with Vyvyan Bartington-Phypps
Greetings, fellow Corinthians, and profuse apologies for the long temporization since one’s last exposition, due to one scouting on behalf of the club for some new blood. One’s Eleven (or should I say one’s ‘Ten’ due to the club’s inability to pass muster in recent weeks!) has been in some turmoil and is clearly in urgent need of much enrichment.
This is a great puzzle to oneself: what on earth could be more pleasurable on a summer Sunday afternoon than the gentle whack of leather against willow, the aroma of new-mown grass, some pretty fillies twittering on the boundary in their lace and parasols, both Elevens imbibing some strong ale and indulging in much hearty-fellows-well-met banter post tussle? In one’s book, desertion of one’s Eleven is akin to, nay, worse than, desertion of one’s King and Country in times of peril. These scrimshankers should be horsewhipped within an inch of their lives until they learn some discipline! I didn’t get where I am today without understanding something about discipline, just ask Leatherlash Lucy in the back room of the Dog and Duck down in the village! (Ahem, er, perhaps you ought to edit that bit out. Don’t want Lady B-P getting wind of it.)
Having some military experience (three years in a Jap POW camp with only little Vyvyan and a battered copy of Wisden for consolation has prepared one for anything) I have been commissioned by the Executive to lick these dodgers into shape, so from now on the team will be run on a military basis. Firstly, no one will be excused boots or granted a weekend furlough without a chit personally signed by the Laird, or in his absence signed by the Major, or in his absence by Mister Buttocks, or in his absence by, erm…; secondly, there will be a weekly parade of the sick, lame and lazy before the M.O., whereat any slackers will be rooted out and awarded double net practice for the remainder of the season. Finally, and most importantly, any selected players going AWOL will be awarded No.1 Field Punishment, i.e. bound hand and foot to a sightscreen for the duration of the following match in full view of the opposition. Hopefully this will do the trick.
Thankfully, amid the doom and gloom one is pleased to report that His Lordship has returned to his finest fettle, both with the bat and behind the furniture. Much of the credit for this must go to his great companion and helpmate Mister Daffy-Duff, the Jeeves to His Lordship’s Bertie Wooster or the Passepartout to his Phileas Fogg, if you will have it, ensuring that, in addition to his own fine cricketing abilities, his master is not only precipitously aroused from his drunken stupor and transported to the correct venue, but also has sufficient coinage to purchase his after match ale. Such fellows are indispensable and of far more value to one’s Eleven than some occasional idler who pitches up demanding his place in the team.
And what has happened to our junior cricketers? Young scamps in the street.Tin can for a wicket. Broken windows. Irate neighbours. Mmm? Isn’t it? Wasn’t it? Or playing in the park. Stumps chalked on a tree trunk. Six and out. Wasn’t it? My first wife left me you know. Ran off with that bounder C B Fry, or was it Archie MaClaren, the rotter. I forget these things. What’s that? Yes, I will have another brandy.
Well, cheerio for now