DISCLAIMER – This will not be up everyone’s alley. This is something I started writing and have just run with it. It’s turned out to be both light and a little dark in places. It’ll be a series that continues as this break in the season meanders on. If you don’t like it, or prefer your footy content to be completely serious, stop now and resume your regular reading habits. If you’re up for a bit of fun, and aren’t taking things too seriously, by all means, please continue.
Also, it’s satire. It’s not really Tex, or Buddy, or Dusty. Please don’t send me messages telling me I am misrepresenting them and lawyers could be involved. That’s just silly.
Before we begin, I’d suggest hitting up the previous two eps, so you know what’s going on.
Ep One – https://themongrelpunt.com/afl-season-2020/2020/03/28/afl-survivor-episode-one/
Ep Two – https://themongrelpunt.com/afl-season-2020/2020/03/29/afl-survivor-episode-two/
“He was like a brother to me,” says Buddy quietly as he stoked the fire. “A big fat brother.”
The passing of Stuart Dew before even the first competition has sent shockwaves through the AFL Survivor camp.
“We used to share a pizza when I was a young fella at Hawthorn,” Franklin continues. “He’d eat the pizza, and I’d get to lick the cheese off the roof of the box. They were good times. Hungry times, but good times.”
“He’ll be missed, mate,” consoles James Hird as he got to his feet. “Does this mean Gold Coast finished last in the competition?”
Franklin looks up at Hird and offers a slight smile. “I probably should’ve expected him to go first, huh?”
Hird nods. “I’m gonna turn in, Bud. “Who knows what McLachlan has planned for us tomorrow…”
Buddy was the last to hit the sack. The games begin tomorrow, and for the first time he was unsure that his once-supreme athleticism would be enough to carry him through whatever challenge Gil threw at them.
“I’m going to draw three names out of the hat,” starts Gil. These three will be forced to compete in a competition to determine who will be eliminated.
McLachlan smiles slightly. “And when I say eliminated, you do know what I mean, right?”
His attempt at humour falls understandably flat and his smile quickly turns into a scowl. He digs his hand into his hat and pulls out the first piece of paper.
“Eddie McGuire,” he announces, almost relishing the panicked response of the Collingwood president.
“Wait on,” starts Ed. “I thought I brought Jordan along in order to compete for me in the challenges and…”
“Fuck that,” interrupts de Goey. “You’re on your own, chubs.”
This did get a chuckle from a couple in attendance.
“Please step forward Mr McGuire,” says Gil in a tone that leaves no doubt as to how serious he is. Ed closes his mouth and takes a step forward.
Gil digs back into the hat – the same shit hat he wore to the polo a few years ago. Remember that? It was a shocker.
“Billy Brownless,” says Gil as he looks up.
Brownless freezes. His gaze drifts sideways and for a brief moment he meets the eyes of his former friend, Garry Lyon. Lyon shakes his head and looks away.
Brownless steps forward without prompting.
McLachlan thrusts his hand into the bag again and pulls out a third slip of paper.
“Jason Dunstall,” he says, smiling.
“Oh come on,” says the Chief. “You’ve picked the three fattest blokes here!”
“Hey…” responds McGuire, his hand moving to his stomach.
“Everyone can see that this is a stitch up,” continues Dunstall, his bald cranium starting to take on a pinkish tinge. “I put my hand up to come on this stupid show and you throw a huge curveball in by making it a death match, and then you add insult to impending injury by calling me fat and lumping me in with these two fat arses!”
“Please step forward, Jason,” says Gil calmly. “Now is not the time to be expending your energy. You’re going to need it as you three compete in the first AFL Survivor event… a sausage eating contest.
There is a moment of confusion as the participants look at each other and then back to Gil.
“What, you think just because you’re all battling to the death that it can’t be fun? I’m certainly having fun, and in one hour, the fun will well and truly ramp up as you three enter the biggest sausage-fest the AFL has ever seen – bigger than a group of St Kilda players in a bedroom together!”
“What does he mean by that,” asks Heath Shaw?
“No idea,” responds Nick Riewoldt, sheepishly, sinking into the shadows at the edge of the group.
Garry Lyon and Eddie McGuire sit together in the moments before the contest begins.
“You can do this, Ed,” says Garry, patting his Fox Footy colleague on the shoulder. “If you get through this, you’re gonna get a couple of days with no stress. There’s no way you’ll be up for another challenge straight away.”
Ed nods, his face a mask of concentration. “They’re just sausages, right? I mean, it’s not as though they’re serving Savoury Ice Cream with Egg and Bacon, or Mock Turtle Soup like Carla and I get from The Fat Duck when we visit. It holds three Michelin stars, you know?”
“Don’t be a wanker, Ed.”
Dunstall and McGuire stand on the podium and prepare to take their places at the table, but as Gil looks around, there is no sign of Billy Brownless.
“Don’t tell me the fat prick has run off into the forest as well,” asks Gil? “We already lost Dusty and the North Melbourne guy… what was his name?”
“Ben Brown,” responds Kane Cornes.
“No,” shoots back Gil. “The tall bloke with the curly hair. Looks like a Simpsons character.”
“Ben Brown,” answers Cornes again.
“NO!” shouts Gil more forcefully. “The one that keeps coming second in the Coleman.”
“I think it might be Ben Brown,” chimes in Jonathon Brown.
“Hmmm, maybe you’re right,” said Gil holding a finger to his lips.
The lesson here – no one listens to Kane Cornes.
A groaning is heard off to the side of the podium, and all eyes dart to the fenced-off area where the sausages are being prepared.
A loud belch emanates from behind the curtain, and when Gil pulls back the drapes, Billy Brownless is revealed, his shirt buttons straining against his massive girth, and tomato sauce dripping from his chin.
Revealingly, half a tray of sausages are missing.
“What the hell are you doing, Billy,” asks McLachlan, furious?
“I was hungry, Gil,” says Brownless, struggling to get to his feet. “I couldn’t wait.”
McGuire smiles and nudges Dunstall. “This is gonna be a piece of cake.”
A couple of Gil’s goons help Brownless to his feet and dump him into a chair at the podium.
“How many did you eat, Bill,” asks a concerned Shannon Hurn. “A good leader is concerned for those around him.”
“About 17,” says Bill in between belches.
Hurn shakes his head. “No wonder you were never considered as captain. No discipline.”
McGuire and Dunstall take their seats and Gil assumes his position before them.
“You have two minutes to eat as many sausages as you can,” instructs the CEO. “The competitor with the lowest total will be… disposed of.”
The timer ticks down… 3… 2… 1… GO!
Dunstall inhales the sausages as though he was able to swallow them without chewing – a trait highly valued in some change rooms around the world. He has finished three by the time Ed and Billy get through one.
Brownless’ stomach makes loud rumbling sounds as he shoves another into his mouth, edging ahead of the slow-eating McGuire.
“Stop using a knife and fork, Ed,” shouts Lyon as he turns to Nat Fyfe. “He’s such a dick.”
Fyfe motions across the crowd to Tayla Harris and raises his eyebrows. “Sausage eating,” he says suggestively.
If looks could kill, Fyfe would be a dead man.
Dunstall launches into sausage number seven, easily out-distancing his rivals.
“I eat like this normally,” says Dunstall in between chews.
The seconds start to tick down… well, they have been since the timer started, really, but now they’re getting toward the end. Know what I mean?
30 seconds… Ed has sausage number nine in his mouth. Billy has just finished his ninth and is onto his tenth. Dunstall is clearly ahead with 14 complete.
20 seconds… the grumbling in Billy’s stomach gets louder. A button pops on his shirt, and he makes a painful, mournful sound, like a man who knows he cannot go on.
Garry Lyon looks on from the crowd, his eyes darting between Ed and Billy…
Ed finishes number nine, and with a superhuman effort, smashes down number ten. They’re deadlocked at ten each as Billy tries to finish one more.
10 seconds… Brownless’ head lolls about but he hasn’t stopped chewing. Ed crams another one into his mouth and is looking to tie it up at 11-each.
Five seconds – Ed looks sideways at Brownless as the former Geelong champ finishes off his 11th and desperately tries to swallow down the last of his 11th sausage as well when a hard slap on his back sends the remnants of sausage flying out over the other contestants.
The buzzer goes off – Dunstall wins with 17, but Brownless has snuck into second with a total of 11.
Ed has lost.
He looks over at the hand next to him and follows it up to reveal the face of Garry Lyon.
“Sorry Ed,” says Lyon with a smile. “I couldn’t allow Bill to be screwed over yet again.”
Bill struggles to his feet and looks Garry Lyon in the eyes. “You… you saved me,” he says.
“I’m sorry for everything, mate,” says Garry. “So, so sorry.”
Lyon extends his arms and wraps Billy up in a giant-sized man hug. Billy returns the favour, hugging his former best mate tightly.
“It’s almost enough to bring a tear to your eye,” says Gil, mockingly wiping at his face. “But unfortunately, Ed…” His voice trails off.
McGuire kicks the table away and tries to make a run for it.
“Stop, Ed!” yells Gil.
Ed continues to waddle toward the forest, stumbling and tripping as the uneven ground combined with the ingestion of ten sausages takes a toll. Gil looks sideways at one of his goons, and nods.
A shot rings out, causing all to cower. When they look up, the prone figure of Eddie McGuire is slumped in the clearing just metres from the trees of the nearby forest. A bell tolls in the distance.
“Eddie McGuire is the second contestant eliminated from the competition,” announces Gil. “I’ll see you all back here tomorrow for another competition.”
Billy and Garry sit next to each other at the fire that evening.
“I can’t thank you enough, Gaz,” says Billy, looking up at his old mate. “I thought nothing good could come of this situation, but I was wrong.”
“It’s never too late, old mate,” says Gaz, clapping Billy on the back.
From the forest, a pair of eyes peer out of the darkness, watching the figures move around the campfire. A snarl is emitted as it hoists the carcass of Eddie McGuire onto its shoulder and retreats into the darkness.
It’s all getting exciting. Apologies for the lack of Tex Walker in this one. He’ll be ramping up his game in the near future.