Tag Archives: staplefield

True tales from the Comedians’ Cricket Match?

Apparently, during filming of the new movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, author John Le Carré was phoned up and a key line was added. It was during a scene in which new information was assessed and the line was:

“Patently a fabrication from beginning to end. Just could be the real thing.”

I have found that the more unlikely a story, the more likely it is to be true. When comedian say something likely, it is often made up; when they say something too OTT to be true… it is often a toning-down of a far more OTT truth.

Yesterday, I was at the comedians’ annual cricket match against the locals at Staplefield in West Sussex. It seems to be held every six months.

Cricket is possibly the dullest game ever invented. But you certainly meet some interesting people and hear some interesting stories at the comedians’ cricket match.

While theoretically watching, I got talking to a retired fireman who used to work in Slough. He told me that, occasionally, he would cycle into work to Slough from Staplefield, a journey of 54 miles. It would take him three hours but keep him fit. And he once cycled from Slough to Northampton and back – a 140 mile round trip – to see a girlfriend.

Clearly Staplefield harbours some hardy people.

One comedian at the match told me about not appearing on the Sky TV talent show Don’t Stop Me Now in which contestants are ejected in various odd ways including being jerked up into the air by a rope or wire or dropped through a trapdoor.

The comic in question was told he could not use the word “Nazis” in his routine because “people might be offended”. Not offended by the routine or the gag, which was inoffensive, but by any use of the word “Nazis” in any sentence. Another problem was that he turned out to be too heavy for either the rope or the trapdoor. Sky did not use him on the show.

Another comic (and it is fairly obvious to other comics who this is) told me that, in horse racing, there had been a fad a few years ago – if a fellow jockey was asleep – to drop either snot or sperm onto the unconscious person’s closed eyes.

“Snot and sperm,” I was told, “are both at body temperature, so the person doesn’t wake up. But, when they do, they find their eyelids are stuck together for a little bit and they think they are blind… How we used to laugh!”

This story vies with another for most bizarre story of yesterday.

I heard the other story at local pub the Victory Inn from a guy of about 30 who claimed he had been in the Army and had been in Afghanistan. His tour over there is not actually relevant, but I mentioned to him the story I have blogged about before of the Irish Republican sympathiser who was put unconscious on a plane to New York.

The story I was told yesterday was a tale of a personal dispute between a couple of Army men and a non-Army person who had screwed them out of money. When the money could not be recovered, they removed him from his house one night, drugged him so he was unconscious, put him in a container lorry, drove it to the Balkans to a place they knew in a forest on a remote hillside miles from any town or village. They stripped him, gave him a tab of LSD and left him there on the hillside, naked and presuming he was still in the UK.

“What happened to him?” I asked.

“I’ve got no idea,” the man in the pub told me. “Not interested.”

He shrugged his shoulders.

The story seems unlikely but, perhaps because of that, it has the ring of truth about it.

Who can tell betwixt reality and fantasy, especially if you find yourself naked and alone on a hillside where any locals you meet will be speaking in an unknown language.

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Filed under Crime, Drugs, Eastern Europe, Movies

The comedians’ cricket team goes down swatting

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the village of Staplefield in West Sussex, to see the annual cricket match between the locals and a comedians’ cricket team organised with Germanic efficiency by Frank Sanazi.

I am not a great lover of cricket. I think the British Empire may have been built by armies going to foreign countries and insisting that the locals played cricket with the English/British until they lost the will to be independent and handed over their countries and natural resources rather than play another match.

But this cricket match and this cricket team was different.

Yorkshire comedian Keith Platt inexplicably dressed as a footballer.

Former submariner Eric was wearing a tennis headband when he fielded but black-rimmed Groucho Marx glasses as a batsman. He claimed these were not comedy props and he needed them, but I wasn’t totally convinced as he developed the hint of a strange gangling run when he wore the Groucho glasses.

Meanwhile, Bob Slayer dressed in black with a normal white sun hat on his head which, when erect (the hat, that is), oddly made him look like a rather down-at-heel TV celebrity chef wearing a rugby strip. He did, though, manage the impressive multi-tasking triumph of drinking at least one pint of beer while fielding.

I had to leave during the second half to see a friend who told me tobacco companies had been discovered putting sugar in their cigarettes to make them more addictive.

And, mid-evening, Frank Sanazi texted to tell me that the comedians had lost by 69 runs – 209 to 140 – but that Bob Slayer had finished 31-not-out and was “now a comedy cricket legend, as he developed a batting style called ‘swatting’ in which he maniacally tried to bash every delivery like he was Zorro.”

An interesting cricket match.

Now there’s an oxymoron.

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Filed under Comedy, Sport