Exhibit 1.9.1

A Primer on the Rules of Cricket, Pt. 8


 Cricket Field


71. The Idiot shall in no way have his path impeded nor his cries ignored as he makes his way round and round the field in search of ever greater terror in the faces of men whose lives he cannot possibly understand at such steep angle from his own. Also, he shall wear a bouncy hat bespoke with bells. Many bells!

72. There shall be no farthingales allowed to pope the waists of the gentleman players lest their corpulence exceed that of three lampreys as measured by three lampreys chosen at random from the lamprey barrel.

73. At least one fully stocked lamprey barrel need be at-hand for such measurements and provided by the home team as is the hooper to maintain the aforementioned lamprey barrel. The hooper shall be paid with his choice of the spent lampreys.

73 addendum. The lampreys must be unseasoned lampreys. Or, as the bio-alchemists would have it, freshwater lampreys.

74. In the event of fire, someone’s a witch and the king must be protected at all cost. Should the king not be in attendance, queue up the following in order of protection from the witch: the wicket keeper, the wicket, the meat pies, the time warden, the witch herself, the hooper, the Treaty of Gaul, and the masques for the post-fire ball at which each eligible lady shall have the chance to have her fortune told by the witch.

74 addendum. Each lady is allowed to trade her fortune for another’s only thrice.

75. Should a batstenant hit the ball into the south quadrant–or “The Wickedshire” as commonly known–play shall cease until a halfman might be found to quest for it with a party of great diversity and ineptitude.

76. No Welsh.

77. Some balloons.

78. Play shall cease in the event a babe of under eight timepence finds its way on to the field provided the babe displays the proper colors of its peerage. If improper colors are displayed, the babe shall be given the opportunity to form a team of one and challenge all other teams on the field. Should the babe fail to win, he shall be given to the player with the highest number of tallies. Should the babe win, he earns his choice of colors provided babes at such an age can even see colors, a fact which bio-alchemists currently disagree upon.

78 addendum. Should the babe be a commoner he must never know what he’s seen.

79. The first ball shall not bowled until the pitcher has been bathed in the Thames by the water brigade at which point the gentleman or lady–but definitely gentleman–shall be allowed to toss the ball with no more than daisy’s worth of dew remaining.

80. There shall be a fee to trade players from one team to another though this fee shall only be known only to the ledgerswain until the time of the player’s demise at which point it shall be made known to the player in the leaves of his final cup of tea upon the morn of his death at which point it must be balanced or the one in question shall never die.

80 addendum. The fee shall not exceed one jackpence.

80 addendum two. The player may in fact die, argue the bio-alchemists.

Comment / Posted in Cricket, Primers, Rivers

Exhibit 1.1.26

House (Boat) Party

I’m a bit in trouble on this book because I read it a couple of weeks back, couldn’t think of a take on it at the time, and now feel like I should say something. Um, it won the Booker? That’s worth something isn’t it?

[Goes and checks to see if David Mitchell has won one, sees that he hasn’t, decides it’s worth nothing]

So, yep, people living in boats along the Thames, somewhat focused around a young Canadian mother and her two daughters, one a moody pre-teen, one adopted from St. Julian’s School for Precocious Tots. In fact, I’m not entirely sure this entire book wasn’t written in anticipation of movie version to launch the career of a not-yet-conceived Dakota Fanning. She’s smart like an adult but whimsical like a child! Her idiosyncrasies are adorable! Just imagine a six-year old jumping rope in a dress and rain boots making intelligent observations about humanity and you’ve got a pretty good idea.

Anyway, there’s something great about the carefree wandering of the omniscient narration and the characters aren’t completely without interest. And I suppose living on a boat in the 60s must have been more scandalous than I’m giving it credit for, but I can’t help but compare this book to Drabble’s which had a lot more to say about the age, class, and country.

Maybe this is the way to put it: a lot of the novels I’ve read recently have been short but this is the only one that felt slight.

Comment / Posted in Books, Fiction, Rivers

Exhibit 25.3

A Follow-up to Yesterday

Things That Are Actually in Nebraska

* Buffalo Bill Cody shot glasses

* Sometimes cranes, sometimes not

* Along the Oregon Trail, numerous tombstones for children who died of cholera, children with names like “Nads” and “Aaron Tagge is a Homo.” You have to wade through a lot of buffalo skeletons to find them, however.

* All the country’s best Platte Rivers

* That guy who looks like Jared Leto (ed note: I’m not convinced that guy isn’t actually Jared Leto and we’re all just pretending otherwise so we don’t have to talk about his band).

* Jealousy of Iowa and Colorado, ambivalence toward Kansas, disdain for South Dakota

* This Man

* Kila Ka’aihue, apparently forever

* NebraSKA, a made up ska festival I always feared someone would start

4 Comments / Posted in Cholera, Nebraska, Rivers

Exhibit 20.2

There are several things wrong with this story:

Area tubers go missing, recovered safe and sound
Area diveteams were summoned to Paxton to help search for missing tubers on the South Platte River…

Eventually, all the missing water-leisure enthusiasts were recovered alive, but in the process one member of the search party had gone missing…

a search plane was dispatched to the area. By 8:35 p.m. all parties were accounted for and no one was hurt.

1) The South Platte River is slightly slower than a baby taking her first steps across a room. The only way to get “lost” on the Platte River is to not realize which direction it flows and end up wading to Denver.

2) The South Platte River is approximately 8-inches deep. These Paxton-area “dive teams” most likely consisted of children plucked from their front yard inflatable pool who were unfortunate enough to be the only ones in town with snorkels on.

3) Tubing the South Platte River does not make one a “water-leisure enthusiast.” No, it makes one a sunburn victim, an alcoholic, and a person about to have dinner next to a stuffed polar bear at Ole’s Big Game Bar, but it doesn’t not make you a water-leisure enthusiast.

4) I will not have the reputation of the Paxton Search and Rescue team besmirched by someone who’s never been on the front line. Until you walk that flat, tree-less prairie in their boots, you have no idea how hard it is to locate whichever one of the town’s 614 residents have wandered off. He could have laid down to take a nap and then how do you see him in that knee high grass?

5) Plane, that’s how. They laughed when Keith County got its own Air Force, but now they’re showing the world what a plane with a 68 county license plate nailed to it can do. Sure, today it’s saving water-leisure enthusiasts and their keepers, but tomorrow it’s flying over Paxton Tigers football games and buzzing the Deuel County Coast Guard’s Destroyers.

3 Comments / Posted in Deuel County, Nebraska, Rivers