Saturday, 17 August 2013

Should have gone to specsavers....

Modern eye test LOL
On the face of it, it was not the most comforting remark for the driver of the car to make as it hurtled down the M90 ferrying Fantasy Bob and a fellow member of the Carlton All Star 4th XI home from a recent away game.

'I think I need to get an eye test.'  said the driver peering into the gathering gloom of the evening.

His comment was met with silence.  Not a silence of the easy, relaxed, just chilling kind.  But the silence that precedes the bad stuff in a horror film.  FB's gripped the Jesus handle above the car door a little tighter.  Any harder and he risked pulling it from its mounting.

The driver went on.  'I'm standing at square leg.  I hear the bat hit the ball.  It's like the ball has disappeared. Maybe I need specs.'

FB conceded the point.  He has worn fashion eyewear, as spectacles seem to be called these days, on the field of play for many years.  He cannot whether they have contributed to improvement in his performance for there has been no improvement but it may be that they have arrested the rate of decline in his performance.  Whatever their impact on the cricket field they have been essential when driving.  Particularly when ferrying colleagues home from away matches.

While the lower leagues are stuffed with players donning fashion eyewear - and some donning distinctly unfashionable eyewear - in the upper reaches of the game bespectacled players are a rarity.  It may be that with the development of contact lenses there are many more players who are visually assisted but that is not evident to the spectator.  And FB has never seen in a cricket match the scramble in the mud to find a missing contact lens which occasionally happens on the rugby field.

In recent times only Daniel Vettori comes to mind as a be-spectacled player and it did him no harm.  Whether he was any good at driving his team mates home is another matter.  Furtherr back in time, FB can remember Clive Lloyd wearing huge specs under his drooping sun hat as he clattered bowlers to every part of the ground.  And a step further back there was South African all rounder Eddie Barlow.  English opticians were not out of business either for Geoff Boycott wore specs at the start of his career and MJK Smith and David Steele also sported snazzy eyewear.  FB is sure that there are many other players of earlier eras for whom a visit to the optician was as necessary as net practice.

Croakies in their natural habitat
What FB did not notice on any of those fine bespectacled players was the essential accessory to sporting spectacles.  The full technical description is the eyewear retainer.  FB knows it better as the Croakie - basically a bit of string to stop your specs flying off as FB hurtles after the ball to save a boundary.  (And this shows the mixed benefits of wearing specs.  Without specs FB would not have seen the ball until it was gently returned from beyond the boundary by an old lady quietly walking her dog.  That she appears to have a better arm than he has is an issue to discuss on another day.  But with fashion eyewear FB cannot pretend not to see the ball and has to give chase ruining the afternoon's relaxation in the outfield).

To return to the point, FB sports snazzy Croakies which he acquired many years ago in teh home of the Croakie, Jackson Hole Wyoming.  Readers may think that is far from home for one so young as FB to stray.  But as FB played Jackson Hole's golf course he found himself in the rough. There is no surprise in this. He did not find his ball. Again there is no surprise in this.  But he did find a ball bearing the logo of the Bank of Scotland.  Just like home.

Jackson Hole Wyoming

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