|Reading FB's letter|
Having confirmed that he has been a good boy all year he invites Santa to bestow on him all manner of goodness. Having addressed the letter to the North Pole he posts it in time honoured tradition by putting it up the chimney. FB's world wide readership might have thought that FB should have got out of this habit a few years ago - why does he not e-mail Santa?
In fact some other readers have suggested to FB that Santa is not real. But that's what they said about the doosra and FB knows better. For, year after year Santa has come up with the goods, or enough of what was listed in FB's missive to confirm for another year that belief is an appropriate response.
This however something went wrong. Instead of a cornucopia of gifts appropriate to man of his age and status (and all FB's nearest and dearest know how much he enjoys wearing socks) his stocking, which he had so breathlessly laid at the foot of the bed the night before, contained nothing more than an envelop addressed to FB. Excitedly tearing it open, FB was surprised to find the following letter.
Dear Mr Fantasy Bob,
I write to confirm receipt of your letter of 10 December.
I regret to inform you that S Claus Enterprises is unable to meet your order.
You report that you have been a good boy all year, yet our records show the following:
- you frequently left your cricket bag lying in the precise place that Mrs FB is likely to trip over it (as she herself remarked with some justification it's a wonder she hasn't broken her neck yet...........);
- you made yourself available for play without having checked that your trousers had been washed. While none of your team mates was able to confirm your explanation that the green stains that disfigured the knees reflected your claim of a finger tip save in the covers the previous week, they do recall you sinking to your knees with exhaustion having chased a ball at least 20 yards towards the boundary;
- you knowingly scoffed the final piece of chocolate cake from the tea table regardless of the fact that a junior member who you had bowled up the hill against the wind for most of the afternoon had been eyeing it longingly but was too exhausted to make his way to the table to collect it;
- you repeatedly lost the toss by a significant margin;
- you regularly and without due consideration made attempts at a quick single to the endangerment of your team mates' innings and the health of the opposition fieldsmen who struggled to contain their laughter incurring a surprising number of hernias during the season;
- you continued to post a slip when you bowled despite the fact that the last time you took a wicket caught at slip was when flared trousers were still in fashion............................
...............Need I go on? Frankly you've as much chance of that new Gray Nicolls Scoop as of flying to the moon.
But what really gets me, what is beyond forgiveness is the fact that you have never seen fit to invite me to play for your so-called All Stars Carlton 4th XI. Every Friday during the season I have waited on tenterhooks. But nothing. What on earth do you think we get up to all summer? 24 hours a day light means net practice goes on till midnight. I am ready for the call.
So what about it next season, Fantasy Bob? Let me open the innings at Grange Loan and that new bat you dream of could be yours. And I'll add in some Christmassy empire biscuits.
Yours in disappointment but still hoping,
(RHB & RFM)
|A Christmas treat|