Friday, 20 March 2015

Mrs FB's Dream

Fantasy Bob has long trained himself to accept that detailed examination of Mrs FB’s unique psychology is a risky business. On a par with facing leg spin bowling. The potential for FB to find himself playing down the wrong line is just too high.
Mrs FB's dreamscape - or is it?

He therefore likes to keep things simple.  He sticks to the basics. He can generally intuit whether Mrs FB's jewellery deficit index is reaching a critical level and take appropriate and timeous corrective action. And for the most part that is enough.

Sometimes he fails, of course, and has to face an extended spell of hostile pace bowling. But, by and large, he has survived with his wicket intact.

Mrs FB has therefore rarely indulged FB with reports of her dream world. She obviously regards it as none of his business.  

But if Fantasy Bob had to guess the predominant themes that fill her head during sleep, he would plump for extended visions of our heroine sitting astride a chestnut mare, scanning the wide open ranges of Montana, a new Hermes scarf around her neck by way of a bandanna and specially commissioned gem-encrusted spurs from Stephen Webster glinting on her Ferragamo cowboy boots. 

However his confidence in his understanding of his life partner's psyche was subject to a rapid reassessment the other morning. 

He was quietly spooning porridge into his mouth when Mrs FB strode into view and advised him:

‘I’ve just had the weirdest dream.’

This came as a surprise to FB.

‘…….. and it’s your fault.’

This came as no surprise. She expanded:

‘I dreamt I spent the whole day putting your cricket bat into the washing machine. When it came out it was all soft and bent like a Salvador Dali clock.  I must have put it in at the wrong setting.’

What is the right setting for a cricket bat?
FB took a moment to compose himself.  He had to acknowledge that her suggestion that he was at fault may have some merit. Obviously, Mrs FB has been apprehensive about FB’s lackadaisical preparations for the coming season.  Her unconscious took the view that it might be time gee him up a bit.  It had decided to take control and, in the way of the unconscious throughout the ages, had got things radically wrong.

FB thought this might be a good opportunity to advise his loved one of the proper procedures for the pre-season care of cricket bats. Just in case her unconscious got hold of her in a waking state and she was tempted to put her dream into action.

And so for the next 15 minutes or so he waxed eloquent about linseed oil, about new grips and about using sandpaper and razor blades to remove marks and scars on the blade to leave a pristine surface ready for the first ball of the season.

Mrs FB awoke from the trance like state into which this eulogy had put her.  She got firmly to the pitch of the ball.  

'Weeeeelllll......... I haven’t noticed you doing any of that.'

FB had to explain that these traditional actions were rendered unnecessary in his case by the fact that Gray Nicolls had kindly provided a plastic skin over his bat. 

Mrs FB appeared unconvinced.  She swung through the line of the ball.

'Well that bat's all dirty – it looks like it could do with a good wash.'

FB didn’t feel he had made much progress in this discussion.  Indeed he feared the jewellery deficit index was approaching the danger zone.


  1. I do not envy FB having to negotiate what Geoffrey Boycott refers to as the Corridor of Uncertainty, that area outside the off stump which is often a batsman's downfall. However, if he is concerned about the possibility of his favourite bat ending up in the washing machine, he could take the precaution of storing in a very safe place. A jewelry shop, for example.