Friday, 12 January 2018

Pimping

The conversation at Fantasy Bob's breakfast table reached a level of unusual raciness the other day.

Mrs FB rustled her newspaper and said, 'I see you're a bit of a pimp these days.'

It was only through extreme self control that FB retained the mouthful of coffee he had just imbibed.  Over the course of their years together Mrs FB had referred to him by many terms, some of them implying endearment, the majority the opposite.  But this was a first.  He was unaware of the circumstances which had lead to her accusation.  But he was confident that she would shortly enlighten him.

She duly drew his attention to the newspaper article which had stimulated her observation.   From it he discovered that touted to emerge as one of this year's food trends is pimped porridge.
Pimped Porridge

'See, this is what counts for journalism these days,'  Mrs FB snorted - for she was once a member of that much reduced and maligned profession.  Recovering from the distraction of her sisterly concern at the plight of a fellow professional having to present such hollow fare to her editor, she returned to her main point.

'You've been a pimp for years.'

FB was uncertain whether this was an accusation, a compliment or a mere statement of fact.  It was of no matter, for the answer in each case was identical.

'Yes.'

For FB had been pimping his porridge in no uncertain style for many years.    He understands that ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law.  He might not have known that he was pimping.  But pimping he was - unaware of how far ahead of the curve of fashion he was.

He had started out in a small way - which he suspects is not an uncommon  claim in pleas of mitigation among members of the pimping classes.  Eschewing the traditional salted porridge he at first sprinkled a little muscovado sugar or a squirt of maple syrup.  But this led on to more significant delights such as apricot puree, cherry compote, stewed rhubarb, and a range of exotically flavoured yoghurts.  That very morning under Mrs FB's watchful gaze he had pimped in high style with blueberries, muscovado sugar and winter spice Greek yoghurt.

Mrs FB was off her long run.

'What else have you been pimping then?'

Depimped bat
It was clear from her demeanour that nothing was unlikely to be an acceptable answer. FB was on the back foot. He needed to defend his honour.

He invited Mrs FB to recall his excitement a couple of years ago when a couriered package from Gray Nicolls arrived containing his new Nitro bat.  He reminded her of the temporary coarseness of his language when he discovered that the weapon was covered in unsightly stickers.  In the parlance of today it had been subject to extreme pimping.  It was a mess.  FB spent many hours , stripping the garish blazes, stripes and chevrons from its back to leave an unsullied surface.

Yes FB was a confirmed depimper.

Away from the porridge field that is.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Beyonce

Fantasy Bob has been avoiding the distressing reports about England's continuing Ashes humiliation by immersing himself in the biography of Gustav Mahler, a present on his recent birthday. 
Gustav Mahler at the end of his run up
As his worldwide handful of faithful readers knows, it has long been FB's quest to determine the bowling action of the great Austrian symphonist.  At last he seemed to have an opportunity to make progress on this vital question.  This authoritative biography would surely have much to say on the subject.  FB's hopes were built up only to be dashed again.

Shamefully, although the author addresses some important questions such as did Mahler ski (his conclusion is not), there is absolutely nothing at all about his cricketing prowess.  That Mahler must have been a cricketer is transparently obvious to anyone with a passing familiarity with his work - after all what is The Song of the Earth other than a series of hymns to the variable quality of wickets  encountered by Mahler?  But cricketing facts have been ruthlessly suppressed leaving FB no further forward.   Will he ever find confirmation of his intuitive speculation that Mahler was the originator of the Doosra?  It looks unlikely.

This is not to say that this biography is totally useless.  For besides all the stuff about death, melancholia, death, melancholia and death, it reveals important new information to FB namely that Mahler's cousin four times removed is Beyonce Knowles.
Beyonce - possible addition to the pace attack?

(For those of FB's handful of worldwide readers that are not up with these things, Ms Knowles is an American popular singer, apparently of some stature).

This is a momentous revelation.  On the face of it there is little similarity between Mahler's Songs for Dead Children and Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - for example,  there is little evidence, at least to FB's ear, of off-stage cow bells in the latter piece.

So FB does not know how to assess this new information.  The book does not give any additional information beyond a bare statement of this relationship.  In particular the author has chosen not to give insight into Beyonce's bowling action. A lost opportunity, for it would surely display some inherited characteristics from Mahler's own action and so could be a vital clue in  FB's long, and so far unfruitful, search. 

FB will therefore have to do the hard work himself and review all available footage of Beyonce in search of clues as to whether she might be a worthwhile addition to the pace attack.  Life is hard.


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

A Birthday Hattrick

Fantasy Bob has been silent too long.  Not that he has had anything of consequence to say - as if he ever did.  Many times in recent weeks he has thought that it is about time he made another series of startling insights into the challenges he faces when encountering 11 year old leg spinners.  Challenges which grow with every passing year as FB's eyes grow dimmer and his feet more rooted to the spot. 

The seasons come and go.  The years turn. Boys grow into men. They disappear to fresh and distant conquests.  Only FB's ineptitude endures.  There is always another 11 year old at the other end, nonchalantly flipping the ball from one hand to the other.  There is no escape.  It is the tale that has been told throughout the history of poetry and story.  And FB must tell it.

On several occasions he has described to Mrs FB his need to reclaim his place in the great literary tradition - she has not discouraged him.   To be fair, neither has she encouraged him.  Indeed, she did not think it worth it to pass any comment other than to suggest he might not yet again leave his shoes in the exact spot she is likely to trip over them. 

So he turned to the keyboard with a renewed resolve.   But his firmness of purpose wilted as he suddenly brought to mind that it was his birthday. 

Again?  So soon after the last one?  The gloom of the January day deepened.  He could hear that 11 year old at the other end chuckling devilishly to himself.  All seemed lost.

But Mrs FB was on hand to save the day with a splendid hattrick.


He he scoffed the cake, he dipped into Blowers and savoured Mahler: that 11 year old leg spinner would just have to wait.