Our inbox is perilously close to empty. One of you better go to a cricket match or something.
D Charlton writes:
I have recently become an associate member of MCC. This means I can sit in the pavilion at Lord’s and watch all but the biggest match days. I can’t watch the first three days of the South African Test, for instance. So, on the Sunday I head to the Lord’s pavilion.
My dad is there early. He gets there early every day of every Test – he’s a full MCC member. He has many Test traditions – one is to get there early and bag seats for him and his mates.
There are no reserved seats in the pavilion, except at the front of the bottom level where, if you are over 80 and have been a member for over 40 years, you get your own seat. It is known as Death Row.
So my dad has bagged the seats and drunk the traditional half-bottle of rosé by the start. He’s sitting next to his traditional mates and there’s the same bloke sat in front of him. It’s tradition. My dad talks to this bloke all day – same age and shape (fat) – they discuss cricket, weather, politics and the Sunday Times. My dad has done this for the last five years and the entirety of this Test. He still doesn’t know the chap’s name. “It’s got too embarrassing, I can’t ask now,” he explains.
I squeeze in next to Dad. “Don’t sit there, you can’t, Derek always sits there. Don’t eat that, it’s not tradition. Don’t text your mates, you’ll get thrown out.” To annoy my dad, I take my tie off. Cue panic. “Good God, so embarrassing. Bloody yellow bookers.”
Yes. I am a yellow booker. My associate membership pass is a yellow book. The full member’s pass is red. Throughout the day I hear grumble after grumble about the ‘bloody yellow bookers’. Sunday is a yellow-booker day.
My younger brother joins us. He squeezes in next to Dad and is told off – not sure what for. He is also a yellow booker.
A woman sits down two rows in front. Collective tut.
My dad has a cunning plan. At the end of the game, he gives the bloke in front his business card and says: “Email me.” Following day, I get an email from dad – he’s forwarded a message from the bloke who sat in front. It’s signed: “All the best, HK Donnelly.”