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Bert reckons the following match report “reasonably accurately” covers the discussion he had with his companion during the second Test, “what with the free bar and everything.” He warns that it might read a little strangely, “but if you take several hours to read it and drink continuously during this process, you’ll find it is perfectly logical.”
A day at the Manchester Test is always something to look forward to. One can expect to see some decent cricket, invariably a full day’s play owing to the sub-tropical microclimate that envelops the North West of England. And of course, that famed Lancashire hospitality that brings tourists in their thousands to explore the winding streets and alleys of Salford and Wythenshawe is always something to savour.
What one doesn’t expect is a mind fuck – a technological and existential explosion that leaves one literally unsure of what constitutes reality. I mean, look at this photo. LOOK AT IT – have you ever in your life seen anything like that?
Our exploration of this anomaly started benignly enough. We just wondered why, given that painting stuff on grass is pretty straightforward, the LV adverts were instead on rugs fixed to the ground. We noticed this because of some small ripples in the rug fabric, and wondered if these would affect the ball running over it. Then we wondered if it might slip when a fielder ran on it, causing injury. It all seemed a bit strange, but the world has been a bit strange these last few years. Maybe it was some form of protection for the players against catching grass disease. This seemed a reasonable explanation, so we had another drink and forgot about it.
It was some drinks later when my friend made a second and astonishing discovery. The rugs at both ends were readable from this end! WHAT!? I mean, people of a certain age like not me but Ged will recall a time when there were cameras at one end only, but this hasn’t been true for decades. What was going on?
A trip to the bar provided a bold and disturbing suggestion. Maybe the rug reads the right way up no matter which way you look at it. Maybe this was the reason they were rugs and not grass. A close look at the nearest rug did seem to show some evidence of this, the word “insurance” seemingly visible upside down at its far end.
But this led to other questions, not the least of which was what would happen if a player ran over it from one end to the other? Would he become reversed also? When he got to the other end, would he be upside down, or inside out, or would he simply end up running off the same end of the rug he started at? And what would happen to his brain during this transition? Surely no mortal intelligence could cope with such an event, no matter how much they’d been drinking.
Fortunately for the players, but unfortunately for the totality of metaphysical knowledge, the only time this happened it was Stuart Broad, so evidence of the effect on a human brain was limited. He did, however, appear off the rug the right way out, so at least we could rule out that possibility. He also appeared to continue his run in the same direction (if words like “direction” have meaning any more). This could mean only one thing – that while the rug clearly inverted spatial dimensions within its boundary, it also must invert the time dimension. Broad was running backwards in space AND backwards in time, with the overall effect to the outside observer being that he was running normally.
This observation and a drink led to the final revelation. Why go to all this trouble of creating a time reversing field when nobody gives a fuck about insurance anyway? The answer was right there on the scorecard. Anderson 3 for 32. Broad 3 for 37. The ECB, that much maligned body seemingly comprised only of idiots and morons, has found the answer to our long term bowling concerns. Twenty more years, people, twenty more years.