.

I was in surgery just after breakfast (not that I was allowed to eat anything) and home in time for lunch on the same day. This four hour window included surgery, recovery and the initial appointment with the physio therapist.

I have endured other injuries whist engaged in sporting combat. I broke my little toe when trying to give my mother a piggyback when I was about ten years old. No medical assistance required.

I dislocated my elbow on a jumping castle. This required a sling and a disprin. It did not prevent me from driving the same day. My sister sprained her ankle on the same day playing tennis leaving her strapped up and on crutches. If we were seen in public together we told people our injuries were caused by our father.

Not sure if this is really a sporting injury, but I was jumping at the time. I was in a classroom, standing on the side cupboard to hang a piece of work on the wall. I thought I would show off by jumping off of the cupboard, over a student’s desk, onto the floor. I did not see the string that was tied across the classroom to hang other examples of children’s work. It caught me under the right nostril and nearly severed my nose.

In year four, during fitness we had to run laps of the courtyard. I tripped over and cut my knee. It bled. A lot. I almost needed stitches, but it turned out that a butterfly bandaid sufficed (butterfly refers to the style of bandaid not any sort of Disney pattern printed on it). I did get a new pair of jeans as the blood ruined the ones I was wearing, and the afternoon off school.

So I can fully sympathise with Kevin Wade and his injury!

To hear more stories from my life LIVE check out my show at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Monday, April 1, 2013

DFO Darren Freaks Out - Audience Photos

Each night the audience Freaks Out when I take a picture of them demonstrating their regular Facebook photo pose. Here are some of them
7 March 2013

5 March 2013b

5 March 2013a

31 March 2013

28 March 2013