Richie Benaud RIP 1930-2015

In a fit of distemper caused by no sleep in 36 hours, too much sobriety and too much black coffee - not to mention being bludgeoned into enfuriated misery by another example of the mainstream media reducing news reporting to either an inane soundbite or a uproar of idiocy - XN reporter Max Gross observes a shared condition between Richie Benaud and W.H. Auden (Yes, you read that right).

The death of former cricket player and talking head Richie Benaud at the far too young age of 84 has prompted Australia's pestilential, sub-cutaneous eruption Prime Minister Lord Muck to offer Benaud's family a state funeral.
Even drug-and-alcohol-addled Xenox News afficionados are alert to the glaring fact that only Mr Benaud has shuffled off this mortal coil, not his entire grieving famiglia. No surprise they knocked back Tony One-note back in preference for a quiet, private ritual of the passing of a loved one.
The twat would have hogged a photo op, winked and remarked "shit happens!"
Ducking fickhead Abbott!
What appalling judgement!
What an insult to the memory of an Aussie sports legend!
What a disgrace to the international cricket community!
At the very least Toxic Tony PM must award the late Mr Benaud a knighthood.
Order of the Red Balls?
For those bemused individuals who have no idea of what cricket may be or why Mr Benaud is so revered not only among the couch-surfing, beer-chugging populi but also the cucumber-and-water cress tiffin brigade, my best efforts to delve into this esoteric, seasonal preoccupation have revealed that Sir Richard's main claim to fame and posterity seems to be his idiosyncratic, dead-pan enunciation of the word "marvellous".
As in "maaaa-vellous".
In the transition of boring black-and-white to boring colour, he was the right-hand man of that mighty Australian ogre of pulling a quid, that fire-breathing Smaug Down Under, Kerry "Fuck-you" Packer.
Early in his career as a successful player of cricket, Mr Benaud was also an connoisseur of a certain warm, brown beverage called Milo (a sort of kaka cacao) and, according to one effusive accolade, "wasn't just a bowler, he was a very good batsman".
Personally, I have serious doubts about the latter claim as my research has found no link between Mr Benaud and that far more famous man of bats, Bruce Wayne.
More to the point - and of obvious benefit to anyone caught in the headlights of a well-meaning mate's summer BBQ gathering to swill and monitor the games progress- was one analyst's observation that Mr Benaud's cricket commentary style was characterised by frequent lengthy silences.
Mourning fans shudder orgasmically at the memory of his breathtakingly incisive cry of "What a catch".
Cricket. A cross between cage fighting and stamp collecting, this ancient English metaphor for real life is more stimulating than worm farming, more fascinating to watch than golf, more intense than a rippingly technicolour yawn after a big night out, and more fun than genital prickly heat.
With the passing of Mr Benaud, new citizenship application questions are being hurriedly devised at Deputy PM Peta Crudlin's behest to block the heathen hoi-polloi from becoming New Australians.
There was no comment from the current prime minister's office other than "We are not a commentator".
Tony One-Note was, of course, using the royal wee.
Former citizenship firebrand and defrocked, disgraced ex-PM John W Howard was seen staggering along Sydney's north shore openly weeping, disconsolate, tearing the last hairs from his dessicated coconut and wailing "The Don! The Don!" before being tackled by an IPA SWAT team and bundled away in a chaff bag.
And there, but for the grace of Gawd, there go we all.
In a tribute to the departed, purported cricket legend, an apparently grief-addled ABC2 televisual news announcer offered this backhanded compliment: "the cricket community has lost perhaps its biggest name".
Not too sure, love?
I understand that prior to embarking on a half centry career as commentator, he was an Australian Test Captain for 20 years. The ABC TV compliment may have been more definitive had he passed the test...
I was going to make a filthy pun about someone's old baggy green but was muzzled by the Editor, a notorius fan of this so-called "sport" (You bastard, Tex!).
Finally, but not terminally, I leave readers with this totally unrelated po-ah-er-um-em, just because it occured to me after revisiting one of my favourite 20th century poets:

Wystan's ghost is whispering his secrets in your ear:
You needn't be a poet to take it up the rear.

Neither a poof nor a poet, Richie Benaud nonetheless now has something in common with W.H. Auden: good, bad or indifferent. both men are gone from this world but for the eternal echo of their words.
Vale Richie Benaud. I never knew you at all.
This was Max Gross for Xenox News, out for a duck, quacking in his boots and going daffy. Now where the fuck is that vodka!