The SCUM scoreboard


Here at Scoreboard Pressure HQ we know we’re not going to come across many scoreboards in the arts: you know, music, sculpture, theatre, novels, opera, musicals, poetry, dance, etc…

So it was a very pleasant surprise indeed to find that nerves about tending to a high-school footy scoreboard was a key part of the closing pages of Danny Katz’s very funny 2012 novel S.CU.M. The letters stand for Students Combined Underground Movement,  a group of teenage misfits which includes the novel’s hapless narrator Tom Zurbo-Goldblatt.

Tom, who cares little for footy, is in charge of the scoreboard for one match,  directed by the impatient team caption, Jake Mladek, who is out injured.

The jokes about high-school life, about fitting in, about farting, about puberty, about trying to learn Shakespeare are terrific. And underneath it all – you might miss it while you’re laughing out loud – is the theme of trying to  find your place in the world. I came across S.C.U.M. via a footpath library. Hope you can get yourself a copy.

The final score, by the way, is 1.2 (8) to 6.4 (40).

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