Saturday, December 29, 2007

The most hated people in the world

On the plane on the way to Australia I watched the documentary "The Most Hated Family in America", which was enlightening if utterly frustrating, and inspired me to start a cult if I ever get that old.

However there are more hated people in the world than the assorted Phelpses. The most despised people on the planet are the crowd security that the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day.

It's a December 26th tradition, this year 70,000 people went to the closest thing Australia has to Mecca to watch the Australian cricket team play the Indian team (by the time I got to posting this, the game was over, Australia victorious). Each year there are new rules imposed on spectators, last year the Mexican Wave was banned, this year you could be ejected for any suggestion of racial impropriety. And in charge of enforcing the doctrine of no fun are the lime-green vested MCG Security. Apparently there were 150 ejections, not sure if that was a record.

The first ejection I saw was at 11:25am. Pretty impressive, the game started at 10:30, so this guy managed to make it somehow through one entire seventh of the game before getting tossed. I think it was for inflating a beach ball. If you were brave enough to inflate a beach ball, the lime vests were armed with ball-point pens, the natural enemy of the beach ball. Some of the better showmen took a bow after deflating the archnemesis of enjoying a sporting event.

Ejections were also made for making towers of beer cups, standing up and waving your hands, and running out on to the field wearing an Indian flag. But my favorite was the punishment reserved for starting the apparently-not-a-racially-improper-title Mexican wave.

Ejections for starting, ejections for encouraging (stand up at your peril), and as soon as it started, a sign went up on the big screen (I tried to photo it, but couldn't get focused on the sign for some reason).

"For the safety and comfort of spectators, the Mexican Wave has been banned. Patrons found encouraging the wave will be subject to ejection".

Somehow, I was one of the few who made it to the end of the day without feeling the wrath of the lime jackets. But I salute you, men, and maybe if I have a mid-life crisis and decide on a few more changes of career, maybe I can join!


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shadmarsh said...

What, exactly, make a wave Mexican?

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