Thursday, March 16, 2006

EBay Bans Me Again!

Auctioning things on EBay is not that simple. Yet again I offended their censorship software and whilst the company notified me that my sale had been accepted and they greedily charged me 30pence for it, lo and behold, almost 24 hours later it was apparent that the only person who could access the auction was me!

Last time this happened, I wrote them a letter asking what was going on. You would think that it is their responsibility to notify their customers when a listing upsets the sensitive software. This time around I made sure there was no offensive language, so exactly what did trigger the ban? So here is the original and on EBay is the ‘censored’ version… 5677090546

When I redid the description, leaving out the words that could have set the alarm bells ringing and then reposted, it suddenly appeared for all to see, but, I wasn’t compensated for the missing 20 hours…


Remember those times at school when the subject was boring, the teacher was a drunken nervous wreck, who muttered incoherently whilst scribbling indecipherable gibberish on the Blackboard?

So what did you, and the just as equally future illiterate co pupil sitting next to you, do?

Yes…those were the days of TTC…Table Test Cricket!

Matches could last several lessons, providing hours of exciting entertainment!


Contents of RHODESIA TTC game.

2 hexagonal sided pencils, (unchewed, see below for more information), 1 is for the Runs and the other, ‘How Out’ pencil. (Howzat.)

Batting Team’s Runs pencil, 6 sided, labelled:

1,2,3,4,6 and HOWZAT!

How Out Pencil. 6 sided, labelled:

LBW: Leg Before Wicket.
BAC: Bowled And Caught.
R.O.: Run Out
C.B.: Clean Bowled.
C.: Caught.
Not Out.

Contents of ZIMBABWE TTC game.

1 hexagonal sided ‘How Out’ pencil and 1 half round 2 sided Runs pencil, (slightly used).

Batting Team’s Runs Pencil. 2 sided, unchewed, labelled:

1 and HOWZAT!

How Dismissed Pencil. 6 sided, labelled:

CWW: Clubbed With Wicket.
CSS: Caught Stealing Stumps.
STD: Starved To Death.
BBB: Brained By Ball.
SSB: Someone Stole Bat.
Not Out.


Each player has eleven players in his team, of which only ten are allowed to play. This is normal in Cricket. On a piece of paper, (Not Supplied,) each player draws up a score board as demonstrated below, using a Zimbabwe game for example:

Batter Runs Attained Total Score How Out.

1. Rob Mugabe, 1,1,1,1 4 BBB
2. Gideon Gono 1,1 2 CSS
3. Prof Mutambara 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1 16 CWW
4. Morgan Tsvangirai 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1 16 SSB

After all ten players are out, the final total is tallied and the highest scoring contestant wins.

To play is very simple.

After tossing a coin to see who starts, the batting team contestant takes the ‘Runs’ pencil in a hand, and from a small distance rolls it onto a flat table top. Whatever result is visible at the very top, is the amount of runs successfully completed. This is then noted. When the Batter rolls a HOWZAT, he has the opportunity to see if he is really out and rolls the ‘How Out’ pencil. Unless NOT OUT is displayed, in which case the appeal has been successful and the batter may continue, the way the batter was dismissed is entered against his score. The reason for this is not known, but in real cricket they do this in the newspapers.

Sadly with the invention of Bill Gates and the silicon chip, TTC was doomed. Most school pupils prefer to waste their educational time playing with mobile phones or chilling to MP3 players. So this is a unique opportunity to have a piece of history, as well as a unique modern version. Needing no batteries, this game is ENVIROMENTALY FRIENDLY, and the wood used surrounding the Chinese produced pencils are genuine Amazon Rain Forest hardwoods that are becoming increasingly rare.

History and Celebrities of TTC.

Most historians have agreed that the game was most probably created by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1901, to relieve the boredom of the Discovery crew stuck for months in the Antarctic. A popular humorist, he was the first to adapt the ‘How Out’ pencil, replacing the orthodox cricket terminology with his own.

FTD: Froze to Death
LHM: Lost His Mind
EBS: Eaten By Shipmates
SBW: Stiff Before Wicket
DIB: Disappeared in Blizzard
Not Out

Albert Einstein: Using a German version of TTC, Albert, though failing maths at school, went on to develop the ‘chewed’ system. A rather nervous character, he often would chew or bite his pencils and it was during a game of TTC with Robert Oppenheimer, that he discovered a difference of the roll between chewed and unchewed pencils. This would lead years later to his sensational theory of relativity, C=BR2. (Chewed=Better Roll Twice.) Condemned for several decades as a way of cheating and manipulating the way the pencil would roll, it was finally confirmed in 1969 as an acceptable way of play, similar to how a bowler would polish or roughen certain parts of the ball in real life cricket to make it bounce differently.
Sadly, ‘Clever Al’ would die of lead poisoning before the introduction of TTC health and safety rules outlawing lead based cores and paint on the pencils.

Sid Vicious: Played an English version of TTC from the age of two, ever since his mother shoved a pencil deep in his throat to stop him screaming. He left school at the age of 12, after becoming the only pupil to have won every test match he played. Later he went on to become a member of the cult Punk rock group, The Sex Pistols, recognised as a world renowned brilliant singer, guitarist and heroin addict. He sadly died in the middle of a game of TTC, when his mother shoved a pencil too deep down his throat to stop him from screaming, whilst tripping out his box shortly after murdering his girl friend ‘Spunky Chicken’ for cheating in a game.

Osama Bin Laden: Recent video footage has often shown the cross legged sitting leader of Al- Qadea with two pencils at his feet. Close ups have revealed that it is a version of TTC, although as of now still unrecognised by the IFTTCA, (International Federation of Table Test Cricket Association,) and scrutiny of the ‘How Out’ pencil reveals in several different videos to have the following,

BWK: Beheaded With Knife.
SB: Suicide Bomber
STD: Stoned To Death
ABY: Attacked By Yanks
BWG: Bowled With Grenade
Not Out

Arnold ‘The Governator’ Schwarzenegger: A recent convert to TTC after watching President George Dummkopf Bush play a game against Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf during a recent tour. Arnie has ordered several hundred TTC sets to be given free to all death row inmates with his own ‘How Out’ pencil version, which he claims, will help relieve their boredom as they await for their appeals to be turned down.

KLI: Killed Lethal Injection
FIC: Fried In Chair
DOF: Died Of Fright
FS: Firing Squad
HLB: Hasta laVista Baby
Termination Complete

Coming Soon: Despot and Dictators TTC Special Edition.

Based upon Parade Magazines top 10 list of nasties’, the line up of players encompass the globe, making this a truly international side. Included are famous players such as:

Omar al-Bashir, Sudan, Kim Jong-il, North Korea, Than Shwe, Burma (Myanmar), Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe, Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan,
Hu Jintao, China, etc.

The How Out pencil will be labelled,

CDE: Coup d’ etat
ASS: Assassinated
PMU: Popular Mass Uprising
DOA: Died of Old Age
FTE: Fled To Exile
Still In Power

As you can see we have made all possible effort to make these games as authentic as the real thing, therefore it will be no surprise that the Zimbabwe version is a much faster game.


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