Taffy and the Cricket Pitch
Up the track from Noonama, out back 'o Humpty Doo
Behind a wall of Rangoon cane where mango trees once grew
There used to be a cricket pitch, carved from the red-brown earth,
We never played much cricket there, well, none, for what it's worth.
On Friday nights at 10 O'Clock when the last drinks bell rings twice
We'd make a run for the bottle-o and the two bob bags of ice,
We'd load the lot in Mad Mick's ute (he ran the pub, you see)
And head out for the cricket pitch for another midnight spree.
We had to cross a wide dirt road and a set of railway lines
Then find the path through the wall of cane and dodge the buffalo mines,
Then there it was, the "Cricket Pitch" like a park all mowed and snazzy
In a natural field of buffalo grass about the size of Tassie.
Those of us in utes and cars would circle around to the right
Then pull up next to the Yum-Yum tree where we'd hung a big floodlight,
Then as the rest trudged in on foot we'd find some jumper leads
And volunteer some poor sod's car to supply our lighting needs.
Now most of us were locals, with homes not far from here
The longest drive for anyone took one full can of beer,
But soon we started getting folks from pubs both near and far
From Baggot Creek and Humpty Doo and the boys from the Berrimah.
Not one of us remembers how the stock car race evolved
Whoever had the very first run is a mystery still unsolved,
But soon a rutty, dusty track was carved around the edge
With a dog leg in the middle where it curved around a hedge.
Instead of quietly parking like we always used to do
A couple of lads picked up the pace and raced a lap or two,
It wasn't long before the men were sorted from the boys
Old utes and farmhacks couldn't catch the GT V8 toys!
I reckon it was them Navy blokes both big and loud of mouth
With their hot rods and their racers they brought with them from down south.
They were arrogant and cocky, full of bullshit, coke and rum
But the cricket pitch had never seen so many have such fun!
Now I know there were some locals who resented this invasion
Resulting in some fisticuffs, I recall, on one occasion.
But soon we learned to get along, and fun times was the norm
By geez, couldn't them Navy blokes sing up a bloody storm!
One night we were relaxing, the ratbag's race was run
We'd started down to spinning yarns and drinking beer and rum.
When through the dark there came a sound like we'd never heard before
A distant rumble filled the air, then became a mighty roar!
One of the Navy lads went pale, then pointed at the void
Where the Rangoon cane was parting, saying "Here comes Taffy Lloyd!"
Through the gap, spitting flames orange, red and golden
Came the "Beast of Baggot Creek", Taffy's V8 Holden!
With a throaty growl and a clash of gears it hurtled 'round the track
Spewing plumes of dirt and shit like anti-aircraft flack.
In record time it reached the end and the HQ spun around
It's gleaming headlights pierced the air as its tyres bit the ground.
"Get behind the Yum-Yum tree!" came a panic stricken screech,
The car was bearing down on us at speeds not often reached.
Then just before it mowed us down as I thought it surely must
It turned around and slid to a halt in a cloud of smoke and dust.
Out of the car stepped Taffy Lloyd, and a hundred beer cans clattered,
He flashed a grin through missing teeth, his hair and beard were matted.
"Give us a beer, ya lousy prick" he said as he snatched a can
And sculled it down in just two gulps then laughed like a true madman.
"I lost me pipes as I crossed the tracks" he said, eyeing off me beer
So I passed him another of my green cans, as an act of country cheer.
"Thanks" he said as he popped the lid, "there's a slab in me fuckin' boot,
"But it's warm as pommy's piss, so can I throw them in your ute?"
Well, me an Taffy hit it off, he sure was a lot of fun
He could drink and swear and drive a car better than anyone.
He never had much luck with girls, he was ugly, brash and crude
But when he spoke to our lady friends, he was funny, but never rude.
Friday nights at the cricket pitch then started out the same
Taffy would take on anyone who thought they had a claim.
But that red HQ with its big V8 would never stop or stall
And everyone could see they didn't stand a chance at all.
Now Taffy often raced his car at the Hidden Valley track
And all of us would come and watch as he whittled down the pack.
Drag racing was his chosen sport, and he was bloody good!
His rival was "Speed" Morgan, a notorious local hood.
Now Morgan had a sister for whom Taffy had the hots,
But Morgan never let them be, he hated Taffy lots.
And Speed was tough, cos I was told by a friend of his housekeeper
A "Speed Sartee" was 3 buffaloes impaled on a railway sleeper!
Poor Taffy couldn't win a trick, so I had to intervene
One day while they were racing, I got a message to Irene.
"Come over to the cricket pitch on any Friday night".
She said "Will Taffy Lloyd be there?" I said "He will, alright!"
The cricket pitch that Friday night had something in the air
Besides the stars and great big moon, it just felt like the country fair.
Then all the blokes went quiet, and the sheilas did the same
As Irene Morgan strolled out from the wall of Rangoon cane.
None of us had ever seen Irene in a blouse and skirt
She usually just wore overalls, or jeans and a black T-shirt.
But she had legs that never stopped and a figure that made me moan
And the prettiest face we'd ever seen, now that her hair was combed.
"Is Taffy here?" she asked, as we tried not to notice her cleavage
"Er, no, not yet, would you like a beer?" was all that I could manage.
"Thanks" she said and then sat down, and crossed those lovely legs
Just as we heard Taffy's car crashing through the hedge.
He was just about to gun it, when he saw her at the table
And as she smiled and waved to him, he fast became unstable.
The car died to an idle, it was quite a sight to see
As Taffy parked his big HQ beneath the Yum-Yum tree.
We partied long and hard that night, we laughed until we cried
But there wasn't a single moment that Irene left Taffy's side.
Then later as the moon and stars reached their brightest gleam
Taffy stood and said "Can I take you home, Irene?"
She smiled and tossed her empty can into the rubbish bin
And followed Taffy to his car and let him help her in.
He started up his big red car with all its V8 power
And drove his new found love away at twenty miles an hour!
The next few weeks were like a blur, and every Friday eve
Taffy met his one true love beneath the Yum-Yum tree.
Then one dark night it happened, in a roar of burned methane
Speed Morgan came crashing through the wall of Rangoon cane.
Now Morgan's car was massive, a huge black Hemi Charger
Supercharged on Methanol, no other car was faster.
He had Taffy in his headlights, but Taffy didn't budge
And when that car came to a halt it gave his knees a nudge.
"Where's me fuckin' Sister?" he bellowed as he climbed out
Before Taffy could say anything, Speed Morgan laid him out.
250 pounds he weighed, and solid as a brick
Then Irene's voice cut through the night, "Leave him alone, you prick!"
Morgan stopped and turned as Irene stepped from Taffy's car,
She ran to where her sweetheart lay but didn't get too far.
Speed grabbed a handful of her hair and snarled into her face,
"You little bitch, don't you ever come back to this place!"
Irene just went ballistic and slapped her Brother's cheek,
It took him by surprise, sort of stumped him, so to speak.
He let her go and Irene rushed to be by Taffy's side
He blinked at her then smiled and said "Hey, baby, wanna ride?"
We all began to gather round, Irene was our inspiration,
Taffy stood and bravely faced the source of his frustration.
What he said next made me think the guy had come unhitched,
"O.K. Speed, let's have a race - one lap - the cricket pitch!"
Well, that was just pure madness, but Taffy had gone insane,
He said, "The loser must leave and never come back again."
Well Speed just laughed while Irene cried, and Taffy grabbed a beer
And said "Go start your piece of crap, the bullshit stops right here!"
They both fired up their monster cars, and all of us stood by
While Irene pulled her hanky out to have another cry.
She raised that tear-soaked hanky, then dropped it with a sob,
And both those cars took off with a God Almighty THROB!
Both sets of tyres dug in deep, spitting tons of dirt and rubble
As Taffy started making ground, I knew there would be trouble.
Speed Morgan's Dodge made so much grunt he'd find it hard to pass
So the sniveling cheating bastard ran right up Taffy's arse!
My heart jumped into my throat as Taffy missed a gear,
By the time his engine coughed to life, Speed had disappeared.
But Taffy gave it all he had and we all screamed "COME ON!"
And then he did the strangest thing, he flicked his high beams on!
Taffy gave his car some stick, we'd never heard the likes
He bore down on Speed like he had him in his sights!
Speed Morgan turned the corner, he easily had the edge
But missed the dog leg in the middle where it curved around the hedge!
While Speed fought the steering wheel, Taffy slid right past
Crossing the line way out in front with Morgan coming last.
Then all of us at the cricket pitch let out a mighty cheer
As Irene handed Taffy Lloyd a nice cold can of beer.
Speed Morgan's face was livid as he stormed across the pitch
Where Speed had left the track, his car had spun into a ditch.
I said to Taffy "Looks like Speed's got trouble with his sight."
Taffy said, "Yeah, must've been my aircraft landing lights!"
Speed Morgan never lived it down, and soon he went down South
To mix it with the city boys (who nicknamed him "The Mouth").
Irene Morgan bought the pub that Mad Mick used to own
I heard somewhere that Irene's Mum had guaranteed the loan.
We'd never hear the throaty roar of the Beast of Baggot Creek,
The local utes and farmer's hacks are all that will compete.
The number plates from Taffy's car are nailed up to a rafter,
And Taffy and Irene Lloyd lived happily ever after!