It was with great pleasure over winter that we welcomed, former player and globetrotting socialite, Mark Rendell back into the clubhouse bar. He graced us with his presence to attend Morty's 60th, but unfortunately, he left his expensive looking suede jacket behind.
Whilst rummaging behind the function room bar to find it, we made quite a startling discovery. When we dislodged some cardboard boxes in order to reach for Rendell's tasseled sleeve behind a cupboard, a plainly covered journal was uncovered.
Intrigued, we opened it up to see what it was about. The journal turned out to be the diary of an unnamed Fines Manager from an unnamed season, though a few names and traits do sound familiar.
Here's an extract...
"First game of the season and we're all ready to get into our whites and get the new season underway with a win, especially against the old enemy, Lowerhouse. Met down the club for half 12, I jumped in with Dave, didn't fancy Nick's milk float, must find a way to fine him for that? (Note to self)
The fine book was opened smartly with Dave's espadrilles, 25p inappropriate pre-match footwear and 25p letching fine as soon as we pull out the club gates. I don't mind the espadrilles actually just not in canary yellow, must remember to keep that to myself or I'll have to fine myself (note to self). It's been agreed that the letching fine is one fine per day to avoid certain bankruptcy for some of the lads, I argued for it to be on a 'per instance' basis but was overruled. Bugger. Out of order habit.
Arrive at Lowerhouse, Stan is charging up and down the wicket on his heavy metal steed, as per. Wicket looks good, outfield is dry, Andy goes for 25p for letching, tea lady. Captain goes out for the toss intending to bat, comes back and we're fielding 25p inaccurate and inconsiderate tossing.
It's good to get into the whites again and all the lads seem well keen to get started and have a knock up, Pete asks for a stud key for his boots, he goes for 25p for asking a stupid question.
3 more letching fines; tea lady, barmaid and opposition wife.
Chris has got a new bat, Dave reckons he's got more bats at home than Count Dracula..... Chris goes for 25p for knocking up toward the changing room and 25p for being too keen during knocking up.
The skipper gets a new ball out to start the innings with, considered a fine for opulence but decided against it. Must be getting soft in my old age. Bugger.
Andy and Dave open the bowling and the ball seems to be moving around a bit, Andy offers to put a bell in it to help the batters, they impolitely decline. Really sharp chance at backward point put down by Phil, did well to get his hand on it, to be honest, 50p dropped catch.
Expensive few minutes for Phil 25p letching fine, opposition girlfriend, and 25p for excessive keenness for a run out when there was no chance.
Two good balls to take the openers, one caught behind by Mark with his cymbals and an easy catch for the skipper at cover, shame that cos I've got the Captain on double fines this year, a golden disc goes a-begging....
Absolute shambles from the no. 4, punches the ball to cover and sets off silently like he was after a bus. Easy stumping for Mark. The Captain offers some directional advice to the outgoing batsman as he appears confused, the batsman thanks him with a peace symbol or similar.
Nearly forgot, Chris 25p ridiculous millenary effort, Richie Richards struggled to pull it off and Chris has failed in his attempt. His attempt to justify it by saying it keeps the sun out of his eyes leads to a point to the sky and another threatened fine for arguing with the Honourable office of the Fines Manager. I'm definitely getting soft in my advancing years.
Wickets fall steadily but the opposition number 6 puts up a good fight with a solid 49. He was out to a leading edge back to Dave for an easy catch, considering speaking to my opposing Fines Manager for him to apply a collection dodging fine, whilst I have Dave for half a quid for being a spoilsport.
Lowerhouse eventually close on 169 all out, Chris reckons it’s 30 short, Chris is now 30p short for trying to sound knowledgeable about cricket."
Who is this Secret Fine Manager and why is his diary anonymous??