The Squire was in the Club Library trying to re-write the third of Eliot’s Four Quartets, while Third Man was in Dressing Room No7* across the bridge in the old pavilion, struggling with 7 across in the quick crossword in the Mirror, when the bell of the telephone rang.
“Get across here right away, Third Man, I’m stuck.”
His Grace has been battling with The Dry Salvages for at least seventy years, ever since he’d railed against Tom’s adoption of the river as a metaphor for time.
“How can anyone who has only ever travelled in one direction through time, know anything about it? typical of a wrist spinner who never could master the Bosanquet.”
It is the Squire’s considered view that Cricket itself is best understood as a product of retro-plasticity, the undoing as well as the doing. People generally detect an illusory evolution of cricketing technique from Timeless Cricket, to Test cricket, through shorter and shorter forms to arrive (in the present era) at T20. But His Grace considers this the inevitable product of social beings imposing some ideology, some morality, some politics onto the way the game is played.”
“Where is the time source? Where is the collapse? Where the star formation? What is it like to travel faster than the speed of light? Why is it not reversing?”
“Because it takes dry hands, your Grace?”
“Dry Hands! Now that would have been a better title,” declared the Squire with just the faintest of glances towards the kairometer he wore always around his wrist, as if checking for the opportune moment when time was indeterminate and everything was happening.
“Those exposed to the highest standards of T20 are the true Kaironauts of the age, TM. They are selected for what Wolfey (kool-aid medium strength) rightly termed the ‘right stuff’ and have had created for them a better culture in which to hone their skills.”
“Did you say Care-for-noughts, Your Grace?”
*Despite the many so-called improvements that have been made to the facilities of the historic pavilion at Dark’s, which have seen the conversion of Dressing Room No 6 into a lavatory for members unable to make their way down into the basement facilities, and No 5 having been turned into a physio-room, the old pros have managed to keep the existence of their beloved retreat, Dressing Room No 7, a secret from various Club Secretaries and Chairmen of the Estates Committee, for many years, and “mum” must remain the word or there would be no place for old cricketers to hide from the Present Day.