Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter messages

No ball
In a unique and unprecedented Easter special, Pope Benedict recently took part in a televised question and answer session.  Fantasy Bob's more loyal readers know that behind his golden robes and heavily German accented theological slang, Benedict is a passionate cricket lover and supporter of FB's own Carlton Cricket Club.  Indeed his visit to the UK last year was planned around a visit to the go ahead Edinburgh club's Grange Loan HQ.  Unfortunately for Ben, this went wrong when his aides at the Vatican failed to consult the fixture card which showed that the season ended the week prior to the visit.   Having got over his disappointment Ben has been working on a new Papal Bull on umpiring some of the illustrations from which FB is able to show in an exclusive pre-view.

So the question and answer session was a great opportunity.  However critics have said that the whole programme was sanitised, with the questions selected being gentle half trackers offering easy hits for the Pontiff back over the bowler's head.  The pressure of the clock also meant that many questions put to the Pope had to be edited out of the final transmission.  However, FB's media contacts in the Vatican have given him exclusive access to material edited out of the transmission but in which the Pope addresses some of those more challenging questions.   Here is the transcript.

What is the Biblical justification for the suffering caused by being triggered LBW when you get an inside edge onto your pad?

My child, close study of the holy word will tell you that there are many mysteries in the world and that each small event is part of a greater plan that our Lord has for us............but I tell you if it happened to me I'd be boiling,  absolutely bloody raging and you'd have to pull me off the bloody umpire, that half-witted, three quarters-blind, totally deaf moron.  I'd have him - he'd never put his bloody finger up again once I'd done with him.  In fact it's unlikely he'd have any fingers to put any bloody where.  Peace be with you.

Can a person watch the IPL all afternoon and still expect to enter heaven?

My son, to enter heaven you must exist in a state of grace.........but I tell you the IPL - it's the work of the Devil - a morally bankrupt slog fest in which only sinners could take any delight.  For this Chris Gayle sells himself and prostitutes his great talent.  If the bloody morons who invented it ever come near the Vatican, I'll have them, I'll bloody DLF maximum them, you bet, you just bloody watch and I'll make sure they'll never walk without a limp again.    Only then can they be forgiven their sinful ways.  May you go in peace.

When will Alistair Cook be canonised?

(and definitely not a DLF maximum)
My son, the way of the true martyr is long and arduous............Alistair cook ? Alistair Bloody Cook  - you're joking me right?.......couldn't get a bloody run last year, fills his boots against a second rate Aussie attack and you bloody well want him up there with St Paul, St John and all these dudes - pull the other one. Now these old guys they faced the real chin music and lived - actually they didn't live and that's why they're saints and that's the point. It's up to you and Cookie - you get him martyred, preferably in the most sadistic fashion possible, and then we can talk turkey.  Peace be with you.


  1. Thanks FB for an uplifting blog on a day where one should take time to reflect on the basic rules that shape ones life. One is grateful to one.

    Indeed, Ben is the latest in a long line of Bavarian cricketing disciples. The "enfant terrible" of the New German Cinema Reiner Werner Fassbinder captured that passion in "die Einsamkeit einer Frau Kricketspieler" (trans. the loneliness of a Cricketers Wife) in 1972. Thought too controversial and ahead of its time it was released into mainstream cinema under the title of "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant". The films central themes are loneliness and the search for love. The main character lives in a self-created melancholy dreamland induced by repressive routines of washing the whites, preparing cricketing teas and the occassional, but all too brief, spells of scoring. Petra turns to another cricketers wife for solice and the rest of the film portrays the slow and inevitable meltdown of the relationship in a cricket-less world, as the characters move in slow, trance-like way that hints at a vast world of longing beneath the beautiful, brittle surface.

    If ever there was a wake up call for cricketers everywhere then this is it..if only Warney had seen it he may have been able to avoid being stalked by Ms Hurley through the length and breadth of India. I'd strongly recommended it for an evening in with Mrs FB in a double viewing with Adam Sandlers epic "the Waterboy".

  2. While waiting for the hot cross buns to rise I had furtehr time to reflect on the relationship between the Papacy and the Lords. Do you think there any truth in the NOTW story that from next season bishops and higher offices in the catholic church will be allowed to umpire first class matches? I also read that in a reciprocating agreement Umpires will be able to officiate in the ceremony of marriage? Being a romantic at heart, I look forward to to the day next summer when Martin ties the knot for two lovestruck innocents on the all weather at Grange Loan - plus I can smell a new and profitable source of revenue for the club . Do you think that will be the full extent of his powers or is there any chance they will be extended to conduct the blessing of the bats ceremony during the tea time interval or am i living in fantasy land? Should I file this one alongside my delusional campaign for more woman umpires in the game?

  3. Barnacle - many thanks - FB thinks you may not have enough to do today but reminds you that you promised Brs Barnacle to mow the grass and teak oil the patio furniture.

    FB is in enough trouble with the church and higher authorities already to speculate further on your suggestions or delusions.

    However as a lapsed film buff he is fully aware of Fassbinder's ouevre which has had a profound influence on his approach to setting the field. Nevertheless he thinks that the definitive view of cricket within the new German cinema was Wim Winders' 'The WicketKeeper's Fear of the Googly.'

  4. The grass is moweth and I did a pre-season oiling of the garden furniture when I prepared my bat for the forthcoming season.... but I did get into trouble for knocking in the new garden table (schoolboy error according to Alan Titchmarsh)...a crime of such magnitude that even a night in (wednesday as there are no nets) with the Fassbinder DVD box set couldnt salvage.

  5. Bad luck - there are different views on this subject but FB is with you and firmly refuses to believe the manufacturers who say that their bird tables leave the factory pre-knocked in and ready to play. A good 20 hours percussive action is necessary and usually endears one to the neighbours.