Middlesex till we die
Loosely Related to the Forum
By Primrose Hillbilly
December 3 2018


A thrill a minute

Primrose Hillbilly gives his unique perspective of the recent forum. This artcile is unbelievably good. 

My Moderator called. 

“ What are you doing this weekend?” 

“A gig on Saturday night, maybe, but nothing that can’t be re-arranged. Why?” 

“That’s good. O*&^%$ might have been saying that she hadn’t seen you lately, so you can come for dinner at somewhere nice near us?” 

“Wow. What an honour. Sure, .........” so two tickets to the Congo Faith Healers at the Green Note ....or a chance to paper over the numerous cracks with my moderator and his wife............... 

“That’s good,” he said, “so we’ve booked the table in your name, make sure to arrive before us, to welcome us, and we’ll see you inside. Next day, we can just hang out, or, up to you, you could go to the end of season forum. Nice bottle of something moderately French and expensive to set the tone. As you’ve never been before, they need proof of identity. A credit card imprint usually works.” 

The night itself is something of a blur. I think I was reasonably witty and amusing. Not quite the life and soul of the party,- more the good time that was had by all. I woke up to a stabbing pain in my temple; - my Moderator, pressing a corkscrew into my head. 

“We need to talk,” he said, “but let’s try to rescue something from the day. There’s the 9.15, which gives you a chance to have a weak, cold coffee here, then you can go to Sinjuns Wood and have breakfast with other similarly entitled people, all a lot younger than you, or there’s the 9.47. Both get you to the forum in plenty of time. We’ve got someone who does detail and accuracy on today, so try not to attract attention to yourself.” 

“How about some coffee here, and bit of chat, we go out to brunch, the Sunday papers, a bit of a stroll, and then let’s see about the rest of the day?” 

“9.47, it is, if you hurry, coffee’s in the microwave. Don’t come upstairs. Leave a blue in the bowl by the door to pay the extra for the cleaner. You now know that door off the hall is where “X” keeps her shoes, don’t you?”, were his parting words. 

So, the forum it is.  

Stagger up the stairs, and take cover behind Beefy, Dingy Bags and Polecat. My cough starts to annoy them. Beefy compliments me on my efforts to blend in, saying my shirt is like a wallpaper pattern. 

I tried to assassinate E0in M0rgone’s career, but was patted back to the bowler by the top table. Better reaction generated by an obviously much more skilled and experienced Bomb Thrower, rejoicing in the name of “Fingers”. His attack takes in Goatley, Gus and the entire playing squad, for not providing him biscuits with his coffee at the last forum, for not providing coffee or biscuits this time, and then not providing any of the players today with or without coffee and biscuits. He called this disgraceful. 

While RG dealt with the refreshments issue, attempting to disarm the UXB, we watched Gus undergo a rather gratifying transformation, from genial, phlegmatic guy who’s not had the best of seasons to something else. He and Fingers have a bit of form apparently. Gus generated the sort of stare that – 15 years ago or so – told the batsman the next one would be about 15 mph faster, was best played with the bat and not the short ribs it was aimed into, and the best places to play it was from the other end. Fingers’ socks started to smoulder nicely, and we warmed ourselves from the blaze. 

Another highlight was the Brexit question from the back. “Nooooooooo,” I moaned, “surely not.” 
“Shut up, you’ve had your turn. Try not to attract any more attention to yourself. Sit quietly in your seat and listen”, the row in front said in unison, proving that my Moderator really had been thinking of me that morning. 

The question was delivered with so much topspin, it bounced back on itself, bowling the non-striker, an event never before recorded in the annals of the game, involving EU and British labour law, the need for a post Brexit settlement position to be taken on Timmsy O’Murtagh on account of him being born across the hard border in Lambeth, and the need to seek sound legal advice. The top table very sensibly played a “leave”. 

Adjourning to the bar, Polecat, with a stealth and guile previously never seen, tried to steal my second glass of wine, and Mike O’Farrell looked me in the eye and told me he thought he was grateful for my question. I was down on one knee, demonstrating with my glass how hard it was to get out caught at first slip reverse sweeping, with by-standers wiping their clothes down from the wine spillage, Julie B helpfully handing out some serviettes, and MOF calling the guy in a hi-vis vest on the door over, when someone appeared to turn the lights out. 

Recovering my feet, I found it was Gus himself, who enveloped my hand in an enormous paw, crushed it gently, gave it back and asked me if I was the guy who asked the Brexit question, as I looked like I was. I said I wasn’t clever enough to ask such a question, with which those around me concurred, and Gus moved on to accost the lawyer, muttering about the loyalty of those who spend too long on the treatment table. 

A smartly dressed gent joined us, asking if we knew who we were. I started explaining about my existential crisis, and the misunderstanding about my Moderator’s closet, but he said he really meant did we know who various people on MTWD were. He (Martin Hagland) was impressed by the level of debate but also by some posters’ ability to state the obvious rather well. I looked pleased 

Soon afterwards, the lights did go out and we were thrown out to The Tavern. Things to emerge were that JK’s wife is expecting, hence his need to look to the future, appearances are not deceptive - Andersson can slip in the occasional very very fast ball, and Beefy’s narration about he and DB’s trip to Durham in the close season will be an epic. Book early for that. Vic Demain rocks is all I will say. 

“How did you get there? “We drove. I like driving, Dingy Bags and I get on well, and Kev and you weren’t there, so it was fine”. 

We saw also someone in the Tavern who looked exactly like Mick Hunt, except this bloke looked 15 years younger, had no furrows in his brow, was cheerful, and had a dazzling smile. In all the time I have been coming to Lord’s, I have never seen Mick smile before. He told us an anecdote to whet our whistle about any future book’s potential, involving an Indian captain seeking his advice on conditions, Mick giving his advice, which was acted upon, and the captain employing a word similar to his surname two days later, after he had won the toss, put England in, and Gooch had made 333. 

We are not leaving the last season – more walking towards the next one. The Stuart Law reign is about to start. It will be My Way or the Highway. Strap in and enjoy the ride.