Take The Ball On The FullIt took a very long time to get over his embarrassing mistake, but when Corky finally squared up with his lifelong nemesis it was one of the best days of his life.
Corky was a top bloke and dead-set loved his rugby league. He was 19, playing inside centre in the grand final, and his team were up three-nil with only four minutes to go. They were undefeated for the entire season and were a sure thing to take out the premiership, but when Corky received the ball from his five-eighth and attempted to give it a clearing roost, suddenly everything fell apart. It was the kick that Corky would never ever live down.
The ball slid off the side of Corky’s boot and spiralled hard right, straight into the unmarked hands of the opposing winger, Ernie Gnomack. With no one able to get a hand on him, Gnomack bolted down the field like a gazelle and scored under the posts. Converting his own kick, Ernie won the game for his team, five points to three. Unlikely premiers.
Unfortunately for Corky there was nowhere to hide. He was shattered. Luckily his teammates didn’t give him a serve. They were already down from losing the game and knew exactly how poor Corky felt about letting their guaranteed premiership elude them. The poor bloke.
To add insult to injury, Corky would cross Ernie most days on his way to work at the local council workshop. Ernie would always give Corky a wave accompanied by a devilish grin, which always read: “Thanks for that great kick, mate”. It would instantly take the wind out of Corky’s sail.
Luckily Corky was a young man with a thick skin and he carried on regardless. He got married, fathered two brilliant sons and seemed to be living happily ever after. He shared his love for footy, surfing and living in the Eastern Suburbs with his family. Over time he forgot about the grand final and even managed to laugh about it when his mates brought it up.
As life went on, it was unfortunate that the wheels fell off his marriage. Corky still loved his wife, but she had changed. She became a ruthless tyrant, lost all her sense of humour and her good looks escaped her like an elusive Bronte Reef luderick. She treated Corky like a leper and verbally abused him with the sort of foul mouth you’d expect from a bawdy, rum-fuelled sailor. He was definitely over this gig.
From the day he gave her the late mail that the marriage was over, it took three whole years to get rid of her. Luckily the kids had grown up, so when she took all his money, he did not even care. He was just glad to be rid of her and in the clear.
Life was full of roses now for Corky. His sons loved him and that kept him on top of the world. Eventually he met a nice lady and over time they became increasingly friendly.
It was a Thursday afternoon and Corky was down at Centennial Park walking his sausage dog, Gordon. In the distance he spotted his ex-wife coming his way. Rather than turn and head the other way, Corky decided to face the music. She seemed to have a man in tow, so maybe this time she wouldn’t greet him with a barrage of abuse.
When they were about ten paces away Corky’s smile beamed like the South Head lighthouse. He could not believe his eyes. Walking hand in hand was his horrible ex-wife and his lifelong archenemy, Ernie Gnomack. Corky gave them a nod of approval and continued on his way, the happiest man in the world.
As he sipped his coffee back at home Corky couldn’t stop laughing to himself. The bloke who had caught that wayward football all those years ago and continued to rain on Corky’s parade had finally received his just dessert. Ernie Gnomack had caught the ball on the full again, but now he had to take on more than anyone could handle: Corky’s ruthless, unpleasant ex-wife.