Baron Crapulence
The witterings of
Baron Crapulence of Chugley Harvard
As recorded by Felicity O'Toole
'A Cricket Match'

baron crapulence he Chugley Harvard cricket team played its home match against Affucton Magna a few days ago. This is an annual fixture of two matches — home and away. Actually this leg was postponed from earlier in the season as a sudden rather heavy thunderstorm somewhat waterlogged the pitch and it doesn't really make for a good game when the ball, instead of bouncing, sinks two inches into the field and all the players have to wear wellington boots.

As usual Sir Hugh Grossly-Featherstonehaugh managed to make a complete arse of himself. He somehow tripped over his bat just as the ball was delivered. Damned fool let the ball hit him on the head right in front of off stump, so of course the Affucton umpire quite rightly gave him out Leg Before Wicket without hesitation. Some of the players carried him off and put him in the back of Myre's pick-up truck and after much grumbling about missing some of the match Myre drove him to the hospital. The pity was that Sir Hugh was on 35 and had begun to play some quite fluent strokes. I hope he recovers in time for our next match.

Simon Cholmondley-Bibulant J. P. together with Glottis, one of our farmhands, put on another 70 odd. When Simon is batting he has the built in, so to speak, advantage of completely obscuring the wicket from both bowler and umpire. Glottis has a very aggressive approach to his batting and a pretty heavy bat. He managed to disable two of the fielding side, both of whom took no further part in the match. One of them was Affucton's best bowler, a chap called Tumbrill, so that was pretty satisfying. We put on 174 for 4 in our innings; not an outstanding total, but not too bad, in view of the fact that they were down to only nine batsmen.

A splendid tea was prepared by Hortense, the new addition to the Crapulent Towers kitchens, in fact a little too splendid — I shall have to get Lady Honoraria, my good lady wife that is not my prize sow, to have a word with her. I think the best smoked Scotch salmon was wasted on the Affucton lot. Still I must admit that it went down rather well with the La Spinetta 1999 Barbera d'Alba and Cook had sent down three of her special cakes to accompany the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. After Simon had polished off all he could without seeming too rude, we returned to the field greatly fortified.

As it turned out we didn't need that much as we dismissed them for only 98 for 6; the rest of their team being incapacitated. Young Slippage, who works in the gardens at Crapulent Towers, saw us through all right with his bowling. He is quite a find for the team as the ball doesn't exactly hang around when it leaves his hand. Five wickets and two retired hurt is not a bad tally for any bowler in one afternoon. He got Inspector Drab of the Affucton constabulary out first ball which was very satisfying. Myre wasn't too happy as he'd been ferrying the wounded to Accident & Emergency most of the afternoon. He even had the cheek to ask me for petrol money! I told him he should have asked for it from his passengers or, if they were not conscious, shoved a bill in their pocket.

The Affucton lot, with one exception, rather discourteously did not return with us to the Crapulent Arms. Mumbled something about visiting the hospital. What a pathetic excuse, I mean those hospitalised weren't going to go anywhere, were they? The exception was Tumbrill, who had been discharged as he'd only broken his wrist trying to stop a rather powerful shot by Glottis. He was asking whether he could join our team. It's a bit unethical for anyone to change teams in mid-season and besides he's not much use with a broken wrist. He did seem to be a fair bowler however so I suggested he approach us again for next year. After all there are only a few more weeks until the end of the season and I don't suppose his wrist will repair in that time.

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I: Noblesse Oblige

II: London

III: Cook

IV: Some Daughters

V: More about Cook

VI: A Cricket Match

VII: A brief engagement
and cider

VIII: Children Going and Not Going

IX: A Shoot

X: Christmas, Now
and Then

XI: A Night in Soho

The Watley Review