Stumps makes you dizzy

When I was a student we played a drinking game called stumps. There are variants on it everywhere but ours was a cricketing homage involving two teams of equal number. Ideally it was my mates lined up in single file on the outfield against the opposition we had just bowled out in their chase of our out of sight total. Each team member has a pint of beer in hand.

The first in line downs the pint and inverts the glass over his head to prove the point and then runs to a cricket stump in the ground 22 yards away. Sliding to a stop he places his forehead on the stump and then as fast as is humanly possible circles it 10 times without lifting his head. At the ten count he stands and runs back to tag the next teammate. The first team with all beers downed, stumps circled and last man across the start line wins.

Now there is no real reason for the beer. This game is hilarious when played sober for standing and running are relative concepts in a dizzy state.

Most people have a great deal of trouble staying on their feet let alone making it back to their line of cheering comrades. No amount of brow furrowing or steely gaze makes any difference as they make their acquaintance with the turf.

Nearby bushes simply add to the amusement.

When beer is involved, fast drinking is just an additional skill that can determine the outcome of the race. In tight finishes drinking can be replaced by pouring the beer over your head. More than once this has saved enough time to secure the win.

If drinking games are now just fond memories [thankfully] then suspend your reflex to berate the youth and give the game a try without the beer. It is truly funny to see determination on faces as they come crashing down.

It is also quite a metaphor.

We genuinely believe that we can control anything with our will.  And whilst we accept that luck might send external forces for good or evil our way from time to time, we can always rely on ourselves.

Our trust in control often defines us.

The lunacy of stumps cheerily explodes this myth. It is why it’s so funny.

The athlete, the nerd and the boofhead use their determination to the max visibly forcing out control over their bodies only to fall over.

It is a true leveller.

Postscript on spin

The thing is if you spin around enough times and then try to reach a destination the chances are you will fall over and look very silly.

I think that Petr Cretin suggested that this game would be a ripper to play and Tony Abbott agreed.

Sure enough he looks very silly.


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