The General’s Briefs From the Field

Over the course of a season, the Gents enjoy the many uplifting missives from General Hore-Belisha-Woodward-Pratt to keep his platoon on the straight and narrow and ensure that his privates remain in good order.

The General's Briefs.

His emails spark the kinds of debate one would expect to find going on between a group of intellectuals in their 50s. Below is a taste of the topics we cover. Of course, not all his missives spark a debate as the General is a man to whom one speaks only when given permission (either that or we simply cannot be arsed to reply). All original spelling and grammatical mistakes have been rectified in order to protect the illiterate.

The New Boy

Good afternoon Men

Some of you may have noticed that a new member of the Platoon has joined our merry band of late. This is good news as he is a) considerably younger than most of us and b) appears to be able to run slightly faster than the average Gent. This new member, Private Robertson, has already achieved the high quality performance criteria required to join us as we were able to assess his skills at the indoor nets. He acquitted himself very well, although his level of keenness was too high (we can sort that out soon enough). He is a founder member of group called 'let's stay up as late as possible on a Friday night/Saturday morning at the SaxClub' and you may have seen him behind the bar on numerous occasions.

The big question now is who is going to be dropped, as Private Robertson is clearly of a higher standard than most of the Platoon. As I am the best player by far it is clearly not going to be me. As Captain Pearson chooses the team (crawl crawl) it won't be him. Personally I think it should be anyone who hasn't got a pet dog.

We can discuss this at length on Thursday eve.

That is all

General Hore-Belisha-Woodward-Pratt

Sir.

I appear not to have a pet dog but I do have a concrete pig and Lucien Battye is keen for me to have a bronze one too. I have a stiff finger but not upper lip and a limp shoulder but not floppy dick and hence that might preclude my automatic selection. I also have a modest predilection for lexicographic affectation but I have got some new liniment so there is hope of a recovery. Please do not reduce me to the ranks.

Yours fawningly.

Porky Medical Corps

Dear Doctor,

Is it a three and a half or a five and a quarter inch floppy dick that you haven't got? You should be aware that these are now out of date and you will find it difficult to locate an appropriately sized slot in which to insert it. Much smaller dicks are the fashion nowadays so certain members of the platoon can at least be said to be following modern trends. Or maybe it was the lack of hot water in the showers. And I wasn't really looking...honest.

Private Barrow

p.s. you said that if I rubbed cream into it, the swelling would go down and the scabs would eventually fall off. Well I did that but subsequently discovered it was low fat cream and now it smells all cheesy. Is that normal?

Dear Glen Barrow.

If you study my prescription closely you will see that it clearly states "Harveys Bristol Cream" and I think that you will realise that you have been applying the lotion to the wrong body part! I suspect that the use to which you have put the remedy will still have some benefit in terms of its astringent effect.

It is my considered opinion that if you increased the rate of rubbing then the scabs will certainly either come off of their own accord or catch fire. Localisation of combustion will generate what we in the medical profession term, Spotted Dick, at which point groping for the tub of Cornish clotted cream you might find to be most rewarding.

As far as dealing with the cheesiness is concerned, I suggest immersion in Dettol and some feverish wafting might not go amiss, unless Dennis has become too particular in his dotage!

Yours ever attentive to your bed-side requirements.

Dr Hog

Morning old people.

Apologies if I’m disturbing your mid-morning nap but guessed it would be about now when matron comes round and changes your soiled underwear as the smell of p!ss becomes unbearable. I am flattered that I am being considered for an actual real game with a real ball but should warn you that despite my youthful, some would say, Robert Pattinson looks (oops, sorry forgot my audience. I mean Cary Grant)......my skills (and knees) are more WG Grace than Steve Finn. I am therefore more than happy to work my way through the cricketing ranks, maybe starting in the 2nd II...followed by a few guest appearances, with maybe my full cap in the 2016 season. The last thing you need is some ’snot nosed’ kid coming in and stealing all of the glory from you ’seasoned’ professionals. p.s. One further thing, when I joined it was on the promise of acceptance to the Officers training program so I’m slightly disappointed that I have only reached the dizzy heights of Private.

Officer Cadet Robertson

Officer Cadet Robinson,

As you know, we in the Gents pride ourselves on our commitment to the cause and our ability to laugh in the face of extreme danger. If you consider yourself to be worthy of joining such an illustrious band, you must prove your worth to us. Every new member is asked to undertake a secret mission to some of the worst hell holes on planet earth. After discussion with some of the other members of the platoon, we have decided to send you to Private Stickney’s lower intestine for a period of no less than two days. Your mission is to investigate one of the world’s most dangerous chemical weapons facilities. Unfortunately, no-one has ever returned from his lower intestine (at least not alive) but I think you'll agree that this is a small price to pay for the reward of being able to be run out by Sapper Durrant (Sapper because he can leave one feeling quite drained after a while) or shouted at by Private Brownlow on a Thursday evening. Normally, we would equip you with a gas mask and an iron lung but under the circumstances we think it might be better that you take a week's worth of cauliflower cheese, hummus, lentil dhal, pickled eggs and baked beans well past their sell-by date. How will these help you to breathe in the noxious fumes, you may well ask.... well, in truth, they won’t, but they may go some way to cancelling out his stench with one of your own.

We normally wouldn’t ask you to do something so blatantly dangerous but Cap’n Pearson thinks he may have left the platoon’s shampoo bottle up there last time they took a shower together. If you could return it, he would be most appreciative. Let us know if you feel this is worth all the trouble.

Regards

Private Tumulus.

This Season's Tactics

Good afternoon Men

As I have a half day at work today I thought I would pass on some advice I heard whilst listening to the cricket. 'Always set goals that can be achieved'

Therefore for the following season:

Brownlow not to bowl spin

Barrow to run like a Gazelle rather than a Orangutan

Pearson to reach the batsman with at least one ball from his first over

Turner to make his first run after no more than 20 balls

Battye to stop stealing everyone's drink

Hodge to re-appear on the horizon

Mantini to reach down and pick the ball up without squeaking

Pointer to chase the ball rather than skirt

Phelan to stop seeing red

Cawley to run faster than Barrow

Royse to reduce his car buying to 4 per year

Daisley to stop smoking when batting

Sheppard to bowl at least one ball on the wicket

Morgan to stop mincing about and run properly

Stickney to just stop

Durrant to just stop

Parkinson to take in an immigrant lodger

I, of course, require no advice as my goals are clearly set. I just can't remember them.

The General

Private Stickney's Verbal Diarrhea

Good afternoon Men

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Private Stickney has finally been diagnosed with VBE (Verbolous Bollockos Espousiation)

VBE is a most dangerous affliction as, initially, those afflicted appear to be highly intelligent believable people whose conversations appear to be both interesting and truthful. However, as we know all know, once one delves beneath the bluster and bullshit there is just bollocks being espoused. Surely you have seen Stickney verbally pinning an unsuspecting victim into a corner about global warming, vitamin deficiency, third world issues etc., etc. Maybe you have heard him verbally thrash about diet and personal health issues to our wives, girlfriends and loved ones. The blank looks on those receiving the bollocks are just like the look on a footballer’s face when they are asked what the capital of England is. Perhaps you have driven home thinking 'yes that was quite an interesting conversation I had with Stickers this evening'. 'Mmm, wait a minute, hang on, do I believe him?' 'Hang on, maybe I should think a bit more about what he said'. 'Hang on! it was UTTER BOLLOCKS' 'Hang on, what a waste of 4hrs of my valuable time that I will never get back!'

There is a medical cure for VBE which is called Shuttusuppus Immediatus Terminatus (SHIT). If this is shouted loud and long enough at the afflicted they can be cured. Therefore it behoves all of us in The Platoon to shout SHIT at Private Stickney every time you see him and consistently during any conversation you have with him.

He will ultimately thank you for this.

Let's hope he is cured.

General Hore-Belisha-Woodward-Pratt

Observations From The Tour

This was The Gents day and in a most emphatic way. Captain Pearson’s 2000th time he has gone over 20 runs in a day, a cultured 7 from Private Brownlow and, almost inevitably given the furore generated about his future, a cameo from Private Mantini took The Gents to 49 for nine by the close of the 3rd day of what we are promised will be a tumultuous, albeit all too brief series. Pearson and The Gents were outstanding, overcoming the loss of their captain, Oscar the Dog, who went without scoring to the fourth ball of the day. They registered a second-wicket partnership of 3 and one of 4 for the third followed before Mantini was out for 2.5, carelessly, it must be said, hooking and gloving a donkey drop to the keeper. It left a tricky 5 hours and 45 minutes to negotiate, for a further 1.5 runs, which he did successfully. Commendable as the Gents were, however, the opposition were lacklustre throughout. There was little of the devil evident in a potentially devilish attack. Defensive fields were set too readily but inadequately so that, although the idea was to pursue a fifth-stump line outside off stump, two of the most serene batsmen in the world in Pearson and Barrow were given one single in each of the days’ sessions. It will not have sat kindly with the bowlers, for they tend to get frustrated when the strike is rotated in such boring fashion as this, the board fails to tick over and there is a constant adjustment in line to be made between right- and left-hander. For all that, Pearson played an outstanding innings, one of his most accomplished, in which he scarcely put a foot wrong all day against one of the most vaunted attacks of recent years. His last score over 10 was his monumental 12 against the Darby & Joan Club of Grimsethorpe last year. He now stands alongside Oscar the Dog, Neddy the Donkey and Muffin the Mule as the slowest to reach 15 runs, ever, in the whole universe. It is sobering to think that Pearson has so many more years ahead of him. On this performance it won’t be long before he scores more than 25 in a week.

The General

2012 Targets

Good moaning Men

After such a fantastic two weeks of Olympic success I have been reading up about how and why our boys and girls are so successful. After many hours looking through miles and miles of statistics, training schedules etc. etc. I now understand why The Platoon is less successful than it should be:

1 We are setting our targets too high. These Olympians set achievable targets which they tweak up consistently to reach such high standards. Because the Gents set impossible targets, we fail. Therefore our first target for the rest of the season is to put our cricket shoes on the correct foot, without falling over, before each game.

2. There are not enough washboard stomachs in The Platoon. In order to rectify this situation everyone must punch each other in the stomach every 2 minutes. You are allowed to punch Private Stickney every 1 minute.

3. The kit we wear is not skimpy enough. I have already ordered Union Jack thongs and boxes for everyone.

4. In order to run like the wind or swim like a fish the body must be shaved free of any hairs. We are all too hairy. I have booked everyone in for a back, crack & sack with the local women’s institute massage group - all Captain Pearson’s hair will be donated to the Wayne Rooney replacement pate fund.

These are just some of the severe changes that will take place from now on.

That is all

The General

2013 Strategy

Good moaning Men

This year I will be attempting to coach you all to a) make you better cricketers and b) help you achieve 'oneness'

As we know Cricket is a complex dance that requires shifting from one objective to another at lightening speed. To excel (like me) you need to act with a clear mind and be totally focused on what everyone is doing on the pitch. This quality of mind is described as 'the cocoon of concentration'

I have noticed that some of you lose concentration before the game has started

In order to solve this concentration problem I can reveal that the secret is to not think. That does not mean being stupid (Stickney, Barrow, Royse etc) it means doing things instinctively. We have all had these flashes of this sense of 'oneness' where we are not actually thinking - just doing (having sex, eating 10 chocolate eggs in one go etc)

Therefore your first pre-season training objective is to cultivate a piece of mind which does not separate one's self from one's surroundings. As a good example, an early morning visualisation exercise should be to perceive everything that is likely to happen during the match so that when it does happen you react instinctively and at speed without thinking.

For those of you who cannot visualise anything other than food (Parkinson, Mantin, myself) you must take LSD beforehand.

That is all

General H-B-W-P

The General’s Briefs

Topics of Discussion

The New Boy

This Season's Tactics

Private Stickney's Verbal Diarrhea

Observations From The Tour

2012 Targets

2013 Strategy

News & fixtures

GENTS NEWS

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