I'm really loving this Cricket World Cup. Being in the same time zone makes a shed load of difference to these things, and an in-form New Zealand team makes it especially exciting.
Also, anything can happen. Ireland can beat the West Indies! And call me crazy, but I'm not even slightly incensed by the new graphics that have upset so many others.
I'm even enjoying the vanilla commentary on Sky TV. Shane Warne and Ian Smith frothing in excitement at the end of the Australia-New Zealand match was a particular highlight in the intense nailbiter, in which the Black Caps were victorious.
I only call the Sky (Star Sports) coverage 'vanilla' by comparison to the Neapolitan madness on offer from the The Alternative Commentary Collective. The online commentary, which debuted last year on NZME's iHeart Radio, is a puerile treat that has now become a well oiled machine, and by all accounts, more popular by the game, with tens of thousands tuning in to every broadcast.
The collective - Jeremy Wells and Jason Hoyte as ball by ball callers, and Matt Heath, Leigh Hart, Lee Baker and Mike Lane as comments men - have added some much needed spice to the game. I've even begun to miss it when it's not on offer, as it's only available for Black Caps matches. To my surprise it's even becoming my default radio version.
Although it would be nice if the ACC commentary was available as a button on the Sky remote, there's something to be said for the DIY skills needed to sync up the TV pictures with the radio app, something that is needed as there is a time difference between the two. Usually the ACC version is a few seconds before Sky. But it's sort of a fun problem as overcoming any sort of technical feat makes you feel useful as a man, like changing a tyre, or managing to put more ram in your laptop.
Typically the Sky version is about a ball ahead of the ACC but the lag is not completely consistent. What is dependable though is the extra layer of entertainment that comes out of the ACC caravan.
On the SKY commentary during the match against minnows Afghanistan, Simon Doull, Ian Smith, Mark Richardson, and a South African I didn't catch the name of, were doing the usual solid business, but increasingly it seems a lifeless drone compared to the magic on offer on from the ACC.
As I've banged on about before, toilet humour and political incorrectness are stock in trade for the ACC. The word of the day this time was "perineum" (the bit between the scrotum and anus). There was a contest to guess which of the ACC team members perineum's was on display on the website. A previous word of the day was "man-gina".
But you'll also hear the occasional tangential factoid that threatens to be informative or even thought provoking: "Only 6 per cent of Afghanis have access to drinking water". Of course the Afghan game also provided a chance to talk about Afghan biscuits, hounds and "goat dragging", allegedly a popular sport in the war torn country. Not that the goats are actually alive when they "get the drag".
"It's had its limbs cut off. It's an empty vessel," says Jason Hoyt, prompting me to Google for some evidence, which does actually exist. The sport was briefly banned by the Taliban.
With an ear to making a more scientific comparison between the two types of commentary on offer I had each version playing at the same time, one in each ear. It's something I wouldn't recommend, as I think I'm still suffering a form of PTSD as I write this.
Ball 170, first innings: As the dull but dependable Simon Doull says on Sky: "That's good enough to be four runs." Jeremy Wells for the ACC says: "Mrs Mangle has wacked the shit out of that all the way to the boundary."
Of course Mrs Mangle, of Neighbours fame, is not on the Afghani team, but within the space of a few overs the name of Afghani batsman Nawroz Mangal, has, as is the ACC's tradition for mangling names, become "Mrs Mangle."
Leigh Hart pipes in at this point: "Mrs Mangel spent a bit of time playing for the Kabul Meerkats, also for Oxfordshire, Yorkshire, a few other shires, then he gave up cricket and played baseball for a while." A quick fact check backed up exactly none of that, but Wiki does say that Mangal did spend his early years in refugee camps in Pakistan where his family had escaped from the Soviet era conflict.
But Hart is not always making stuff up. "We provide the only gluten-free, fully-interactive coverage", he blustered, and for once he was at least half right. The coverage is certainly interactive, and within seconds a picture of Mrs Mangel is up on the ACC Twitter account. When Narwroz Mangal finally goes out, a picture of the Neighbours star in some sort of crisis is posted with the words: "RIP Mrs Mangel."
But in the heat of the action, as the ball is in flight, the two versions are surprisingly similar, the rhythm of the voices, the description of the type of delivery, all set to that familiar crickety beat. There is music to cricket commentary and it's an important part of the ritual.
Back on the field, Daniel Vettori takes another scalp and chalks up 300 wickets in the one-day game. Both broadcasts mark the moment.
SKy TV: "Vettori is the oldest payer to get 300 wickets."
ACC. "A lot of conjecture that Vettori had Aids, but he's come back and got 300 wickets, you don't get 300 wickets if you have Aids."
Later as pictures of Napier appear on the TV in the break between overs, Doull plays a tour guide armed with the world's most lifeless commentary: "Ah Napier city, Art Deco City of course", he says over some Art Deco buildings. "Wonderful ahh, downtown," over the shot of a 1950s American car next to a building. "You can walk along the waterfront," he offered before getting exited by a shot of the sound shell: "That's where the Black Caps signed autographs". Lonely Planet, this is not.
At the same time on the ACC, Math Heath has just finished talking about dolphin pheromones and is now advising us that giraffes are "the gayest in the animal kingdom, they like to sodomise." Not surprising that someone soon tweeted in: "I just had to turn you guys off, my aunty has just come over for a surprise visit."
Both versions of the commentary are guilty of sausage sizzle-itis. It's hour upon hour of men talking to other men. You could even accuse the ACC of casual misogyny, all manner of unsavoury fixations, and a teen-like obsession with the likes of "amputee strippers".
But eventually there was a woman on their broadcast, as Antoinette called in to claim a prize (a Kane Williamson "Steady the Ship" T-shirt) by guessing whose perineum was pictured on the website. "It's yours" she said to Wells. "You're absolutely correct" he replied. "How did you know?" "I've seen a lot of perineums" she replied. "I have four teenage boys".
Wells could well have looked around the caravan and said, "Same here".
* The next ACC commentary will be for the Bangladesh vs New Zealand game, Friday March 13.