Laurence Elderbrook fights and defeats nerves

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I have concluded that it is irresponsible to open the batting. I am a gifted, match-winning batsman and to expose myself to the vagaries of the new ball is to introduce an element of chance to proceedings when a fair fight would always see me prevail.

This is why, on my next outing as a cricketer errant, I inform the captain that I will be batting at five. By side-stepping unpredictable early movement, I give myself the best possible chance of delivering for a team in need.

Ironically, today’s pitch is a flat one and the team quickly advances to fifty without losing a wicket. They are building a good platform for me; I mustn’t begrudge them that. However, my appearance at the crease may be some way off, so I instruct my squire, Darron-with-an-O, to purchase me a small glass of gin such that I might while away my time until I am needed.

The score grows. The wickets do not fall. I savour a couple more gins lest this interminable wait have some fraying effect on my nerves. Anxiety has met its match in Laurence Elderbrook and I conquer it easily.

At the fall of the third wicket, an onlooker has the temerity to ask whether I am able to bat. Does he not know who I am? I take the only option available to me in such a situation. I let fly a huge bestial roar and strike him on the side of the head with my gin glass.

One of the great challenges of being a cricketer errant is that in many ways one is always an outsider. Over the years I have grown used to members of the opposition taking against me for spurious reasons, but my fleeting appearances as the star player on a team can on occasion breed resentment among even my own team-mates.

That is what happens here as one of the dismissed batsmen – doubtless ashamed and suffering some sort of inferiority complex – sides with my foe and attempts to strike me. With cat-like reflexes I feint to the left, deftly upending a table in the process so as to distract him. Grasping a glass from another table, I instruct Darron to warm-up the motorcar and inform the room that they have forfeited their right to my presence with their boorish behaviour. To drive home the message, I launch the glass at my foe and exit the room.

Later in the week, I return to the ground. Resplendent in my cream flannels, I urinate on the clubhouse door with the serene dignity afforded to only the very few.

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  1. This really is rather upsetting.

    Are these fools so envious of their team-mate Laurence that they will go so far as to scupper their own chances?

    What is the club cricketing world coming to?

    Thank goodness Laurence has the fortitude and character to remain serenely dignified. I’d hate to think what he might otherwise have done in those circumstances.

    I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t extract some victuals on exit. A really well choreographed arm movement might have let the gin glass fly and swiped some victuals in the follow through. Perhaps Laurence did in fact do just that, but was too modest to mention the victuals bit.

      1. This made my think of folicularly-challenged Julius Nicholson from The Thick Of It, for some obscure reason. I’d imagine he loves a Gee un Tee. With baldy gin. Bald ‘yin. Baldy. Dick snooker.
        Got there in the end.

  2. Laurence, you could have done better than that. The errant Mark vermuelen would have returned to burn the clubhouse down.

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